Modules

Below you can find a list of all third year modules. Some modules in this year are optional.

Modules

Engineering Design Management and Rationale

To provide design engineers with an understanding of:
 
a)  The structures, processes and financial underpinnings of business organisations.

b)  The economic, legal and social environments in which such organisations operate. 

c)  How management principles and design engineering principles are integrated.

 Part 1. Principles of Management
 
1 Introduction to the course plus the origins and historical development of professional management.

2 Management Control + Job Design Managerial control. The ways in which managers seek to maintain and control — the influence of scientific management, mass production and bureaucracy..  Job design. How should work be allocated? Current issues in the management and the organization of work — the impact of technology. Groups and teams — the quality movement. ISO9000. 

3 Motivation + Leadership + Managing Change (People & Ideas) Motivation. Management and motivation – the links between motivation and the economic climate. How can managers motivate their workers? Varieties of motivation theory. Personality and psychometric testing. Leadership. Are effective leaders born or created – or is it just a matter of circumstances? The impact of organisational culture on leadership. Transformational v transactional leadership.  Managing change. How can managers influence change in organizations? Current ideas and future trends. 

4 Decision Making, decision support and problem structuring Problem analysis and types, risk mitigation, tools and methods. Design as an unstructured problem.
 
Part 2. Basic Principles of Business
 
5 Core Business Functions (Planning/Control/Operations), Staff & Line, Core Functions

6 Business Strategy (& Tactics) plus introduction to key Management and Business models and tools Strategy (& Tactics). How do managers determine corporate strategy? How do organisations respond to changing circumstances? The significance of innovation and marketing. High level understanding on how acquisitions work

7 Project management  Control of resources, timing, mixed team management, support tools.

8 Financial Management and Operational Control The context of financial management; understanding company financial statements; P&L, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow, costs and budgets and adaptive planning; control tools, funding the business; mergers and acquisitions
 
Part 3. The World Outside (Contextual and Environmental factors)
 
9 PESTLE, Globalisation, CSR, Culture, Uncertainty & Risk, Disruptive Technologies. The impact of external and contextual forces on business organisations, scenario planning.
Regulatory Assurance. The regulatory framework that governs much industry and how notified bodies police new product launch.   Risk analysis. The different ways of performing such a task (FMEA dfmea, ISO 14971).   Quality Assurance.  How different companies have to have certain things in place to operate in different industries, e.g. ISO 13485, general ISO 9001.  
 
Part 4. Putting it all together
 
10 Integrating management into the design process and integrating design into the management process.  the practical task of costing up a project (cost of man hours, how to cost replenishing initial stock, tooling).   Scheduling and how to estimate how long the project will take to launch.  Practical part that will help students when they start new co. and need to make a standard pitch for funding – (1) what is the opportunity, (2) how much will it cost, (3) how long will it take and (4) what are the risks to new co. or investor.

Design Led Innovation and Enterprise (optional)

Exploring a meta-theme and user personas to develop a value proposition for a new enterprise The premise for this course is that successful design-led innovation depends on blending customer insight and technical inventiveness to create value – value for customers and users as well as commercial value for innovative firms and their investors.  
 
Consequently, this 1-term course has been designed to take you on an entrepreneurial journey that seeks to mirror the design process (http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/designprocess). The programme offers a unique opportunity to build your knowledge, skills and expertise in design-led innovation as well as providing insights into the challenges of introducing novel products and services to market. The process is as relevant to you if you were to examine innovation within an organisation as it is if you were to start your own business.

In the first part of the course, we introduce you to key concepts in design, creative problem solving, prototyping and the disciplines of human centred design. The second part of the course focuses on new venture creation when you will learn about the most relevant theoretical models and best practice. World class scholars teach you in these domains and together with experienced practitioners, help you develop a team project, from design concept through to a new business proposition with real potential.
 
Course Narrative The course is made up of formal teaching sessions that run alongside, and inform, a team project that focuses on a real problem in a particular domain. Teams are regularly coached throughout the course to ensure the newly introduced tools are applied appropriately, to ensure the best possible project outcomes.

Part 1: Discover + Define: research and discover; gain insights; get inspired The background and context for the problem area being explored by project teams need to be built from both sufficient desk research and field research. Desk research will identify potential problem areas worth investigating and highlight not only the scope of the problem but also the potential impact if it were resolved. The field research will involve using a range of design research methods. These methods will enable teams to draw meaningful insights from relevant users and other relevant stakeholders and help to frame a concise and compelling problem statement.  Some of the design research methods we teach involve the use of tools such as interviews, observation, rapid ethnography, development of personas, co-design, simple and rapid prototyping with exemplar users. There will be varied use of these techniques and although not all need be applied in any one project, several are usually applied together. The problem statement reached can then be used to examine the context further, by working with specific target communities to uncover hidden needs. This should help teams identify areas that can be improved which in turn will help set goals to achieve a well-designed solution.

Part 2: Develop - Distil Insights; Frame challenges; Creative problem solving; Designing solutions Creating a design brief at this point will give structure to the project and help the team come up with a range of creative options that they can develop into design concepts.
 
