Engineering Professional Skills 2

Module summary

Module code: GEEN0031
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering
Module Coordinator(s): Amy Austin



The aim of this module is to further develop knowledge and behaviours expected of professional engineers in the workplace. The module builds on concepts introduced in Engineering Professional Skills 1 and introduces new personal and professionally development topics, and exposes students to perspectives from practicing industry professionals.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Demonstrate appropriate written and oral communication skills individually and as a member of a group.
2 Apply enhanced knowledge of engineering techniques, project management, commercial awareness, risk management, sustainability and effective leadership and team working skills to demonstrate continuous improvement and development in project work.
3 Evaluate information, ideas and concepts and draw appropriate and relevant conclusions and solutions, building further upon critical thinking skills.

Indicative content

The Module will cover theory and concepts related to the following topics:
Engineers and project management: The role of engineers in management and the importance of management and professional skills, including time management and prioritisation of tasks.
Organisational culture: Types of cultures, how cultures are developed and what employees contribute to culture and what it means to work in the different culture types.
Business external pressures and the development of strategies: Assessment the business environment – internal and external through SWOT and DEEPLIST.
Commercial Awareness: A continuation from the topic above, an introduction to the link between engineers and commercial viability.
Finance and projects: Introduction to the basics of business finance, including: concept of ‘time value of money’, Present and Net Present Value, profitability, budgets and budgetary control, cost and volume relationships.
Impact of risk: Recognition and management of risk in project management and in professional practice.
Ethics: The application of ethical principles in practice
Professional skills and development: Networking, establishing and maintaining connections for professional development.
Preparation for interview and employment: Support from the university’s employability team to identify and prepare for employment and placement opportunities.
Evaluating and applying information from external sources: Students will work further on identifying appropriate and relevant external sources to evidence and support solutions to problems. Also, evaluating information for relevance, currency and how it is applied effectively.
Effective communication skills: Developing and justifying arguments to support stances on topics. In the workplace students will be called upon to formulated new ideas and solutions to problems. Providing a strong, evidence-based case to back these up is essential for credibility.
Human Relationships and motivation in the workplace and beyond: People and their roles in organisations, motivation theories and their impact on management style, including developing levels of emotional intelligence.
The team process and leadership: The role of the professional engineer in management teams and the nature of leadership, understanding what type of a team member you are, building and leading teams and being a strong team member.
Sustainability and the circular economy: Sustainability, corporate social responsibility and the ‘green’ organisation.
The Management of Quality: The concepts of quality management and quality control.
Critical thinking and critical reflection: These key themes will form part of each of the topics above to encourage continuous development throughout the academic career, but also professionally. Students will be challenged to assess past action to inform future change.

Teaching and learning activity

Formal lectures will enable students to establish the scope and depth of knowledge required to apply Module concepts to assessments and also in practice. In many cases, lectures will be delivered by professional and industry experts to ensure relevance and to offer students opportunities to make connections with professionals.

Some concepts will be further explored through activities during tutorial sessions. The student will engage in practical activities where appropriate to make the learning as relevant as possible, for example a networking event. Sessions on enhancing employability and the skills needed to search for and attain placements and jobs will be included.

The individual assessment will encourage students to evaluate information critically to draw informed conclusions on themes and topics related to engineering practice. Working at level 5, you will be expected to undertake reading and research around the set topic, gathering, challenging and evaluating data that will inform your ideas, solutions and questions that form your response to the outcomes of the assessment.

The group assessment builds on project work undertaken in the first year of Professional Skills, giving scope to evaluate, develop and improve concepts, designs and business cases with the benefit of further knowledge and experience.
In year 1, the Engineering for People Design challenge required students to demonstrate how they understood the context, identified engineering issues and justified their recommended conceptual design/solution ideas.
The aim of this assessment is to develop the solution/concept further using feedback, experience, new perspectives and enhanced engineering and professional skills. This year, groups will take the next steps in developing the solution/concept begun in year 1, refining and bringing it nearer to reality.


Essay - 60%
LO - 1-3.
Pass mark - 40%
2,000 words.
A critical approach is taken in addressing contemporary issues and their connection between engineering concepts and competencies.

Group presentation - 40%
LO - 1-3.
Pass mark - 40%
10 minutes.
Presentation will be delivered by the group to explain and evaluate the work undertaken in relation to the challenge set to the group.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Feedback on draft work is offered.

Pre and co requisites