Automotive engineering is concerned with the life-cycle support (including design, manufacture, performance and durability testing) of vehicles: from road and off-road vehicles to race cars, vans and trucks.
This course will give you in-depth knowledge of mechanical engineering through modules common to all our programmes, as well as the specialist knowledge and skills to work in today’s automotive industry. You’ll prepare to meet key challenges, such as designing sustainable vehicles that meet rising safety and performance standards in a cost-effective way. To do this, you’ll develop an awareness of the commercial issues that impact on design and production processes.
Our close links with industry ensure that you’ll be prepared to meet the most pressing needs of the automotive sector, and project work in every year will allow you to put theory into practice and prepare for your future career. You could even have the opportunity to work on our Leeds Formula Student Race Car.
You can choose to take either the four-year Integrated Masters (MEng, BEng) or the three-year Bachelor’s (BEng) degree on this course.
Find out more about the MEng, BEng and BEng.
You’ll learn among leading academics in world-class facilities. We have extensive lab space and equipment for subjects like solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, engine testing and thermofluids as well as control and dynamics. You’ll also have access to our high-spec CAD cluster and workshop facilities including various rapid prototyping systems.
There’s also the LabVIEW Academy course, the first of its kind in the UK. Combining face-to-face teaching with hands-on lab exercises, this course will build your skills in using the visual programming software LabVIEW – created by National Instruments, who developed the course – to help you build skills to prepare for your career.
The first two years of our five degree courses share the same set of compulsory modules, giving you the flexibility to switch between our different degrees They contain several automotive related threads of activity linked to our design and manufacture modules and the weekly subject specific tutorials that we run throughout first and second year. In Years 3 and 4 you’ll take modules in your specialism.
In Years 1 and 2, you’ll study compulsory modules to establish the core mechanical engineering principles required by all branches of mechanical engineering. You’ll also undertake the first year design and manufacture project. Since many engineers go on to positions where they have management responsibilities, you’ll develop your knowledge of business practices by studying economics and management, taught by the Leeds University Business School.
Building on this foundation, you’ll explore vehicle design and analysis in detail in Year 3. You’ll focus on vehicle modelling, tyre-ground forces, acceleration and vehicle handling behaviour. You’ll also study further thermofluids including combustion engine cycles, turbomachinery and compressible flow dynamics, and predict the stresses, vibration and buckling of automotive structures. In this year you’ll also choose a specialist optional module, allowing you to focus either on robotics and machine intelligence or manufacturing systems.
You will undertake an individual project in your third year and you will be able to select from a broad range of projects each year, many of which are directly linked to automotive engineering, including the Formula Student Car.
If you continue into Year 4 for the MEng qualification, you’ll study chassis design and analysis and modern drivetrain technology in detail. You’ll also have a broader choice of optional modules, allowing you to focus on topics that relate to your interests and career plans. This year also gives you the chance to work with your supervisor to apply your knowledge and skills to a specific engineering problem when you complete a team project.
Every year of the course gives you hands-on experience of project work. This gives you the opportunity to explore your subject further as well as developing valuable skills in problem solving, communication and teamwork.
Find out more about our Projects.
You’ll study engineering ethics as part of your course, with lectures and/or seminars in each year of your study. Visit our engineering ethics webpage to find out more.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Computers in Engineering Analysis 20 credits
- Design and Manufacture 1 20 credits
- Thermofluids 1 20 credits
- Solid Mechanics 20 credits
- Engineering Materials 20 credits
- Engineering Mathematics 20 credits
- Engineering Mechanics 20 credits
- Vibration and Control 20 credits
- Design and Manufacture 2 20 credits
- Economics and Management 20 credits
- Mechatronics and Measurement Systems 20 credits
- Thermofluids 2 20 credits
- Vehicle Design and Analysis 20 credits
- Thermofluids 3 20 credits
- Individual Engineering Project 40 credits
- Finite Element Methods of Analysis 20 credits
- Robotics and Machine Intelligence 20 credits
- Additive Manufacturing 20 credits
- Team Project 60 credits
- Automotive Chassis Engineering 15 credits
- Automotive Driveline Engineering 15 credits
- Engineering Computational Methods 15 credits
- Tribology and Surface Engineering 15 credits
- Vehicle and Product Systems Design 15 credits
- Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis 15 credits
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll benefit from our integrated style of learning and teaching. Laboratory classes, project work, and industry sponsored fieldwork allow you to gain hands-on experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. Together they will equip you with in-depth knowledge and key practical skills that will put you in a good position to compete in science and technology-related careers.
