Undergraduate Teaching 2019-20

Part IIA guide

Part IIA guide

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Table of contents

This document contains important information for Part IIA students. Where appropriate, supplementary information will be issued throughout the year.

Part II aims & objectives

Teaching aims

The aims of Part II of the Engineering Tripos are to encourage and enable students to:

  • specialise in considerable depth in a chosen area of engineering;
  • acquire up-to-date knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in a chosen area of engineering, in an atmosphere informed by research;
  • continue to develop skills in modelling, analysis and problem solving;
  • develop creativity, synthesis and design skills, and the ability to create engineering design solutions;
  • design and evaluate experiments and computer software;
  • continue to develop communication, teamwork, management and leadership skills;
  • develop an awareness of the international role of the engineer;
  • develop the facility for independent learning, open-mindedness, and the spirit of critical enquiry;
  • develop the ability to tackle unforeseen technical and management demands and to apply new technologies in novel situations with confidence and competence;
  • develop their full potential as innovators and future leaders in industry, the professions, public service, academic teaching and research.

General objectives

At the end of Part II undergraduates should:

  • by means of lecture courses, associated course requirements, examples papers and appropriate reading have gained an understanding in depth of engineering science in specialised areas;
  • have progressed further with all but the first of the general objectives for Part I of the Engineering Tripos;
  • by means of team projects have developed cooperative, management and communication skills as well as practical professional knowledge;
  • by means of a major project in either design or research have developed creativity, innovation and a capacity for independent learning and enquiry.

The progress of each undergraduate is measured by Tripos examinations and by assessed coursework. Tripos classes and details of marks are notified to undergraduates through CamSIS or by their Colleges, and progress with coursework is communicated by staff marking individual coursework activities.

Detailed objectives for each element of the course are given with the syllabuses for each series of lectures and with the instruction sheets for coursework.

Structure & balance of work in Part IIA

In Part IIA students begin to specialise in their chosen branch of engineering. There is flexibility in the degree of specialisation. Most students choose a branch of the profession in which to specialise, and will devote at least 60% of their time to it whilst maintaining a wider breadth of study by taking some topics outside of their engineering area, including management and foreign languages. Those who wish to keep a very broad focus may take General Engineering, choosing modules from the whole range of topics.

Part IIA carries all of the credit for the classed BA degree in Engineering. The following table supplements the Part IIA coursework and examination credit notice by including notes on timings, workload, mark schemes and penalties.



Notes on workload


10 modules

5 in Michaelmas, 5 in Lent

Examinations: 2-3 weeks at start of Easter

16 lectures per module.

Examples papers (typically 1 per 4 lectures).

1.5 hour exam per module (typically 3 questions from 4).

10 x 60 marks

Module coursework (only your best 8 marks will be used for exam credit)

(*see below)

In same term as relevant module

The coursework is generally a laboratory experiment or (for modules in group E) a report. Laboratories are typically 2-4 hours in lab: 6-8 hours overall. Essays are a similar time overall.

No additional coursework on any 4th year modules (though may be included within the course for 25% or 100% of the credit).

Each report is marked on the scale 0–5; the marking criteria are indicated on the generic feedback sheet, or module specific feedback sheet if provided.

1 mark may allocated for suitable preparation and participation during the lab. This should be specified in the lab handout.

Penalty for lateness: 1 mark lost for each week or part week.  No report, no marks.

Failure to sign up for or attend a feedback session, where these are part of the lab arrangements: 1 mark penalty.

8 x 5 marks

2 Full Technical Reports (FTR)

End of term. At least one in Michaelmas; remainder in Lent.

Extension activity to one piece of coursework.

Marks on the scale 0–10.  The marking scheme is given on the coversheet.  Emphasis is placed on writing skills and presentation.

Penalty for lateness: 2 marks lost for each week or part week (term or vacation) that a report is late. No report, no marks.

