BEng Product Design Engineering


Program Description

The 3 year (4 with placement) BEng degree provides a solid foundation in all the basic engineering technologies.

The main objective of this engineering degree is to produce graduates with a broad and balanced set of skills and attributes required for the design and manufacture of innovative technical products. It is a variant of the Mechanical Engineering degree, which after the first year, focuses on design process methodology, materials, manufacturing and analysis.

The integrated curriculum connects content from different modules through team-based and individual projects, which act as a core activity each year.


We put emphasis on hands-on, project-based learning, and invest heavily in our state-of-the-art facilities and flexible project spaces to support this activity.

Professional Accreditations

Both the BEng and MEng degrees are accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Industry Links

The School has strong links with both local and international engineering employers and has longstanding relationships with companies such as Bombardier, Leckey, Munster Simms Engineering, Sensata, HeartSine (Stryker), Caterpillar, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and Rolls Royce.

The curriculum is heavily informed by industry representatives who sit on an advisory board within the School.

Career Development

Students have the opportunity to gain a place on the Engineering Leadership Programme and a range of Employability Development Workshops.

The School actively encourages one-year work placements, offering preparation through its Employability Programme and support through its dedicated Placement Officer. You can spend up to 12 months getting hands-on experience of a real engineering environment with a relevant company. Students have gained work placements with organisations such as Glen Dimplex, Dyson, Lotus, Survitec, Collins Aerospace, Terex, Leckey, Seven Technologies Group, Whale, JLR, Randox, Andor, Kingspan, Nacco, Intel and Accenture.

Students also have the opportunity to work or study outside the UK through programmes such as IAESTE, Erasmus, Study Abroad and Study USA. In recent years, students have undertaken placements in companies in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Malaysia and the USA.

World-Class Facilities

The School has a wide range of experimental facilities to support structures, materials and manufacturing teaching.

Internationally Renowned Experts

The School has an international reputation for its contributions to the development of engineering education by playing a leading role in the CDIO initiative.

Student Experience

Teaching is carried out in the context of conceiving, designing, implementing and operating products or systems; hence better-preparing graduates for professional practice.

BEng students who demonstrate a high level of performance may be invited to transfer to the equivalent MEng degree at the end of Stage 2.

Course Structure

Stage 1

Students are introduced to core product design engineering principles and mathematics, and they undertake 3 small team-based projects, designed to introduce them to the concept of professional engineering practice and to develop personal and interpersonal skills. This is supported through disciplinary modules in engineering design, mechanics of materials, electrical and dynamic systems, and a dedicated laboratory programme.

Stage 1 (compulsory) modules are as follows:

  • Introduction to Product Design
  • Laboratory Programme 1
  • Mathematics 1
  • Mechanics of Materials 1
  • Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 1
  • Dynamic Systems 1
  • Engineering Design 1

Stage 2

Stage 2 builds on the knowledge already gained with a series of more advanced engineering science subjects including dynamics, and mechanics of materials. Mathematics and computing focus more on their application to engineering than basic theory, while modules in manufacturing technology and design provide hands-on practical experience of manufacturing processes and computer-aided design (CAD). Students are also introduced to the legal aspects of engineering practice in the professional studies module, and are given the skills required for future work placements and careers in the employability module.

Small group projects form a significant part of Stage 2, and they focus on the production and testing of prototypes, along with an understanding of the influence of manufacturing processes on design. The supporting disciplinary modules enable the application of relevant technical knowledge, professional skills and attributes.

Stage 2 (compulsory) modules are as follows:

  • Professional Studies 2
  • Mechanics of Materials 2
  • Dynamics 2
  • Design and Manufacturing 2
  • Design & Prototyping Projects 2
  • Maths and Computing 2
  • Manufacturing Technology 2

Stage 2 Optional Courses

  • Employability 2

Stage 3

In Stage 3, BEng students undertake a major individual project. Additional industry-focussed project activities are supported by a number of external collaborators. Engineering science subjects focus on materials and manufacturing.

Stage 3 (compulsory) modules are as follows:

  • Project 3B
  • Professional Studies 3
  • Product Design & Development Studies 3
  • Computer-Aided Engineering 3
  • Plastics Engineering 3
  • Manufacturing 3

Career Prospects

Graduates have been successful in gaining high-quality jobs in the discipline of product design engineering. The majority are working in manufacturing companies or design consultancies in the UK and Ireland. Their broad skill sets and experience have enabled them to fit in equally well in both small, dynamic companies and larger organisations.

Graduates have secured jobs in a variety of sectors including automotive, domestic appliances, design consultancy, electronics, packaging, materials handling, polymers, renewables, aerospace and medical devices.

Companies employing recent graduates include Glen Dimplex, Dyson, Lotus, Survitec, Collins Aerospace, Terex, Leckey, Seven Technologies Group, Whale, JLR, Randox, Andor, Kingspan, Nacco, Intel and Accenture.

Whilst the vast majority of graduates are employed in product design or design engineering, some others have developed careers in other sectors such as management and education.

