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Engineering: mechanics, materials, design

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Engineering is about extending society’s horizons by solving technical problems – from meeting basic needs for food and shelter to generating wealth by trade. Engineers prefer to see difficulties as challenges or opportunities – they appear to be solving problems, but they’re actually creating solutions: an altogether more imaginative activity. In exploring how technical solutions are created, this module combines the mechanics of solids and fluids with the structure and properties of materials. It includes aspects of engineering analysis, design, and modelling methods, using appropriate mathematical software. Analytical, communication, and learning skills are developed in a context that provides grounding for higher-level, more specialised study.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

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04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The module is based around six themes: the nature of problems, static structures, dynamics, energy, endurance and human factors. Study is arranged in six blocks, one for each theme.

The opening block develops a view of engineering problems as challenges and opportunities for technical people. The creation of solutions calls for a clear analysis of what is to be done and an appreciation of how to establish an understanding of the task in hand. It is important to be able to identify how and where to find the necessary knowledge and skills.

Providing shelter was one of the earliest challenges faced by civilisations. The study of static structures in Block 2 is based on building things so that they don’t fall down. The analytical methods developed here have wider applicability to all static, load-bearing structures. The third block looks at a variety of mechanisms that are at the heart of machines; it also considers how those machines use power to do useful things, from cleaning your teeth to operating a commercial airliner. Behind all our activities as humans is a thirst for energy. Electrical energy is considered in Block 4 as a resource that is essential to modern life – so what happens if we all want to switch on at once? Hydroelectricity is one solution and it involves fluids, not only in the pipes but also in the bearings. The fifth block examines the durability of our technical solutions. Having made structures and devices that provide some useful function, it is in our interests to know about the factors that limit their useful life, whether it be overload, corrosion or merely fashion.

The module closes with the Human Factors theme. We can survive only in narrow ranges of temperature, pressure, air composition, acceleration and so on, yet we expect to be able to plunge to the depths of the ocean, to fly through the air and to travel out into space. The ultimate solutions to find are those that enable us to continue to extend our horizons while staying within the limits of survivability. (To boldly go …)

Entry

This is a Level 2 module and you need a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either from Level 1 study with the OU, for example Engineering the future (T174), or from equivalent work at another university.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

It is assumed that you have the mathematical competencies provided by study of a module such as Using mathematics (MST121), and that you have a familiarity with the broad base of engineering as would be obtained from studying Engineering the future (T174) or its predecessor T173.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

The study materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. You will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Module books, other printed materials, DVD, online forum and a website.

You will need

A calculator.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course. It includes online activities – you can access using a web browser – and some course software provided on disk.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • A netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device is not suitable for this course – check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that you can only use it for this course by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. It is expected that the majority of the tutorials will take place online. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper. 

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year. 

Students also studied

Students who studied this course also studied at some time:

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“What a module! Very enjoyable and engaging throughout. A superb introduction and some times in depth look at various areas ...”
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“I found T207 to be a good "Engineering" module that covers a broad range of mechanically biased topics. Consequently, having ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code T207
Credits 60
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
7 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

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