Programme Specification Mechatronics

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Programme Specification


Please note:

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of
the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be
expected to achieve and
demonstrate if full advantage is taken of the learning
opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module can be
found in Module Specifications and othe
r programme documentation and online at

The accuracy of the information in this document is reviewed by the University and
may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

Awarding body/institution;


Loughborough University

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Teaching institution (if different);

Details of accreditation by a
professional/statutory body;


Name of the final award;

MSc in Mechatronics

Programme title;


CAS code;


Date at which the programme
specification was written or



1. Aims of the programme:

The aim of the programme is to provide a postgraduate programme in the field of
Mechatronics. The programme is intended to enable wor
king effectively in integrated
product design as either product champion or at management level. The programme
will empower the industrialist to include interdisciplinary integration particularly in the
field of embedding microprocessor and microcontrolle
r technology into products and

2. Relevant subject benchmark statements and other external and
internal reference points used to inform programme outcomes:

External references

Benchmark statements for Engineering.

Industry input to steer progr
amme content and delivery has been through an
Industrial Liaison Committee which meets annually.

Internal references

University’s Professional Development unit

Best practices in distance learning developed by the

Support Centre.

partmental Teaching and Learning Committee.


3. Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

The generic nature of design and the

phases and activities within the overall
design process.

The role of human mental processes in design.

The relationships between design manufacturing and commerce and the
principles of new product development.

Scientific principles of structural analysis.

The role and limitations of finite element modelling and structural analysis.

Best practice and new techniques in CAE and related computer analysis.

Management and people centred issues relating to CAE.

The application of design techniques specific to par
ticular products and

Microprocessor architectures and interfacing,
analogue circuits,
sensors, digital control applications,

PLC controllers,

software design and system
integration to solve complex engineering problems.

Technical soft
ware development.

Methods to analyse and synthesise mechanisms and linkages.

Robotic manipulators and their control.

Defining and manipulating mathematical quantities.

Direct and inverse kinematics and trajectory planning of manipulators.

Mathematical meth
ods/algorithms used in digital image processing including an
appreciation of limitations and applications.

Appropriate scientific principles applied to industrial machine vision problems.

Current and future practice in industrial machine vision.

Skills an
d other attributes:

a. Subject
specific cognitive skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

Appreciate the broad range of influences and activities within the design process
and explain their significance.

engineering problems to assist in the product design process.

Model and analyse engineering structures and complex systems.

Contribute to the innovative development of a new product.

Demonstrate design reasoning and problem solving in the context of
design and implementation, and an understanding of electronic hardware.

Demonstrate working from a requirement specification to analyse, design and
implement a computer
based system.

Develop solutions for robotic applications.

Analyse and sy
nthesise linkages and mechanisms.

Select suitable image processing algorithms, industrial capabilities and
limitations of computer based digital image processing.

Demonstrate innovation in solving industrial machine vision problems.

b. Subject
c practical skills:

On successful completion of the programme, students should be able to:

Use the design process to plan and carry out projects.

Apply effectively design methods within the new product design process.

Select suitable computer based t
echniques for engineering design problems.

Undertake circuit simulation and design.

Use range of computer based analysis and modelling techniques.


Select and conduct experimental procedures to support analysis and design.

Generate new ideas and develop and evaluate a range of solutions.

emonstrate circuit construction, integrated hardware troubleshooting,
software realisation and debugging, and logical fault finding.

Design and implement a modest computer based system.

Use linkage design and analysis software; use simulation packages
machine linkages and robots.

Use techniques for the design and analysis of mechanisms.

Simulate, analyse and modify electromechanical control systems.

Apply a wide range of digital image processing methods to problems.

Select and use appropriat
e computer hardware.

Adapt analytical procedures to suit new or unfamiliar situations.

Plan and execute simulations and practical tests using appropriate

c. Key/transferable skills:

On successful completion of this programme, students

should be able to:

Plan and monitor multi
disciplinary projects.

Appreciate the central role of design within engineering.

Demonstrate competence in using computer based engineering techniques.

Analyse and understand complex engineering problems.

Adopt systematic approach to integrating design requirements, materials and


Use teamworking skills to enhance design process.

