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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

From microscopic electronic devices to super structures like dams, bridges and towers, the vast scope of engineering touches every area of our lives. Engineering is about extending our horizons by solving technical problems, although engineers would say they create solutions to challenges – a far more imaginative activity. The BEng (Hons) explores the fundamentals of this creative and analytical subject– from materials and mechanics to design and modelling – with opportunities to focus on engineering design, environmental technologies, energy and sustainability or mathematical methods. 

Key features of the course

  • Learning outcomes designed to fulfil the Engineering Council’s requirements under UK-SPEC
  • Work on real projects, teaming up with other students at two UK-based residential schools
  • Compile a personal and professional development plan
  • Maths options to suit your confidence and experience
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Degree

Course code
Q65
Credits

Credits

  • 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.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – N/A
Time limit – 12 years
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
See Fees & funding
Entry requirements
None

Are you ready for study?
Find out here

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Start dates

Credit transfer: apply by 11/12/2014

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Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits (equivalent to one year's full-time university study). Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stages 2 and 3.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll begin by studying the extraordinary breadth of contemporary engineering, exploring design, materials, mechanics and engineering practice through case studies. Then in mathematics you can choose a starting point that builds on your previous experience and confidence. You’ll work on practical activities at a UK-based residential school, and begin your personal development planning towards professional engineering status.


Compulsory modules (60 credits)

  • Engineering the future (T174)

    This module offers an introduction to what engineering is and how it is practised in modern society, and looks at developments that will shape the future.

  • Engineering: professions, practice and skills 1 (T176)

    This module, which includes a compulsory one-week UK-based residential school, explores the professional practice and skills of engineers including their ethics and approaches to safety.

Decision to make

Your choice of optional modules will depend on your experience and confidence with mathematics. See Am I ready? to help you decide.

Stages 2 and 3 (240 credits)

At Stages 2 and 3, you’ll deepen your understanding of how engineers find solutions for technical problems, and extend your knowledge of your chosen subject focus (engineering design, environmental technologies, energy and sustainability or mathematical methods). You will also:

  • continue to develop your professional skills
  • attend a second UK-based residential school
  • undertake a substantial, individual piece of project work
  • complete your professional development planning. 

This qualification is only available for part-time study.



The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


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

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It’s not just study completed at a university that can be considered, you can transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications as well. A full list of the qualifications and institutions we can consider for credit transfer can be found on our credit transfer website.

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 original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

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, second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

Study skills for this qualification

The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) begins with the module Engineering the future (T174), which builds a solid foundation for further study. Although it’s an introductory module, to get the best from it you’ll need some knowledge of mathematics, an interest in technology, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English.

To help you decide if you have the necessary skills to start, you can use our online diagnostic quiz Are you ready to start an Engineering qualification? You will be given advice and guidance on what to do next at the end of the quiz. (Note the interactive features of the quiz do not run on mobile and tablet devices.)

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

Help! I'm not ready

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don't worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This fascinating, 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.

The module is divided into three blocks:

Block 1: Life

Block 1 starts with biology and ecological ideas and uses varied examples to describe interrelationships between plants, animals and the wider environment while developing your study skills. You will learn about the unique role of humans, and explore how we have changed the environment to suit our needs through farming or conservation. You’ll consider how we can tell what effect current lifestyles have on the environment by introducing the ecological footprint model and look at sustainable living and how we can conserve declining species and habitats. This block also introduces key mathematical ideas and you will learn techniques to help you tackle everyday mathematical problems.  

Block 2: Water

Water is essential for life and fundamental to what we do. In Block 2 you’ll investigate how water has shaped our planet and our lives. You will learn and develop skills that will aid your understanding and use of a variety of tools used in science. You will also access the Open University Library and the wide variety of materials that this can offer. You will investigate the presence of water in potatoes and how water is required for yeast to respire in some home experiments, and through these home experiments, learn about how we can use experimental data to develop and refine hypotheses. Underpinning this is some essential mathematics and further computing skills to develop your study of science, technology and mathematics.

Block 3: Home

Block 3 introduces you to the subjects of design, engineering and computing around the central concept of home. You will find out how homes are designed, and can be designed better, through the use of engineering and computing. Block 3 is a practical block where you will complete a number of design, engineering, and computing activities and experiments. You’ll also be introduced to an online design studio where you will keep a portfolio of the work you do. You’ll also continue to learn mathematics and IT skills to support your developing knowledge of some computing and engineering concepts.

The module includes a DVD and website which include further study materials and resources as well as online quizzes and interactive exercises to help test your understanding.

As you study this module you will build your confidence and develop your study skills, including:

  • reading and interpreting information
  • producing written communications
  • time management and organisational skills
  • problem solving.

You will also have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with audio and video material, using online forums and searching the internet for information. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic IT skills you will need for the next step in your studies.

Please note that you will need access to the internet and a computer to study and pass this module. You will need to use a computer early on in the module but not straight away, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve got time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre.

On successful completion of this module you will receive an Open University Access Module Certificate.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
6 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Your next step

Call our Student Registration & Enquiry Service on +44 (0)1908 659253. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

The fee information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £15,792 based on our current fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs

Study costs

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

Residential school fees

This course may contain a residential school, when you study this the tuition fee may not include accommodation and meals, and you may be asked to pay an additional fee of up to £255. You will also be responsible for the cost of your travel to the venue. If you're on a low income you will be able to apply for help with these costs after you've registered. 

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable than you might think. Options include Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you.




How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study


Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • Only currently serving members of the British armed forces, who are temporarily and unavoidably working abroad and using BFPO addresses, are eligible to pay UK course fees for the total time spent outside the UK. Other students who are able to use BFPO addresses need to contact the Student Registration and Enquiry Service (SRS) Pricing Area Team on +44 (0)845 300 6090 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
 

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

Qualified engineers are valued 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.

On graduation you can apply (via an appropriate engineering institution) to the Engineering Council for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.

If you wish to carry on with your studies you can work towards our Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering (E22), leading to the MSc in Engineering (F46). On graduation you will be able to apply (via an appropriate engineering institution) to the Engineering Council for registration as Chartered Engineer.

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.

Career relevance

Professional engineers, designers and technologists are always in demand and we expect this to increase. Graduates can find employment across a whole range of manufacturing and service industries. Growth areas are predicted to be:

  • energy/environment
  • nuclear engineering
  • petroleum engineering
  • nanotechnology and biotechnology
  • telecommunications
  • aerospace, space technology and exploration
  • civil engineering
  • robotics
  • biomedical engineering
  • creative industries
  • automotive industry (low carbon vehicle development in particular).

Accreditation

This degree has been designed to meet the accreditation requirements of the Engineering Council. We are working with the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) to achieve accreditation for students graduating from 2016. Our previous BEng (Honours) has been accorded the highest level of recognition in the last two accreditation cycles.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

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.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • consulting civil engineering
  • contracting civil engineer
  • geotechnical engineer
  • planning engineer
  • site engineer
  • structural engineer
  • water engineer
  • biomedical engineer
  • chemical engineer
  • electrical engineer
  • product engineer
  • aeronautical engineer
  • mechanical engineer
  • technical consultant
  • patent examiner.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.

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