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Top-up Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

The top-up BEng (Hons) degree offers students the opportunity to pursue a programme in general engineering, with the possibility of some specialisation in one of several engineering disciplines. Its learning outcomes are closely aligned with the Engineering Council’s UK-SPEC generic output standards for honours degrees in engineering that are appropriate for IEng. These output standards fall into two groups. Firstly, there are degree-level general outcomes covering acquisition of knowledge and understanding, intellectual abilities, practical skills and general transferable skills. There are also more specific outcomes related to engineering under the headings: Underpinning science and mathematics; Engineering analysis; Design; Economic, social and environmental context; and Engineering practice.

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 degree, 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.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this degree, 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.

Practical and/or professional skills

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

  • analyse and evaluate solutions to a set of end-user requirements which use a range of engineering skills (e.g. a working knowledge of particular materials, equipment, processes or products, workshop and laboratory skills, accessing technical literature and other information, reasoning under uncertainty), and take into account appropriate quality standards, codes of practice, industry standards, and 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 and investigating current practice and technologies.

Key skills

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

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

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Teaching and learning is via study materials (including study guides, textbooks, set books, audio and video material, and module-related software), optional online tutorials, plus individualised tutor feedback.

Continuous assessment is via written tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and/or computer-marked assignments (CMAs), and the end-of-module assessment is via an examination or a written project.