2 x 10 marks

1 Extension Activity (ExA)

Michaelmas and/or Lent

Group project. Approx. 16 hours, with no more than 12 hours in the lab or field.

Choice of ExA is often related to module selection and associated Eng. Area.

Individual ExAs may break the mark total down into smaller units corresponding to different aspects of the chosen activity. Students who participate diligently in all stages of the exercise will gain the full 20 marks.

20 marks

2 projects (out of approx. 25)

Easter weeks 3-7 (after exams)

Approx. 80 hours per project, mostly running in parallel.

At least one project will include an element of group work.

2 x 80 marks

Total:  840 marks: 600 exams and 240 coursework

* NB  Since students are not obliged to undertake the coursework associated with a module, examination questions must not be based on coursework material (unless covered separately in lectures). Normally there is no choice of coursework on a module, but if there is a choice students may only submit one for assessment.



Most Part IIA modules (preceded by numeral 3) have 16 lectures and an associated coursework exercise completed in one term (either Michaelmas or Lent). These are examined by an written paper of 1.5 hour duration held early in the Easter term. However, some group A courses are double modules that run throughout both the Michaelmas and Lent terms (with 16 lectures in each term) and are examined by three-hour written papers.

Part II modules are grouped according to the Subject Group offering them and are subdivided into sets. You should discuss module choices with your Director of Studies.


Please refer to the guidance on Engineering Areas for advice on module choices.  The main rules are that:

  • you must offer ten modules for examination;
  • you may offer only one module from any one of the sets;
  • if you wish to qualify in an engineering area, you must follow the specific rules on module choices for that area;
  • five modules must be taken in each of Michaelmas and Lent terms.
  • you may not offer more than two management modules (those listed under Groups E, I (if offered) and S).*

There are also conditions specific to accreditation by the professional institutions.

*Group S are Part IIB modules (thus preceded by numeral 4) available to Part IIA students. There are no supervisions or separate coursework for fourth-year modules. Group I modules are modules imported from courses within Engineering or from other departments.

Selection on COMET

You can update your provisional module selection at the start of each of the Michaelmas and Lent terms, and will be contacted by email with a reminder to log on to COMET to confirm or change your provisional choices.

You should attend the first lecture of any module of interest to gain an overview of its content and structure.

Your selection must be finalised each term by 23:59 on the Wednesday of week one. Shortly after each deadline, you will confirm your selection for that term as a binding exam entry that may not subsequently be changed or discounted.

COMET will check that your selection is valid and will notify you if your module choices do not fit into your chosen engineering area. If this is the case, you must revise your selection.


Each course has a module leader and a lab leader (sometimes, but not always, the same person). Any queries regarding lab experiments, lab handouts or coursework should be addressed directly to the lab leader. Any queries regarding lecture notes, examples papers and supervisions should be addressed directly to the module leader.

Contact information for module leaders and lab leaders is available on the syllabus page.


Module leaders will appoint supervisors and notify you of their details soon after COMET closes. The number of supervisions to be given for each Part IIA module is usually four, comprising three (one hour) supervisions in the term of the module plus a later ‘revision’ supervision. Any additional supervision must be authorised in advance by your Director of Studies. Some modules have examples classes in place of some or all of the conventional supervisions.

Any major problems with regard to supervisions should be brought to the immediate attention of your DoS, even after the first supervision. You may also use the dedicated, anonymous fast feedback facility for Part IIA supervisions.

Engineering areas

If you wish to qualify in a specific engineering area, at least six modules from your total of ten must fall within one of the engineering areas defined by the Faculty Board.

The title of the engineering area for which you are qualified will appear on each of your Part IIA and IIB transcripts. In some cases, you may be qualified for more than one engineering area, in which case all will appear on your transcript. It is not essential that your engineering area at Part IIB is the same as that at Part IIA.

NB. the module syllabus pages are the definitive source of information about pre-requisites for each module.  A summary is also given on the syllabus index page.

