Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Advanced Mechanical Engineering Design

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

From the production of silicone chips to the development electric vehicles and jet aircraft, mechanical engineers connect us to a wide range of everyday activities.   If you want to enhance your existing engineering qualifications, move into research, or use advanced engineering techniques, this highly practical and challenging postgraduate course will guide you.

Delivered through a modular programme, you'll blend theory with the latest methodology and practice. You'll review the design, development, commission and maintenance of engineering systems. You'll learn about the social, legal and environmental issues associated with senior engineering roles. 

This course is relevant for graduates with a relevant engineering degree, or relevant professional experience, who want to develop their skills as mechanical engineers. Throughout the course, there is a strong management theme, so you understand the nuances of holding a senior engineering role.

The course provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to become a Chartered Engineer. This programme is designed to meet the requirement of the Engineering Councils Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP).

You will:
  • Develop advanced engineering knowledge for a career in research in industry or academia
  • Develop rapid prototyping skills using our MakerSpace facility
  • Learn about the application of computational methods and packages in mechanical engineering analysis design and manufacture to solve complex engineering problems
  • Gain specialist knowledge in mechatronics, robotics & automation, artificial intelligence and energy utilisation

students accepted

This is for you if...


You're an engineering graduate looking to extend your knowledge or update your CAD and design skills


You want a knowledge and skillset suitable for a career in aerospace, automotive, energy generation or manufacturing


You want a career using advanced engineering techniques, or for research in industry or academia

Course details

All about the course

The programme is delivered over one year full-time or part-time over three years. It consists of four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project module. For full-time study, each module requires two days of contact per week, with an additional three days of self-study - this equates to a full week of study. Taught modules complete in June, with the dissertation completed by September.

In semester one, you will study Engineering Computation, with an optional choice of either Automation and Robotics or Mechatronics.  In semester two, you will progress to study Mechanical Engineering Design, along with either Artificial Intelligence or Energy utilisation.

In semester three, you will complete a dissertation, in which you apply your learning in a research context. Delivered under the direction of an academic supervisor, the project may involve sophisticated academic and practical research. 

Trimester one

Engineering Computation

Module learning provides a systematic understanding of knowledge on finite element analysis as a tool for the solution of practical engineering problems.  You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the development of appropriate finite element models of physical systems, and how to interpret the results of the analysis.  

The module also covers advanced aspects of finite element analysis including harmonic vibration analysis and will give practical instruction in the use of an industry-standard finite element analysis program.

Plus, choose one module from:

Automation and Robotics (Advanced Mech Eng)

You will be build a comprehensive understanding of current industrial control technology and practices, including Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Distributed Control System (DCS) systems. Subjects covered include discrete event system control, programming PLCs, manipulator theory and manipulator practice.       

Mechatronics (Advanced Mech Eng)

Gain a comprehensive knowledge of the core mechatronic engineering discipline.  On this module, you will explore a range of closely-related subjects and applications, such as electro-mechanical system modelling, technological advances and usage of sensors and actuators, Real Time concepts and embedded systems, and robot control algorithms. This module content provides awareness and preparation for a wide range of career opportunities in the automation, manufacturing, and electronic engineering industries, and for further study and research in Mechatronics.

Trimester two

Mechanical Engineering Group Design

The module will help you to develop an understanding of the principles of mechanical engineering design. You will look at CAD concepts and how to use the underlying principles of rapid prototyping to solve real-world problems. As part of  your learning, you will gain an understanding of legal requirements concerning health & safety, contracts, intellectual property rights, product safety and liability issues and to analyse their impact on engineering design. You will also be able to evaluate customer satisfaction and understand basic types of risk associated with manufacturing goods and products.

Plus, choose one module from:

Artificial Intelligence (Advanced Mech Eng)

Throughout this module, you will explore the role of artificial intelligence in control applications. You will look at practical experiences of using techniques, such as fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, and evolutionary computing in engineering applications.

Energy Utilisation (Advanced Mech Eng)

On this module, you will learn to demonstrate a systematic understanding and knowledge of the major uses of energy sources including natural gas, in applications associated with power generation and home heating.  This learning will enable you to critically evaluate industrial, commercial and domestic utilisation of a range of energy sources. As part of your learning, you will also build an understanding of energy storage methods, including batteries and hydrogen cells.

Trimester three


The dissertation is your opportunity to exercise what you have learnt in a research (student-focused) environment. As part of the assessment, you will conduct research under the direction of an academic supervisor, which will involve a range of high-level coordinated academic and practical work.      

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?






You will learn using a combination of lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals. Seminars featuring smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.

During your studies, you will use industry-standard design software and have access to engineering and computer laboratory facilities.


The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. Typically, the split is 70% coursework and 30% examination.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.


As a leading centre for engineering study and research, Salford is equipped with advanced, specialist facilities:

Our mechanical lab is used to understand material behaviour under different loading conditions and contains a tensile test machine and static loading experiments. Typical laboratory sessions include tensile testing of materials and investigation into the bending and buckling behaviour of beams.

Our composite material lab contains wet lay-up and pre-preg facilities for fabrication of composite material test sections. The facility is often used for research project work.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


A postgraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering Design will enhance your knowledge and skill, and boost your career prospects.

On completion, you'll have the skills suitable for careers in a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace, automotive, energy generation and manufacturing. You could also choose to progress into computer aided product design and development, computer modelling and simulation, materials engineering industries and automation in manufacturing companies.


Many of our graduates will go on to further study in our Engineering Research Centre.  Research at the centre is well-funded, with support from EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission, as well as excellent links with and direct funding from industry. The Centre supports leading research projects for both postgraduate studies and post-doctoral research.

A taste of what you could become

A structural engineer

A site engineer

A mechanical engineer

A CAD technician

And more...


What you need to know


This course is relevant for graduates with a relevant engineering degree, or relevant professional experience, who want to develop their skills as mechanical engineers. Throughout the course, there is a strong management theme, so you understand the nuances of holding a senior engineering role.


International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Applicants should have a relevant engineers honours degree at 2:2 or above, in subjects such as aeronautical, mechanical, civil or structural engineering.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £7,920per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £14,670per year
Part-time 2020/21 £1,320 per 30 credits
Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

International scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our Computing and Engineering International Scholarships worth up to £3,500. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship. To find out more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2020