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Advanced Mechanical Engineering (MSc)

This degree programme aims to provide advanced knowledge of mechanical engineering over a range of specialist subjects, with an in-depth study, via a research led project, in a chosen area.

As a graduate mechanical engineer, this MSc course will provide you with an advanced qualification which will enhance your career prospects and extend and update your skills and knowledge. The course actively encourages the understanding and practice of inter-disciplinary systems engineering thinking that brings together mechanical engineering subjects in a way that reflects the needs of industrial and academic problem solving.

More specifically, the programme aims to:

  • Provide you with an advanced knowledge of topics in mechanical engineering, and in associated engineering and scientific disciplines over a broad range of specialist subjects.
  • Provide an awareness of the safety, environmental, social and economic context in which mechanical engineers need to operate.
  • Offer you the opportunity to develop a wide range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills that will allow you to follow a career in research, industry and other professional areas of the economy.
  • Help you to gain a systematic understanding and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights which are at the forefront of mechanical engineering.

The close integration of the case study and project will allow you to explore, in-depth, a chosen topic related to the course. This provides you with an individually tailored programme to meet your needs in a flexible yet focussed manner, with the project seen as being the key opportunity to acquire and exercise leading edge mechanical engineering knowledge. You will be given the opportunity to show originality in applying the knowledge you acquire, and will develop an appreciation of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research. You will be trained to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and will be given the opportunity and encouragement to demonstrate initiative and innovation in solving challenging problems and in designing new components and systems.

The close involvement with industry, particularly at the project stage, ensures that the experience the course provides has both relevance and meaning. Lecturers delivering the modules are working with some of the world's most renowned engineering companies. Partners include Airbus, BAe Systems, Bosch, Tata Steel, Daimler, EADS, Fiat, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Messier-Dowty, Network Rail, TWI, Parametric Technology, Physical Acoustics Ltd, Renault, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce, SAP, Siemens, Silicon Graphics, Stile Bertone, The Highways Agency, TRL, Microchip, and WS Atkins.

This degree course will prepare you for entry into careers in research or industry. In addition to technical skills, you will acquire professional skills such effective communication with technical, management and non-technical audiences, project planning, evaluation and prioritisation.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of this course include:

  • Renishaw PLC has equipped and supports a state of the art Metrology laboratory to underpin the teaching and projects offered in this course. This laboratory also supports post-graduate research collaboration and on-going doctoral level projects.
  • Research-led advanced mechanical engineering projects are made available to all students in collaboration with current industrial partners.
  • The opportunity for you to learn in a research-led teaching institution while accessing facilities commensurate with a top-class research unit. This is reinforced by the participation of research-active staff in programme design and delivery. Included in this context will be the opportunity for you to undertake project work in a successful, research-based environment.
  • The course benefits from substantial industrial input to the programme through invited lecturers and industrially based projects.
  • There is an open and engaging culture between students and staff. 

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration1 year
AccreditationsInstitution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
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Admissions criteria

A 2:2 honours degree in Mechanical Engineering or a similar field from a UK university, or an equivalent international degree qualification. If you have relevant industrial experience we will give your application individual consideration.

Entry to courses in chemistry will be subject to the University requirements for English language

Find out more about English language requirements

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

This is a one year full time MSc course beginning with a taught section worth 120 credits. The Autumn and Spring semesters utilise taught and research project based material to enable you to progress from a typical bachelor graduate standard at entry to the master’s level. The eight taught optional modules are split between these semesters to provide eighty credits of masters level study. Two twenty credit Case Study modules form both group (semester 1) and individual (semester 2) activities. This prepares you for the third section of the course where you will use your advanced skills to complete an in-depth project and prepare a dissertation in the field of Advanced Mechanical Engineering. The project and dissertation stage of your course are worth a further 60 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

A 10-credit module typically represents 100 hours of study in total. This may involve 24–36 hours of contact time with teaching staff. The remaining hours are intended to be for private study, coursework, revision and assessment: all students are expected to spend a significant amount of time (typically 20 hours each week) studying independently. You must keep your personal tutor, project supervisor and the Teaching Office informed of any circumstances or illnesses that might affect your capacity to attend teaching or undertake assessment.

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?

