Motorsports Engineering

Motorsports Engineering BEng (Hons)

Get ready for a thrilling career working on some of the most technically advanced vehicles in the world… This course gives you both the knowledge and the hands-on experience you need to progress to the highest levels in the motor sports and engineering industry. During the first year of the course you will work on our Formula Ford cars, and learn about how race-car setup affects performance. Later in the course you will work as part of a student-led group on the design and build of a Formula Student race-car. This is a key part of the curriculum, and leads up to entering your car into an international competition at Silverstone – renowned as a testing ground for the next generation of world-class engineers. This course is absolutely focused on delivering top flight racing and engineering professionals.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, four years sandwich.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BEng (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Mechanical Engineering is in the top 20 in the UK with over 90% of students satisfied overall with their course according to National Student Survey 2020. Plus, we’re also 2nd in the UK for overall ‘Learning and Resources’. 
  • Engineering at UCLan is ranked in the UK's top 20 according to the Complete University Guide 2020
  • Take the first steps of your motorsport career as part of our championship and Walter Heyes Trophy-winning Formula Ford team.
  • Benefit from a dedicated workshop to support you in your studies, catering for Formula Student, Formula Ford race cars, eco-marathon cars, and a race car simulator.
  • Opportunities to travel to internationally renowned events such as Formula Student and the Shell Eco-Marathon – enabling networking with representatives from the industry, both nationally and internationally.
  • Benefit from significant investment in the latest high quality equipment and facilities available through our new £35 million Engineering Innovation Centre.

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Racecar Anatomy
  • Engineering Analysis
  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Science

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Motor Sports Design
  • Operations Management
  • Thermofluids with CFD
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Further Engineering Mathematics and Simulation

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Optional Industrial Placement Year
  • or
  • Motor Sports Vehicle Systems Design
  • Motor Sports Systems
  • Advanced CAD
  • Project

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU). Sandwich year out £1,000 (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points including Maths and Physics at C or STEM at C.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit including Maths units.
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction including Maths units.
Pass Access Course: 106-112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects & HL5 in required subject.
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

During your studies at the UCLan Preston campus you’ll benefit from our new £35 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).

Located within one of the most intense engineering and manufacturing areas in the UK, the EIC provides an integrated space for teaching and research with direct links to industry enabling you to work on live, real-world projects with commercial partners in state-of-the-art facilities.

Find out more

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Sandwich Placement Year

This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team and UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

If you’re in any doubt about placements, do it! It gives you an idea of being in the industry you have chosen to be a part of. You can make sure it is right for you and gives you an idea of what area within that industry you enjoy, what you don’t like and where the most money is made. That way you can focus your time learning and honing the skills required for that chosen area while the facilities are still available while you are a student.


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Our Motorsports Engineering course operate a 'hands-on' approach to manufacturing that includes a design-and-make exercise, design-development projects and the design and manufacture of a race car in the final year. You’ll work on both personal and team projects, developing an excellent association with the processes within the design-development-manufacture cycle and the strategies associated with the development of vehicles and products for racing, the automotive sector and general engineering.

Motorsport Club

Take the first steps of your motorsport career as part of our championship and Walter Heyes Trophy-winning Formula Ford team. During your first semester on the course you could be an integral part of the team – working in our motorsport lab during the off-season, as you strip the car down for its annual overhaul. Elements of this process, and a pre-season test session, integrate with the first year module Racecar Anatomy, in which you will learn about the components and systems of modern racecars, and how they are designed and manufactured. After the winter break you will travel to Oulton Park and Anglesey circuits to help prepare and run the cars at numerous race events for our customer drivers as part of the Northern Formula Ford 1600 championship, and ending with the Walter Heyes Trophy at Silverstone (the world’s largest Formula Ford event). Can you help the team win the championship again?

UCLan Motorsports Club

UCLan Motorsports Club

UCLan Motorsports Club

We also utilise our engine testing facilities for motorsport club, and first year students will work with our engine technician Simon Hindle (an expert in engine design and performance and former Technical Director at Mountune) on engine testing and engine mapping projects. This includes for our Formula Student and Eco- marathon engines, along with other exciting engine projects.

In other Year 1 modules you will learn to use modern manufacturing equipment in our exceptionally well equipped workshop, and you will be introduced to CAD. Later in the year, you will produce design drawings, and manufacture components as part of the IMechE Challenge project – a national design competition. Additionally, there are modules to develop your analytical skills, and to introduce you to concepts such as thermodynamics and fluid dynamics.

Formula Student Vehicle Design Project

During the course we expect you to develop and increasingly integrate the subject matter around the processes required for successful innovative and sensible technical design and manufacture. In your final year this culminates in the Formula Student team project as a significant part of the course. The Formula Student competition is renowned as a testing ground for the next generation of world-class engineers, and our students will design and manufacture almost the entire car in-house. Recently, a carbon-fibre tub has been developed using our CNC router, the engine has been tuned on our engine dynamometers, the structural integrity of the sub-frame has been assessed in our materials testing laboratory, and our waterjet cutter has been working overtime to machine numerous components such as the rear wishbones.

Formula Student Vehicle Design Project

Formula Student Vehicle Design Project

Formula Student Vehicle Design Project

The dissertation comprises another third of the final year and helps with the formation of project engineering skills. This will end with a poster presentation at our Engineering Expo event, where representatives from industry within the region, along with current and former students, get to see what you and other students have been working on.

