Mechanical engineers apply skills and knowledge in maths, science and software to design and manufacture innovative, efficient and reliable technology at an optimised cost. Mechanical engineers are at the forefront of sustainable solutions for a better world in the 21st century. Examples include the next generation of environmentally friendly materials (e.g. bio-based polymers) and devices for renewable energy sources (e.g. wind turbines). Mechanical engineers are involved in the design, manufacture and recyclability of most products: from mobile phones, to medical devices to Formula 1 racing cars. This course develops the technical, personal, interpersonal and professional skills necessary in mechanical engineering.
Mechanical Engineering Sandwich 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.
- The School offers extensive opportunities to gain valuable overseas experience, either during the summer vacation or by taking a year out from the degree programme. We participate in the IAESTE and Erasmus student exchange programmes, which enable students to obtain work experience in companies and universities throughout the world. In recent years students have worked in countries such as Brazil, Finland, USA, France, Iceland, Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, South Africa and Portugal. The Study USA Initiative offers students after Stage 2 the possibility of studying for a year at a college in the USA, providing an excellent opportunity to gain familiarity with international business techniques. Our employability programme supports activities such as this, providing help and advice with preparation of CVs, interview skills and providing a point of contact for the duration of placements.
- Both the BEng and MEng degrees are accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
- The School has strong links with both local engineering employers such as Spirit AeroSystems, Caterpillar, Sensata, and Collins Aerospace and international engineering employers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren F1, Michelin and Rolls Royce, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK).
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.
- 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 Airbus UK, Cummins Turbo Technologies, GlaxoSmithKline, Lockheed Martin, Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines, Nacco Materials Handling Ltd, and Red Bull Technology Ltd. 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 high end workstations, experimental facilities and state of the art engineering CAD and analysis software to support aerodynamics, structures, materials and manufacturing design 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 Conceive, Design, Implement Operate (CDIO) initiative.
All staff are international renowned experts in their field of research enabling students to learn about state of the art developments in topics such as composites, simulation, renewable energy, biomaterials and manufacturing.
Stage 1 Students are introduced to core mechanical engineering principles and mathematics, and they undertake a team-based project, designed to introduce them to the concept of professional engineering practice. This is supported through modules in engineering design and a dedicated laboratory programme.
Stage 1 compulsory modules are as follows:
Introduction to Mechanical Engineering 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, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and strength of materials.
Mathematics and computing focus more on their application to engineering than basic theory, while modules in manufacturing technology and engineering design provide hands-on practical experience of manufacturing processes and computer-aided design. 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.
Stage 2 compulsory modules are as follows:
Professional Studies 2
Mechanics of Materials 2
Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics 2
Design and Manufacturing 2
Maths and Computing 2
Manufacturing Technology 2
Laboratory Programme 1
Stage 2 Optional Course Employability 2 Stage 3 Placement Year
Full year industrial placement with support from the School’s dedicated placement officer
12 week pre-placement programme (in Stage 2)
£17,000 average sandwich year salary (2019-20)
Sandwich pathway credits appear on degree transcript
Stage 4 Optional modules in Stage 3 give students the opportunity to tailor courses and projects to their particular interests.
Students expand their engineering knowledge through a range of core courses in engineering science and professional studies along with chosen optional modules. They also undertake an individual project where they choose a topic of interest and apply the theory and knowledge developed in the previous years.
Stage 3 courses are outlined below:
Professional Studies 3
Heat Transfer & Combustion 3
Mechanics of Materials 3
Engineering Dynamics 3
Stage 4 Optional Modules Computer-Aided Engineering 3
Plastics Engineering 3
Transportation Power and Systems 3
People teaching youProfessor Gary Menary
Programme Director for Mechanical Engineering
Gary is a Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 10 (hours maximum)
8-12 hours of lectures per week (varies by stage of study)
Medium Group Teaching 12 (hours maximum)
6-18 hours of tutorials/practical/design activities per week (varies by stage of study)
Personal Study 17 (hours maximum)
14-20 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, tutorial sheets and others
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 1 (hours maximum)
1-2 hours of personal tutorial or individual project supervision per 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 Mechanical 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 engineering sector, supported by formal lectures and tutorials. There are a wide range of learning opportunities, including:
- E-Learning technologies
The Canvas 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 Mechanical 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 Mechanical 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 and design exercises during their degree programme, and will become confident in the use of a wide range of industrial standard engineering design and analysis tools/software.
- 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. 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.
Examples of assessment on this course are:
- The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Most modules are assessed through a combination of coursework, class tests and end of semester examinations. Some modules [e.g. final year Honours Project module] are assessed through project work, written assignments, presentations and interviews. 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 Manager/Officer 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 Mechanical Engineering must be able to satisfy the University's General Entrance Requirement; in addition, it should be noted that 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/44 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 may be 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 Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of 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 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/4 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/4 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 (2 modules) and Science (2 modules) (i.e. Physics and/or Chemistry) 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 (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
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.
- 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)
A degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions alike. Our graduates are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and the versatility of Mechanical Engineering graduates makes them well suited to a future career in a wide variety of fields.
Graduates are greatly prized because of their high level of numeracy and analytical ability, their well-developed communication skills and their leadership potential.
A significant number of Mechanical Engineering graduates progress to senior management roles and can easily exploit their skills in the wider commercial, financial or public sectors.
£24,545 average starting salary for graduates from this School.
Further study is also an option - students can choose from a range of Master's programmes as well as apply to do a PhD from a comprehensive list of research topics; see the School website for further information.
Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:
Michael McKay: Former Flight Operations Director for ESA Mars and Lunar Missions, European Space
Michael Ryan: Former Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast. Now General Manager of Spirit Aerosystems, Belfast.
Bob Bell: Former Chief Technical Officer, RenaultSport F1.
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. This enables us to award over 50 prizes and scholarships totalling an annual fund of approximately £150K.
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
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,630 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,630 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £22,000 International £22,000
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees for 2023 will be updated later in 2022, and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees
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.
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.
Mechanical Engineering Sandwich 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.
Students undertake a placement either between Stages 2 & 3 or between Stages 3 & 4 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.
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 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 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 2023 from 1 September 2022.
Advisory closing date: 25 January 2023 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) 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 2023) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2023. If you apply for 2023 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: 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 2023.
- 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