A wide range of teaching styles and mechanisms will be used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. You will be expected to attend lectures and participate in tutorial classes. All students must complete 120 credits in Stage 1 in order to progress to the dissertation, for which they are allocated a supervisor from among the teaching staff.  Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff, usually in areas of current research interest, although you are encouraged to put forward your own project ideas.

How will I be supported?

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide feedback.

You will be allocated a personal tutor to assist you with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. The personal tutor will meet with you early on in the programme, and as required thereafter. For the dissertation stage, you will be allocated a supervisor in the relevant research field, whom you should expect to meet with regularly. In addition to the broad range of support services provided centrally by Cardiff University, students with specific needs will be supported as required. 


You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments, and oral feedback for assessed presentations.

How will I be assessed?

Achievement of learning outcomes in the classroom based modules is assessed by University examinations set in January and May/June. Predominantly examination-based assessment will be deployed in eight modules (80 credits) taken in Stage 1 of the programme. The balance between examination and coursework depends upon the modules selected, with the equivalent of up to six credits being available in coursework elements in individual modules, in addition to two double module (40-credit) case studies.

Award of an MSc requires successful completion of Stage 2, the Dissertation, with a mark of 50% or higher. Candidates achieving a 70% average may be awarded a Distinction. Candidates achieving a 60% average may be awarded a Merit. Candidates failing to qualify for an MSc may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma of Higher Education for 120 credits in Stage 1. Candidates failing to complete the 120 credits required for Stage 1 may still be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education for the achievement of at least 60 credits.

What skills will I practise and develop?

A.     Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of the Programme you will be expected to be able to:

  • Understand theories, scientific principles and concepts in the context of advanced mechanical engineering, thus supporting the effective application of engineering science, mathematics and other disciplines needed for advanced engineering problem-solving.
  • Understand the limitations of current knowledge and technologies and the need to gain new knowledge through further study in response to new and emerging technologies and needs of society.
  • Understand the role of individual and team-based project work in the context of professional mechanical engineering.
  • Develop project management skills appropriate for a career in engineering and an understanding of the application of these skills in a commercial and/or research environment.
  • Enable the critical analysis of information including current literature in support of the identification of gaps in information that may lead to innovations and developments in advanced mechanical engineering.
  • Be aware of and be able to respond to the responsibilities that professional engineers have to society.

B.     Intellectual Skills

Upon completion of the Programme you will be expected to be able to:

  • Use knowledge and scientific, evidence-based methods in the assessment and solution of mechanical engineering challenges, often on the basis of limited and possibly contradictory information.
  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively.
  • Show originality in tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems using appropriate innovation and adaptation of methods.
  • Systematically undertake a significant research project in an area of advanced mechanical engineering which includes originality in the application of knowledge.
  • Collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of ways, and identify means to gain new data where needed.
  • Conceive, plan, execute and communicate the results of an extended in-depth piece of group project work.
  • Sustain a critical argument, both in writing and through presentations.

C.     Practical Skills

Upon completion of the Programme you will be expected to be able to:

  • Use appropriate mathematical and experimental methods for the modelling and analysis of mechanical engineering problems.
  • Exercise initiative and personal responsibility within the completion of a group project, taking account of constraints such as time, cost, health and safety as well as specific mechanical engineering issues.
  • Successfully undertake a major project, taking account of constraints such as time, cost, health and safety as well as specific mechanical engineering issues.

D.     Transferable Skills

Upon completion of the Programme you will be expected to be able to:

  • Manipulate, present and report data in a variety of ways.
  • Manage resources and time.
  • Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written, and physical or practical means.
  • Generate a concise literature review.
  • Make effective use of information technology and communications (ITC) tools.
  • Work effectively in a group context towards achieving specific goals and targets.

The course provides master’s level training to the standard necessary to practice as a chartered professional mechanical engineer. When you graduate you will be equipped to apply for management level roles across a broad spectrum of mechanical and related engineering fields. The material presented during the course will provide an excellent foundation for any career in mechanical engineering or related discipline.

Due to the duration of this programme only Welsh and EU domiciled students who meet residency requirements (English domiciled students are excluded) are eligible for a postgraduate loan. See more information about eligibility for UK Government Postgraduate loans.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

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

No specific equipment is required.