Advanced Mechanical Engineering Masters/MSc

Postgraduate degree course in Advanced Mechanical Engineering Masters/MSc:

This new, innovative programme offers graduates excellent career prospects in a broad field of mechanical engineering-related industries. It will also provide excellent preparation for those wishing to undertake a PhD. The MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering is a broad-based programme covering an important and industrially-relevant portfolio of mechanical engineering modules, such as Biofuels and Combustion, Manufacturing Processes, MEMS, and Automation and Robotics. 

All the teaching is delivered by highly experienced and qualified members of academic staff who are at the cutting-edge of research in their respective fields. This programme will be attractive to graduates of mechanical engineering or related subjects.

With leading research into Advanced Mechanical Engineering, the University of Birmingham is the ideal location for bright graduates, looking for a solid and well-respected postgraduate qualification which will act as a springboard for a successful future. 

  • 120 credits of taught modules studied during October-April
  • 60 credits of project-based module carried out during June-September
  • Assessment methods include a range of examinations, assignments and projects

The MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering is fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for both of its full-time and part-time modes of study.

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Daljinder Sandhu

MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering

“The MSc programme has provided me with invaluable knowledge across a wide range of engineering topics. The modules are both enjoyable and intellectually rewarding whilst keeping up with the latest advancements in engineering. The course has provided me with the skills and knowledge required for me to embark on my career as a mechanical engineer.”

The programme will include 9 subject-specific technical modules of 10 credits each covering vehicle engineering, mechanics, thermal systems, energy, computational geometry, manufacturing processes, robotics, biomechanics, and micro electro-mechanical systems. A 20-credit synoptic mechanical engineering module has been integrated into the programme and provides research-focused teaching of selected novel case studies from various research areas being carried out within the School in order to enhance the relevant knowledge base of the students. 

A  further 10 credit module covering research skills, project management and business enterprise will provide the necessary training to enhance the competencies in professional skills that modern mechanical engineers are expected to possess. The latter part of the programme will include a 60 credit summer project module.  The project can either be based at the University, or be carried out in industry.

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Why study this course

The programme will offer a unique opportunity to study the most relevant core areas of mechanical engineering at master’s level at a university with a long and rich history of research and teaching in this field. The programme is delivered and designed with our students’ future prospects very much in mind and places an emphasis on industrial employability and/or preparation for a follow-on PhD research degree.  

The modules offered in the programme are delivered by members of our academic staff who are actively involved in various fields of research and consultancy in mechanical engineering including energy, engines, automotive engineering, micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), manufacturing and automation, biomedical engineering and computational geometry.  

The School of Mechanical Engineering enjoys a significant level of industrial engagement and sponsorship from a range of small to medium enterprises and world leading companies such as Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, and Airbus.


This course consists of 180 credits, 30 credits from core modules, 90 credits from optional modules and 60 credits from your advanced project carried out over the summer.

Core Semester Credits
Research & Professional Skills 1 10
Integrated Design Project 3   20
Advanced Project Summer 60
Optional - 90 credits from optional modules.
Examples of optional module listed below
Advanced Mechanics 2 10
Advanced Robotics (offered by School of Computer Science) 2 20
Advanced Thermal Systems 2 10
Advanced Vehicle Engineering 1 10
Biofuels and Combustion 1 10
Bio-Medical Engineering 1 10
Laser-based Manufacturing 2 10
Micro and Nano Technologies 2 10
Process Modelling 1 10
R&D in Manufacturing Processes 2 10
Intelligent Systems 2 10
Machining Support Systems  2  10

Core module descriptions

Research and Professional Skills – 04 25886 – Semester 1

The aim of the module is to provide students with training in mechanical engineering research methods (generic as well as specific to their dissertation research) and a set of professional skills that prepare them for a professional career.


Research skills: Information search and retrieval techniques, sources and management of information, research methods, experimentation (design, conducting experiments, analysis), project management skills such as use of MS project, critical path analysis, risk analysis, four box tracking charts.

Professional skills: Technical report writing and creating presentations. Engineering ethics and professional responsibility, intellectual property and contractual issues, codes of practice and conduct, legal requirements, and health and safety. 

