BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering (Including foundation year)

If you don’t have the right qualifications to start our BEng Automotive Engineering degree, you could opt to start your studies with a foundation course.

You’ll study introductory modules relevant to the degree course whilst developing key skills for academic study. Successful completion of the introductory foundation year will allow you to progress onto the BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering.

Designed to meet the accreditation requirements of the IET for Chartered Engineer status, the automotive engineering course includes elements of mathematical and physical sciences required to design, develop and manufacture a range of engineering systems.

You will study the elements of electrical engineering, such as power and control, crucial for analysing and designing electromechanical drive systems. Programming smart embedded systems will also be covered so that you are ready for the fast development in autonomous and driverless cars.

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
H333 Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
H333 Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A

In the first year of the automotive engineering programme you will sit modules that are all common between electrical and mechanical engineering students. This is to ensure all underlying pre-request knowledge for modern automotive engineering is covered.

Finally, you study elements of management, business and professional practice. This will develop your initiative, and effective communication and interpersonal skills, to achieve the high level of technical leadership required in a modern engineering environment. Your new skills will be further tested through group and individual research and design projects.

Foundation year: Automotive Engineering degree

The Foundation Year will give you a good understanding of our engineering courses and provide you with a good numerical background to support you throughout the remainder of the degree. Following your initial foundation year, you will progress onto the modules studied as part of your award.

  • Foundations of Mathematics
  • Further Foundation Maths for Engineers
  • Essential Engineering Skills
  • Engineering Project
  • Foundation Engineering Principles
  • English for Engineering (optional)
  • Electrical Science (optional)

Year One: Automotive Engineering degree

  • Mathematics for Engineers
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Electrical Principles
  • Introduction to C programming and Embedded Systems
  • Engineering Applications
  • Thermofluids for Engineers

Year Two: Automotive Engineering degree

  • Configuration and Programming of Embedded Systems
  • Power, Machines, and Control
  • Group Project and Management for Engineers
  • Engineering Material Science
  • Design for Automotive Engineers
  • Energy Storage Technology

Year Three: Automotive Engineering degree

  • Hybrid / Electric Vehicle Technology
  • Power Systems
  • Vehicle Dynamics and Structure
  • Autonomous Vehicle Technology
  • Individual Project


The Automotive Engineering programme taps into the renowned expertise of the Centre for Automotive & Power System Engineering (CAPSE), a nationally recognised research, development, test and certification centre at the University of South Wales, with a reputation for cutting edge research within the advanced automotive and power systems engineering sectors. The course will also build on the University’s strong links with Formula Student.

We have strong links with industry and place considerable emphasis on student projects. We also encourage industrial placements as part of a sandwich year option.

You can study this degree as a four-year (including foundation year) full-time course or over five years to include a sandwich work placement.

Typical contact hours for a 20 credit module are 48 hours lectures per module (two hours a week) plus 24 hours of labs (one hour a week). Students are typically expected to spend about 72 hours independent study per 20 credit module per year.

This engineering programme is taught through lectures, which are supported by tutorials, practical sessions and seminar groups. Wherever possible, your work will be based on live projects and case studies, with contributions from industry professionals.

Throughout your training, you will engage in activities, such as practicals, individual and group projects, that help you become self-reliant, self-motivated and resourceful, as well as develop leadership qualities and management expertise.


You will be assessed through a combination of examinations and coursework.


This course is currently pending IET accreditation. This would confer partial requirement for Chartered Engineering (CEng) status. This means that what you learn meets industry standards, so you will graduate with the engineering ability and managerial business skills to succeed.


Students are encouraged to spend a year working in industry. This year will give you first-hand experience of working in the automotive engineering sector.


Our engineering facilities are excellent. They include: composite making facilities, additive manufacturing facilities, laser scanner, aluminium casting facility, a wind tunnel, material testing facilities, non-destructive facilities as well as laboratories with equipment for supplementing teaching in mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, fluid-dynamics and control.

We also have a well-equipped Formula Student build area. Our electronics labs feature industry-standard facilities help you make the transition from the classroom into an employment setting.



We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

GCSE: grade C or above, in Mathematics and English is required.

Individuals will be considered based on their experience.

Typical A-Level Offer


Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Graduates from this Automotive Engineering degree can take on the role of:

  • Automotive design engineer
  • Reliability and asset management engineering
  • Automotive production engineering
  • Car production engineer
  • Product manager (with experience)
  • R&D engineer

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.