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Teaching Methods

We pride ourselves on the quality of the education we provide at York. This is recognised nationally by our maximum teaching rating, our consistently high National Student Survey scores and the various prizes our staff have been awarded.

Most lecture courses are taught by staff who are active in leading-edge research, ensuring that outdated techniques are eliminated from the course content quickly. Small-group tutorials also ensure that students have close contact with the academic staff. Practical skills are a vital part of any engineering degree course, and it is important that the laboratory and project work should integrate well with the taught courses. As such, not only laboratory experience but also individual and team project work are given a high priority.

Personal Supervision

‌‌‌Personal Tutors are allocated to every student on their arrival. They will supervise his/her progress throughout the course, with regular meetings. This personal contact and guidance is invaluable.


Lectures act as sign posts which indicate the range and content of the material which is needed for your course. You are expected to work through lecture material and complete your owen reading and learning to supplement the lecture material. As you progress through the course and specialise in topics of interest you will work in smaller lecture groups allowing more personal contact with world-leading experts. 


These allow the subject to be explored in greater depth in a small group. These are supported by problem sheets which students can address in their own time. Large-scale problem classes offer additional support. All of the theoretical material is reinforced by practical and computer laboratory work.


First year students undergo an intensive laboratory introduction programme at the beginning of their course. They will then spend around 6 hours per week in the teaching laboratories. Typically, students work in pairs at each standard workstation and demonstrators are on hand as well as the lecturer teaching the session. The group and individual final-year projects listed below also utilise various laboratory and specialist facilities.

Project Work

‌‌‌‌‌‌A variety of projects occur throughout the course:

  • In the first year students combine together with other members of their supervision group to design and build a prototype commercial product. 
  • In the second year students build on their first year project experience by working in small teams to research, design and construct a multi-component device involving hardware and software.
  • In the third year all MEng students participate in a major software project. This is organised in teams who operate as self contained units. Teams can trade with each other and buy and sell software modules (with notional money!). The final product is a substantial working piece of software.
  • In their final year BEng students carry out a personal project supervised by a member of staff. Each year a large number of possible projects are offered to students and there is also the opportunity for students to propose their own project. 
  • In the final year of the MEng degree the whole of the Spring and Summer terms are devoted to a major project working either in industry or in the department's research lab. The project is jointly supervised by members of the academic staff and a supervisor from the sponsoring company. Projects are carefully vetted by the department to ensure that the student undertakes a substantial and industrially relevant project. If an industrial project cannot be arranged then students will undertake an equally substantial project in our research laboratories.

At the end of each course students complete anonymous questionnaires which ask them to rate the course under various headings. These are then used by staff to monitor the quality of the teaching. Students also elect representatives to a staff/student liaison committee, ensuring that their voice is heard on any matter affecting their interests.

Any questions?

Admissions Officer
Mrs Helen Lay

Admissions Tutor
Dr Jude Brereton
(+44) 01904 322365