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Undergraduate study
Automation and Digital Engineering (with Foundation Year)

Automation and Digital Engineering (with Foundation Year)*
BEng (Hons)

 

Course overview

The BEng (Hons) Automation and Digital Engineering course offers an integrated foundation year. The foundation year helps you develop your knowledge in mathematics and other important subjects to enable you to proceed confidently through the remainder of the programme.

You study a broad spectrum of automation and digital electrical and electronic engineering activities ranging from electronics and control to manufacturing, programming, Artificial Intelligence and human-robot interaction.You enhance employment opportunities in industrial sectors such as electronics, aerospace, communications, robotics and manufacturing. The knowledge and skills you acquire are relevant to many other sectors, including the service and financial industries.Modules, such as the mathematics, skills and project modules, support these threads and provide a more rounded (industrially relevant) educational experience. You can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

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* Subject to University approval

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Engineering in Practice

This module supports you to use knowledge that you already possess and combine it with engineering knowledge gained through teaching and learning, experimentation, analysis and reflection. Problem-based learning and project-based learning provides core methodologies in the teaching and learning strategy. You are introduced to concepts, techniques and equipment in a guided programme of teaching that uses foundational study skills to think about new concepts, promote ideas development and introduce project management techniques. This culminates in an objective, written review of progress and development though the module and a reflective assessment of personal development.

Engineering Principles

You gain an introduction to engineering physical, thermal, fluid, electrical and mechanical systems in engineering and the scientific laws and principles that govern them. You are prepared for further studies involving these principles of engineering science.

The module is delivered in combined lecture/problem solving tutorial sessions. Laboratory practical sessions support the learning objectives. The problem solving tutorials and the practical sessions enhance the understanding of principles.

Engineering the Future

You are introduced to the importance of design, modelling and simulation in engineering context. You explore the design process and how it is applied in a holistic way. Design ideas are communicated using a number of techniques including sketching and formal engineering drawing, design calculations and written commentary. The technical aspects of engineering design such as manufacturing drawing, modelling, rapid prototyping are introduced.

Global Grand Challenges

This module focuses on how science can help address some of the biggest global Grand Challenges that face society. This reflects the University’s focus on externally facing research that makes a real, practical difference to the lives of people and the success of businesses and economies.

You work on a project in a group, to enabling you to develop innovative answers to some of the biggest issues of our time based on five thematic areas – health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments and learning for the 21st century.

Introduction to Programming

This module is ideal if you have little or no experience of programming – it uses tools that are easily available, easy to use and familiar to anyone who has used a computer.

You learn how programming language constructs are applied to different problems of increasing complexity. All programming solutions are executed in a web browser although the module is not specifically targeting web development.

Mathematics in Engineering

You are introduced to mathematical notation and techniques. The emphasis is on developing the skills that enable you to analyse and solve engineering problems. Topics studied include algebraic manipulation and equations, trigonometry, trigonometric functions and an introduction to descriptive statistics.

The module is delivered during combined lecture/tutorial sessions. Worked examples illustrate how each mathematical technique is applied. Problem solving tutorial exercises give you the opportunity to practice each skills or techniques.

 

Year 1 core modules

C++ Programming

You are introduced to C++ programming, focusing on the learning, development and application of algorithms and data structures within computer games, and the basics of class-based object-oriented programming using C++ language.
You demonstrate conceptual understanding and practical competence of programming by designing and implementing solutions to specific programming problems.

You study standard C++ libraries, and where appropriate one or more 3rd party libraries. You are required to demonstrate an understanding of professional practices and appropriate codes of conduct.

Electronic Principles

This module gives you a basic understanding of the physical fundamentals used in electrical engineering, together with specific techniques you need to determine the behaviour of electric circuits.

We cover the fundamentals of electrical circuit theory, analysis of electrical circuits, give you an understanding of simple analogue and digital circuits and an appreciation of their application to engineering problems.

We look at voltage, current, power, energy, resistance and impedance. Also magnetic fields and inductance, electric fields and capacitance, Kirchhoff’s Laws. We examine time varying voltages and currents, effects on inductors and capacitors, sinusoidal voltage and current use of symbolic notation.

You also study power, reactive power and apparent power, circuit analysis techniques, mesh and nodal analysis, transistors and properties of amplifiers.

Our primary method of teaching is lectures supported by laboratory sessions, tutorials, problem solving and directed learning.

