BEng Design Engineering

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I spent my placement at Airbus UK. This was one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities. It has given me a huge range of skills that I wouldn't have got with a straight academic course." 

Alexandra Rush 
BEng Design Engineering

Entry requirements

BBB - BBC (or equivalent) including maths and a physical science or technology subject

Recent graduates found positions in companies including BAE Systems, Army/Royal Air Force, Nissan, Jaguar, and EDF Energy.

Ranked Top 10 in the UK for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide 2018)
Accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Integrated placement year
Gain specialist knowledge and skills to kickstart your career in design engineering

Entry requirements 

3 years full-time / 4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: H150

Please note:

GCSE requirement: English Grade C
A suitable combination of two A Level and two AS Level subjects may be accepted

More on Admissions Policy

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements 

Tuition fees:

£9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students (2018/19)                             

£19,000 for Outside EU students (2018/19) 
Placement Year: £2,500 for International Students

More on fees

Typical offer level 

BBB-BBC to include Maths and a physical science or technology subject (Physics, Electronics, Computer Science).
32 overall points with 554 including Maths and Physics at Higher Level.
DDD in relevant National Diploma.

Applicants receiving offers are invited to an open day.

BEng with Foundation year also available

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

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We believe our students should be supported as you develop into inquisitive and enthusiastic problem solvers capable of using a wide range of underpinning knowledge and technical skills to tackle the problems faced by industry today and into the future.

Our programmes introduce a full range of core engineering science modules coupled to practical projects to ensure a highly integrated and industry relevant degree programme.

As a design engineer you can expect to work in taking concepts from initial ideas to commercial reality over a range of sectors including consumer products, the automotive sector and industrial systems.

From year 1 you can expect to work on major projects often in partnership with commercial engineering companies. You will work with your colleagues, academic staff and engineers from industry to develop real solutions to these live problems.

Subject guide & modules

Our degree programmes are driven by the demands of industry to produce graduates with extremely strong engineering and scientific skills coupled to strong skills in project management, team work and commercial awareness.

Our BEng degrees are either a 3-year full-time or 4-year sandwich programme incorporating a year of relevant professional experience. The first year of our programme encompasses a broad study of the fundamental disciplines of mechanical engineering. These feature academic classes in engineering science and mathematics combined with large integrated projects to embed the learning in practical settings. In the projects we expect you to use and develop your skills and we help you understand new technology and concepts. You reflect industry practice and work in groups taking products from initial concept to built and tested prototype.

Your second year follows on with a similar structure of academic classes coupled to major group projects however the focus very much shifts from developing your basic skills to preparing you to become a professional engineer. This year also introduces modules specifically tailored to improving your commercial design awareness. You can then enter your placement or final year well equipped to meet all that will be demanded of you. Your final year features a major project, involving design, experimental or analytical work can also be tailored to suit your own interests.

The flexible structure of our degrees enables transfer between Mechanical and ElectroMechanical and Design Engineering programmes after first year. You can also transfer between full-time and placement programmes up to the end of second year.

The broad basis of our programme, together with the possibilities for specialisation, will make you attractive to employers from a wide spectrum of industries.

Year 1

  • Design and Experimentation (ME1501)
  • Prototyping and Development (ME1502)
  • Electronic Engineering Foundations (ME1600)
  • Engineering Science (ME1601)
  • First Year Engineering Mathematics (ME11EM)

Year 2

  • Engineering Mathematics (AM21EM)
  • Engineering Materials 1 (ME2019)
  • Solid Mechanics (ME2045)
  • Dynamics and Control Systems (ME2050)
  • Design and Engineering for the User (ME2501)
  • Engineering for Industry (ME2502) 
  • Specialist Design Project 2 (PD2001)

Year 3 - Optional placement year

See placement year section or find out more about the Aston placement year.

  • EAS Study Placement Year (SEP001)
  • EAS Industrial Placement Year (SEP002)
  • EAS Study/Work Placement Year (SEP003)

Final Year


  • Energy Efficiency (ME3023)
  • Design Failure Analysis (ME3039)
  • Final Year Project (ME3046)
  • Advanced Dynamics and Control Systems (ME3050)
  • Advanced Systems Design (ME3055)
  • Solid Mechanics and Finite Element Analysis (ME3070)
  • Engineering Design and the Environment (ME3080) 
  • Specialist Design Project 3 (Future Focus) (PD3001)

You will benefit from a wide range of teaching methods and learning styles, including:

  • Hands-on practical project classes
  • lectures, tutorials and seminars
  • video and computer-aided learning
  • lab classes and project work
  • a strong personal tutor system

Assessment is by a combination of exams, continuous assessment and projects. Students are also able to take part in major projects such as the Formula Student Racing Car Project at which Aston teams have enjoyed a strong track record.

Our current and recent placement employers include companies in the UK and abroad such as: BNFL, ConocoPhillips, GSK, Kraft, Alfa Laval, Thames Water, AMEC and 3M.

Find out more about placement years at Aston.

iED logo

This course is accredited by both the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for the purpose of partially meeting the educational requirements of Chartered Engineer (CEng)


Our close links with industry and the broad basis of our degree programmes ensure our students’ attractiveness to a wide range of employers and enhance our graduate employment record. Graduate opportunities exist in the fields of:

  • research, development and design
  • automotive engineering
  • manufacturing systems engineering
  • power generation
  • advanced technology and computer-aided design
  • accountancy, management, marketing
  • Navy, Army and RAF Officer training

Our graduates work for automotive, aerospace and electronics companies, pharmaceutical and chemical organisations and computer software houses. For example our recent graduates found graduate engineer, and consultancy positions with companies including Corus, IMI Plc, Army/Royal Air Force, Yamazaki Mazak, Carillion, BOC, NTL, BAE Systems, Nissan, Lloyds TSB, Phillips, Jaguar, TRW and EDF Energy.

You will have access to state-of-the-art computing facilities, including CAD labs, numerically controlled machine tools, design studios and PCs for CAD, Document production, research and self tuition. You will develop your programming skills and use computers to solve engineering problems and to simulate and analyse engineering systems. The School of Engineering and Applied Science has invested heavily in the creation of state of-the-art computer laboratories. Our Engineering and Design students have their own access to specific computer facilities for design.

Interested? We'd love to hear from you.

What's next?

Student finance
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