Design Engineering

Fuse design thinking with engineering knowledge and practice in this highly creative integrated Master’s degree.

Key information




4 years


Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A*AA

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

8 : 1

Based on 2017 entry data

  • UCAS course code: 28G3
  • ECTS: 270
  • Start date: September 2019


Design engineers are problem solvers who bridge the gap between traditional engineering and design. It's a discipline which draws on knowledge of manufacturing techniques, product development, technical design and rapid prototyping to bring new innovations to market. It also focuses on improving existing products and the processes used for making them.

This course aims to develop a range of fundamental design and engineering skills, with a particular emphasis on creativity, computer-aided engineering, optimisation, human factors and design process. You will gain the enterprise skills and industrial experience necessary to launch brand new products to market and translate design engineering into impact.

Study programme

During the first two years, you will study a series of compulsory modules focusing on foundational engineering, computing, mathematics and human factors, giving you a solid scientific and design basis to build on. These cover subjects such as mechanics, electronics, system design, mechatronics and data science. You will develop team working skills and begin to develop a personal professional identity through elective modules and targetted applications for placement roles.

The third and fourth years include a greater emphasis on advanced modules in design, engineering, enterprise and entrepreneurship. With a greater emphasis on optional modules, you will develop a highly individual professional profile. Optional modules on offer cover areas such as the Internet of Things, robotics, product design and industrial design, allowing you to specialise in the areas you are most interested in.

A six-month paid placement in industry from April in your third year will enable you to gain valuable practical experience.

In your fourth year, you will undertake Master’s level modules, and complete an extensive individual project.

Design Engineering studentsProject work

This course contains a substantial number of project and coursework modules of increasing scale throughout the programme.

You will incrementally combine your engineering and design skills with business knowledge in successive projects, working both in groups and independently. This will culminate in an Enterprise Roll Out module in your final year, in which you will expose one of the products you have made to market reaction.

You will benefit from access to extensive hackspaces and workshops throughout the degree to support the development of your ideas.

Industrial placement

All students will undertake a six-month industrial placement from April until September between their third and fourth year of study. The placement will be on-site with an industrial partner and supervised jointly by the partner and Imperial.

In the past, students have worked at a diverse range of companies including Dyson, Brompton Bicycles, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, ABB Robotics, Microsoft Lift, Fitch, Monokoto, Random International, Better Future Factory and Cambridge Consultants.


Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Computing 1: Introduction to Scientific Computing
  • Computing 2: Algorithm Design and Analysis
  • Electronics 1: Introduction to Electronic Circuits, Sensors, and Mechatronics
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Human-centred Design Engineering
  • Introduction to Design Engineering
  • Production and Materials
  • Solid Mechanics 1

Year 2

Core modules

  • Data Science
  • Electronics 2: Signals, Systems, and Control
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Gizmo: Physical Computing
  • Industrial Design Engineering
  • Solid Mechanics 2
  • Sustainable Design Engineering
  • Thermofluids
  • Working in Organisations

Year 3

Core modules

  • Design Engineering Futures
  • Industry Placement (Part 1)
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Optimisation
  • Robotics

Optional modules

You will choose one of the modules below.

  • Advanced Industrial Design
  • Digital Product Design Engineering
  • Selected menu of Electives from Faculty/College

Year 4

Core modules

  • Enterprise Roll Out
  • Industry Placement (Part 2)
  • Master’s Project

Optional modules

You will choose four of the modules below.

  • Advanced Industrial Design
  • Design for Additive Manufacture
  • Digital Product Design Engineering
  • Robotics Research Project
  • Selected menu of Electives from Faculty/College
  • Sensing and Internet of Things


Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Course changes

This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened in September 2018.

All core modules are displayed on this page; the optional modules represent an indicative list of those that are likely to be available rather than all optional modules that will be offered every year. As a result, the changes recorded here only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available on this course.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

For more information about these changes, please contact the Department using the contact details toward the end of this page. Keep checking back for future updates.

Professional accreditation

This degree welcomed its first intake in October 2015 and is in the process of achieving triple accreditation. The course achieved accreditation by the following professional body in 2017, covering the intakes 2015–2020:

  • Institution of Engineering Designers (IED)

The course will also seek accreditation from:

  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

The accreditation process for these two bodies can only be completed after the first intake of students completes their fourth year, in 2018–19. If successful, accreditations will be retroactively applied to all graduates of the course.

Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency. It also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.


As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI) on completion of this course.

The City and Guilds of London Institute is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment


You will be taught in lectures, tutorials, workshops and project-based learning, providing a balance between theory and practice.

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar 450 hours 450 hours 270 hours 200 hours
Independent study 1,050 hours 1,050 hours 855 hours 1,425 hours
Placement 375 hours 625 hours
Based on the typical pathway through the course


This course uses a variety of assessment methods, including:

  • Critiques
  • Group projects
  • Individual projects
  • Industrial placement
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Presentations to staff and students
  • Report writing
  • Written examinations

Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework 40% 50% 60% 75%
Practical 10% 25% 30% 25%
Examination 50% 25% 10% 0%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

You can use the KIS to find out how this course compares in areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

Please note this course is new and therefore the employment and student satisfaction data provided below is an illustration of provision in the subject area rather than specific data for this course. The surveys this data is drawn from are completed after all four years of the course, and this course was first available in 2015/16.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.


Minimum entry standards

Our minumum entry standard for 2019 entry is A*AA overall, to include:

  • A*/A in Mathematics

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2017 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*AA–A*A*A

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minumum entry standard for 2019 entry is 39 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2017 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 38–39 points overall.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in two other relevant subjects

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2019 entry
£9,250 per year

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU/EEA students

The UK government has confirmed that EU/EEA students starting at the College in the 2019-20 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition for the duration of their course/ This includes access to the Tuition Fee Loan for EU students who have resided in the European Economic Area for at least three years prior to study, and access to the Maintenance Loan for EU students have been resident in the UK for at least five years.

For the latest updates on the implications of ‘Brexit’, please see the Imperial and the European Union webpages.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2019 entry
£30,250 per year

The tuition fees for Overseas and Islands students are set by Imperial College London.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an inflationary amount. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Additional course costs

This section outlines any additional costs relevant to this course, which are not included in your tuition fees. It is possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.

This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you will be free to opt out of these.

DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (course materials) Mandatory Provided
Equipment (laptop computer) Mandatory £500-£1,500
Placement (travel) Mandatory Variable
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Laptop computer

You will need to have a laptop computer for some classes and coursework. The recommended specification is:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 6th/7th generation processor
  • 16Gb RAM
  • 256 Gb SSD HDD
  • NVIDIA K1100M or higher graphics card

The School has a number of laptops available for loan for the duration of your course. A deposit of £200 is required, refundable when you return the laptop at the end of your course.

You will have the chance to indicate whether you wish to take part in the laptop loan scheme when contacted by the School in the September before you start your course.

If you choose to borrow a laptop, you will be sent an invoice for the deposit amount which is payable online via a variety of payment methods before the start of term.


You will spend time on an industrial placement between April and September in your third year. You will receive a stipend from your industry host to reimburse you for any additional costs incurred through completing the placement, such as travel costs.

Project materials

The School will provide you with the materials you need to complete practical projects as part of the course. These materials will be provided free of charge, within reason.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.


Like graduates of our postgraduate courses, who have gone on to highly successful careers in companies such as Samsung, Apple and Bentley, and launched startups such as Bare Conductive and Omlet, this course is designed to equip you with creativity, enterprise skills and industrial experience that will appeal in a wide range of industries.

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: 28G3
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2019 for entry in September 2019.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2019 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2018.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us


Got a question?

Jen Cooley
T: +44 (0)20 7594 9121

Read more on the Dyson School of Design Engineering website.


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Further information

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Living in London

London’s creative energy and cultural vibrancy delivers a student experience unlike any other. Our first-year accommodation guarantee means that you'll have the perfect base from which to explore this exciting city.

Students outside the Union

Student finance

We want to attract the very best students, regardless of their financial background. That's why we offer one of the most generous bursary schemes of any UK university, as well as a range of scholarships.

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International students

We're proud to be the most international university in the UK. Support available here includes specialist immigration advice for prospective and current students and free English language support. EU students – see the latest information about the impact of Brexit.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to universities. We've put together this information in a dedicated section of our website.Makerspace

Read our terms and conditions for these areas: