Engineering with a Foundation Year (BEng)

Are you one of the many people who would like to become an engineer but do not have the right qualifications?

Engineering student

The Engineering Foundation Year course is specially designed to give you the necessary knowledge you will need for an engineering degree.

Although the Foundation scheme lasts for one year, it must be considered as an entry route to one of our degree courses. It is not a stand-alone year, but the initial part of a programme of study leading towards a BEng or MEng degree. Once you successfully complete the Foundation Year you will progress to the first year of your chosen degree course, as long as you achieve an average of at least 50%.

The course is designed to expose you to the broad spectrum of engineering disciplines through lectures, tutorials and case studies. These include aspects of mathematics, physics and information technology that are relevant to engineering. The practical nature of the course contrasts with the way such subjects may have been presented at school. Assessment is by project work, continuous assessment and end-of-semester examinations.

When you have successfully passed the Foundation Year you can choose which Engineering specialism you are most interested in and you will join the first year of that course.

There is a great deal of choice available to you at the Cardiff School of Engineering as it is one of only a few schools to offer full-time MEng and BEng degree courses in various branches of engineering, such as architectural, civil, electrical, mechanical, medical and integrated engineering. Many of these offer a sandwich year option working in industry or studying abroad.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • A route into BEng and MEng courses.
  • The facilities that come with a successful research unit.
  • The opportunity to learn from leaders in their fields, through direct access to academic staff, many of whom are Chartered Engineers or have worked in industry
  • An open and engaging culture between students and staff.

“I’m in the Engineering Society, I play squash with other Engineering students, and I went to the Engineering ball, which was great. There’s a lot of stuff going on that’s fun but that can also boost your CV”

Cordelia Overland, Undergraduate Engineering student

Key facts

UCAS CodeH101
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration4 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 230 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 1270 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

For detailed entry requirements see the School of Engineering admissions criteria pages.

Typical A level offerAAB
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

This is at least a four-year full-time degree including a preliminary year. The course includes a carefully chosen balance of core modules and optional modules. Most modules are worth 10 credits, a few are worth 20 and the final-year project is worth 30. You need to earn 120 credits a year.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Preliminary year

The preliminary year consists of a series of lectures underpinned by practical laboratory sessions. Core modules include aspects of physics, engineering and information technology plus mathematics subjects such as calculus, trigonometry and algebra.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Information Technology & ExperimentationEN000210 credits
Electrical Circuits and AnalysisEN001210 credits
Introduction to MechanicsEN001620 credits
Introduction to AlgebraEN001720 credits
Introduction to TrigonometryEN001810 credits
Introduction to CalculusEN001920 credits
Engineering PrinciplesEN002020 credits
Engineering ApplicationsEN002110 credits

Year one

Year one consists of a series of lectures underpinned by practical laboratory sessions. Core modules depend on which degree course you choose to follow.

Year two

Year two again consists of a series of lectures underpinned by practical laboratory sessions. Core modules depend on which degree course you choose to follow.

Year three

Year three includes a major project, with a value of a quarter of the overall year.  For this you will work individually, alongside a supervising staff member. 

Core modules depend on which degree course you choose to follow.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is through lectures, examples classes and extensive laboratory, IT and practical work. The taught modules in the first two years are largely compulsory, but options are usually available in year three. All students must complete a 30-credit individual project in year three, for which they are allocated a supervisor from among the teaching staff. There are opportunities for interactions with potential employers.

How will I be supported?

You will be assigned a personal tutor who is a member of the academic staff associated with your degree course. Your tutor will be there to advise you on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner when you need some guidance. We aim to help you overcome any problem, however big or small, as smoothly and quickly as possible.

For the 30-credit project in year three, you will be allocated a supervisor in the broad area of research specialism and meet regularly.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback in classes like design and project work and via return of marked coursework.

The opportunity to test your knowledge and understanding will be provided throughout the semester via class tests in Years 1 and 2, plus feedback on written assessments.  Occasionally, peer assessment of an individual’s contribution to a group may be used, and you may also receive oral feedback on presentations and contributions to group activities.

How will I be assessed?

Your progress in each module is usually assessed at various stages through each semester (through a short test) to give you feedback on your progress, then finally at the end of the appropriate semester. Assessment is undertaken using methods including formal written examinations, case studies, assignments and project work.

Examinations count for 60% to 70% of all assessment throughout the course, depending on the options chosen. The remainder is mainly project work and larger pieces of coursework, plus performance in laboratories.

The opportunity to test knowledge and understanding is given through class tests throughout years one and two, plus feedback on written assessments. Occasionally, peer assessment of an individual’s contribution to a group may be used, and students may also receive oral feedback on presentations and contributions to group activities.

What skills will I practise and develop?

All of the School’s BEng and MEng courses are accredited via the Engineering Council, meaning the core competencies of UK-SPEC (UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence) are integrated throughout the taught years of the course. 

You will develop some practical skills during the laboratory-based sessions, while there is a consistent core of management skills and personal development. 

Written skills are reinforced through a series of reports and assignments, while communication skills are encouraged during module assessments.

Our integrated engineering graduates hold key positions in leading firms where engineering skills are required, such as Halcrow, Atkins, BP, BAE Systems, RWE npower, Mott McDonald, Network Rail, Rolls Royce, Ford, Tata Steel, Nokia, Bosch and beyond. Our graduates have also moved on to work within local government, UK and international utility companies and organisations such as Climate Energy and GlaxoSmithKline.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is needed. The University will provide resources such as computers and associated software, laboratory equipment (including any safety equipment) and any required learning resources.

The course is aimed at a wide range of potential applicants. For instance, if you have a GCSE pass in Mathematics and good A-level passes in subjects not recognised for direct entry to our degree schemes (such as no Maths A-level), the Foundation Year would be an ideal route for you to enter engineering.

Likewise, if you have a BTEC or a similar vocational qualification in a non-engineering subject, an overseas Baccalaureate or School Leaving Certificate that is not recognised for direct entry, then why not consider the Foundation Year?

Special consideration is given to students with alternative experience who show the drive, commitment and potential necessary to complete the course and continue further to gain a degree. In these cases, formal qualifications may be waived after consideration of vocational experience, although some evidence of mathematical and scientific ability would need to be provided.


Details relating to this course will be made available via Unistats on 31 October 2016.