Students discussing work

The Course

MEng in Engineering Science

You’ll spend your first two years studying the core topics which we believe are essential for all engineers to understand.

Having developed a solid grounding in these, you’ll choose to specialise in one of the eight branches of Engineering Science:

  • Biomedical
  • Chemical and Process
  • Civil and Offshore
  • Control
  • Electrical and Opto-electronic
  • Information
  • Solid Materials and Mechanics
  • Thermofluids and Turbomachinery

A typical week

In the first two years of your degree, you’ll have around ten lectures per week, as well as two college tutorials or classes, and up to five hours of practical work. You'll also be expected to do significant amounts of self-directed study. Lecturers produce a sheet of about ten tutorial examples to accompany each set of four lectures and to provide a basis for College tutorials. A tutorial is usually concerned with one particular example sheet, which might require of the order of ten hours of your time in preparation. 

For more information, see the 1st Year course handbook (link below).

Teaching and Learning

Our course is delivered via a combination of classroom instruction, laboratory and project activity. The course has been carefully designed to balance theory, which is covered in lectures and reinforced in tutorials in your college, with practical work completed in laboratory exercises.

The Department provides your labs and your lectures. Tutorials are a small, group session with an academic member of staff, held at your college. You should expect a one-hour tutorial after approximately every fourth lecture, which amounts to approximately two tutorials a week during termtime.

Tutorials

Copies of all the tutorial problem sheets are distributed to colleges for circulation at the start of each term; they are also available online. Tutors will often schedule tutorial work after all four lectures corresponding to the tutorial problems have been given.

As you progress through the course, tutorials will be replaced by intercollegiate classes which are run in the department. The pattern remains as one example sheet for every four lectures, but the material will be taught by specialists in the field.

Coursework

Practical coursework is an essential element in the education of every professional engineer. As well as illustrating ideas and topics from lectures and tutorials, it has a special place in our training. A basic function of practical work is to gain experience and understanding of using a piece of equipment to perform a task or make a measurement. You will see that theoretical principles are not merely intellectual ideas, but are there for practical use. Another function, realised in recording and presenting the results of experiments, is training in the skill of technical communication; this skill is essential in the real world of engineering where people work together on large enterprises.

Projects

Project and design work have a special function in training engineers to make things function. Projects can promote the development of a fundamental engineering attitude which cannot be conveyed in any other way. This is the awareness that engineers are concerned with, not merely with obtaining correct answers to calculations but with taking creative and responsible decisions based upon all available knowledge.

Read about current student Dami's 1st year XY plotter project

Read current student Felix's description of 3rd year projects.

"My favourite thing about Oxford is the tutorial system, because it enables you to really interact with what you are learning, so the learning process becomes very personalised. As a result, you have peace of mind because you know you will not get left behind, or go under the radar."

Beth, 1st Year, St Hilda's College

Taster lectures

Professor Felix Leach, Air Pollution from Vehicles

Professor Daniel Bulte, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Professor Tom Adcock, Can an arch stand up?

Professor Nick Hawes, Probabilistic Robots

Professor Aidong Yang, Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Specialising

As you enter your third year, you will begin to specialise in your chosen branch of engineering from the list below. You will gain an understanding of how your technical knowledge relates to engineering in the wider world (covering topics such as project management, financing and technology strategy).

When selecting your course options after year 2, you should consider which engineering pathway you intend to take for the remainder of your degree; this decision will impact on your career and your opportunities to seek professional engineering status through the Engineering Council in the UK.

  • Biomedical
  • Chemical and Process
  • Civil and Offshore
  • Control
  • Electrical and Opto-electronic
  • Information
  • Solid Materials and Mechanics
  • Thermofluids and Turbomachinery

"I think I will be a Biomedical engineer – it combines all disciplines (mechanical, chemical, civil, etc) and applies that to our own bodies, meaning we can see the effects of it up front. The biomedical modules have also been the ones I've enjoyed studying most."

Nobel, 4th Year, Lincoln College

Exams

To successfully pass the MEng in Engineering Science, you must pass four sets of University Examinations: Preliminary Examinations (Prelims) at the end of your first year, and three further sets of examinations of the Final Honour School (Finals or FHS) at the end of each subsequent year. These are public examinations and differ from collections you may sit periodically in college to help you and your tutors to assess your progress. You will also have to pass practical work (assessed coursework). 



Examiners are appointed independently from among the teaching staff, and are formally independent but are required to make the examination reflect the content of the lecture courses and their accompanying tutorial example sheets.

A useful guide to examinations, including how to prepare and enter for examinations is available here.

Projects

In your third-year design project, you will write the sort of detailed design proposal, in teams of 4-5 students, that could be used as the basis for a new product or engineering project. You’ll be making economic and design decisions, choosing between conflicting priorities and allocating work amongst the group. This will take place in the project meetings which you'll arrange alongside your weekly classes with an academic.

In your fourth and final year, you will choose six specialist options from across engineering science. You can see a list of current options and details of the 4th year project at the link below.

"This summer I worked in a research group writing code to identify tumours on MRI images from cancer patients, as part of a project to find new techniques for diagnosis and treatment. This was a fantastic experience and has made me want to discover even more about the multiple potential applications of engineering in the healthcare sector."

Ambre, 3rd Year, St Edmund Hall