Assessed by

100% continuous assessment, comprising: 1 Project Report based on in-depth research into a set subject (70%) and presentation of the work (30%)

Advanced Project – 04 25887 – Summer

The aim of the module is to offer an opportunity for each student to demonstrate their ability to work independently, with guidance, on a topic at an advanced level and including a degree of originality. In addition, the project provides an opportunity to consolidate material learned elsewhere in the degree programme in the context of a topic that matches the subject chosen.  An essential part of the project is a critical review of the relevant literature in the public domain.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of concepts from a range of areas including some outside engineering, and the ability to apply them effectively in engineering projects
  • Demonstrate an awareness of developing technologies related to mechanical engineering
  • Extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and apply its solution using computer based engineering tools when appropriate
  • Generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes to fulfil new needs
  • Understand the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the framework of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health, safety, and risk (including environmental risk) issues
  • Understand the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations and some appreciation of likely new developments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (e.g. operations and management, technology, development, etc)
  • Understand the use of technical literature and other information sources
  • Understand appropriate codes of practice and industry standards
  • Demonstrate an awareness of quality issues
  • Apply engineering techniques taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints
Assessed by

Assessments: 100% continuous assessment, comprising: 1 Project Report

Optional module descriptions

Advanced Vehicle Engineering – 04 24225 – Semester 1

The aim of the module is to introduce the student to aspects of vehicle chassis design with particular emphasis on body structure design, giving consideration to external styling, packaging, vehicle interior design and vehicle safety.

It will provide the student with a basic understanding of the dynamics of vehicle systems affecting vehicle handling, leading to the development and application of analytical models and commercial software tools, and to the design of vehicle systems


Chassis design and packaging:

  • Vehicle body styling and aerodynamics
  • Packaging trends – common platform for different body styles
  • Power unit configurations
  • Ergonomics, seating and Instrument panels
  • Vehicle safety systems – safety under impact, occupant protection/restraint, legislation etc.
  • Body trim and fittings, electrical & electronic controls
  • Packaging for weight distribution and dynamic stability

Analysis of vehicle handling:

  • Vehicle handling models
  • Steady state response
  • Transient response to steering inputs
  • Vehicle stability and design considerations
  • Application of commercial tools: MATLAB, SIMULINK, CARSIM etc.
Assessed by

100% continuous assessment, comprising class test (50%) and group project (50%)

Advanced Mechanics – 04 23810 – Semester 2

The aim of the module is to enhance a students knowledge and understanding of the mathematics and scientific principles related to mechanics. To also develop their ability to apply this knowledge in a number of advanced topics.


Advanced Mechanics:

  • Thick walled Cylinders (elastic plastic deformation, unloading, residual stresses).
  • Impact Mechanics and Stress Waves.

Advanced Dynamics:

  • Three dimensional rigid body dynamics with applications to aircraft, satellite and robot
Assessed by

One 1.5-hour formal written examination (100%)

Advanced Thermal Systems – 04 23811 – Semester 2

The aim of the module is to provide the opportunity for the students to study advanced aspects of thermal systems phenomena and to apply their CAE skills on a project that requires the integration of knowledge and skills accumulated over the whole programme of study, with substantial content of creating own engineering software.

  • Lectures and mini - assignments:
  • Theory of turbulence and boundary layers,
  • 2-phase flows, sprays, evaporation,
  • 3-dimensional flows: Navier-Stokes equation, "cold" CFD, energy equation, intro to "hot" CFD
  • Boiling and condensation, cavitation, erosion in flows

Project : Flow/heat transfer: 2 projects:

  • creation of in-house "mini - cfd software for a highly non-linear annular flow/heat transfer problem" and
  • equivalent in pro-CFD (FLUENT / Gambit or equivalent)
Assessed by

100% continuous assessment, comprising 2 multiple-choice question tests (worth 25% each) and project report (50%)

LM Advanced Robotics – 06 25021 – Semester 2

This module is concerned with robot motion in a physical world. We will introduce the concepts and tools for modeling, simulating, and controlling dynamic robots. In a series of lectures we will study the fundamentals of manipulation including kinematics, dynamics, and control. Lab exercises will reinforce learned concepts by means of evaluation on a (real/simulated) physical robot.


