The main objective of this engineering degree is to produce graduates with a broad and balanced set of skills and attributes required for the design and manufacture of innovative technical products. It is a variant of the Mechanical Engineering degree, which after first year, focuses on design process methodology, materials, manufacturing and analysis.
The integrated curriculum connects content from different modules through team-based and individual projects, which act as a core activity each year.
Product Design Engineering Degree highlights
We put emphasis on hands on, project based learning, and invest heavily in our state-of-the-art facilities and flexible project spaces to support this activity.
- Both the BEng and MEng degrees are accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
- The School has strong links with both local and international engineering employers, and has longstanding relationships with companies such as Bombardier, Caterpillar, ExxonMobil, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren F1, Michelin and Rolls Royce.
The curriculum is heavily informed by industry representatives who sit on an advisory board within the School.
- Students have the opportunity to gain a place on the Engineering Leadership Programme and a range of Employability Development Workshops.
- The School actively encourages one-year work placements, offering preparation through its Employability Programme and support through its dedicated Placement Officer. You can spend up to 12 months getting hands on experience of a real engineering environment with a relevant company. Students have gained work placements with organisations such as Glen Dimplex, Dyson, Lotus, Survitec, Rockwell Collins, Terex, Leckey Design, Seven Technologies, Whale, JLR, Randox, Andor, Kingspan Environmental, Nacco, Intel and Accenture.
Students also have the opportunity to work or study outside the UK through programmes such as IAESTE, Erasmus, Study Abroad and Study USA. In recent years, students have undertaken placements in companies in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Malaysia and the USA.
World Class Facilities
- The School has a wide range of experimental facilities to support structures, materials and manufacturing teaching.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- The School has an international reputation for its contributions to the development of engineering education by playing a leading role in the CDIO initiative.
- Teaching is carried out in the context of conceiving, designing, implementing and operating products or systems; hence better preparing graduates for professional practice.
- BEng students who demonstrate a high level of performance may be invited to transfer to the equivalent MEng degree at the end of Stage 2.
Stage 1 Students are introduced to core product design engineering principles and mathematics, and they undertake 3 small team-based projects, designed to introduce them to the concept of professional engineering practice and to develop personal and interpersonal skills. This is supported through disciplinary modules in engineering design, mechanics of materials, electrical and dynamic systems, and a dedicated laboratory programme.
Stage 1 (compulsory) modules are as follows:
Introduction to Product Design
Laboratory Programme 1
Mechanics of Materials 1
Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 1
Dynamic Systems 1
Engineering Design 1
Stage 2 Stage 2 builds on the knowledge already gained with a series of more advanced engineering science subjects including dynamics, and mechanics of materials. Mathematics and computing focus more on their application to engineering than basic theory, while modules in manufacturing technology and design provide hands-on practical experience of manufacturing processes and computer-aided design (CAD). Students are also introduced to the legal aspects of engineering practice in the professional studies module, and are given the skills required for future work placements and careers in the employability module.
Small group projects form a significant part of Stage 2, and they focus on the production and testing of prototypes, along with an understanding of the influence of manufacturing processes on design. The supporting disciplinary modules enable the application of relevant technical knowledge, professional skills and attributes.
Stage 2 (compulsory) modules are as follows:
Professional Studies 2
Mechanics of Materials 2
Design and Manufacturing 2
Design & Prototyping Projects 2
Maths and Computing 2
Manufacturing Technology 2
Stage 2 Optional Courses Employability 2 Stage 3 In Stage 3, BEng students undertake a major individual project. Additional industry-focussed project activities are supported by a number of external collaborators. Engineering science subjects focus on materials and manufacturing.
