Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Thermodynamics 1

Module aims

The principal aim is to give students a basic understanding of the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and the ability to use them in solving a range of simple engineering problems. The pace of the course attempts to take account of students' lack of familiarity with the subject from pre-university studies. The aim of the lectures and tutorials is to develop analytical skills and some design appreciation, involving awareness of the interaction between thermodynamics and considerations of energy resources, materials, solid mechanics, economics, the environment etc. 

ECTS units: 5


Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to: 

1. Explain the laws and principles of thermodynamics and the principal thermodynamic properties of steam and ideal substances.

2. Analyse thermodynamic processes by applying the laws of thermodynamics to systems and control volumes.

3. Classify a complex thermodynamic process into the main fundamental components.

4. Solve problems relating to steam and ideal substances undergoing such processes.

Module syllabus

Introduction to thermodynamics

Basic concepts

Energy, heat, work and the 1st law of thermodynamics

Properties of substances

The 1st law for flow processes

The 2nd law of thermodynamics

Consequences of the 2nd law

Introduction to thermodynamic power cycles

Fluid statics

Fluids in motion

Internal flows

Teaching methods

Allocation of study hours  
Lectures 24
Group teaching 10
Lab/ practical  
Other scheduled  
Independent study 91
Total hours 125
ECTS ratio 25


Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Grading method Pass mark Must pass?
Examination 1.5 Hour exam 95% Numeric 40% Y
Examination Progress test 5%   40% N

Reading list

Core reading

Module leaders

Professor Alex Taylor