Use time and resources effectively.

Demonstrate logical reasoning working in groups.

Generate and use te
chnical evidence in the solution of engineering problems.

Use robotics in real world applications.

Solve problems through systematic analysis and where necessary learn new

theories, concepts and methods in unfamiliar situations.

Select and analyse

data to solve problems and present data to provide

increased understanding.

Design experiments and analyse data.

Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be

achieved and demonstrated:

All modules are delivered as block taugh
t one
week modules to provide access to
both full
time and part
time students. Each module is taught by a mixture of lectures,
seminars and practical work. Assessment is in the form of examinations and/or
written coursework and/or oral presentation of in
class assignments as described in
the module specifications. A full
time programme administrator provides support to
the programme. A module timetable provides structure to the programme. A
coursework hand
in timetable system is provided to control stu
dent working across
the year. Research skills are developed through coursework assignments and in
particular through an industrial project that includes an exhibition of work, oral
presentation, a research paper, in addition to the conventional thesis.

. Programme structures and requirements , levels, modules, credits
and awards:

he programme is the responsibility of the Wolfson School of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering. It is studied on a full
time or part
time basis and leads to
one of the fo
llowing awards:


180 credits

Postgraduate Diploma (

120 credits

Postgraduate Certificate (

60 credits


The programme is made up of taught modules and a substantial project. All modules
have a credit weight. The credit weight for a mod
ule is awarded to a candidate who
gains a module mark of not less than 50%. The lowest acceptable mark for a module
is 40% (the minimum performance level). Full
time candidates may be awarded an
MSc after accumulating 90 credits for their project, 60 cre
dits from taught modules
and being assessed at the minimum performance level or better in further modules
with a total credit weight of 30. The modules are as follows:



Module Weight


Structural Analysis



Mechanisms &



Computer Aided Engineering



Software Engineering & Computing



Eng. Design Process & Project Management



Integration Project



Industrial Machine Vision






Electronics and Computational Systems



Major Project (part



Major Project (full


5. Criteria for admission to the programme:

Admission is normally by an honours degree in engineering or physical science
Other academic or professional qualifications such as a chartered professional
qualification are considered on their merits. Industrial or other appropriate experience
may also be used as part qualification for admission to the programme

6. Informati
on about assessment regulations:

Students are assessed on each module using coursework and/or examination.
Assessment of a module normally takes place at the end of the semester the module
is taught in. The individual design project is assessed at the end

of the programme.
Reassessment may take place during the University’s special assessment period.
The pass mark to achieve credit for a module is 50%. There is also a minimum
performance pass
level, which is set at not less than 40% in the module assessme
In order to pass the MSc students must:

take modules with a total credit weight of 180, including the project module;

obtain 150 credits;

pass modules with a further credit weight of 30 at the minimum 40% performance

In terms of marks in t
he module assessments, this means that students must obtain:

50% or more in their project module (yielding 70 credits full
time/90 credits part

50% or more in modules with a credit weight of 60 part
time/80 full

40% or more in further modules
with a credit weight of 30.

In order to obtain distinction in the MSc, students must obtain 180 credits and have a
weighted average assessment score over all offered modules of at least 70%.

7. Indicators of quality:

An independent assessment of all univ
ersity departments by the Higher Education
Funding Council for England (HEFCE) awarded 23 out of a possible 24 for teaching
in the Wolfson School. In the 2001 RAE exercise, the Wolfson School of Mechanical
& Manufacturing Engineering was rated grade 5, cov
ering the whole range of the
School’s activities. Interdisciplinary and collaborative work is one of the School’s key


strengths and takes place at all levels within the University as well as with external
national and international organisations.

8. Part
icular support for learning:

Careers Centre:

The Careers

provides support and
advice for students seeking careers
guidance and help with job
searching techniques
. In addition to its resource and
information room the Careers Centre organises careers fairs, employer
presentations, management and skills courses, a workshadowing scheme

and has a
comprehensive website containing vacancies, information, advice and an online
careers management system. Careers consultations and shorter quick advice
sessions are available with careers advisers. In the UK Graduate Careers survey
2005, spons
ored by The Times, Loughborough University Careers Centre was rated
as one of the most used of all careers services in Higher Education.


