Why study this course
Group projects with engineering students from other disciplines mirror the dynamic of a professional engineering team and will help you to develop vital skills.
Many of our mechanical engineering students join Cardiff Racing to participate in the design, development, and testing of a proven Formula Student racing car.
Mechanical engineers combine imagination and technology to solve real-world problems, through the manipulation of moving parts. They develop all sorts of mechanical devices, tools, engines and machines. that offer innovative solutions for society and sectors including transport, energy and manufacturing.
This accredited course provides the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience you need to become a work-ready mechanical engineer. You will embed the knowledge gained from your lectures and tutorials and develop your practical abilities in design computing, through hands-on projects and design classes.
You will choose from a range of authentic engineering problems and industry-focused scenarios, to work on both individually and with student engineers from other disciplines. Group work mirrors the relationships of an engineering team and will help you to build professional skills, such as teamwork and communication. Our open access makerspace provides a place for you to design, create and collaborate.
We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. If you are applying to study this course via Clearing, entry grade requirements may be higher than those advertised. Typical offers are as follows:
AAB-ABB. Must include Maths. You will need to pass the science practical element of the A-level if this is part of your programme of study.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.
- Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
- Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.
34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 5 in HL Maths.
From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Other qualifications from inside the UK
DD-DM in a BTEC Diploma in any subject and grade B in A-Level Maths.
We do not accept T Levels for this programme.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Course specific equipment
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.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
This is a three-year full-time degree, with largely core modules in Years One and Two. Year Three has a carefully chosen balance of core and optional modules, allowing you to choose subjects to tailor to your personal interests or chosen career path.
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 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
Year one consists of a series of lectures underpinned by practical laboratory sessions.
Year two again consists of a series of lectures underpinned by practical laboratory sessions.
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.
There are core modules in Business Management and Product Design but also a choice of optional modules, building upon the foundations established in the earlier years.
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.
Learning and assessment
Teaching is through lectures and tutorials, supplemented by practical laboratory and project-based work. There is a rich library of online learning material, tailored for each lesson in each module, including instructional/informational videos, study notes, guided exercise questions and some online quizzes.
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 through careers fairs and guest lectures. Speakers from industry give regular lectures on their areas of expertise. These offer you the opportunity to hear experts speak on topics that are relevant to your degree and give you an insight into working in industry.
How will I be supported?
In Year One, you will be allocated 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. 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 relevant area of research specialism who will meet with you regularly to provide guidance and advice on progress in the work.
You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion boards.
An extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops is delivered within the School of Engineering, and a Careers Consultant is also available.
Cardiff 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.
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/tests.
The opportunity to test your knowledge and understanding will be provided throughout the semester via class tests in Years One and Two, 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 assessments will be varied to evaluate knowledge, understanding, professional skills, and key skills. Assessment in Year One is mostly through tests during the year, short reports, a professional development portfolio, presentations, and two written examinations. This range of assessments is carried into the higher years with a gradual change from tests to exams. The major individual project in Year Three is assessed by a dissertation report.
What skills will I practise and develop?
The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you.
The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:
On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
Knowledge & Understanding:
KU1 Apply a comprehensive knowledge of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles to the solution of complex problems in mechanical engineering. Much of the knowledge will be at the forefront of the particular subject of study and informed by a critical awareness of new developments and the wider context of mechanical engineering.
KU2 Formulate and analyse complex problems to reach substantiated conclusions. This will involve evaluating available data using first principles of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles, and using engineering judgment to work with information that may be uncertain or incomplete, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed.
KU3 Evaluate the environmental and societal impact of solutions to complex mechanical engineering problems (to include the entire life-cycle of a product or process) and minimise adverse impacts.
KU4 Discuss the role of quality management systems and continuous improvement in the context of complex mechanical engineering problems.
KU5 Apply knowledge of engineering management principles, commercial contexts, project and change management, and relevant legal matters including intellectual property rights.
IS1 Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques, recognising/discussing the limitations of the techniques employed, for the synthesis of mechanical engineering problems, and to make judgements on appropriate action.
IS2 Select and evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to address complex problems.
IS3 Design solutions for complex mechanical engineering problems that meet a combination of societal, user, business and customer needs as appropriate, with consideration of applicable health & safety, diversity, inclusion, cultural, societal, environmental and commercial matters, codes of practice and industry standards.
IS4 Apply an integrated or systems approach to the solution of complex problems.
Professional Practical Skills:
PS1 Select and apply appropriate practical laboratory and workshop skills in mechanical engineering, particularly in devising analytical or experimental approaches, to investigate complex problems.
PS2 Select, apply and evaluate appropriate materials, equipment, engineering technologies and processes, recognising their limitations.
PS3 Use a risk management process to identify, evaluate and mitigate risks (the effects of uncertainty) associated with a particular mechanical engineering project or activity.
PS4 Adopt a holistic and proportionate approach to the mitigation of security risks in mechanical engineering.
TS1 Communicate effectively on complex engineering matters with technical and non-technical audiences, evaluating the effectiveness of the methods used.
TS2 Identify and analyse ethical concerns and make reasoned ethical choices informed by professional codes of conduct.
TS3 Adopt an inclusive approach to engineering practice and recognise/articulate the responsibilities, benefits and importance of supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.
TS4 Function effectively as an individual, and as a member or leader of a team.
TS5 Plan and record the reflective evaluation of self-learning and development as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD.
Many graduates work in product design for the automotive, aeronautical, communications and energy industries. Some work in medical engineering, some are travelling the world for the petrochemical industry, while others are involved in development, production and general management.
A few choose to use their degrees as a qualification to enable them to work in other disciplines. Those who have followed this route typically work in the Armed Forces, the financial sector, the legal profession, chartered accountancy or computing.
With such high-calibre and broad opportunities, a career in mechanical engineering is varied, challenging and rewarding.
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.