Prospective students

Founded in 2001 and inspired by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Engineering Design programme aims to develop high calibre engineers with the skills needed to work in multidisciplinary design teams and to lead large-scale engineering projects. Key features of the programme are as follows:

  • A unique course for future engineering leaders.
  • Industrial experience before you graduate through summer placements and an assessed year in industry, providing excellent career prospects.
  • Flexibility of study, allowing students to select a specialisation in Aerospace, Civil or Mechanical Engineering after year 1 and to choose from a wide range of options in later years of the course.
  • Bespoke Engineering Design modules, allowing students to benefit from leading expertise in design research and techniques.
  • Opportunities to work in interdisciplinary teams on applied engineering projects with the course’s industrial partners.
  • A small close-knit community of staff and students, with cohort sizes of only 20-30 students each year.
  • The information below summarises our selection process for those interested in applying.

Programme Aims

The programme aims to:

  • Produce engineering graduates with the necessary foundation skills and knowledge to lead multi-disciplinary engineering design projects.
  • Teach a range of design methods and give an overview of the latest developments in design research.
  • Give an understanding of the basic concepts behind aerospace, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.
  • Teach via a combination of engineering science units together with problem-based learning using multi-disciplinary design projects.
  • Give an engineering systems approach to design including the effects of legal, environmental and business requirements.
  • Give a specialist competence in one discipline to Master's level.
  • Give a real understanding of engineering industry gained through an industrial placement(s).
  • Develop a culture of self-learning through challenging projects and industrial placements, which require knowledge and transferable skills beyond the taught lecture material.
  • Give students experience of working on an interdisciplinary group design project in collaboration with an industrial partner.
  • Continue to attract outstanding students irrespective of background or disability.

Entry requirements

In selecting candidates for this programme we shall be looking for:

  • A good grounding in Maths and Physics or Maths and Further Maths.
  • One or more other subjects to a high level equivalent to A level. Preferably there will be some non-scientific study.
  • Some demonstration of leadership in some of their wide-ranging extra-curricular activities.
  • An interest in technical or engineering subjects.
  • A real grasp of some sort of activity that requires technical understanding. This last is understood in the widest sense so a good grasp of the technical aspects of some sport, music, theatre, modelling etc.

If you are keen to apply for this programme and require more information on our entry requirements please visit Undergraduate study.

Admissions procedure and overseas students

The application procedure operates as follows:

  1. You apply via UCAS for the programme.
  2. Around 80 applicants are selected for an interview.
  3. Our admissions team will assess your application by considering your grades, your personal statement and your academic reference. High scoring applicants will then be invited to attend an interview. The interview score will determine whether or not you receive an offer.
  4. If you confirm (via Central Admissions) that you are available on the given date, we will contact you to make the necessary arrangements 1 week prior to the interview day. The interview would be with a representative of one of our companies and a member of staff within the Faculty.
  5. If you live outside the UK, the costs of coming to Bristol may be unreasonable, so we may be able to arrange a telephone interview (these take place at the end of February) via Skype.
  6. As a result of the interviews, we make up to 60 offers of a place on the programme. We use our selection process to choose who gets an offer. Almost all who are selected take up the offer.

If you are an overseas student (non-EU) and wish to discuss the option of an interview via Skype then please contact who can give you further information on the process. 

Admission statement

Please visit the link to view the ‌Engineering design Undergraduate Admissions Statement (PDF, 215kB)

The admission statement should also be read in conjunction with the University Admissions Principles and Procedures.

Contact for central Admissions, who will be processing your application:

Undergraduate Admissions Office
Howard House
Tel: 0117 39 41640

Interview day

Unless you are an overseas student and would find it very difficult to travel, all applicants who are given an interview are expected to attend one of our Interview Days at Bristol. As well as allowing us to learn as much as we can about you, this is also an ideal opportunity for you to find out more about the course and to meet a range of staff, students and industrial partners.

Interview days are always held on a Wednesday and will take place from the end of November to the end of February.

We will contact candidates prior to the interview date with detailed arrangements. Unfortunately, guests will not be able to stay with you during the assessment day.

All interview days take place at the University and a typical programme for the day will be:


Applicants will need to arrive by 9.45am on the interview day. The venue will be Queen's Building, which is located on University Walk. Please report to the porter reception desk upon arrival.

Welcome Talk

There will be a 30-minute talk about the Engineering Design programme given by the Programme Director.


The interview will be undertaken by a member of academic staff and a representative from one of the Engineering Design programme's industrial partners. It will last for approximately 50 minutes will be split into two main parts. The first is aimed at finding out as much as we can about your interests and why you'd like to study on the course. Examples of the type of areas you might be asked to discuss are as follows:

1. Why you want to join the Engineering Design programme?
2. Positions of responsibility (in and out of school) that you have taken over the last two years.
3. Examples of where you have shown initiative or leadership.
4. Examples of situations where you have worked with others to achieve objectives.
5. Interests you have in engineering and problem solving activities beyond what you have covered in your academic studies.

The second part of the interview aims to test your engineering knowledge and problem solving skills. Please don't worry about the questions as we are not trying to catch you out and they are likely to be quite open-ended with no single right solution; we simply want to see how you tackle the problem and how well you can explain your ideas and answers to us. 


One of our current students will take applicants on a tour of Queen’s Building, this will give you the opportunity to see the laboratory facilities, lecture rooms, library etc.

Group Activity

Applicants will be split into groups to undertake this 1-hour session, which is student led. This is not formally assessed.

Tea and coffee will be available on arrival and a buffet lunch will be provided at 12.30. This provides the perfect opportunity to chat to industrial partners and academic staff to learn more about what the course can offer you.


The day is expected to finish at 15.45.

Some people prefer to stay overnight, please visit the link if you would like information regarding accommodation.

Please also visit the following page for further information:


Please visit:


By email: Tom Ringwood 

By post:University of Bristol
Queens School of Engineering
Room 0.16
Queen’s Building
University Walk

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