In a series of lectures we will study the fundamentals of manipulation including kinematics, dynamics, and control. Lab exercises will reinforce learned concepts by means of evaluation on a (real/simulated) physical robot.

  • Develop and formulate models of a dynamic robot, such as a manipulator.
  • Implement algorithms for solving robot manipulation problems.
  • Investigate and analyse control methods for robot motion (on a simulator or real robot).
Assessed by

Assessments: 2 hour examination (40%), Continuous assessment (team project) (60%)

Biofuels and Combustion – 04 23814 – Semester 1

The aim of the module is to provide the opportunity for the students to study advanced aspects of clean and sustainable engine combustion systems and to apply their CAE skills on a project that requires the integration of knowledge and skill accumulated in the whole programme of study.

  • Lectures and mini - assignments:
  • Deflagration, detonation, sprays, liquid and solid phase combustion, new combustion
  • technologies
  • Revision of adiabatic temperature, dissociation, equilibrium and kinetics of combustion and
  • emission pollutants
  • Hybrid powertrain configurations based on combustion engines
  • Bio- and alternative fuels, hydrogen, fuel reforming
  • Turbulence effects on combustion, HCCI


  • Engine system modelling using Ricardo WAVE, AVL Boost or equivalent software -
Assessed by

100% continuous assessment, comprising:

2 multiple choice question tests (worth 25% each), and a project report (50%)

Laser Based Manufacturing – 04 25884 – Semester 2

The aim of the module is to enhance the students' knowledge and understanding in the field of laser material processing and the integration of this technology in application specific manufacturing platforms/machines. It will provide the necessary ability to design and implement laser-based manufacturing solutions by applying theoretical and practical knowledge about the fundamentals of laser-material interactions, process monitoring, component technologies/systems of laser-based manufacturing platforms and application specific implementations of different machine configurations and beam delivery systems.

  • Laser processing: laser phenomena and principals, classification of laser source, factors affecting laser-material interactions; process design, monitoring and modelling; classification of laser-based manufacturing processes; component technologies/systems for laser-material processing. 
  • Laser-based additive manufacturing platforms: classification; manufacturing workflow; data preparation; layer-based processing of liquid polymers, discrete particles and sheets; machine design and implementation; process optimisation issues; applications.
  • Laser-based subtractive manufacturing platforms: classification, machine configurations, beam delivery systems; process design, monitoring and optimisation; CAD/CAM solutions; machining strategies; applications.
Assessed by

100% continuous assessment comprising: a test on laser processing fundamentals (40%); a project on designing and implementing an application specific laser-based manufacturing solution (60%)

MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) – 04 23817 – Semester 2

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the important emerging technology of micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS). Students will be introduced to the manufacturing processes developed in the micro-electronics industry.  They will then see how these processes are currently being used to produce a wide range of miniature sensors and transducers which, in turn, will lead to the development of many new smart materials and applications. The students will have the opportunity to visit the School's clean room and will be expected to develop their own ideas for future products based on MEMS technology.


Material deposition, Photo lithography, Etching, micro mechanics and fluidics, basic electronics, design of micromachined gyroscopes, accelerometers and pressure sensors. Students will use MATLAB and COMSOL to develop simple models of MEMS devices

Assessed by

One 1.5-hour formal written examination (100%)

Process Modelling – 04 23818 – Semester 1

The aim of the module is to expose the students to the practical aspects of process modelling using proprietary software for the modelling of casting processes.


The module will cover the differences between the different numerical techniques available (FEM, FVM, FDM etc.) as well as knowledge based systems. Other topics covered will include: the influence of geometry and meshing, the relationship between the physics of processes and process parameters and defect predictions and the influences of boundary conditions, thermo-physical and other property data. The processes presented will include casting (including sand, die, investment, tilt and rollover and continuous), injection moulding of plastics and waxes, extrusion, PM, forging and ring rolling. Practical experience will be given on at least two software programs and the student will be expected to complete an assignment which will involve process and / or geometry design changes to improve a product taking into consideration cost implications.