The University Library prov
ides advanced support for student learning in a purpose
built building and electronically via the web.
Open for upwards of 80 hours per week
during semester, the Library holds 700,000 printed books and journals and provides
access to 6,000 electronic jour
nals and 200 subject
specific electronic databases.
Electronic resources include the Library catalogue, e
books, online reading lists, and
the federated search tool MetaLib. Over 100 networked PCs, networked printing
facilities and self
service photocopi
ers are available, and part of the building is
wireless networked. There is a variety of study environments, including a large open
area for students working in groups; group study rooms bookable by students online
and equipped with data projectors; indiv
idual study desks and private carrels. Library
staff deliver an extensive programme of information literacy and study skills teaching,
including lunchtime sessions on specific information resources, and training tailored
for academic departments. Support

is available from seven staffed enquiry points,
printed and online guides, and the email enquiry service
Ask a librarian

Computing Services:

Computing Services provide
s the University IT facilities and infrastructure. General
purpose computer resources across campus are open 24 hours

a day

and more
specialist computer laboratories are provided

partnership with departments.
Students in halls of residence are support
ed in connecting their computers to
managed facilities and the Internet via the University’s high speed
The University’s virtual learning environment “LEARN” provides on and off
campus access to web
based teaching materials provided by
lecturing staff.

Students have access from off campus, as well as from campus, to their University
managed filestore, via the University’s Web File Access service. Support in
the use of the University’s IT services is available from Computing
Services’ Help
Desk in person, by telephone, and via e

Professional Development:

Professional Development contributes to enhancing the student learning experience
through supporting the professional development needs of staff, and by fostering and
promoting effective practice in relation to learning, teaching, assessment and


research. This work is led primarily by the Academic Practice and Quality (APQ)
Team within


PD works directly with staff and groups who wish to develop more effective learning
and teaching methods, including the application of learning technologies which is
supported by a dedicated team within PD.

Other development opportunities are provid
ed in response to institutional strategic
priorities and identified departmental needs.

Counselling Service:

Students sometimes have difficulty with as
pects of their academic work where it can
also help to talk with someone outside their department. Counsellors offer
confidential, individual assistance.

Counselling Service can help with various aspects of the learning process such as
motivation, procra
stination, anxiety and panic attacks, block in creativity. They can
also help with a huge variety of personal problems.



EngStudent is mainly an onl
ine resource for engineering students, including over 100
links to resources in engineering, key skills and lifestyle. It exists to support student
learning within the Faculty of Engineering, and aims to identify and promote the
numerous resources that ar
e available to help engineering students to get the most
out of their time at Loughborough University. There is a wide range of material from
specific programme details to useful engineering websites, IT tutorials, advice on
techniques for efficient study

and giving presentations.

In addition to the online resources, all engineering students also have the opportunity
to hire out digital video recording equipment to enable them to take photographs or to
produce digital videos for project work or groupwork.

A dedicated computer, with
video editing software, is available on the engineering student support desk which is
located within the Mathematics Learning Support Centre (

Mathematics Learning Support Centre

The Centre, based in the School of Mathematics, is a resource for students,
whatever degree course they are studying. In particular, it aims to help students in
the earlier stages of their studies, who mig
ht benefit from resources and tuition on top
of that normally provided as part of their course. It can provide help with revising
forgotten mathematics, help with basic mathematical techniques and support in
coping with the mathematical demands of a
particular course.

Students can access this help by taking advantage of one or more of the following

Superb resource centre: providing a pleasant, comfortable, working
environment with easy access to tutors, textbooks, computer
based learning,

help leaflets and much more.

Personal mathematics tuition: a ‘drop
in’ surgery to provide help with
mathematics where sympathetic and experienced staff are available to
answer individual queries and give alternative explanations.

Help with statistics: spe
cialist statistics staff available to offer help and advice.


