Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering Short Courses for Industry PG certificate

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
4-12 weeks per module
Start date:
UK/EU fees:
By module
International fees:
By module



Aeronautical and Manufacturing

The Times Good University Guide 2017


£17M STEMLab facility



Enhance and refresh your skills by sampling postgraduate study with the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering. Choose a stand-alone postgraduate module, or choose a pathway of three modules to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate in a specific area of automotive engineering.

We offer short courses for automotive engineering professionals interested in furthering their knowledge and advancing their skills. Each of our short courses consists of a module from our popular Automotive Systems Engineering MSc course, which is accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

A key advantage of our short courses is the opportunity for you to access the vehicle proving ground facilities at Horiba MIRA Ltd near Nuneaton. In addition, you will have use of MATLAB and Simulink software for technical computation.

In the department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering we have four major research groups working across the technologies of automotive and aeronautical engineering. Each group works on a variety of research topics. These range from the development of new low emissions combustion systems for gas turbine engines through to fundamental investigations into the operation of hydrogen powered fuel cells.

What makes this programme different?

  • Opportunity to work towards a professional postgraduate qualification
  • Flexible start dates and course duration, ranging from 4-12 weeks
  • Demonstrate to employers that you are committed to continuing your professional development
  • Access to MATLAB and Simulink software for technical computation

Who should study this programme?

Short courses are a perfect way of enhancing your skills and development whilst working full-time as an engineering professional. Our short courses are a way of trying out postgraduate-level study before committing to the time and financial investment of a master's programme.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent overseas qualification in economics, business (with a strong quantitative component), finance, management science, operations research, mathematics, physics, or engineering.

Applicants from other degree disciplines may be considered, but as for all applicants, good (2:1 or above) grades in relevant mathematics/statistics modules are expected.

English Language requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not. 

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

What you'll study

Our Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering is an engineering specialist centre for teaching and research. With programmes dating back to 1919, our Department's reputation in the delivery of modules has been built on nearly 100 years of teaching excellence.

The following modules are available as short courses:

Autonomous Vehicle Systems

Introduction of autonomous vehicle system techniques

  • Control and optimization techniques
  • Path planning and collision avoidance
  • Path following
  • Sensor error modelling
  • Sensor fusion and Kalman filtering

Advanced topics/applications

  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Moving object tracking
  • Rapid mapping


  • Coursework 100% Technical reports to be completed after the block taught period
  • Assignment one 50%: Data fusion of collected data from a test vehicle using Kalman filtering techniques
  • Assignment two 50%: an investigation of path planning and path following techniques

Body Engineering

Vehicle Loading

  • Design load cases (maximum braking, cornering and traction)
  • Lateral load transfer during cornering
  • Role of body compliance in lateral load transfer and vehicle handling
  • Suspension load calculations

Computational Continuum Mechanics

  • Fundamentals of continuum mechanics
  • Plate and lamination theory
  • Linear elastic finite element method
  • Non-linear continuum mechanics
  • The time dimension
  • Fatigue
  • Fracture

Vehicle crashworthiness

  • Traffic injury statistics
  • Physics of crash injury causation and biomechanical tolerance of humans to crash forces
  • Principles of Passive Safety (occupant protection)
  • General crash performance requirements for the car body structure. Structural crashworthiness for front and side impact
  • Integration of vehicle restraints and body structure for crashworthiness
  • Real world challenges for structural crashworthiness Assessments


  • Coursework 100%
  • Assignment one: 30% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period
  • Assignment two: 70% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period

Powertrain Calibration Optimisation


  • Principles of modelling: requirements, form of models, fitting and diagnostic methods; use of computer tools; methods for selecting appropriate modelling techniques; properties of algorithms and techniques used for model creation
  • Design of experiments (DOE): statistical principles and methods including normal and Student's t distributions, analysis of variance (ANOVA); the methods, structure and progression of DOE; factorial, response surfaces and optimal methods


  • Formulation of the optimisation requirement; principles of optimisation; selection of techniques and application of diagnostics; optimisation in practice
  • Operating modes for engine and powertrain and the associated modelling and optimisation techniques