Engineering area


Mechanical engineering

Dr H R Shercliff

Energy, sustainability and the environment

Professor S Hochgreb

Aerospace and aerothermal engineering

Professor WN Dawes

Civil, structural and environmental engineering

Professor A McRobie

Electrical and electronic engineering

Professor A Flewitt

Information and computer engineering

Dr J Sayir

Electrical and information sciences

Professor M Smith

Instrumentation and control

Professor M Smith


Dr A J Kabla

General Engineering

If you do not wish to choose six modules from an engineering area you may instead qualify in Engineering (i.e. General Engineering). Students intending to qualify in General Engineering may choose any set of modules subject to the restrictions given in COMET. 

In common with the other engineering areas General Engineering is accredited by one or more of the Professional Engineering Institutions.  For further information see the Accreditation of the MEng.

Further advice

For advice on engineering areas and module choices go first to your Director of Studies. The staff listed above will be happy to provide expert advice on their Engineering Areas.

General queries about Manufacturing Engineering should be sent to the MET Course Administrator; detailed queries about academic course content may be sent to Dr Ronan Daly.

Coursework & labs overview

Module-related coursework

All Part IIA modules in Groups A-G and M have associated with them at least one lab experiment or written assignment. Experiments typically involve 2 hours in the lab, working individually or in pairs, with a 2-3 hour individual write-up (although some modules may have special arrangements). 

You are strongly encouraged to complete coursework for all your modules from Groups A-G and M. If you do complete more than eight eligible pieces of coursework, your best eight marks will be carried forward towards your Part IIA coursework credit total.

Modules in Groups I and S will be assessed by examination (and in some cases coursework as well) but all marks achieved on these modules will contribute to your overall Part IIA examination mark and will not count as part of your Part IIA coursework credit.

The management modules (in Group E) each have a single piece of coursework instead of a lab experiment. Details of their scope and arrangements for submission will be announced in lectures.

Preparation for the lab

In most cases, Lab Leaders will provide lab handouts online or on paper before the lab. You are required to read these handouts before lab sessions, and perform any activity required by the Lab Leader as a preparation for the lab. This is essential to complete the activity in the allocated time. Lab demonstrators are invited to check that students arrive prepared, and might penalise students who come unprepared. 

Lab reports

Students are required to provide their own lab books and paper for recording and/or plotting data during the lab sessions when appropriate. It is best practice to plot graphs (on paper or computer) while you are still at the lab bench so that you can see if you have enough points in the right places to define the required curve – or if you have any readings which look suspect and should be repeated. We are especially insistent that all original readings are retained and submitted in your report.

Writing the report should take no more than two to three hours after the lab. There is no generic guidance regarding constraints on report length or whether hand-written documents would be accepted or not, but word-processed documents with properly typeset equations are recommended. A total length of 3-5 pages would be considered standard. Please check the guidelines from the Lab Leader for that respect. Any instruction from the lab leaders takes precedence over departmental guidelines. Lab leader might apply penalties if students do not comply with the lab report rules of their module.

Guidance on report writing

Part II coursework is assessed not only on technical content but also on report-writing and exposition skills.

See the report writing guide for generic guidance.  The lab handouts will outline the technical aspects of the problem you should address when writing your lab report or FTR, and may provide guidance on the required content and structure of the report: specific instructions given in the lab handouts always take precedence.

Feedback sheets

If submitted on paper, all reports (or essays for Group E modules) must be submitted with a coversheet attached. The coversheet highlight the criteria for marking and guides the marker during the assessment of the report. The department provides a generic feedback sheet, but Lab Leaders are encouraged to provide a module specific feedback sheet if they would like to use different criteria. In such cases, the new coversheet would have to be made available to students at the time of the lab.

Markers will be looking for a clear record of the practical work you have carried out, together with appropriate discussion. Readings taken jointly in the laboratory may of course be shared with your lab partner, but reports must be written individually.  See the guidance on cooperation and cheating.