Alumni Success

Many of the School's graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:

  • Michael McKay: Flight Operations Director for ESA Mars and Lunar Missions, European Space Agency
  • Michael Ryan: Vice President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast
  • Bob Bell: Chief Technical Officer, Renault Sport F1
  • Air Commodore David Case: Royal Air Force

Prizes and Awards

The School receives valued support from the business community and private sponsors enabling us to offer a substantial range of scholarships, prizes and awards. Full details can be found on the University Scholarships and Awards Handbook online.

Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's, you can have the opportunity to gain a wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Learning and Teaching

The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering plays a leading role in an international initiative to reform engineering education which involves well over 100 universities worldwide. Initial support for participation in this initiative was secured through funding to set up a Centre of Excellence in Active and Interactive Learning at Queen's. As a result, our degree programmes have many innovative features that enhance student learning.

Through the programme, there is an emphasis placed on the development of a balanced set of personal, interpersonal and professional skills.

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential. Students studying for the BEng in Product Design Engineering are provided with a broad range of learning experiences to enable them to develop as individuals, to engage with subject experts from both academia and industry, and to develop an enquiring mind to enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners. Access to industry-standard engineering tools, a world-class library facility and courses taught by industrial experts provides a breadth of opportunity to develop students’ interests in the product design and development sector, supported by formal lectures and tutorials. There is a wide range of learning opportunities, including:

  • E-Learning technologies
    The Canvas Virtual Learning Environment provides access to a wealth of information and supporting learning information, including additional module resources, reading lists and message boards to communicate with class members.
  • Individual research projects
    As part of the degree, students will undertake a research project in their final year in conjunction with an academic supervisor, looking in detail at a relevant engineering topic. This will provide students with the opportunity to engage with the engineering design and development process while embedding core skills in project management, reporting and presentation skills.
  • Lectures
    Formal lectures are timetabled to introduce basic information and concepts about key topics and themes in Product Design Engineering and to provide a starting point to guide the further self-directed private study. This provides an invaluable opportunity to both engage with academic subject experts and also to gain feedback and advice. Through the degree course, a number of lectures are also given by industrial subject matter experts, to ensure that students have the opportunity to discuss the industrial applications.
  • Personal Tutor
    Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them during the year to support their academic development.
  • Practicals
    A key aspect of any engineering degree is the ability to be able to competently transfer engineering scientific principles into practice. Students will be provided with numerous opportunities to develop core technical skills through practical laboratories, design exercises and projects throughout their degree programme, and will become confident in the use of a wide range of industrial standard engineering design and analysis tools.
  • Self-directed study
    This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
  • Tutorials
    The majority of lectures are supported through tutorial sessions, providing opportunities for discussion about problems posed in accompanying lectures. Again, tutorials provide valuable opportunities to engage with academic staff to obtain help and feedback outside of the formal lecture environment.
  • Work placements
    As part of our sandwich programme, students may elect to take a work-placement after Stage 2. An employability programme provides support on application and CV completion, interviews and what to expect on placement, while our dedicated Placement Officer provides both information on current placement opportunities, and ‘on placement’ support.


Details of assessment are outlined below:

  • The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Just under 50% of modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Other modules are assessed solely through assignments or project work. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.


As students’ progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
  • Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
  • Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.

Entrance requirements

A level requirements

  • ABB including Mathematics and at least one from Physics (preferred), Biology, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Technology and Design or Double Award Life & Health Sciences.

Irish leaving certificate requirements

  • H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematics and at least one from Physics (preferred), Biology or Chemistry

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • 33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including Mathematics and Physics (preferred), Biology or Chemistry

Access Course

  • Successful completion of Access Course with 80% in each module.
  • Must be a relevant Access Course including two modules in Mathematics (Level 3) and two modules in Physics (Level 3).

BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma

  • QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 120 credits at Distinction grade and 60 credits at Merit grade, with Distinctions required in four specified units (40 credits), including Mathematics for Technicians and Further Mathematics for Technicians.
  • RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 780 GLH at Distinction grade (including all externally assessed units) and 300 GLH at Merit grade, with Distinctions required in four specified units, including Engineering Principles and Further Engineering Mathematics.
  • Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma must be relevant.

BTEC Higher Diploma

  • Those with good grades in a relevant Higher National Diploma will be considered on their individual merits for entry to Stage 2.


  • A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirement is also met.


  • Applicants not offering Physics at A-level should have a minimum of a grade C in GCSE Physics or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC.

Option to transfer

  • Transfers between BEng and MEng may be possible at the end of Stage 2.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes

INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) £4,395
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £9,250
Other (non-UK) EU £4,395
International £20,800

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Product Design Engineering costs

Year 2 students incur travel costs to Belfast Metropolitan College to attend a compulsory module lasting 12 weeks at an approximate cost of £50.

How do I fund my study?

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. Today, we are ranked in the top 173 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2020) in the top 140 in the wo ... Read More

Founded in 1845 as Queen's College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. Today, we are ranked in the top 173 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2020) in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020), and a member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, combining excellence in research and education with a student-centred ethos. Read less