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Automotive Engineering - MSc

Course Description

Automotive industry design is undergoing a very swift and radical change and this course prepares automotive engineers to deal with this complex and fast development. Our applied approach to design, manufacture and testing of automotive products ensures that our graduates are ready for automotive industry, with excellent employability prospects. In addition, our location is in the heart of one of Europe's biggest concentrations of high-tech businesses and the UK motorsport valley. This offers unrivalled opportunities for students to collaborate with automotive industry and their supply chain. It keeps students abreast with the current developments in automotive technologies, production methods, processes and management techniques. Our teaching is centred around our state-of-the-art laboratories in a purpose-designed engineering building.

Why choose this course?

You will be taught in a purpose-designed engineering building, by staff with exceptional knowledge and expertise in their fields. Lecturers include world-leaders in research on sustainable vehicle engineering, and those with experience of designing and working with major automotive manufacturers such as TATA, MAN and BMW. Our visiting speakers from business and industry provide professional perspective, preparing you for an exciting career; for more information see our industrial lecture series schedule. We have close links with industry including the BMW MINI plant in Oxford, Porsche, Ford, MAN, MIRA and other national and international partners. Our research incorporates the latest developments within the sector with high profile visiting speakers contributing to our invited research lectures.

In REF 2014 57% of the department's research was judged to be of world leading quality or internationally excellent with 96% being internationally recognised. Regular visits to automotive industry and their supply chain provide students with opportunities to explore technical challenges and the latest technology - to get a flavour of the activities within our department see 2015 highlights. You will have the opportunity to join our acclaimed Formula Student team (OBR), mentored by our alumni and visiting lecturers from automotive and motorsport industry. You will put theory into practice by competing with the best universities from around the world. Find out more about Formula Student at Brookes by visiting the Oxford Brookes Racing website: https://obr.brookes.ac.uk/

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and The Institute of Engineering and Technology meeting the academic requirements for full Chartered Engineer status.

This course in detail

The course is structured around three periods: Semester 1 runs from September to December, Semester 2 from January to May, and the summer period completes the year until the beginning of September.

To qualify for a master's degree you must pass the compulsory modules, one of two alternative-compulsory modules and one optional module, along with the dissertation.

Compulsory modules
-Advanced Vehicle Dynamics
-Sustainable Engineering Technology.
-Advanced Engineering Management

Alternative-compulsory modules (you must pass at least one of these):
-Noise, Vibration and Harshness
-Vehicle Crash Engineering

Optional modules (you take one of these, unless you take both alternative-compulsory modules above):
-Advanced Vehicle Aerodynamics
-Engineering Reliability and Risk Management
-Advanced Powertrain Engineering

The Dissertation (core, triple credit) is an individual project on a topic from automotive engineering, offering an opportunity to develop a high level of expertise in a particular area of automotive engineering, including use of industry-standard software and/or experimental work, the module will also provide you with research skills, planning techniques, project management. Whilst a wide range of industry-sponsored projects are available (e.g. MAN (Germany), VUHL (Mexico), McLaren (UK), AVL (Austria), Arctic Truck (Iceland) etc.), students are also able undertake their own projects in the UK and abroad, to work in close co-operation with a research, or commercial organisation.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the choice of modules available may differ from those described above.

Teaching and learning

Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. Visiting speakers from business and industry provide further input.

Careers and professional development

Our graduates enjoy the very best employment opportunities, with hundreds of engineering students having gone onto successful careers in their chosen industry. Many of our students go on to work with leading automotive or motorsport companies in the UK and worldwide.

Visit the Automotive Engineering - MSc page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Rohan Shankar

4042.jpg Rohan studied MSc Automotive Engineering with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

1 - What did you study before coming to Brookes and when?
B.E. Automobile Engineering – Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Chennai, India.

2 - What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?
The course content, reputation and motorsport focus were the primary factors for choosing this course.

3 - What do you think of the course now that you are here?
The course has been a fantastic experience thanks to the level of detail of the modules and the quality of professors and facilities.

4 - What are the best aspects of studying at Brookes?
The quality of friends I have made over the last 6 months and being pushed to my limits with difficult coursework has made my time at Brookes a great experience so far.

5 - What advice do you have for anyone else thinking of taking the Automotive Engineering course?
It is important for new international students to understand that the first few weeks are required to get acclimatised to the university, country and general ways of living.

6 - What are your plans after this course?
After completing the MSc at Brookes, the plan is to work in the automotive or motorsport industry to gather some valuable experience, before potentially pursuing an MBA or a PhD.

7 - Where did you go for your industrial placement?
MOMA – Motorsport Management, India

8 - What was your role on your placement?
My role in the TATA T1 Truck Racing Championship was to manage the technical race operations under the Secretary of the Race. This involved managing administrative tasks, scrutinising of the trucks, and various other tasks.

9 - What experience did you gain from your placement?
My role in this championship has spanned across one year (2014-2015). It has taught me the various obstacles one has to pass in order to successfully run a high profile event, and to deal with a large company like TATA.

10 - What training did you recieve on placement?
I have been working in the motorsport management field since the 2011 Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix. My skills in this field have developed over the various events I have been a part of.

(Student Profile)

Mark Braithwaite

4043.jpg Mark studied MSc Racing Engine Design with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

I did my undergraduate degree at Brookes. For my final year dissertation I worked with a company that makes racing engines and I really enjoyed it. It just seemed like the logical step to go on and do the master’s in racing engine design.

You know that all the teaching is coming from experience when you have lecturers like Geoff Goddard who’s worked his whole life designing racing engines for top companies. When he teaches he includes a lot of design details which you wouldn't find in text books as he's actually developed them himself, so you can see a real world application for it.

