This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- In Stage 1, you’ll study four 30-credit modules – the last includes a compulsory one-week residential school.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two 30-credit core engineering modules, and a 30-credit module in your choice of engineering specialism. You’ll complete Stage 2 with another core 30-credit module that includes the one-week residential school.
- Next, in Stage 3, you’ll study another 90 credits in your chosen specialism. You’ll conclude your degree with a 30-credit project module.
Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
You’ll begin by studying the extraordinary breadth of contemporary engineering, exploring design, materials, mechanics and engineering practice, including case studies. You’ll work on practical activities at a UK-based residential school, and develop a personal development plan towards qualification goals and professional engineering status.
At Stage 2, you’ll deepen your understanding of how engineers find solutions for technical problems, with two 30-credit core engineering modules. You’ll also study your first 30-credit module from a choice of engineering specialisms. You’ll complete Stage 2 with another core 30-credit module (which includes another one-week residential school) that will further develop the skills you need to achieve professional status.
At Stage 3, you’ll deepen your understanding of engineering and extend your knowledge and skills for your chosen engineering specialism. You’ll conclude this stage with a 30-credit project module.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20 March 2019.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying online – some modules have a mixture of printed and online material, and others are entirely online. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and producing diagrams and screenshots
- practical work
- finding external/third party material online
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- working with specialist reading material
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
- engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
- some modules require you to use specialist software
- some modules require you to attend a residential school
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification; however, you’ll need some knowledge of mathematics, an interest in technology, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English.
Check you have the necessary skills at students.open.ac.uk/openmark/engineering.ayrf1
1This diagnostic will work best on your desktop. Some features are not compatible with mobile/tablet devices.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
Preparing for study with an Access module
If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:
- a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:
Science, technology and maths Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.
View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module
Skills for career development
The areas of knowledge, competence and skills that this degree develops include: the ability to use specialist knowledge to solve problems creatively; collaborative working and communication skills; project management skills; the ability to turn concepts into reality.
Your study will give you the skills expected of an Incorporated Engineer, in providing solutions to engineering problems. These could involve using existing or developing new technologies and designs; refining production systems; or developing new services.
On graduation, this qualification (combined with the appropriate evidence of professional practice) will enable you to apply (via an appropriate engineering institution) to the Engineering Council for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
If you’re looking to gain Chartered Engineer (CEng) status, we offer an integrated masters degree which combines undergraduate and postgraduate study – for more information see our Master of Engineering (M04).
An alternative route to CEng is achieving our Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) then studying our Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering (E22), leading to the MSc in Engineering (F46). On graduation, you'll be able to apply (via an appropriate engineering institution) to the Engineering Council for registration as Chartered Engineer (CEng).
Our BEng (Hons) is a general engineering qualification that provides an entry into a wide range of more specialist engineering roles. Examples include:
- mechanical engineer
- electronic engineer
- structural engineer
- production engineer
- biomedical engineer
- environmental engineer
- materials engineer
- other roles within engineering management
- manufacturing engineer
Our BEng (Hons) fulfils the Engineering Council’s educational requirements for Incorporated Engineer status under UK-SPEC1. Our BEng (Hons) combined with an accredited MSc fulfils the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer status.
The following professional engineering institutions accredit our BEng (Hons)2:
Visit the Engineering Council’s website for details of current accreditation, including qualification specialism requirements and time limits.
1UK-SPEC (UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence) sets out the requirements for UK engineers to achieve professional status.
2The new Mechanical Engineering route hasn’t been reviewed by the institutions yet, therefore, that particular route isn’t yet accredited
Qualified engineers are much in demand for their rigorous approach to problem solving and high level of numeracy. These skills open up a wide range of other career opportunities – for example in management or finance – as well as in engineering itself. Opportunities exist in research, design and development, commissioning, project management, technical sales and marketing, technical journalism and patent work. With appropriate experience and qualifications it’s also possible to be a self-employed consultant.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.