Extension Activity (ExA) 

Most ExAs are designed to introduce you to various measurement and test procedures in your chosen professional area, but non-technical options also exist, such as the Language ExA. The commitment is 16 hours total, including up to 12 in the laboratory or the field.  The form of the report will vary from area to area.  Timetable arrangements also vary, but in all cases they only run on certain specified dates. 

You should sign up for your ExA first and then fit your regular module labs around it. Sign-up may be on-line or on a signing sheet. Please consult the ExA page for more information.

The deadline for booking your ExA (for either Michaelmas or Lent) is Wednesday of week 1 in Michaelmas Term

Full technical reports (FTRs)

FTRs are designed to enhance your technical communication skills - your ability to explain to others what you have done and to provide appropriate concise discussion. Each should require a further 10 hours work. Most FTR exercises are based on an extension of a module experiment, but may take a range of different formats and assessment modes. Please refer to the module syllabus pages for definitive information about each FTR.  Lab handouts explicitly state whether they are suitable as the basis of an FTR.

You must submit a total of two full technical reports, at least one of which must be in the Michaelmas term.  You must register your choice of full technical report by the end of term in which the module takes place. 

There are no FTRs associated with modules in Groups E, I, M or S. 

Having checked that a lab is suitable, you should complete the experimental work early in the term and submit the lab report no later than week 6. This gives time for it to be marked and returned to you before you write your FTR. FTRs rarely require you to carry out additional experimental work, but they do usually require a significantly more extensive analysis of the experimental findings, and/or further reading and discussion of the technical literature. The report itself should be typed or word processed to a professional standard – FTRs are assessed for quality of presentation as well as technical content.

The main body of the text must be your own work.  The marked module lab report should normally be included as an appendix to the completed FTR. 

Specific instructions for FTRs, where provided, should be followed, but generic requirements are as follows.

Your FTR should not exceed 10 pages (including title page, diagrams, appendices etc., but excluding the original lab report if included as an appendix) and be written in a sensible font size (minimum 11 pt) with appropriate line spacing. Generic FTR feedback sheets are available online, but Lab leaders may provide instead a module specific feedback sheet adapted to the needs of their lab. 

FTR deadlines

The Michaelmas term FTR must be submitted by 4pm on Wednesday of week 9 (ie the Wednesday following the end of the Michaelmas term), and will be marked over the Christmas vacation and available for collection at the start of the Lent term.  The Lent term FTR must be submitted by 4pm on Wednesday of week 9 (ie the Wednesday following the end of the Lent term) and will be marked over the Easter vacation. 

Most lab leaders would allow you to submit your report electronically on Moodle. If paper submission is allowed or requested, FTRs must be handed in directly to the group centre for the relevant module, to the designated person or a secure mailbox. Do not leave your report in an open unattended tray, and do keep a copy. Collection is from the group centre where you handed it in.

Signing up for labs

Most labs have a booking system but a few have a restricted rota or experiments that are available only for a limited period.  Any special arrangements for module practical work will usually be described during the first module lecture.  Sign-up may be on-line or sheets located in group centres. Some modules offer a choice of lab, but you may only sign up for one lab associated with the module. You may sign up only for labs associated with modules you are taking. Please remember to remove your name from lab signing sheets if you change your module choice.

Study the booking sheets for all your modules before signing up.  Sign up for your ExA and get any fixed commitments sorted before signing up for the remaining experiments.  For most labs in Groups A, C, D and G you will usually work in pairs (formed for each experiment), but for labs within Groups B, F and M you will usually work singly.

NB: the first lab period is on Friday of week 1 in the Michaelmas term, so sign up for at least one experiment before then.  Lab handouts will be available and the booking sheets posted by 9am on the Wednesday just before the Michaelmas term starts (Wednesday of week 0).