There is a lot of support at Brookes. Stephen Samuel was my dissertation tutor. He's got huge amounts of enthusiasm and he'll really give you a lot of time. If you're willing to put the effort in, he'll put as much in to help you. But all of the staff are really approachable and you can ask them about your work and they're more than happy to spend time with you and explain some of the more tricky bits.

Most of the automotive engineering and motorsports sector is based within 20 miles of Oxford so that really helps. Because of Brookes' reputation we get a lot of work from those teams, whether it's providing work for dissertations or sending us an old engine to test or taking on PhD students. I think most students on my masters had an industry related project. It looks great in an interview for a job if you've done a successful project for a company, it's a definite bonus.

I now work as a Development Engineer. At the moment my company is doing a lot of work on emissions reduction in passenger cars. I'm also working on an entirely new type of engine, looking at how to produce the amount of power that's required and what techniques are needed.
My masters definitely prepared me for my job. Even this last week I was digging out notes on thermodynamics from my course! If you're looking for a course that will get you into the automotive and motorsports industry then Brookes is definitely the place to come. It's fantastic, especially in terms of the practical side which is important as experience is really valued by the industry.

(Student Profile)

Matteo Cucchi

4044.jpg Matteo Cucchi studied MSc Racing Engine Design with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

1 - Before you came to Brookes what did you study and where?
Automotive Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, with a joint exchange programme at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

2 - What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?
Not speaking any German I could not attend similar courses in Germany. After German universities, Brookes looked like the best choice.

3 - What do/ did you think of the course while studying here?
Loads of hands-on experience, but classes were way too easy and never really went deep into the details of the subjects.

4 - What are the best bits of studying at Brookes?
All classes are infused with hands-on experience. The final project exposed me to cutting-edge research in engine design and journal publications were derived from it.

5 - After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career and where are you working now?
While I was in Brookes I applied for Ferrari and went through an international recruitment process (online tests, psychological and technical interviews, an assessment centre). Three candidates were selected out of a few thousand applicants. I am one of the few, lucky ones.

6 - I am currently working in the Concept Engine Design Department on the next generation of powertrains. Ultimately what I always had been dreaming of.

7 - What so far have been the best moments?
Having an active role in the design of the World’s future dream cars, and being given responsibility for this. Setting free my ideas and creativity, and confronting myself with, and learning from, the Gurus of engine design.

8 - What so far have been the most challenging moments?
Gradually building up my own credibility from scratch.

9 - What advice do you have for others?
Work hard. This year is worth every sacrifice and effort you make for it.

(Student Profile)

Gabriel Elias

4045.jpg Gabriel Elias studied MSc Racing Engine Design with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

1 - Before you came to Brookes what did you study and where?
Before I came to Brookes I studied at the University of Miami, Florida, USA where I studied BSC Mechanical Engineering. I chose Brookes because it has a long history of putting engineers into F1.

2 - What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?
I found the course different to studying in the USA and that the work was very hands on and well complimented with Formula Student activities, this in turn allowed me to put my studies to work.

3 - What do/ did you think of the course while studying here?
The networking with industry and alumni is invaluable.

4 - What are the best bits of studying at Brookes?
It is seriously hard work to get good grades, participate in Formula Student and leverage the alumni network to locate suitable industrial assistance and even jobs. The best part is it is not impossible, and the alumni network scattered across the industry further validates that.

5 - After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career and where are you working now?
I am currently a Graduate Concept Design Engineer at Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 team.

6 - What so far have been the best moments?
My best moments were winning the 2014 World Championship and then starting the 2015 season in dominating fashion with a car that I designed parts for and worked on.

7 - What advice do you have for others?
You don’t just walk into F1. The landscape for F1 is quite volatile, you need to be good in your studies, have tonnes of practical experience (either at Brookes or prior to coming here) and really be the cream of the crop.

(Student Profile)

Adam Lowe

4046.jpg Adam Lowe studied Msc Racing Engine Design with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

I'm a Graduate Mechanical Designer at LOTUS F1 Team working on Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). My feet still haven't touched the ground since starting here. I still can't quite believe where I am, and I'm adoring every second of every day, even the very long ones!

Coming to Oxford Brookes for my MSc was one of the best decisions of my life. Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself 12 months on, working for one of the top F1 teams in a job that gives me more creativity and design input then the vast majority of general engineering graduate jobs out there. What got me the job? For certain, what got me the job was my experience at Brookes and the MSc I completed there. It wasn't all perfect – which is true of any course at any university – but it did allow me to achieve my goal in a way that I don't think would have been possible anywhere else.

I studied the MSc Racing Engine Design. The experience of the course itself was exceptional. The material that I was taught and the people who taught it were second to none. If I ever had any worries, lecturers and staff were friendly and approachable, which is absolutely crucial in order to feel at ease and enjoy a course at university. I also really benefitted from getting involved with Formula Student. A successful engineer must have a practical know-how as well as theoretical ability, and Formula Student is probably the best opportunity a university can offer to put the in-depth theoretical science you are learning into practice.

If I had advice for anyone starting their course at Brookes it would be to make the most of the incredible opportunities available. If you put in minimal hours and go for an easy ride, then you probably won't enjoy yourself and I'm afraid engineering may not be the right career path for you anyway. But if you take advantage of what's on offer and put in as much as you want to get out, then Brookes has something special to offer: a path to a dream industry that is taken for granted by many!


Entry Requirements

You should normally hold a first degree equivalent to at least a British lower second-class bachelor's degree in mechanical, automotive or motorsport engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

Last Updated

20 September 2016

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