Arts and Sciences BASc 3 years

The three-year programme of core courses, major and minor pathway and internship.


Arts and Sciences with Study Abroad BASc 4 years

The three-year programme plus an additional year abroad.



MECH2022 Engineering Design

Course Lecturer:
Professor Mark Miodownik
Most suitable for:
Year 2 Sciences and Engineering students (both major and minor)
Course prerequisites:
Normally, CEGE Engineering Thinking 1
Term 1 of Year 2
Mondays, 10am-1pm

Course Aims

  1. To train students in engineering design.
  2. To develop core practical, theoretical, and computational engineering skills and understand the role and relationship between them.
  3. To develop a wider appreciation of how engineering design shapes the made world.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge and experience of design methodologies.
  2. CAD design skills.
  3. MATLAB programming and analysis skills.
  4. Exposure to FE analysis and understanding of its role in design.
  5. Materials Selection knowledge and skills.
  6. Knowledge and experience using a mechanical workshop safely.
  7. Ability to create a physical prototype.
  8. Understanding of the environmental & economic costs of making products and recycling them.
  9. The risks and processes of taking a product to market.

Course Content

Given a product brief set by the module tutor, the students are required to design, analyse, build, test a physical prototype, and then show how it meets the design brief.

Students will be taught how to interpret a design brief, design techniques and methodologies. They will become proficient at using computational design and analysis tools such as CAD and MATLAB analysis; become proficient at materials selection; become proficient at using mechanical tools and safe workshop practice; be able to design and make a physical prototype and present the analysis, both technical and environmental, that demonstrates it is a solution to the design brief.

Method of course delivery

The module is taught using a hands-on problem based learning approach to product design. The module will be supported by 3 hour formal sessions each week covering the general theory and engineering approach to design. This will include seminars, taught workshops and tutorials as appropriate to build the skills and knowledge they need. It will also be the weekly forum for the students to raise issues and present their work. The rest of the work will be done in their own time making use of UCL facilities, such as MakeSpace of the UCL Institute of Making, the libraries and computer resources.


The work will be assessed at three stages during the module:

  1. design – assessed through a presentation (20%);
  2. physical prototype - assessed through oral explanation of the prototype (30%) and coursework (submission of the actual prototype for assessment) (20%);
  3. analysis – assessed through documentation (30%).

Students will have opportunities to partake in organised visits to exhibitions and events at London’s many engineering and design institutions such the Design Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Institution, the Royal Society; and attend numerous lectures and workshops at the UCL Institute of Making other UCL departments.

Bibliography to be provided in due course. Core texts are standard engineering textbooks on CAD, MATLAB, Materials Selection, Design Methodologies.