Completed reports must be submitted for marking within 2 weeks of carrying out the experiment (even if the date is out of term time). The default latest time for handing in coursework on the deadline date is 4pm (unless you are specifically told otherwise in the coursework instructions for a given activity).

Marked reports should be returned within 15 term days (inclusive) of a hand-in date (or by the Friday of week 1 at the start of the following term, if there are fewer than 15 days remaining in term). Arrangements for marking may slightly vary from lab to lab. In most cases, reports are collected in, marked and returned with a feedback sheet. Group feedback sessions might also be offered in order to cover most common issues with the reports and provide students with an opportunity to discuss specific aspects of their report.

Plan ahead: any experiment that you are considering writing up as a FTR should be done early enough in the term for the marked lab report to be returned well before the FTR deadline at the end of term.

For details of the mark schemes and penalties see the table in the structure & balance of work.

Coursework mark records

Some lab leaders display marks alongside the lab booking sheets, but it is important that you retain all your marked coursework, in case of later query, and for scrutiny by the external examiners.  During the Easter term, a consolidated list of coursework credit marks will be displayed in the foyer of the Baker Building and there will be an opportunity to rectify any clerical errors that have arisen.  Students will be emailed to check the list, and any queries must be made by Wednesday week 5 at the latest, by email to the relevant lab coordinator: Dr Dongfang Liang

Part IIA coursework contacts and hand-in locations

Overall Coursework Leader: Dr Dongfang Liang

Locations for handing in experiments and full technical reports


Ms W Raymond

Post box outside room BE2-03, 2nd floor Baker Building


Mr K Barney

EIETL, 2nd floor Inglis Building


Mrs H Hambro

Room BE3-39, 3rd floor Baker Building



Post box, Mezzanine Floor Inglis Building


Ms K Cichovska

Teaching Office, room BEO-04, Office floor, Baker Building


Mr K Barney

EIETL, 2nd floor Inglis Building


Mrs L Zvaginyte-Bagociene

Room BNO-37, Baker Building


Mr K Barney

EIETL, 2nd floor Inglis Building



Submission of Part IIA coursework to examiners

For examination purposes, all your Part IIA module coursework has to be available for inspection by the External Examiners.  You must therefore ensure that you:

  1. collect all your work from wherever you handed it in to (for paper submission);
  2. excluding documents submitted on Moodle, hand in all your lab reports, essays and full technical reports (plus any coursework taken as part of a Part IIB module) and any coursework feedback forms to Lecture Room 11 between 10 am and 11.30 on one of the following days: Thursday & Friday of week 7 Easter term.
  3. download and sign submission form, stating that all work submitted is your own. Please also indicate which documents were submitted on Moodle. This should be placed on top of your bundle of coursework, which should then be tied securely with string or elastic bands.

If you will have a problem attending on the above dates or times, please contact the Teaching Office.

The Chair of IIA Examiners will be advised of any student whose coursework is not received.

Note: Make sure you keep a copy of your module or project work before submitting it for inspection as no work will be returned to students.

Lecture & lab start times


Lectures run from five minutes past the hour to five minutes to the hour, with the following exception:

Part IA and IB lectures in LT0 will start promptly at 9am and 10am.  Lecturers will start lecturing at precisely 9am in order to fit in the full 50 minutes of teaching that they need to deliver:

  • First lecture 09.00-09.50 (non-standard)
  • Second lecture 10.00-10.50 (non-standard)
  • Third lecture 11.05-11.55
  • Fourth lecture 12.05-12.55

This schedule allows LT0 to empty and refill at 11am. Students should leave LT0 by the doors at the front and on the North side at the back (leading to the roadway), allowing  students to enter from the foyer and the courtyard.


Morning laboratory/coursework sessions begin at 5 minutes past the hour.

Afternoon activities start on the hour.

Lateness penalties

For coursework submitted after the given deadline a penalty of 1 mark per week or part week that the work is late will be applied.  For Full Technical Reports (FTRs) the penalty is 2 marks per week or part week that the work is late.