Student Experience

The motorsport courses are designed to give you a balanced education including knowledge, skills, and experience. Engineering science – including engineering analysis, mechanics, and fluid dynamics underpin much of the design and manufacturing activities that you will participate in during your time at UCLan. You will develop skills associated with the design and development process through a combination of year-long modules, masterclasses, and short courses. These include the manufacturing equipment, computer-aided design with SolidWorks, and simulation tools such as ANSYS, Fluent (CFD), and Ricardo WAVE. The racing, Formula Student, Motorsports Club, and other individual and group projects provide an opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in the context of product design and development. These are often real engineering experiences, during which you will develop a variety of transferable skills, such as presenting, and time and project management.  Students will travel to internationally renowned events such as Formula Student and the Shell Eco-Marathon – providing an opportunity to travel and to network with representatives from the industry (both nationally and internationally).

The racing, the motorsports club and our 'open door' policy makes the staff approachable for help in the assessment 'game'. Assessments include traditional examinations, formal reports, interviews, presentations and commentaries on portfolios.

Engineering at UCLan: Alex

Alex talks about how studying at UCLan and participating in events such as the School of Engineering's Annual Engineering Symposium has helped prepare him for a career in engineering.


This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years and is highly recommended. Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability.

The benefit of the experience gained during your placement is evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs. We will support you in preparation for this with placement seminars during the second year. These are run by your placement tutor and UCLan Careers, and you will plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

"Working in industry is a complete eye opener, with first-hand experience to the technology you don’t have access to or you can’t read about in a text book, you can come back and apply your knowledge to your final years at uni."

Jon Chapman, Third Year MEng Motorsports Engineering Student & Operations Intern, McLaren Racing Ltd

"It’s given me a real sense of direction in terms of accomplishing my goals after university. Getting a job in Formula 1 has made me realise that the path that I'm currently on can lead to great things if you put the hard work and effort in. The placement is a dream in reality and I am very much looking forward to my prospects after UCLan."

Jack PowerThird Year BEng Motorsports Engineering and McLaren Placement Student

Support Services

We have a specialist subject librarian who will help you get the most out of all our physical and online learning resources, including McGraw-Hill’s Access Engineering online learning space, and the Society of Automotive Engineers journal database.

There is a department careers officer who will work with you throughout your time at UCLan, to develop a professional CV, to help with applications, and to provide mock interviews and mock assessment centre activities.


There is a greater demand now for engineering graduates than ever, so your options in Motorsports Engineering and across the whole engineering spectrum are vast and varied. As well as progressing into motorsport, you could work in in aerospace, the automotive industry, the Ministry of Defence and research development. The School has excellent employability statistics – particularly for students completing the placement. Graduates from this course are currently working at companies like Mercedes AMG Motorsport, Williams F1, Force India F1, Tom Tunstall Racing, M-Sport, Ginetta, and Century Motorsport. If you’re looking beyond the motor sports industry, we have had graduates employed in engineering positions at companies like Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley Motors, Airbus, BAE Systems, Babcock, Tata Technologies, Helical Technologies, MI Technology, and United Utilities.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Workshop Facilities

The student workshop in Wharf Building provides a centre for many students wanting careers in design and development of products.

We have a dedicated workshop to support the motorsport programmes, catering for Formula Student, Formula Ford racecars, eco-marathon cars, and a racecar simulator. All activities are very much student-centred, such that students gain real design and production experience.

The manufacturing workshop allows students to gain a real understanding and appreciation of the design and manufacturing process. During this process students will also gain a variety of practical manufacturing skills. The introduction of CNC equipment in this facility opens up opportunities for rapid manufacture of components from a range of materials for use with student project work.  In addition, this gives the facility modern, industry standard technology with which to support local industry for engineering innovation projects.

The composites workshop gives students experience of skills relevant to the motorsport industry. It is used for a variety of activities, specifically for the Formula Student competition and to support the Formula Ford cars, as well as for research on resin infusion and the production of samples for composite materials testing.

We have two fully equipped engine dynamometer cells and an engine build area to support practical activities for motorsport engineering students, and automotive research and development work.

Other facilities on campus include

  • Stress and Materials Laboratory – with digitally controlled machines capable of static and fatigue testing.
  • Fluid Mechanics Laboratory – Featuring an air-flow rig, pipe-flow rig, wave tanks, and thermodynamics test equipment.
  • Additive Manufacturing Lab - Students can access a range of 3D printers, from high resolution photopolymer printers to robust large format thermoplastic printers.

Professional Accreditation

The quality of this course has been recognised with accreditation for partially meeting education requirement for Chartered Engineer status (CEng) by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

Institute of Mechanical Engineering Logo - Accreditation


This course offers an optional 48 week sandwich placement in industry. The benefit of the experience is evident in improved performance in the final year and when competing for graduate jobs. Extra-curricular activities include a motor sports club and a professionally run Formula Ford race team.

We care about your employability, and from the first year we will work to ensure that when you graduate you are attractive to employers. This is done to some extent within the curriculum, but participation in our extra-curricular activities (such as UCLan Racing and Motor Sports Club) is highly recommended. You’ll have the option of completing a 48-week industrial placement year, which builds on your academic learning, develops your professional approach, and often leads to successful employment after graduation.

IED Logo Accreditation

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Austin O’Brien

Austin O’Brien

BEng (Hons) Motorsport Engineering, 2012

Ever since a visit from British Touring Cars engineers to his native Ireland in 2005, UCLan alumnus Austin O’Brien wanted to become a motorsport engineer. This, twinned with an ever-present passion for the sport, led Austin to study BEng (Hons) Motorsport Engineering at UCLan.

Craig Pearson

Craig Pearson

BEng (Hons) Motorsports Engineering, 2012

Aspiring to live life in the fast lane and keen to pursue an enjoyable career, Craig Pearson’s strong interest in motorsport lead him to the BEng (Hons) Motorsport Engineering course at UCLan. Since graduating, Craig raced towards a dream career with Williams F1, with a pit stop at TCS Motorsport in-between. 

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Engineering

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.