  • Overview of calibration tasks for both diesel and spark ignition including the application of DOE, modelling and optimisation methods; techniques used for in-vehicle optimisation
  • Application of optimisation to powertrain emissions including optimisation on the test bed and in the vehicle
  • Principles of diagnosis: methods and algorithms; use of embedded models; use of observers and Kalman-Bucy filters. Application of diagnosis methods to emissions controls systems and components
  • Emissions legislation (performance and diagnosis); the consequential demands placed on powertrain technical solutions; methods used to develop powertrain solutions from legislation


  • Coursework 100%
  • Coursework 70%: An investigation and evaluation of a calibration process to be applied to an engine in which certain specified improvements are required
  • Coursework 25%: The specification of an experimental and modelling strategy for a specified operational requirement
  • Coursework 5%: Pre-module assessment on Matlab prior to the block-taught module week

Sustainable Vehicle Powertrains

This module includes:

Introduction to Advanced and Alternative Powertrain Technologies and future technology road map

Advanced combustion engines

  • Turbocharger: Fundamental theory and applications
  • Engine downsize: Performances and emission challenges
  • Advanced engine combustion technologies: HCCI, Miller cycle and other potential combustion concepts
  • Alternative transport fuels: Overview of the benefits and characteristics of alternative transport fuels
  • In-cylinder formation of pollutant emissions: Fundamentals of the in-cylinder formation of pollutant emissions from Gasoline and Diesel IC engines


  • Batteries: Basic electrochemistry, charging and discharging, battery management for vehicle applications
  • Electric Machines: Electromagnetism, electromotive force, back EMF, commutation, magnetic circuits and materials, conductors, principle sources of losses, motor types, emerging concepts, efficiency, operating characteristics
  • Fuel cells: Chemistry, systems, management
  • Hybrid and electric vehicle powertrain integration: architecture, optimisation, modelling case studies


  • Coursework 100%
  • Assignment one: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period
  • Assignment two: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period

Vehicle Aerodynamics

Introduction to Vehicle Aerodynamics

  • Relevance, systems engineering approach in aerodynamic development process, basic concepts, sign conventions, basic vehicle characteristics, aerodynamic design philosophies, Influence of aerodynamics on vehicle performance. Legislative considerations
  • Origin of the aerodynamic forces: Pressure forces, skin friction, induced drag
  • General flow field around bluff bodies, front end flow, rear end flow, characterisics of basic vehicle geometries
  • Cooling heating and ventilation requirements, basic internal flows
  • Cooling system optimisation
  • Crosswind stability: Sources of instability, full scale and model test techniques
  • Surface contamination

Experimental techniques

  • Tunnel design, blockage correction, ground plane simulation, scale model testing
  • Methods of measuring vehicle drag on a test track: Coast-down and steady state test techniques
  • Wind tunnel test methodologies, wind tunnel instrumentation, pressure measurements, hot wire anemometry, flow visualisation, PIV

Computational methods

  • Review of computational methods for vehicle aerodynamics
  • Governing equations, Numerical discretisation, Introduction to turbulence and turbulence modelling, Boundary Condition Selection
  • CAD representation and grid generation, Post processing

Supporting fundamentals

  • Boundary layers and wakes, interpretation of aerodynamic data
  • Origin of the aerodynamic forces: Pressure forces, skin friction, induced drag


  • Coursework 100%
  • Assignment one: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period
  • Assignment two: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period

Vehicle and Powertrain Functional Performance

Systems Engineering Overview

Introduction to Systems Engineering, contrast to component engineering, relevance to the modern automotive industry.

Vehicle Performance and Economy

Subjective and objective measures of vehicle performance, time to speed calculation - transmission efficiency, equivalent mass, launch from rest, wheel spin, gear change time, design of gear ratios, fuel maps, use of CVT, steady state fuel consumption, effect of engine type, simulation study in Simulink.

Transmission fundamentals

Drivetrain components; clutch, synchromesh, torque convertor.