You learn how to:

  • understand and use key elements of electrical and electronic theory
  • apply given tools in the solution of well defined electrical and electronic engineering problems
  • apply numerical skills to simple electrical and electronic engineering problems
  • use basic IT tools and specialist software to solve simple electrical and electronic engineering problems.

Engineering Mathematics

This module introduces the range of mathematical skills that are relevant to an engineering degree. You revisit and develop your knowledge of the fundamentals of algebra, trigonometry and basic statistics. The central ideas of vectors, matrices, complex numbers, and differential and integral calculus are also examined.

Throughout the module you develop a range of mathematical skills and techniques fundamental to the solution of engineering problems. You also advance your skills in selecting and applying mathematical techniques.

This module is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorial sessions.

Engineering Practice

You develop and enhance the practical, professional and electrical engineering skills necessary for success in both the academic and work environment. There is a significant practical element which enables you to develop your knowledge, confidence and the fundamental principles of electrical engineering design methods and laboratory practice. You are also introduced to the skills required to improve opportunities in career selection and development through exposure to a range of on-campus services and external professional bodies.

The practical sessions include: health and safety, equipment selection, component selection, circuit construction, measuring instruments, testing and fault diagnosis.

Materials and Mechanics

You gain a general understanding of engineering mechanics (statics and dynamics) and engineering materials with a focus on their engineering applications.

PLCs and Embedded Systems

You focus on the implementation of systems for both programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and embedded systems. PLCs are used to explain theory, to discuss applications and to cover practical aspects of programmable logic controllers and lead to the design of a control system for an industrial process. Embedded systems are explained by using their industrial applications and practical programming applications using a microcontroller-based system. You work in teams to solve an industrially-relevant real-time embedded system application.

 

Year 2 core modules

Artificial Intelligence Programming

This module examines the practicalities of building AI systems to solve problems, specify inference mechanisms and drive behaviours. It builds on earlier study of programming and algorithms to introduce the functional programming and artificial intelligence paradigms, bridging the gap between theoretical understanding and implementation to developing programming skills necessary to construct knowledge based artificial intelligence software.

The module primarily uses the Clojure dialect of Lisp (taking an approach that explores the semantics of the language rather than concentrating on its syntax) but may also make some use of a graphics and simulation environment (NetLogo) and in-house artificial intelligence modelling software.


Integral Transforms and Matrices

You deepen your mathematical knowledge in key areas to use in a number of techniques to solve problems that arise in engineering domains. You develop competence in identifying the most appropriate method to solve a problem and its application.

You are introduced to the techniques and principles, and you are provided with problems that develop your competency in applying these techniques. You are shown how to implement numerical methods using software techniques.

Linear Systems and Control

You will develop a thorough understanding of time-domain and frequency-domain representations of signals and systems, and how to apply these ideas to engineering problems.

You will develop the necessary knowledge and techniques to create dynamic models of engineering systems.

We give you the knowledge and techniques for creating dynamic models of engineering systems and to apply computer-aided methods of analysis and design, plus use data acquisition systems for laboratory investigations.

We examine modelling and simulation, linear time-invariant systems, first and second-order systems, frequency response, poles and zeros, basic concepts of control, alternative control methods, fourier analysis and filters.

In lectures we explaina principles and discuss applications then give you a guided solution of relevant examples in tutorials.

In the laboratories you work in groups of up to three on a small engineering plant. You are expected to produce a model and carry out tests to establish parameters. This process enhances the theoretical work carried out in other parts of the module.

You learn how to:

  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge of aspects of linear systems and control
  • critically analyse a variety of ideas, contexts and frameworks associated with linear systems and control
  • apply, question and relate appropriate knowledge and concepts to a range of activities
  • identify key areas of problems and choose appropriate tools and methods for their resolution in a considered manner
  • use the industry-standard software MATLAB SIMULINK for simulation and design of signal processing and control systems
  • apply mathematical techniques to analyse and model signal processing and control systems.

Manufacturing Processes

This module provides you with an insight into current manufacturing processes, promoting a deep understanding of technological factors and an awareness of working principles and capabilities. Traditional methods, such as casting and rolling are examined, together with state-of-the-art practices, such as powder metallurgy. You combine a detailed study of selected manufacturing processes with hands-on experience in laboratory-based practical sessions.

You review important aspects of current thinking, such as quality, reliability, sustainability, lean manufacturing and the extensive use of computers in many areas, to ensure an informed picture of modern manufacturing. You also explore the suitability of manufacturing processes for applications, using a framework that recognises the interrelationships of (manufacturing) process, (artefact) function, shape, and materials.