Stage 3 (compulsory) modules are as follows:
Professional Studies 3
Product Design & Development Studies 3
Computer-Aided Engineering 3
Plastics Engineering 3
People teaching youJ Paul Hermon
Senior Lecturer (Education), Director of Education
Mech and Aerospace Engineering
A graduate Mechanical Engineer (MEng, QUB 1987), Paul worked as a process development engineer in the electronics manufacturing industry for both Lucas Industries (Antrim) and Digital Equipment (Galway). Returning to Queen's in the 90s, initially as a designer of bespoke machines for automated assembly and then as an engineering and product design consultant working across a broad range of industry sectors while based in the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC). He has been a member of academic staff in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering since 2005 and is Programme Director for the Product Design Engineering (PDE) degree. The objective of this degree is to produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and abilities that will enable them to act as catalysts of change in companies. Co-Chair of the UK & Ireland region of the CDIO Initiative; an international collaboration of over 100 leading universities spread across 5 continents which aims to reform engineering education by teaching in the context of Conceiving, Designing, Implementing and Operating a product, process or system. (http://www.cdio.org ) Co-Author of “Engineering Innovative Products: A Practical Experience” which looks at the teaching of essential skills required to enable engineering students to establish technology based companies. (http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118757734.html)
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 10 (hours maximum)
hours of lectures
Medium Group Teaching 7 (hours maximum)
hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
Personal Study 24 (hours maximum)
22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 1 (hours maximum)
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
Learning and Teaching
The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering plays a leading role in an international initiative to reform engineering education which involves well over 100 universities worldwide. Initial support for participation in this initiative was secured through funding to set up a Centre of Excellence in Active and Interactive Learning at Queen's. As a result, our degree programmes have many innovative features that enhance student learning.
Through the programme, there is an emphasis placed on the development of a balanced set of personal, interpersonal and professional skills.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential. Students studying for the BEng in Product Design Engineering are provided with a broad range of learning experiences to enable them to develop as individuals, to engage with subject experts from both academia and industry, and to develop an enquiring mind to enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners. Access to industry standard engineering tools, a world class library facility and courses taught by industrial experts provides a breadth of opportunity to develop students’ interests in the product design and development sector, supported by formal lectures and tutorials. There are a wide range of learning opportunities, including:
- E-Learning technologies
The Queen’s Online Virtual Learning Environment provides access to a wealth of information and supporting learning information, including additional module resources, reading lists and message boards to communicate with class members.
- Individual research projects
As part of the degree, students will undertake a research project in their final year in conjunction with an academic supervisor, looking in detail at a relevant engineering topic. This will provide students the opportunity to engage with the engineering design and development process, while embedding core skills in project management, reporting and presentation skills.
Formal lectures are timetabled to introduce basic information and concepts about key topics and themes in Product Design Engineering, and to provide a starting point to guide further self-directed private study. This provides an invaluable opportunity to both engage with academic subject experts and also to gain feedback and advice. Through the degree course, a number of lectures are also given by industrial subject matter experts, to ensure that students have the opportunity to discuss the industrial applications.
- Personal Tutor
Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them during the year to support their academic development.
A key aspect of any engineering degree is the ability to be able to competently transfer engineering scientific principles into practice. Students will be provided with numerous opportunities to develop core technical skills through practical laboratories, design exercises and projects throughout their degree programme, and will become confident in the use of a wide range of industrial standard engineering design and analysis tools.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
The majority of lectures are supported through tutorial sessions, providing opportunities for discussion about problems posed in accompanying lectures. Again, tutorials provide valuable opportunities to engage with academic staff to obtain help and feedback outside of the formal lecture environment.
- Work placements
As part of our sandwich programme, students may elect to take a work-placement after Stage 2. An employability programme provides support on application and CV completion, interviews and what to expect on placement, while our dedicated Placement Officer provides both information on current placement opportunities, and ‘on placement’ support.
Details of assessment are outlined below:
- The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Just under 50% of modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Most modules are assessed solely through assignments or project work. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students’ progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
The school offers a range of state-of-the-art facilities to support student activity and project based learning
Computer Based Learning
Flexible Project Environments
- E-Learning technologies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Once your application has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by an Admissions Officer/Manager from the Admissions and Access Service and, if appropriate, the Selector from the School. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
Applicants for the BEng Honours in Product Design Engineering must be able to satisfy the University's General Entrance Requirement; in addition, it should be noted that a performance at GCSE is important. For last year's entry, applicants for this BEng programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include Mathematics. Applicants not offering Physics at A-level require GCSE Physics at grade C/4 or Double Award Science at grades CC/4,4 or above. Selectors will also check that any specific subject and grade requirements in terms of A-level can be fulfilled (see Entry Requirements).