There are a number of reasons why it may not be possible to submit on time, please refer to the Rearranging coursework and allowances guidelines for guidance.

Part IIA allowances

Part IIA Coursework Overview

During the Michaelmas and Lent terms, Part IIA undergraduates submit a minimum of 8 reports/essays associated with modules, and 2 full technical reports (FTR), and complete an Extension Activity (ExA). During the Easter term, students undertake 2 projects.  Students are expected to make all reasonable efforts to complete missed experiments, FTRs and ExAs at a later date, and should contact the member of staff in charge of the activity concerned as soon as possible. 

An allowance of marks will not normally be made for more than the coursework for 4 modules and an ExA. Applications should be made at the time rearrangement proves not to be possible, and at the latest by the end of the relevant term. Allowance forms can be downloaded here.

Part IIA projects

Students are expected to complete as much as possible of the work associated with their two projects, but the four week timetable imposes tight constraints. 

Minor disruption

Mark penalties are applied for missing compulsory sessions or late report submission. If (due to illness or other grave cause) you are absent from a compulsory session, miss (or expect to miss) a report deadline, then you should notify your project leader(s) and Tutor.  Allowance claims to recover penalty marks should be submitted as soon as possible, and preferably within three working days of the date missed, using the standard Allowance form.

Significant disruption

If disruption to your project work is sufficient that there is a significant risk that you may not be able to catch up all of the work and complete the project, you must notify your Tutor, project leader(s) and the Director of Undergraduate Education by email immediately.  Regular consultations will be required until the project is back on track.  This is in order to determine reasonable extensions to deadlines, or to agree a reduced or alternative submission of project work, as appropriate.  A standard Allowance form should be completed and submitted to the Teaching Office, documenting any removal of penalties / agreed extensions / modified work programme (use the back of the form if required).  

In these circumstances, an allowance of marks (as opposed to removal of a lateness penalty) may be made only if a substantial part of the project work has been submitted, in which case the total mark may be extrapolated in suitable proportion.  Note that allowances are considered separately for each project, i.e. marks awarded for one project will not be used as a basis for awarding marks on the other project.  Failure to submit any reports on a project will be treated in the same way as a missed examination: zero marks will be awarded, and the case referred to the University's Applications Committee.

NB.  Extensions for final reports are limited to a maximum of four days, and only in exceptional circumstances, since the Examiners must publish the final class lists two weeks after the submission date. The final deadline for receipt of all allowance forms is 4pm on Wednesday of week 7 Easter term.


Application deadline: Applications for coursework in Michaelmas and Lent Terms must be made on an Allowance form and received by one week after the end of the relevant Full Term. All other applications must be received by 4pm on the Wednesday of the week 7 of Easter Full Term.


Deadline extension


Lab experiments and management exercises


Yes, but not if it is possible to reschedule. Allowance will not normally be made for more than four experiments/exercises

Full technical reports


Not normally

Extension Activity


Yes, but not if student can join another group

Easter term project reports:


Interim - Yes
Final - No (or up to 4 days, in exceptional circumstances)

Not normally, and only if a substantial part of the project work is submitted



Part II spare lecture notes & examples papers distribution system

All Part II subject groups have a designated area where either racks and/or filing cabinets are provided in which lecturers can deposit spare copies of lecture handouts and examples papers, and from where students and staff can collect copies.  The designated areas are as follows (if handouts are not there, please contact the relevant module leader directly):

