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.

Automotive Design with Motorsport

Module aims


This module builds on material taught in previous years and aims to focus on the application of knowledge on automotive design problems. It is intended to develop students’ skills in various engineering science disciplines into a capability to design and analyse automotive systems.

Students will further expand their understanding of automotive system development, machine element design, manufacturing/testing and applied electronic control. The module also aims to put the delivered content in context via a series of hands-on laboratory activities. It is intended to give an insight to practical engineering decision making in relation to automotive and motorsport design tasks. 

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply skills and knowledge gained in previous years to tackle real-life automotive design problems

2. Derive to key design and operation parameters for combustion and electronic powertrain design for a given application

3. Apply thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and structural analysis to typical components and specify loads

4. Carry out detailed design and sizing including the creation of detailed manufacturing documentation

5. Recommend adjustments and modifications to the suspension set-up of a race vehicle to improve its performance

Module syllabus

 Prime mover development: system design, vehicle duty cycle, selection of operation parameters and descriptors

Advanced machine element design: piston, connecting rod, crank shaft, advanced shaft design: misalignment, eccentricity, power delivery design, rotor and stator design, battery holder design, bus bar design and heat transfer
Automotive electronics in practice: engine ECU programing, engine tuning and testing, motorsport data logging and data analysis, electronic motor control, battery pack build, practical electronics
Vehicle and tyre dynamics: vehicle handling and stability, cornering stiffness, basic tyre modelling considerations

Teaching methods

 Students will be introduced to the main topics through lectures (~2-2.5hrs per week ), supported by technology (PowerPoint, Panapto and Blackboard). Problem solving sheets will be provided and they should be completed these as part of the independent study. Tutorials sessions (1hr per every two weeks) will provide an opportunity for interaction with teaching staff where you can discuss specific problems. The delivered material will be reinforced and practiced during the laboratory activities. 

Allocation of study hours
Lectures 20
Group teaching 5
Lab/ practical 20
Other scheduled 0
Independent study 80
Placement 0
Total hours 125
ECTS ratio 25.00


Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Grading method Pass mark
Examination 3.0 Hour exam 40% Numeric 40%
Coursework Group design task 50%   40%
Coursework Individual laboratory report 10%   40%

Reading list

Vehicle Dynamics

Combustion Powertrain

Race Engine Technology

  • Focus : component and materials testing - Under close scrutiny

    Race engine technology

  • Focus : exhausts - In the pipeline

    Race engine technology

  • Focus : CAD - Whole new dimension

    Race engine technology

  • Focus : fuel filters - Degrees of separation

    Race engine technology

  • Focus : crankshafts - Rising to the challenge

    Race engine technology