  • Thermodynamics: gases and gas laws, thermodynamic processes in reciprocating IC engines, open and closed systems, engine cycles
  • Engine design and operating parameters, engine performance parameters
  • Combustion: fuel and chemical equations, combustion processes in SI engines, combustion processes in CI engines
  • Engine breathing and advanced valve-train-review of breathing theories, methods of characteristics
  • IC engines modelling techniques
  • Fundamentals of engine mechanics
  • Dynamometer measurements, engine dynamometers, chassis dynamometer

Supporting fundamentals

Review of Matrices, Laplace transforms, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.


  • Coursework assignment 1; 10% Group assignment carried out during the module week that includes a group presentation
  • Coursework assignment 2; 40% In depth technical report carried out after the block taught period
  • Coursework assignment 5; 50% In depth technical report carried out after the block taught period

Vehicle Dynamics


Principles of the brush tyre model; the combined slip Pacejka Model.

Suspension and Steering

Roll centre location; suspension derivatives (camber / scrub); forces and moments in the steering system, suspension jacking and anti-squat / anti-dive effects.


Use of state-space for linear models; Steady-state cornering via the bicycle handling model; understeer gradient, oversteer, critical speed. Development of a 6DOF nonlinear handling model in Matlab / Simulink comprising nonlinear tyre, lateral load transfer and roll moment distribution.

Computer lab sessions

Ride modelling; analysis of simulated open-loop handling response; use of state feedback for longitudinal control.

Vehicle testing at MIRA proving ground

Standard objective handling tests; vehicle test specification and execution; risk assessment; data analysis.


  • Coursework 100%
  • Assignment one: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period
  • Assignment two: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period

Vehicle Electrical Systems Integration

Electrical Systems

  • Analysis of circuits
  • Basic design for electromagnetic compatibility
  • Introduction to vehicle electrical architecture
  • Introduction to application of power electronics
  • Controller Area Network (CAN bus)


  • Basic sensors
  • Principles and capability - GPS, IMU, Camera, Radar, Lidar
  • Risk assessment methods
  • Reliability assessment methods
  • Introduction to functional safety methods

Safety and Risk

  • Risk assessment methods
  • Reliability assessment methods
  • Introduction to functional safety methods


  • Coursework 100%
  • Data collection and analysis from various sensors (60%)
  • Risk and Reliability modelling (40%)

Vehicle Systems Analysis

Vehicle Noise Vibration and Harshness

  • Single and multi-degree of freedom systems
  • Noise sources and transfer paths
  • Basic acoustics
  • Structural acoustics
  • Noise path analysis
  • Continuous systems
  • Signal analysis
  • Sound quality

Vehicle Braking Systems

  • Fundamentals of Braking Dynamics of single vehicles and vehicles with trailers
  • Braking systems: Drum brakes, Disc brakes, actuation
  • Braking performance and friction material parameters
  • Advanced braking systems: Anti-lock, traction control, electronic braking distribution, stability control, brake assist, electronic braking control

Introduction to Materials

  • Structures, processing, properties of metals, polymers and composites
  • Application of materials in vehicles


  • Coursework 100%
  • Assignment one: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period
  • Assignment two: 50% Technical report to be completed after the block taught period

How you'll study

Independent study
Group work

Your personal and professional development

The Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

Individuals often choose to study a short course as a means to develop and improve their skills and uncover new knowledge in a specific area of automotive engineering. Completing a series of short courses is also a great way for you to work towards a postgraduate certificate, which is an excellent achievement and a boost for your CV.

Your personal development

Studying at postgraduate level can further your skills and knowledge and enable you to think about your discipline in a new and exciting way. Employers value individuals with a passion for continuing professional development and often trust those with additional knowledge to undertake greater responsibilities in the workplace.

Fees and funding

By module
By module

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Distance Learners pay for the modules they study each year, on a cost per credit basis, over the duration of their course. MSc study involves 180 credits of study and for 2018/19 the cost of each credit is set at £52.77 (UK/EU fee) £116.66 (International fee). For example a 15-credit module in 2018-19 will cost £791.55 and the for the 60 credit research dissertation will cost £3,166.20, for a UK/EU student.
Please note, tuition fees are subject to inflation and therefore, tuition fees can increase year-on-year which will alter the total cost of the MSc.

Our students