It is crucial for teams to demonstrate the link between the ideation phase and solutioning with the evidence gathered.  As this is an iterative process, it may involve a re-thinking of the solution proposed, fresh research and another cycle of effort. Put simply, it's not just a tick list of research methods we are seeking but a demonstration by teams that the insights gathered support the solution and validate the final overall proposition. Hence, top marks will go to those teams that not only select the most appropriate techniques and apply them diligently throughout the project, but are also able to show a clear link between the evidence gathered, related
insights and the resulting problem being addressed.

Part 3: Deliver - Iterate; Implement Finally, the proposition needs to demonstrate value to all the different stakeholders, value that can be expressed in terms of, for example, improved quality of life for the recipients, improved productivity, financial or efficiency gains for those commissioning the service or delivering it, as well as consideration of broader stakeholders at a community or societal level. The proposition also needs to be technically feasible and some evidence needs to be presented, rather than assumed, so that in total we have a value proposition that is attractive to all stakeholders, feasible and delivers incremental value that could make it commercially viable for a potential investor. 

Introduction: Design and its role in business and economic competitiveness. Design as a response to disruptive social, environmental, economics and technological change. 

Design and creativity: How creative methods can be used to develop new ideas and strategies. 

Design tools for innovation: The process of ideation and creative problem solving in creative design, business models and services; Design for users and extreme users - how design focuses on the needs of people; research methods used to identify the needs of people. 

Market insights - Technological Innovation: Understanding how technological inventiveness needs to be blended with market insight to create radical new solutions. 

Designing for a systems environment: Understand how design of products and services fit into much larger technological and social systems. 

Design of Services and the Service Experience: The role of design services; the development of design methods to develop more satisfying user experiences. 

Defining and Prioritising Markets: Understanding markets and the importance of market segmentation. Defining and prioritising market segments in terms of opportunity. Identifying and managing selected markets to maximise business returns including value chain and value network analysis 

New Venture Creation: Defining overall value proposition, business and partnership models and business structure. Understand components of, and developing, a business plan. Formation of business including identification and characteristics of founding teams, financial investment requirements and sources, valuations. Case study of one of Design London’s new venture companies. 

Managing Design: Techniques and methods for managing the design process including setting briefs, selecting designers, managing interdisciplinary teams, and project governance. Role of Innovation Technologies including CAD, Open Source, Visualisation, Simulation, Rapid Prototyping. 

 
 

Robotics 1

Intermediate course in robotics, sensors, actuators, and control, building on the DE2-Giz module. 
 
At the end of the course students will be familiar with the key concepts related to the building and programming of autonomous robots. They will understand the different kinds of locomotion and sensor systems that can be used, and the principles behind the programming of simple reactive behaviours. They will understand different ways in which reactive behaviours can be programmed and combined for controlling a robot in an unknown but fixed type of environment. They will have been introduced to advanced techniques in probabilistic filtering, simultaneous localisation and mapping, and motion planning.
 
This course will focus on the field of mobile robotics, at the exciting time when cutting-edge robots are beginning to leave the research laboratory to tackle real-world tasks --- in space, in the desert or in your living room. A robot is a physical device where sensing and actuation must be linked by efficient, robust and flexible on-board computing. We will emphasize both theoretical and practical aspects of the field. 
 
We will start by looking at the basics of wheeled locomotion, and proprioceptive and outward-looking sensors, and examine how these can be coupled in direct servo loops to produce reactive behaviours. We will then look at how different behaviours can be combined to produce more complicated activity via architectures such as subsumption. 
 
This is a course with an intensive practical element, and every week there will be practical sessions in the laboratory where students will work in groups with Lego Mindstorms NXT kits and the RobotC programming environment. Marking of the assessed coursework component is cumulative: every week there will be a task set to each group and marks will be given for successfully demonstrating results in the next practical session.

Industrial Design

Intensive exploration of industrial design principles and practice Narrative, Visual perception, Ergonomics, human factors, User experience, aesthetics, form, symbolism, function.  

Use of insights from users in the design process. 

Exploration of the design space 

Consideration of human behaviour 

Ergonomics 

Technology selection 

Colour 

Metaphor 

Organic form; Inorganic form 

Form follows function 

Visual identity/branding 

Material selection

Group Project

Engineering design group project/interdisciplinary group project Group work. Ideation and use of creativity tools. Exploration of user requirements and insights from users. Development of effective group dynamics. Project management. Concept development. Detailed design. Design prototyping. Use of rapid prototyping. Exhibition of group work.

Industry Placement A

The six-month Industry Placement module aims to provide practical industry experience on a substantial project 
 
The placements will run April-September in the third year. Third year exams will be taken early to ensure that all students will be present in College. 
 
The UG office and module leader will arrange for students to be matched with companies. Care will be taken to ensure that appropriate companies and industrial supervisors are selected, which are prepared to provide suitably challenging and well-defined project objectives to students. Companies will be generally expected to pay the students at a level appropriate for a new graduate.
 
The students will have two School supervisors and one industrial supervisor. The module will be assessed against objectives by the Schools supervisors on the basis of an interim and final report, a presentation, a site visit by the supervisors, and an employer’s report from the industrial supervisor.

For students following the MEng programme this module will be followed by a second module, Industry Placement B, which consists of a placement at the same employer as this module.
 To find out more visit our industry placements page.