  • Differentiate between FE and FV/FD techniques.
  • Understand the role of process modelling
  • Understand that there are limitations of process modelling.
  • Understand the influence of process control on process modelling
  • Use a simple casting modelling software to improve a casting design
  • Understand the importance of thermophysical data
  • Understand the problems of length scale in process modelling
Assessed by

100% continuous assessment, comprising:

  • case study report  [2000 words maximum and a maxiumum of 8 pages long using a standard journal's publication template] (70%)
  • presentation [10 minutes] (30%)

R&D in Manufacturing Processes – 04 23819 – Semester 2

The aim of the module is to give students an appreciation of research developments and acquaint them with the latest manufacturing process/technology results applicable to a range of industries, not least the aerospace sector.

  • Machining of advanced workpiece materials (tool life, workpiece roughness / integrity, operational features)  
  • Advanced titanium and nickel-based superalloys including shape memory alloys
  • Carbon fibre composites and multilayer stacks
  • Al/SiC particulate metal matrix composites
  • New machining technologies
  • Point grinding
  • Hybrid machining approaches (electrolytic grinding, ultrasonic assisted processes etc.)
  • ED dressing and ELID
  • Creep feed / VIPER grinding including case studies
  • Micro machining relating to HSM and EDM
  • Process modelling
  • Cutting processes (2D/3D including associated work on surface integrity modelling) 
Assessed by

One 1.5-hour formal written examination (100%) to be held during the University's examination period (at the end of Semester 2)

Intelligent Systems - Semester 2

From biological nervous systems to the collective intelligence of social insects, Nature has developed a number of highly effective problem-solving techniques.

The course will introduce the basic concepts of approximate reasoning, collective and decentralised intelligence, and present a number of cutting edge nature-inspired Swarm Intelligence paradigms, as well as well-established techniques such as Evolutionary Algorithms, Simulated Annealing, Neural Networks, and Fuzzy Logic.

Applications will include a broad range of engineering problems in optimisation, control, and process modelling.

Machining Support Systems - Semester 2

The aim of the module is to consider the specific programming strategies, tooling, data acquisition and control technologies to support modern machining systems. 

  • Lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and workshops.
  • Design for manufacture
  • Computer aided manufacture (CAM) versus conversational programming
  • Automatic machining algorithms
  • Tool and part probing integration
  • Closed-loop machining versus adaptive control strategies and condition monitoring
  • High-speed machining concepts
  • 3 axes versus 5 axes machining strategies
  • Metrology and geometrical accuracy inspection
  • Statistical process control and six sigma
Assessed by

100% continuous assessment, comprising: 
Manufacturing Report.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.

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Fees and funding

Annual tuition fee for 2018/19:

  • UK/EU students: £9,270 full-time, £4,635 part-time
  • International students: £20,610

Further funding information

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available, further information is in our funding database.

Learn more about fees and funding.

For further information contact the department directly or email

Please note: From 1 July 2015 we will be introducing a £50 non-refundable application fee for this course.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 2:2 Honours Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering or Physics. Learn more about entry requirements

International students

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements. Standard English language requirements apply.

How to apply

Please note: From 1 July 2015 we will be introducing a £50 non-refundable application fee for this course.

International students requiring visas

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date; a new application should be made for September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry by 21 September 2018.

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

The modules will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, project-based and laboratory-based teaching and learning methods, providing a well-rounded educational experience and an opportunity to further develop skills prized by employers.

There will be a strong emphasis on enquiry-based learning throughout, further enhancing students’ ability to think independently and creatively.

The graduates of this programme will be ideally placed to gain employment in a wide field of careers in mechanical and related engineering.  The typical functional roles include design, consultancy, maintenance, operations, and R&D in a spectrum of industrial sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace, energy, automotive, micro/nano technology, nuclear and defence

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.


Professional accreditation

The MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering is fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for both of its full-time and part-time modes of study.