You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.

Core engineering B

You’ll study in greater depth, to expand your development as an engineer, the underpinning science and mathematics; engineering analysis; design; environmental and economic context; and engineering practice introduced in earlier engineering study. Further development of reflective engineering practice is integral throughout. You’ll discuss aspects of your study with other students and your tutor, conduct remote experiments using our award-winning OpenEngineering remote laboratories, and use industry-recognised software.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses

Request your copy now

What you will study

The module consists of three parts – each supported by a printed book:

Part 1: Stress Analysis for Structural Design
In this first part, you’ll build on your understanding of different types of loading and stress in engineering structures; you’ll move on to explore complex stress analysis in two dimensions. The module uses real-world engineered products (e.g. an aircraft wing) as case studies to demonstrate how engineering structures experience combined loading conditions leading to complex stress states. Alongside hand calculations for stress analysis, it will introduce you to computer-based methods. You’ll explore the use of finite element analysis software, for the stress analysis of simple engineering structures. It will also introduce you to failure criteria; and how to use stress analysis to predict or design against failure.

Part 2: Dynamic Analysis for Engineering Design
The subject of the second part is motion – you’ll learn how to describe, model and analyse motion. First, you’ll study the movement of objects and the reason for that movement – in other words, the forces that are acting on those objects and causing them to move. You’ll go on to study dynamics using energy methods and applying laws of thermodynamics to dynamic systems. You’ll also learn design methods to encourage good vibration when required, or to limit unwanted vibration that could cause damage.

Part 3: Engineering Materials for Improved Performance
The final part of the module is about what limits the useful life of engineered components and what engineers can do to make them last longer. You’ll look at some of the failure and degradation mechanisms that act within engineering components over time and reduce their lifetime in service. This part will introduce you to some of the methods that engineers have developed to extend a component's lifetime in service, by choosing the right material to start with and then manipulating or treating it in some way.

Remote experiments in our OpenEngineering lab will enhance the theoretical underpinning – you’ll interact with equipment in real-time or with an on-going experiment, from your own computer. You’ll also gain industrially relevant skills in core aspects of stress and structural analysis by exploring the use of an industry- standard finite element analysis (FEA) software package. The module has mathematics teaching integrated into the engineering materials, giving both context and an opportunity to practice its application. You’ll practise maths and engineering questions – through interactive quizzes – in preparation for the interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs). We’ll base assignment questions on activities in the module material.

Professional recognition

This module is a compulsory part of our undergraduate engineering qualifications. The learning outcomes of these qualifications are designed to fulfil the Engineering Council’s educational requirements under UK-SPEC1. Several of the leading engineering institutions accredit our engineering qualifications.

1UK-SPEC (UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence) sets out the requirements for UK engineers to achieve professional status

Outside the UK

Synchronous tutorials and communications could be difficult to deliver to students outside UK due to time differences. If you can’t attend the synchronous tutorials or make synchronous communications, you’ll have to use asynchronous alternative methods, such as watching recorded tutorials and emailing questions.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a named tutor who will support your studies and mark and comment on your assignment work; you can also seek academic advice and guidance from them. Your tutor will offer support through email, telephone and online forum discussions. Additionally, there will be face-to-face and online tutorials. We will advertise tutorials before the module starts; T272 tutors will take them, but depending on the tutorial, not necessarily your own named tutor. We recommend you book online to attend these tutorials.


You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Future availability

Core engineering B (T272) starts once a year – in April .

This page describes the module that will start in April 2021.

We expect it to start for the last time in April 2026.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
    No residential school

    Entry requirements

    You must have passed one of the following modules:

    • Engineering: mathematics, modelling, applications (T194)
    • Essential mathematics 1 (MST124)
    • Using mathematics (MST121) – discontinued

    The module assumes a level of mathematics skill and prior knowledge which you’ll get from successfully completing one of the modules above. It assumes, and builds on, existing knowledge and skill in the use of trigonometry; differential and integral calculus; vectors; polar coordinate systems; and complex numbers.

    Also, to begin T272, you must have passed (or be waiting for your result for) Core engineering A (T271). You may, however, enrol on T272 while still studying T271.


    Start End England fee Register
    27 Mar 2021 Sep 2021 £1548.00

    Registration closes 11/03/21 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in April 2026.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 20/09/2020.

    What's included

    • Access to the module study materials via the module website
    • Three printed module books and a handbook

    You will need

    • A scientific calculator
    • A device capable of producing digital images (e.g. a smartphone, digital camera or scanner)
    • Basic drawing equipment

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows.

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    This module requires you to install and run Ansys software that requires a 64-bit Windows computer (full specification: The software is provided as a download of 3.7GB.

    Access to the Open Engineering Lab may be restricted by corporate firewalls therefore we recommend students have control over their connection settings. Students may have to use a specific freely available browser to get the best experience in the Open Engineering Lab.

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying T272 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.