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS are also considered. Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.
The offer for repeat candidates is normally set one grade higher than those taking A-levels for the first time. Grades may be held from the previous year.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not normally considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants offering two A-levels including Mathematics plus one from Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Technology and Design and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Edexcel BTEC Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma (see entry requirements), Higher National Certificates or Diplomas in a relevant subject, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates taking a BTEC Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma and must include both GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 and GCSE Physics grade C/4 or Double Award Science at grades CC/44 or better. A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma in Engineering (180 credits at Level 3) is required for entry to this degree (see entry requirements).
Applicants offering a Higher National Certificate (HNC) will require an appropriate GCSE profile, which must include grade C or better in GCSE Mathematics. A relevant HNC in Engineering is required, including Analytical Methods. Where offers are made for Stage 1 entry, these are currently conditional on successful completion of this HNC with 8 Merits, including Merits in three specified units i.e. Analytical Methods, Mechanical Principles and Engineering Science.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma (HND), some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile, but this must include grade C or better in GCSE Mathematics. To be eligible for an offer, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. A relevant HND in Engineering is required for admission to this degree and offers for Stage 1 entry are currently conditional on successful completion of this HND with 9 Merits and 7 Passes overall, with Merits required in Analytical Methods, Mechanical Principles and Engineering Science. Applicants with sufficiently high grades in the first year of a relevant HND in Engineering may be considered for entry to Stage 2 and, where offers are made, these are currently conditional on successful completion of this HND with 12 Merits and 4 Passes overall, with Merits required in Analytical Methods, Further Analytical Methods, Mechanical Principles, Engineering Science, Fluid Mechanics and Engineering Thermodynamics/Heat Transfer and Combustion.
Applicants offering a suitable Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies course will be considered individually on their own merits. The Access course should have substantial Mathematics and Science (i.e. Physics and/or Chemistry) content at Level 3. Where offers were made last year, these were conditional on successful completion of this Access course with 80% in each module.
Applicants offering a combination of Scottish Advanced Highers and Scottish Highers, the International Baccalaureate or Irish Leaving Certificate, will also be considered.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tiebreak situation in August.
If you are made an offer then you will be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held on a Saturday in late February or early- mid March. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice; the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
- International Year One
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Graduates have been successful in gaining high-quality jobs in the discipline of product design engineering. The majority are working in manufacturing companies or design consultancies in the UK and Ireland. Their broad skill sets and experience have enabled them to fit in equally well in both small, dynamic companies and larger organisations.
Graduates have secured jobs in a variety of sectors including automotive, domestic appliances, design consultancy, electronics, packaging, materials handling, polymers, renewables, aerospace and medical devices.
Companies employing recent graduates include Glen Dimplex, Dyson, Lotus, Survitec, Rockwell Collins, Terex, Leckey Design, Seven Technologies, Whale, JLR, Randox, Andor, Kingspan Environmental, Nacco, Intel and Accenture.
Whilst the vast majority of graduates are employed in product design or design engineering, some others have developed careers in other sectors such as management and education.
Many of the School's graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:
Michael McKay: Flight Operations Director for ESA Mars and Lunar Missions, European Space Agency
Michael Ryan: Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast
Bob Bell: Technical Director of Mercedes GP.
Air Commodore David Case: Royal Air Force.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
The School receives valued support from the business community and private sponsors enabling us to offer a substantial range of scholarships, prizes and awards. Full details can be found on the University Scholarships and Awards Handbook online.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250 Other (non-UK) EU * £4,395 International £20,800
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Product Design Engineering costs
Year 2 students incur travel costs to Belfast Metropolitan College to attend a compulsory module lasting 12 weeks at an approximate cost of £50.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2020) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2020. If you apply for 2020 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2020.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS