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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This is a 360-credit honours degree that offers you the opportunity to pursue a programme in general engineering, with the possibility of some specialisation in one of several engineering disciplines. It is designed to satisfy the Engineering Council’s (EC’s) requirements for an honours degree that meets the initial educational standards for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Its learning outcomes are closely aligned with the EC’s UK-SPEC generic output standards for honours degrees in:

  • science and mathematics
  • engineering analysis
  • design
  • economic, legal, social, ethical and environmental context
  • engineering practice
  • additional general skills.

In 2006, the UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) adopted the output standards in UK-SPEC as the subject benchmark statement for engineering. The OU’s BEng (Hons) programme is intended to comply with the QAA’s expectation regarding levels of attainment in engineering honours degrees:

‘The learning outcomes are expressed for the threshold level that engineering students would be expected to have attained upon graduation. It is anticipated that there will be many programmes where this threshold level will be exceeded.’

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • use your knowledge and understanding, acquired through study, of relevant engineering principles, analytical methods, modelling techniques, quantitative methods and appropriate computer software to respond systematically to engineering challenges
  • take into account appropriate social, commercial, ethical/legal and management practices in contemporary engineering in your present or future professional work.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • combine your acquired knowledge and understanding of underpinning scientific principles, mathematical methods and engineering practice to analyse engineering problems and formulate solutions to them
  • critically appraise designs where a user’s needs and preferences are transformed into cost-effective, innovative engineered solutions that are demonstrably fit for purpose in terms of production, operation, maintenance and de-commissioning.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • analyse and evaluate solutions to engineering challenges using a range of engineering skills, including a working knowledge of particular materials, equipment, processes and products, workshop and laboratory methods, technical literature and other information, and taking into account appropriate quality standards, codes of practice, industry standards, intellectual property and contractual issues
  • undertake engineering projects responsibly, professionally and ethically, with regard to environmental risk and sustainability, and the framework of relevant legal requirements (covering issues such as personnel, health, safety, etc.)
  • draw on an understanding of the engineering principles in your chosen specialism when evaluating current practice, investigating new and emerging technologies and dealing professionally with unfamiliar situations.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • practise a range of transferable skills (including problem solving, communication, working with others – especially team-working – IT skills, information retrieval, planning self-learning and career development, and reflection), all within the context of progression towards professional engineering status.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Teaching and learning is through a combination of study materials (including study guides, module websites, textbooks, set books, audio and video material, module-related software, online tools and discussion forums.)

Optional face-to-face or online tutorials, compulsory residential schools, plus individualised tutor feedback.

Assessment is through a mix of written, tutor-marked assignments, interactive computer-marked assignments, examinations and end-of-module assessments.