Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to H1K809


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module will provide an in-depth understanding of modern design and product development concepts and new production processes.
  • The module will also provide students with an advanced understanding of the concepts of process modelling and optimisation for various manufacturing processes.
  • The module will provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of product improvement of both a technical and management nature.


  • Design fundamentals.
  • Design planning.
  • Design optimisation.
  • Conceptual design.
  • Embodiment design.
  • Product development.
  • Product management.
  • Quality/product Improvement strategies e.g. Six Sigma.
  • The product and process improvement process.
  • Manufacturing process modelling and process planning.
  • Optimisation techniques and analytical methods in machining.
  • Analytical methods and FEA modelling in metal forming.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Become aware of modern design methodologies and their implementation in product design and development processes.
  • Acquire knowlledge for modelling and optimisation in the design process.
  • An understanding of how theoretical design techniques are applied in industry.
  • Ability to apply systematic methods to the implementation and management of the design process and product development through group and individual work.
  • Understanding of the key ingredients of effective team-working and direct experience of applying them.
  • An advanced awareness of the approaches and strategies of product and business improvement.
  • Understanding of the main building blocks of process modelling, process planning and optimisation.
  • Understanding of analytical methods and thier application to key manufacturing processes.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to apply a theoretical optimisation and stochastic methods to solve design and production problems.
  • Ability to evaluate and select metal forming processes effectively.
  • Process planning of a machined component with medium complexity.
  • Ability to apply systematic methods to the assessment and management of a manufacturing facility.
  • Ability to apply specialised product improvement methods including Six Sigma, Shainin methods etc.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Highly specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Highly specialised use of information technology (IT) relevant to the engineering profession.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.
  • Teamworking within small group assessment and problem solving activities relevant to modern businesses.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module consists of the three courses Advanced Engineering Design, Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Product Improvement Methods.
  • All three courses will be delivered in lectures that cover design and product development principles.
  • The lectures in Advanced Engineering Design are complemented and consolidated by two in-company exercises, each of one day (7 hours) duration, to give the students an understanding of the industrial context of their work.
  • The lectures in Advanced Manufacturing Technology"are supplemented by a 2-hour workshop exercise to promote the understanding of FE modelling.
  • The lectures in Product Improvement Methods are supplemented by a 6-hour workshop exercise to promote the understanding of robust design.
  • The workshop style lectures are complemented and consolidated by means of in-company teaching day activities where students operate in small groups to apply methodologies to real in-company operations, where they present their findings and recommendations to senior management. Where relevant this consolidation will be done in computer laboratories e.g. discrete event simulation.
  • Students are able to make use of staff 'Tutorial Hours' to discuss any aspect of the module with teaching staff on a one-to-one basis. These are sign up sessions available for up to one hour per week per lecture course.
  • Written timed examinations are appropriate because of the wide range of analytical, in-depth material covered in this module and to demonstrate the ability to solve advanced problems independently.
  • The written examinations are supplemented by written coursework assignments based upon computational work. Such written assignments provide the mechanism for the assessment of a student's ability to perform independent investigation, analysis and reporting.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Advanced Engineering Design Lectures 10 Typically 1 per week 1 Hour 10
Advanced Manufacturing Technology Lectures 10 Typically 1 per week 1 Hour 10
Product Improvement Methods Lectures 4 1 per week 3 Hour 12
Advanced Engineering Design In-company Exercises 2 7 hours 14
Advanced Manufacturing Technology Laboratory Exercises 1 2 2
Product Improvement Methods Laboratory Exercises 1 6 6
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign up sessions Up to 1 Hour 8
Preparation and Reading 138
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 90%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Advanced Engineering Design/Product Improvement 2 hours 44% No
Advanced Manufacturing Technology 2 hours 56% No
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Advanced Engineering Design 4 weeks 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Students are provided with typical review questions throughout the course which they can attempt to answer and seek feedback

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University