Assistance for students with additional needs: one
one tuition provided
weekly for students with additional needs and who require extra help with

Engineering mathematics materials

available on
line through the HELM
project (Helping Engineers Learn Mathematics). (

Access to mathcentre resources

the UK’s on
line support centre offering
maths help for a range of disci
plines. (

Lunchtime short courses: designed for any student who has not studied
mathematics in a serious way since GCSE.

Diagnostic tests: these can help identify weaknesses and help focus
where it is required.

The Mathematics Learning Support Centre is there to assist students and enable
them to enhance their understanding of mathematics and develop confidence in the


Additional Needs Service:

The Disabilities and Additional Needs Service (DANS) offers support for students and
staff including:

Advice on matters relating to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilitie
Act (SENDA).

Adaptation of course materials into Braille/large print/tape/disk/other formats;
organising mobility training.

BSL interpretation.

Provision of communication support workers.

Note takers in lectures/tutorials.

Assessment of specific support,

equipment and software needs.

Individual/small group tuition for students who have dyslexia.

Representing students’ needs to academic and other University departments;
organising adapted accommodation to meet individual needs.

Helping to organise carers t
o meet any personal care needs.

Organising appropriate support for students who have a mental health

DANS has links with the RNIB Vocational College, Derby College for Deaf People
and the National Autism Society to offer effective support to stud
ents at the
University. It regularly takes advice from other national and local organisations of
and for disabled people.

Where a student has complex support or accommodation needs, contact with DANS
is strongly advised prior to application.

Mental Heal
th Support Service:

The Mental Health Support Service provides practical assistance to students who
ce barriers to their education as a result of a mental health difficulty. Help is based
on an assessment of the effects of the person’s mental health on their experiences
as a student, rather than on broader issues.

They can structure a range of support s
trategies aimed at meeting students’
needs, whether short
term help or long
term preventative work.

They liaise with (for example) academic departments or accommodation
services, and with community
based resources (e.g. GPs, Mental Health


Teams), to ensure

that all appropriate agencies are used effectively to
support students in achieving their academic potential.

They adopt a proactive approach to student progression and retention based
on a holistic understanding of the student experience.

They can help s
tudents apply for the Disabled Student’s Allowance which
can provide funding for, amongst other things, specialist ongoing support
and/or equipment for students with mental health difficulties, aimed at
reducing the impact of their difficulties on their s

The Mental Health Support Adviser is also involved in identifying appropriate
reasonable adjustments which can be made to accommodate a student’s needs, as
required by the Disability Discrimination Act.

English Language Study Unit:

The English Language Study Unit offers support and advice to both UK and
International students in the University. International students are offered support
the language they need for their studies, and are also given advice and
guidance on a wide range of issues including: immigration, police registration, and
personal issues associated with living and studying in the UK. Support is also
offered to students
who have dyslexia, dyspraxia and other Specific Learning
Difficulties. This is done through individual support and tuition with a specialist tutor
and through weekly workshops.

9. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standards of learning

The University’s formal quality management and reporting procedures are laid out in
its Academic Quality Procedures Handbook, available online at:

These are under the overall direction of the Pro
Chancellor (Teaching).

Each Faculty has an Associate Dean for Teaching responsible for learning and
teaching matters. For each Faculty there is a Directorate (responsible for the
location of resources) and a Board (responsible for monitoring learning and
teaching quality issues within each department).

In addition to the National Student Survey, student feedback on modules and
programmes is sought internally at regular intervals.

All taught programmes are
reviewed annually (Annual Programme Review), and departments have their full
portfolio of programmes reviewed every five years (Periodic Programme Review).

Any major changes to programmes are formally considered each year by the

University Curriculum Sub
Committee, which makes recommendations to Learning
and Teaching Committee and Senate. All programmes and modules are subject to
an annual updating process before the start of the academic year, and minor
changes may be made at t
his time with the approval of the Associate Dean
(Teaching) on behalf of the Curriculum Sub

All staff participate in the Unive
rsity’s staff appraisal scheme, which helps to identify
any needs for staff skills development. Both probationary staff and those seeking
promotion to Senior Lecturer are subject to a formal teaching evaluation scheme,
administered by Professional Develop
ment. The scheme for new lecturers is
accredited by the Higher Education Academy.