Module ICL-1014:
Engineering Design

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to equip students with the necessary design skills to undertake an engineering based project. Learner will use their knowledge to undertake a given brief where they must demonstrate the skills that they have learned throughout the module. The module prepares students for the Work based project which will be undertaken in the third year.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

Engineering product development

  • Review product design requirements through the use of tools like the requirement trees
  • Apply brainstorming techniques to engineering problem solving
  • Produce product design specifications that identify and prioritise design requirements and design definition
  • Determine a product’s architecture, understanding the importance of geometries, dimensions and tolerances
  • Understand and apply dimensional tolerances to engineering product drawings
  • Integrate industrial design issues such as aesthetics and ergonomics with core engineering design concerns including functionality, and design for manufacture to design products to customer specifications
  • Understand and apply calculations and estimations to evaluate unit costs for a product design
  • Understand and apply calculations and estimations to evaluate the unit weight for a product design
  • Communicate product designs, including drawings, solid and assembly modelling, producing product reports and making presentations

Engineering Design

  • Propose engineering designs to open ended engineering problems that are feasible in terms engineering mechanics, economics, and other competing requirements of the design
  • Illustrate simple design concepts with hand drawings
  • Use industry standard computational tools to aid the application of theoretical models to the quantitative design of functional systems
  • Put forward reasoned arguments for how these designs address the product design specification, whilst appreciating the uncertainties and gaps in design data
  • Understand how teams of engineers can work together to solve complex problems
  • Communicate design ideas and solutions and the rationale behind them with sketches, detailed drawings, technical reports and presentations to various stakeholders
  • Analyse the stages of an engineering design project

Materials Science

  • Understand basic concepts of material properties and material structures.
  • Have knowledge of specific material classes: metals, polymers and ceramics; and how to extend this to hybrid material classes e.g. composites and foams.
  • Be familiar with concepts in materials of: selection, processing, applications in engineering, behaviour in use including: degradation, fracture and failure.
  • Think about and link concepts in materials: from everyday knowledge, the underpinning science, and engineering applications; and appreciate the importance of materials understanding in all engineering disciplines.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the design process.

  2. Effectively apply knowledge of product development.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
REPORT Design Scenario Report

Written report covering the product design for the given scenario.

REPORT Product Development Report

Written report covering a product development process.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


A series of interactive lectures, web-based learning, problem solving exercises, individual and group activities and linked tutorials.

Private study

Tutor-directed private study, including individual assessments.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Apply an understanding and appreciation of continuous improvement techniques
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Systematically review factors affecting the implementation of a project, including safety and sustainability;
  • Plan, budget, organise and manage people and resources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Cather, H., Morris,R,. Philip,M. and Rose,C. 2001. Design Engineering. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann

Simmons, C. and Maguire, D. 2004. Manual of Engineering Drawing. Oxford: Elsevier Newnes

Tooley, M., and Dingle, L. 2004. Higher National Engineering. Oxford: Elsevier Newnes

Courses including this module