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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

This page describes the course as presented under normal circumstances. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and current uncertainty around large gatherings, it’s currently necessary to replace the residential schools described with directed practical work and activities that you’ll carry out at home and online. These changes will remain in force for as long as the pandemic prevents the residential schools from taking place. Therefore, whether you attend a residential school (as described below) or carry out the practical work / activities will depend on when you undertake the affected modules.

This thorough general engineering qualification meets the educational requirements to register as an Incorporated Engineer; the combination of this degree and an accredited MSc meets the educational requirements to register as a Chartered Engineer. The course covers the techniques, concepts and knowledge required by professional engineers. You’ll begin by exploring the fundamentals of this creative and analytical subject, using a range of methods underpinned by science and mathematics. Later, you’ll choose one of six areas in which to specialise.

Key features of the course

  • Accredited by several of the leading engineering institutions
  • Fulfils the Engineering Council’s educational requirements for Incorporated Engineer status under UK-SPEC1
  • Incorporates individual and team-based projects, practical hands-on activities (usually at residential schools) and remote access experiments
  • Includes the compilation of a personal and professional development plan
  • Allows you to move to our Master of Engineering2 if your aspirations change, even after you’ve started.

1UK-SPEC (UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence) sets out the requirements for UK engineers to achieve professional status.

2Our Master of Engineering (M04) fulfils the Engineering Council’s educational requirements for Chartered Engineer status under UK-SPEC1.

Course Summary



  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 6.5 years
Full time – 4.5 years
Time limit – 12 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • In Stage 1, you’ll study four 30-credit modules – the last includes a compulsory one-week residential school.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two 30-credit core engineering modules, and a 30-credit module in your choice of engineering specialism. You’ll complete Stage 2 with another core 30-credit module that includes the one-week residential school.
  • Next, in Stage 3, you’ll study another 90 credits in your chosen specialism. You’ll conclude your degree with a 30-credit project module.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll begin by studying the extraordinary breadth of contemporary engineering, exploring design, materials, mechanics and engineering practice, including case studies. You’ll work on practical activities at a UK-based residential school, and develop a personal development plan towards qualification goals and professional engineering status.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2, you’ll deepen your understanding of how engineers find solutions for technical problems, with two 30-credit core engineering modules. You’ll also study your first 30-credit module from a choice of engineering specialisms. You’ll complete Stage 2 with another core 30-credit module (which includes another one-week residential school) that will further develop the skills you need to achieve professional status.

Core engineering modules

You'll study both of the following:
Core engineering A (T271)30
Core engineering B (T272)30

Specialist modules

Choose one of six specialisms:
You'll study the following:
Electronics: sensing, logic and actuation (T212)30
Energy and sustainability
You'll study the following:
Energy and sustainability (T213)30
Engineering design
You'll study the following:
Design for engineers (T218)30
Environmental technologies
You'll study the following:
Environmental management 1 (T219)30
Mathematical methods
You'll study the following:
Mathematical methods (MST224)30
Mechanical engineering
You'll study the following:
Mechanical engineering: heat and flow (T229)30

Core engineering module

You’ll finish Stage 2 with another core engineering module, that includes a one-week residential school:
You'll study the following:
Engineering: professions, practice and skills 2 (T276)30

Stage 3 (120 credits)

At Stage 3, you’ll deepen your understanding of engineering and extend your knowledge and skills for your chosen engineering specialism. You’ll conclude this stage with a 30-credit project module.

Specialist modules

You’ll study a further 90 credits in the specialism you chose at Stage 2:
You study all three of the following:
Communications technology (TM355)30
Electronics: signal processing, control and communications (T312)30
Nanoscale engineering (T366) – planned for October 202130
Energy and sustainability
You'll study all three of the following:
Nanoscale engineering (T366) – planned for October 202130
Renewable energy (T313)30
Structural integrity: designing against failure (T357)30
Engineering design
You'll study both of the following:
Innovation: designing for change (T317)60
Structural integrity: designing against failure (T357)30
Environmental technologies
You'll study both of the following:
Innovation: designing for change (T317)60
Environmental management 2 (T319)30
Mathematical methods
You'll study the following:
Structural integrity: designing against failure (T357)30
You'll choose two from:
Deterministic and stochastic dynamics (MS327)30
Graphs, networks and design (MT365)30
Mathematical methods and fluid mechanics (MST326)30
Optimization (M373)30
Mechanical engineering
You'll study all three of the following:
Nanoscale engineering (T366) – planned for October 202130
Mechanical Engineering: computer-aided engineering (T329) – planned for October 202230
Structural integrity: designing against failure (T357)30


You'll study the following:
The engineering project (T452)30

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 14 September 2020.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying online – some modules have a mixture of printed and online material, and others are entirely online. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and producing diagrams and screenshots
  • practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
  • working with specialist reading material
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
  • using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
  • some modules require you to use specialist software
  • some modules require you to attend a residential school

If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree. The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

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Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification; however, you’ll need some knowledge of mathematics, an interest in technology, and the ability to read and write to a good standard of English.

Check you have the necessary skills at

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How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £18,576*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Residential schools

This qualification includes two compulsory modules that each includes a compulsory residential school. For each residential school you must pay an additional charge of £300 (2020/21) to cover the cost of accommodation and meals. You’ll pay this charge when you book the residential school, after you’ve enrolled on the module. You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.

Skills for career development

The areas of knowledge, competence and skills that this degree develops include: the ability to use specialist knowledge to solve problems creatively; collaborative working and communication skills; project management skills; the ability to turn concepts into reality.

Your study will give you the skills expected of an Incorporated Engineer, in providing solutions to engineering problems. These could involve using existing or developing new technologies and designs; refining production systems; or developing new services.

On graduation, this qualification (combined with the appropriate evidence of professional practice) will enable you to apply (via an appropriate engineering institution) to the Engineering Council for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.

If you’re looking to gain Chartered Engineer (CEng) status, we offer an integrated masters degree which combines undergraduate and postgraduate study – for more information see our Master of Engineering (M04).

An alternative route to CEng is achieving our Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) then studying our Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering (E22), leading to the MSc in Engineering (F46). On graduation, you'll be able to apply (via an appropriate engineering institution) to the Engineering Council for registration as Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Career relevance

Our BEng (Hons) is a general engineering qualification that provides an entry into a wide range of more specialist engineering roles. Examples include:

  • mechanical engineer
  • electronic engineer
  • structural engineer
  • production engineer
  • biomedical engineer
  • environmental engineer
  • materials engineer
  • other roles within engineering management
  • manufacturing engineer


Our BEng (Hons) fulfils the Engineering Council’s educational requirements for Incorporated Engineer status under UK-SPEC1. Our BEng (Hons) combined with an accredited MSc fulfils the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer status.

The following professional engineering institutions accredit our BEng (Hons)2:

Logos of accrediting organisations

Visit the Engineering Council’s website for details of current accreditation, including qualification specialism requirements and time limits.

1UK-SPEC (UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence) sets out the requirements for UK engineers to achieve professional status.

2The new Mechanical Engineering route hasn’t been reviewed by the institutions yet, therefore, that particular route isn’t yet accredited

Other careers

Qualified engineers are much in demand for their rigorous approach to problem solving and high level of numeracy. These skills open up a wide range of other career opportunities – for example in management or finance – as well as in engineering itself. Opportunities exist in research, design and development, commissioning, project management, technical sales and marketing, technical journalism and patent work. With appropriate experience and qualifications it’s also possible to be a self-employed consultant.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

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Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 11/02/2021

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