We organise industrial visits and offer additional seminars delivered by practising engineers and other professionals. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
Our personal tutorial system will provide academic and pastoral support. You will have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds. He or she will be an academic member of staff: you will have weekly academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first two years, in your tutor group (of typically 5 students), as well as one-to-one meetings twice per semester.
In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries.
You will be assessed through both written examinations, held at the end of each year, and through coursework in the form of reports, projects, presentations and posters.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: A*AA including Mathematics and Physics, where the A* must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
Where an A-level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Due to the competitive nature of this course, the Admissions team may take a variety of factors into account when assessing applications. Please read the admissions statement for further information.
Extended Project Qualification - Whilst we recognise the value, effort and enthusiasm applicants make in the Extended Project, we do not currently include this as part of our offer making. We do however encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement and if invited, at interview.
GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, with Distinction, to include Mathematics, Calculus, Further Calculus and Physics.
DDD overall with Distinctions in relevant Mechanical units and grade A in A-level Maths. Some Mechanical units may be optional on your BTEC but are required by the Faculty. Please contact us for further information.
D2, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics, where the D2 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
36 points overall, with 18 points at higher level to include 6 points in higher level Mathematics and Physics.
Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)
H1 H1 H2 H2 H2 H2, including Mathematics and Physics where a H1 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AA at Advanced Higher Level, including Mathematics and Physics, and AAAAA at Higher Level.
Engineering Diploma: A* (plus A-level Mathematics at grade A or above).
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a BSc Studies in Science for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science Foundation Year for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.
If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:
If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.
English language requirementsIELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
How to apply
Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Suitable applicants will be invited to an applicant day, for which we encourage attendance, as this gives you the opportunity to meet our students, academic and admissions staff, and find out more about your course. You’ll take part in a practical engineering activity, working in teams to solve a fun engineering problem. This is followed by a feedback session and prize-giving.
The tour of the School’s facilities includes interactive demonstrations of student activities, such as experiments with engines, materials and mechatronic systems, and recent project work. You will also view our thermofluids lab, the dynamics and control lab, the National Instruments LabVIEW Academy/ materials lab, and the prototyping and manufacturing lab.
During the day you’ll have the opportunity to meet academic staff, to have your questions answered and find out more about studying at Leeds
After you apply we will send you a link to book your place on the applicant day, but please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend, so your place can be allocated to another applicant.
UK/EU: See fees section below
International: £22,750 (per year)
For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250.
For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250.
The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.
The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, youll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
The School of Mechanical Engineering offers a range of scholarships for Home, EU and International students. Find out more.
98% of our recent graduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (latest Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17).
Owing to our excellent reputation and links with industry, our graduates are actively recruited by a wide range of prestigious companies in the automotive sector. Recent graduates have secured positions including:
Graduate Engineer, BAE Systems
Graduate Engineer, Bentley Motors
Manufacturing Engineer, Cummins
Nuclear Engineer, International Nuclear Standards
Specialist Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
Powertrain Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
Design Engineer, JCB
Marine Surveyor, Llloyds Register
Graduate Engineer, Mclaren Automotive
Automotive Engineer, Mobius Motors
Project Coordinator, Ricardo
Mechanical Engineer, The Environment Agency
Read our alumni profiles to find out more about where our students are working.
You’ll have access to our dedicated Employability team, located centrally in our Employability Suite, who will provide you with specialist face-to-face support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and year-in-industry placements, as well as graduate positions.
You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, ongoing support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers. The team also works closely with the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Find out more about careers support and employability.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has over 300 partnerships with universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
With the help and support of our faculty Employability Team, you can choose to undertake an industrial placement year at one of the 100+ companies that we work with. If you decide to undertake a placement year this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
As a BEng student you have the option to undertake the placement between years 2 and 3. MEng, BEng students can choose to do this either between years 2 and 3 or years 3 and 4.
Find out more about work placements.