First Year Coursework

Alongside the lecture courses and accompanying practical experiments, you will undertake a number of coursework exercises and projects. In contrast with most other engineering courses, the Cambridge timetable rarely involves lectures or coursework in the afternoons or on Saturdays.

You are free to organise your own private study work (and play) schedules in the afternoons and evenings.

A typical first year timetable

Typical first year timetable

Coursework undertaken by first year students

Lego Mindstorms - An introduction to the integrated nature of real-world engineering: in teams of three design and build a simple electro-mechanical device, based around a number of sensors and actuators.

Integrated Electrical Project - Design, build and test an AM radio.

Structural Design - Design, build and test a steel or aluminium structure to carry specific loads at minimum cost.

Product Design - Sketch and explain your proposal for a device to meet a specified need.

Exposition (presentation skills) - Give a short talk on a prepared topic, write a laboratory report and, perhaps, take part in a debate.

Computing and Numerical Analysis - Learn to write programs in C++ and Matlab and to solve problems numerically.

Microprocessors - Learn to program in machine code, producing and evaluating a temperature control program.

Management - Write an essay on the wider issues that influence technical decisions.

Drawing - Undertake exercises in the basic principles of projection theory, and in the interpretation and production of mechanical drawings. Exercises are tackled both with paper and pencil and engineering software packages.

Laboratory Experiments - Observe and test the behaviour of a wide range of engineering materials, components and systems.

Foreign Languages - Choose to study a foreign language. Courses in Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish are offered.

At the end of the first year, students wishing to study Chemical Engineering as their specialisation transfer to the Department of Chemical Engineering for the remainder of their degree course.