Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to H1K809


  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>


  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>


  • This module is for students intending to fulfil the requirements of the MSc Design & Operations Engineering
  • The module enhances graduates' understanding of the design process and the way advanced theoretical work contributes to design.
  • The module gives an introduction to the New Product Development process (NPD) and how it operates in a real engineering environment.


  • Design (& Prototype Build) Project

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of how specialised, theoretical knowledge supports the design process.
  • An understanding of the different stages of a complex engineering design process, from problem conception to detailed design.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Specification, planning and management of an engineering design project.
  • Application of specialised theoretical knowledge gained from other courses to the novel solution of a problem.
  • Preparation and delivery of an in-depth technical report.
  • Preparation and delivery of a group technical presentation.
  • Preparation and delivery of a concise commercial feasibility report.
  • Providing an imaginative and innovative solution to a complex technical problem.
  • The specialised use of IT relevant to engineering, such as project management software, electronic circuit simulation software and fluid simulation software.
  • Application of design processes in a professional environment.
  • Provision of a prototype of the design.
Key Skills:
  • Effective communication of advanced technical information.
  • Team working in combination with independent research.
  • Ability to seek out relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Ability to organise a body of information into a coherent structure.
  • Time and resource management.
  • Capacity for self-learning in familiar and unfamiliar situations.
  • Effective coordination with technicians to assist delivery of prototype.

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

  • Students undertake a multi-disciplinary group design project which requires to application of highly specialised and advanced computational and analytical knowledge and skills. They are required to plan and manage the project with the assistance of a design tutor who acts in a consultative capacity. The assessment of this element is based upon a substantial written report which brings together, and takes responsibility for, the specialised contributions of team members. All aspects of the project are taken into consideration, including the feasibility report, the presentation, the quality of the final design, the management of the project and team-working. The report must demonstrate the ability to work within the bounds of professional practice.
  • The student team works in conjunction with technicians to ensure manufacture of the prototype.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Design Lectures 1 1 in term 1 1 hour 1
Project Meetings 12 Typically 1 per week 1 hour (first meeting only) or 2 hours 12
Preparation, design work and reading 187
Prototype planning preparation, build, demonstration, and report of prototype build Over three or four weeks 100
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Feasibility Report 5%
Presentation 10%
Final Report 30%
Quality of Final Design 15%
Teamworking 10%
Planning Project Management and Project Execution 10%
Prototype Demonstation, including Report and Teamwork 20%

Formative Assessment:


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