Product and Assembly Design Modelling

In this module, you develop your skills and knowledge in applying 3-D solid modelling and surface modelling to product design, using industry standard software. You gain a thorough understanding of computer modeling, and how to apply these skills to design engineering components and products.

You model parts with flat and cylindrical type surfaces, as well as those with more complex curved surfaces. The ability to obtain the mass and other properties of models and create orthographic drawings from 3D models will be covered.

You gain a thorough understanding of both static and dynamic hierarchical assemblies and their value to industry, and learn how to produce ‘Bill of Materials’, undertake clearance and interference checks on mating parts, and Tolerance Analysis.

You acquire the ability to animate dynamic assemblies; you create joints and mechanisms to solve for kinematic motions, and you learn how to structure the models effectively and modify them as appropriate.

Robotics Design and Control

Work in teams to solve an industrially relevant robotics design and control design problem. Develop employability skills such as project management, presentation of work, research and commercial awareness to support problem solving in a technical context.

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Advanced Sensors

You develop an understanding of the principles and technology of analytical measurement systems. Within this, limitations of accuracy are studied along with operational requirements of analytical sensor elements.

This module also investigates the recent generations of sensor systems based on microprocessor systems, application-specific integrated circuits and microcontrollers.

Using relevant industrial examples, smart sensors are analysed and synthesised using modern programming methods and up-to-date devices.

Collaborative Group Project

You work in a team to solve a complex employer-relevant problem, gaining an understanding of your knowledge and limitations, and the importance of bringing in and working with people with a different knowledge base and skillset.

You develop a consolidated set of employability skills in project management, presentation of work, research and commercial awareness to support complex problem-solving in a technical context and enhance the awareness of professional issues such as health, safety, environment and ethics in the workplace.

Modelling and Control of Power Electronic Devices

This module provides an introduction to power electronic devices, power electronic converters and their application to switched-mode power converters and other power electronic applications. The module also considers the principles of modelling and control of switch mode power converters.

Project

This module extends the development of independent learning skills by allowing you to investigate an area of engineering or technology for an extended period.

You receive training in writing technical reports for knowledgeable readers and you produce a report or dissertation of the work covered. In addition, you give an oral presentation, a poster presentation or both. The topic can be in the form of a research project or a design project.

You develop key skills in research, knowledge application and creation through keynote lectures where appropriate and self-managed independent study. Support is provided through regular tutorial sessions.

Robot and Human Interaction

Expand your knowledge and understanding of the system development process in Human Robot Interaction. You gain the ability to understand requirements of different user groups and be able to adapt the system accordingly. You gain an understanding of the use of methodologies for requirements capture, iterative design, resource capture and management, and deployment and evaluation of systems.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of automation and digital engineering and the skills and experience which allow you to analyse associated complex problems.

The programme provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (lectures, tutorials, laboratories, projects, examinations). You are also expected to spend time on your own - this self-study time is to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. For example, each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time. In most cases, around 60 hours is spent in lectures, tutorials and laboratories. The remaining learning time is for you to use to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits, so, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

A range of blended learning methodologies are utilised, with digital platforms and media being used throughout the programme.

How you are assessed

The more knowledge and skills you acquire, the more you move from a greater degree of support and assistance gradually towards more independence and self-direction.

You are assessed on your subject knowledge, critical thinking and skills acquisition through coursework, group work, laboratory work and examinations.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Year 0 (Foundation year) entry
Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. You must have a recognised level 3 qualification.

English language requirement
You are expected to have at least Level 2 literacy skills, such as a GCSE in English language at grade 4 or higher.

International students who require a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements.

Helping you meet the entry requirements
We may be able to help you meet the requirements for admission by offering you the opportunity to study one or moreSummer Universitymodules, some of which can be studied by distance learning.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Develop your professional skills and links with industry through our Expo Series and Student Futures activities.

You can pursue a career in a number of sectors including electronics, aerospace, communications, robotics and manufacturing. You can contribute to almost every area of modern manufacturing, service and financial industries.

Work placement

This programme allows you to spend one year learning and developing your skills through work experience. A work placement officer and the University’s careers service are available to help you with applying for a placement.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

We encourage and support you in your search and application for a work placement. If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on the course without the work placement.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time)

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 
 
 
 

Facilities

A tour of Teesside University engineering facilities and employer partnerships, enabling us to produce graduates ready for the world of work.

 

Choose Teesside

iPad

Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and £300 credit for learning resources?

 

Accommodation

Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus

 

Campus

Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment

 

Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

Get in touch

 

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