Design engineering student in the labUCAS code: 28G3
ECTS: 270 credits
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 4 years full-time

LocationSouth Kensington

Design engineering is the fusion of design thinking and engineering knowledge and practice, within an innovation and enterprise culture.

About the course


Design engineering concerns the design of products, services, systems, as well as experiences and artefacts relevant to designing and enabling modern society and the society of tomorrow.

This degree develops a range of fundamental design and engineering skills, with a particular emphasis on:

  • creativity
  • computer-aided engineering tools
  • optimisation
  • human factors
  • design process
  • enterprise skills and industrial experience necessary to launch new products to market

Graduates of this integrated Master's programme will be capable of bridging the gaps between engineering, design and business in commercial contexts.

The course covers fundamental engineering across several fields, design techniques, business and communications skills. We focus particularly on foundational engineering, computing and mathematics in the first two years to give you a solid scientific and design basis.

The third and fourth years include a greater emphasis on advanced modules in design and engineering, and enterprise and entrepreneurship skills.

Industrial placement

All students will undertake a six-month industrial placement from April in the third year. The placement will be on-site with an industrial partner and supervised jointly by the partner and Imperial.

A substantial number of companies have already expressed an interest in hosting placements, and it is expected that you will have choice from a variety of partners and projects for your placement.

Project work and coursework

The 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. This will culminate in an Enterprise Roll Out module, in which you will expose to market reaction one of the products you have made during an in-course project.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Year 1

Core modules
  • Communication in Design
  • Computing 1
  • Design 1
  • Engineering Analysis 1.1 - Mechanics
  • Engineering Analysis 1.2 – Energy and Design
  • Engineering Analysis 1.3 – Electronics
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Production and Materials

Year 2

Core modules
  • Big Data
  • Computing 2
  • Design 2
  • Engineering Analysis 2.1 – M4DE (Mechanics for Design Engineers)
  • Engineering Analysis 2.2 – Computer Aided Engineering
  • Engineering Analysis 2.3 – Electronics for Product and System Design
  • Engineering Design Project
  • Gizmo (Physical Computing)

Year 3

Core modules
  • Engineering Design Management and Rationale
  • Group Project
  • Industry Placement A
  • Robotics 1
Optional modules

You choose two optional modules from below.

  • Biomimetics
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists*
  • Design Led Innovation and Enterprise
  • Imperial Horizons*
  • Industrial Design

Year 4

Core modules
  • Enterprise Management
  • Enterprise Roll Out
  • Industry Placement B
  • Optimisation 1.1 (Advanced Computer Aided Engineering)
  • Solo Project
Optional modules

You choose two optional modules from below.

  • Advanced Human Factors
  • AID (Artificial Intelligence and Design)
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists*
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Engineering Design Analysis
  • Imperial Horizons*
  • Optimisation 2
  • Robotics 2

* You can choose up to one Imperial Horizons or Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists module within your degree

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, tutorials and workshops, ensuring there is a balance between theory and practice.

This course uses a variety of assessment methods, including:

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

Progression through the course

You must achieve an average mark of at least 40% in each module to progress from one year to the next, and to graduate following the fourth year.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (key information set).

The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.

The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course, as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via Unistats.

Please note this course is new and therefore the employment and student satisfaction data provided at the bottom of this page 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. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.


The minimum requirement is A*AA overall, to include:

  • A in Mathematics

Both scientific and non-scientific A-levels will be considered towards the requirement (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking).

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

For students following the International Baccalaureate, we require 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level

Other qualifications

We welcome applications from candidates with qualifications other than A-levels and from candidates demonstrating other competencies. Candidates who have been accepted in recent years have had qualifications such as: Scottish Certificate of Education, International and European Baccalaureates, and the Irish Leaving Certificate.

Candidates with other competencies are given special consideration and are always treated on their individual merits. However, we do not accept Foundation Course qualifications. See admission of students with other competencies.

English language requirements (all applicants)

All applicants 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.

Selection process

On the basis of the information given on the UCAS application, promising applicants will be invited to attend an interview conducted by a member of our academic staff. The aim of this interview is to assess applicants’ aptitude for the course and also to give them an opportunity to raise questions about both the course and the College.

Overseas applicants may be offered an interview via Skype.

Tuition fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£9,250 per year

The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time. 

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£27,750 per year

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.

Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.

Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change 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 cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.

Laptop computer

You will need to have a laptop computer for some classes and coursework. It must meet the following minimum specification:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 5th Gen 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 £100 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.

Bursaries and scholarships

Imperial Bursary

The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.

It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.

As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.

The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.


Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.

They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.

A wide range of other scholarships is also available. Find out which scholarships you may be eligible for by using our scholarships search tool.

To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

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).

The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017. 

The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.

Students at a school/college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.

To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS

If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

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

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

Tracking your application

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

Professional accreditation and associateship

As a new degree, we're working towards gaining professional accreditation. It is expected that graduates of the course will receive accreditation from at least one of the following bodies:

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

This degree also leads to the award of the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI).

What our graduates do

Like graduates of our postgraduate courses, who have gone on to highly successful careers in companies such as Samsung, Apple and Bentley, and launched start-ups 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.

Information for offer holders for 2017

This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened on 1 September 2016.

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 only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available.

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.

  • 21/08/2016 – this course has been restructured which means that the core and optional modules available has changed

For more information about these changes, please contact the Department using the contact details in the left hand column. Keep checking back for future updates.