Certificates in Automotive Engineering PG certificate

Entry requirements:
Not available
Up to 1 year
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



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We offer a range of Automotive Engineering Postgraduate Certificates all designed to develop the skills of trained engineers to become specialists in particular disciplines within automotive engineering.

Our Automotive Engineering Postgraduate Certificates all share a particular emphasis on the skills to use simulation and test tools to develop the understanding required to resolve problems and engineer better products.

The Automotive Engineering Certificates integrate engineering fundamentals, practical simulation and real world whole-vehicle testing to develop the understanding required to resolve problems and engineer better products. Each of the Postgraduate Certificates consists of a set of three modules from our Automotive Systems Engineering MSc programme which is accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). We also offer each module as a short course.

We currently offer three certificates:

  • Powertrain Simulation and Test
  • Intelligent Vehicle Systems
  • Body and Chassis Simulation and Test

The Automotive Engineering Certificates has high levels of flexibility to accommodate students that require only a single module or where a student wishes to pursue the programme to a full MSc. The structure also provides for students to change path and progress through the qualification levels.

Through our collaboration with the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI), exercises at MIRA proving ground and in Loughborough laboratory facilities are integrated into the certificates as a means of achieving the best possible learning outcomes.


What makes this programme different?

  • High levels of flexibility
  • Opportunity to progress to MSc
  • Great use of state-of-the-art facilities at both Loughborough University and MIRA Technology Institute

Who should study this programme?

Our Postgraduate Certificates are for engineering professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge and understanding in a particular area of automotive engineering. We are also a provider of postgraduate certificates through the MIRA Technology Institute.

Entry requirements

A first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent in engineering or physical sciences. In exceptional circumstances, students may be accepted with extensive experience in the automotive industry.

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. Find out more.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.


What you'll study

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


Certificate in Powertrain Simulation and Test Modules

The overall aim of this certificate is to develop the underlying skills you need to engineer, analyse and develop conventional, hybrid and electric powertrains in the context of the vehicle attributes and overall product development process. The Certificate in Powertrain Simulation and Test consists of three compulsory modules, each worth 20 credits.

Vehicle and Powertrain Functional Performance

This module covers:

  • 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 (100%)

Sustainable Vehicle Powertrains

This module aims to provide an 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
  • 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%)

Powertrain Calibration Optimisation

This module covers:


  • 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%)

Certificate in Intelligent Vehicle Systems modules

The overall aim is to develop the knowledge and skills to develop, analyse and implement intelligent features and autonomous functions on road vehicles. The certificate develops this in the context of the fundamentals of autonomous control, vehicle dynamic performance and simulation capability. The certificate consists of three compulsory modules, each worth 20 credits.

Vehicle Ride and Handling Dynamics

This module covers: 

Vehicle Dynamics Analysis:

  • Introduction to modelling in the vehicle context
  • Modelling limitations
  • Use of signal analysis tools
  • Sources of ride excitation
  • Quarter vehicle ride model
  • Frequency response
  • Powertrain component modelling
  • Vehicle handling models
  • Objective testing methods
  • Vehicle test specification, data collection and analysis

Automotive Control:

  • Introduction to autonomous vehicle systems
  • Recent developments
  • System integration (sensors, actuators, communications, etc.)

Vehicle Dynamics, Control and Simulation:

  • Modelling vehicle dynamics and their environment
  • Classical and state feedback control
  • Computer based design and simulation in MATLAB/Simulink

Autonomous vehicle path planning/following:

  • Path planning principles
  • Path following algorithms

Sensor Fusion and Situation Awareness:

  • Kalman filtering methods
  • Vehicle localisation (position and orientation)
  • External environment sensing (object detection and tracking)

Autonomous functions:

  • Applications and case studies

Vehicle Systems Integration

This module covers:


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


Safety and Risk:

• Risk assessment methods

• Reliability assessment methods

• Introduction to functional safety methods


Autonomous Vehicle Systems

This module covers:

  • Introduction of autonomous vehicle systems


  • 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  

Certificate in Body and Chassis Simulation and Test modules

The overall aim of this certificate is to develop the engineering skills required to analyse and develop body and chassis systems. The certificate develops this in the context of primary vehicle systems for example vehicle braking systems and core vehicle attributes, such as Vehicle NVH, body structures and crashworthiness. The Certificate in Body and Chassis Simulation and Test consists of three compulsory modules, each worth 20 credits.

Vehicle Systems Analysis

By undertaking this module, you will cover: 

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%)

Body Engineering

This module considers the latest design issues in the area of body engineering. Fundamentals are introduced of several related topics including: vehicle loading system, advanced mechanics of stress and strain analysis, failure and crash impact response, advanced Finite Element Methods, advanced techniques in nonlinear and time dependent analysis, fatigue and fracture analysis, Marc Mentat.

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


  • Coursework (100%)



Vehicle Aerodynamics

On completion of the module, you should be able to: 

  • Explain the importance of vehicle aerodynamics in the vehicle development process
  • Describe and discuss parameters affecting ground vehicle external aerodynamics
  • Participate in vehicle aerodynamics experimentation including designing a wind tunnel test
  • Analyse and interpret aerodynamic data for road car applications
  • Communicate with other aerodynamicists in the field of ground vehicle aerodynamics
  • Derive the fundamental partial differentiation equations for mass, momentum and energy
  • Describe the important features of turbulence
  • Apply a modern commercial CFD code to the analysis of a turbulent flow problem relevant to an automotive engineering applications
  • Explain the alternative turbulence models currently available and their relative advantages
  • Describe the influence of discretisation on the solution accuracy 

This module covers:

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%)


How you'll study

Independent study

Your personal and professional development

Loughborough University’s 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

These programmes are generally undertaken by engineers already working in the industry who wish to learn more about, or focus on, a particular area of automotive engineering.

Your personal development

Individuals often choose to undertake a postgraduate certificate as a means to develop and improve their skills and uncover new knowledge in a specific area of automotive engineering. Continuing your professional development is an excellent achievement and an excellent way of making your CV competitive against other professionals in the current job market.

Graduates should acquire:

Graduates completing a Postgraduate Certificate should acquire the knowledge and technical expertise in a wide range of automotive disciplines, specific skills in formulating automotive engineering systems in terms of functional requirements, safety, reliability, performance and robustness. The PG Certificate enables graduates to develop relevant and in-depth knowledge in chosen areas through specific modules.

Working in Collaboration with MIRA Technology Institute:

We are a proud provider of Postgradaute Certificates for cohorts from the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI).

Fees and funding


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.

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