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Undergraduate study
Automation and Digital Engineering (with Foundation Year)

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

 
  • Clearing 2021: Apply now for 2021 entry.
  • International students: Due to high volumes, any international applications received after 25 June can't be considered for September 2021 entry. You are welcome to apply for the next available intake (details below).
 

Course overview

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. This course includes an optional year in industry, at no extra cost.

You enhance your 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.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Free online maths course
Prepare for your studies with our free online Mathematics for University course. Develop your knowledge and understanding in maths so that you can start your studies in September confidently and better prepared. Places offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Find out more

* Subject to University approval

 

Course details

Course structure

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

You focus on how science can help address some of the global grand challenges that face society. A group project enables you to develop innovative answers to some of the biggest issues of our time based on health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments and learning for the 21st century. The themes reflect 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.

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

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.

Materials and Sustainability

You look at engineering materials in lab-based practical sessions. Fundamental relationships between processing, structure, properties and performance are explored to highlight factors which influence the suitability of materials for various engineering applications.

Mechanical Engineering Practice

You develop and enhance the practical, professional and mechanical engineering skills necessary for success in both the academic and work environment. This practically-focused module enables you to develop your knowledge, confidence and practical skills. You also look at creating an engineered design and the organisational issues of controlling a project.

Mechatronic Principles

This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of mechatronic systems and how the multi-disciplinary nature of those systems is not confined to one specialist area. It will develop a methodology for you to apply a mechatronic design philosophy throughout the development cycle of systems and products. You should recognise a system not as an interconnection of different parts but as an integrated outcome.

The module is taught with lectures, seminars and related practical work. Your lectures will provide an explanation of principles and discussion of applications. Practical sessions will provide you an opportunity to develop practical skills through the use of laboratory experiments that reinforce the lecture material.

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

Industrial Communications

The module encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of modern digital and industrial communications systems and protocols. The module provides the principles of the design, analysis and practical implementation and industrial use of digital, serial, wired and wireless communication systems. The module also introduces practical industrial communication protocols and information management 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.

Maths and Coding

You will develop mathematical knowledge in a range of concepts such as differential equations, Laplace transforms, numerical methods, and matrix algebra. You will utilise the skills learnt to solve a variety of problems which arise in engineering domains by identification of the most appropriate method to solve given problems.

Lectures will be used to introduce techniques and underlying principles whilst seminars will give further background knowledge and cover relevant application areas. You will have the opportunity to solve mathematical problems using coding of mathematical tools in dedicated IT Labs with industry standard software.

Multidisciplinary Software and Systems

This module introduces C++ programming with an emphasis on the learning, development and application of algorithms and data structures within an engineering context. The students will be introduced to the basics of class-based object-oriented programming using the C++ language.

Students will be required to demonstrate conceptual understanding and practical competence of programming by designing and implementing solutions to specific programming problems.

The module is taught with lectures, labs and related practical work. Lectures will provide an explanation of theory and demonstrations of programming examples. Lab sessions will provide you an opportunity to develop programming skills through the use of practice exercises.

The module is assessed by a report midway through the course and a group programming task at the end of the module period.

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.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

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

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits 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.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

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.

Data Analytics and AI

This module will provide students with the core principles and practical skills to apply state-of-the-art computational methods to perform data analytics, computational statistics and basic data analysis using Machine Learning (ML) techniques. These skills are very important for modern engineering applications, where digitalisation, IoT and process optimization is key to business success. Effective analysis of large data sets can reveal valuable process knowledge and insight, which is critical for prediction and decision making. Modern digital engineering applications produce data with large volume, velocity and variety, and computational methods are required to extract such knowledge.

By taking this module, students will form a solid foundation of 1) predictive analytics, and 2) data-driven decision making which refers to tools and techniques for building statistical or machine learning models to make predictions and decisions based on data. Practical guidance about how to handle unlabelled, noisy, incomplete and large-scale data will be discussed. The students will also learn how to select the best technique to handle different type of data in different scenarios.

Process Automation

Industrial automation systems are used to support manufacturing/processing plants increase production value, reduce costs, improve safety, comply with environmental regulations, and more.

In this module you will learn about the integration of industrial automation into the manufacturing environment. You will learn to plan and manage material flow, resource utilization and logistics for all levels of manufacturing planning from global production facilities to local plants.

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.

Sustainable Systems and Industry 4.0

The emergence of Industry 4.0, often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, has been attributed to advancing automation, decentralisation and system integration and cloud computing. In the cyber-physical environment, machines can communicate, collect information, and make informed decisions through artificial intelligence (AI), big data and industrial internet of things (IIoT). The evolution of Industry 4.0 has great potential to improve the energy, equipment, and human behaviour. At the same time, in the era of the so-called circular economy, industry across all sectors is under huge pressure to make their manufacturing operations ethical and sustainable. Therefore, we must learn to adopt or implement the latest Industry 4.0 technologies.

The term sustainability has a multi-disciplinary use and meaning. As future engineers you will learn sustainability is represented as the synergy between environment, economics, and society. In this module students specialising in Sustainable Systems and Industry 4.0 will focus their studies and deepen their knowledge in a range of sustainability themes such as energy management and power systems, sustainable water and wastewater systems, sustainable transportation technologies, transitions to sustainable food systems and mechanical manufacturing systems.

The subjects will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will develop key concepts and knowledge. Seminars will allow more focused examinations of important issues and approaches

 

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

Any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. We look for evidence of your ability to learn and your commitment to succeed in your studies.

Maths requirement
GCSE maths at grade 4 or equivalent.

International students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements.

For general information please see our overview of 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 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK 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)
  • UCAS code: H678 BEng/ADEFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply now (full-time)

Apply now

Please choose the relevant option below:

2021 entry

UK applicants
International applicants

2022 entry

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 

Choose Teesside

 
 
 

Reporting on engineering at Teesside University

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

 

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