  • Group A (modules 3A* and 4A*):  some handouts are available from the Hopkinson Lab
  • Group B (modules 3B* and 4B*): racks (Part IIA) and filing cabinet (Part IIB) in the EIETL
  • Group C (modules 3C* and 4C*): racks in the Centre Wing Mechanics Lab
  • Group D (modules 3D*, 4D* and 5R5): racks on the Inglis Mezzanine
  • Group E (modules 3E* and 4E*): racks (Part IIA) and filing cabinet (Part IIB) in the EIETL
  • Group F (modules 3F* and 4F*): racks (Part IIA) and filing cabinet (Part IIB) in the EIETL
  • Group G (modules 3G*): racks in the EIETL
  • Group I (modules 4I*): filing cabinet in the EIETL
  • Group M (modules 3M*, 4M* and 5R1): racks (Part IIA) and filing cabinet (Part IIB) in the EIETL

Part IIA projects

During the Easter term following the IIA examinations, all Part IIA students undertake 2 projects  (with a few having preparatory sessions during the Lent Term).  Allocation of these projects will be made at the end of the Michaelmas Term.  Some projects have pre-requisite modules and will assume certain background knowledge. You should therefore give some thought to your likely preferences for projects before finalising your choice of Michaelmas modules on COMET. 

Full details of the IIA projects, including descriptions and key dates, may be found in the IIA Project Guide.

Good academic practice vs academic misconduct (including plagiarism)

The University provides guidance on Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct which can be found at https://www.plagiarism.admin.cam.ac.uk, where academic misconduct includes any practice that may unfairly advantage a student’s academic assessment (which includes plagiarism).

Suspected cases of Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct will be handled by the Director of Undergraduate Education in conjunction with the relevant Chair of Examiners, which may result in the case being referred to the University’s Office of Student Conduct, Complaints and Appeals for consideration under the disciplinary regulations.

You should read and ensure that you understand the Department's guidance on avoiding academic misconduct, which covers:

  • definition of academic misconduct
  • plagiarism avoidance: expectations of all students
  • distinguishing between cooperation and cheating
  • sources of guidance on academic integrity, record keeping & referencing

If you have any queries please speak to your DoS.

Exam information

See the practical exam information page for details of:

  • the exam period, location & timetable
  • preparing for exams
  • documents & equipment allowed during exams
  • the day of the exams
  • after the exams

You may also be interested in:

  • the Guidelines for Examiners and Assessors: Part IIA, Part IIB
  • the Department's statement on assessment types for an explanation of the differences between formative and summative assessment activities and details of how you can expect to receive feedback on your performance throughout the course.


Guidance notes

The Tripos regulations allow students to apply to intermit between Part I and Part II (i.e. after Part IB), or between Part IIA and Part IIB, by making 'a reasoned case' for consideration by the Faculty Board.  This case should outline your plans for the year and how these will contribute to your professional development and education.  Typical examples of approved plans include internships with engineering firms, which will enhance the student's skills and knowledge for their Part II specialism.

Application process

  • Students complete Section A of the intermission application form and forward it, together with the offer letter from the organisation with which they have secured a placement/internship, to their Director of Studies by 15 April.
  • The Director of Studies should complete Section B and return the completed form and offer letter to faculty-board-office@eng.cam.ac.uk by 1 May.

Faculty Board approval

The Faculty Board will consider intermission applications at its first meeting in Easter Term.  Applicants and their Colleges will be notified of the outcome of the Faculty Board’s decision by email.

Progression through the Tripos

A summary of the results that students must obtain to continue with the next part of the course is available at this link.  Formal and detailed information about progression requirements is contained in Statutes and Ordinances.


All the four-year MEng courses offered by the Department of Engineering are accredited by one or more of the professional engineering institutions, depending on the engineering area studied. 

Students are also strongly encouraged to become student or affiliate members of the professional institutions which particularly relate to their interests.

For further details of the accrediting bodies, membership benefits and contact officers within CUED see the Accreditation of the MEng.

How to give feedback on the course

Your feedback is essential for informing the development of the Tripos.  Staff take it very seriously and every year it leads to real changes, for example:

  • the introduction of the Dyson Centre
  • the redesign of the Department’s Library
  • extending the Part IB exam period
  • introducing more practical Part I lab sessions
  • more staff training on supporting students with mental health difficulties.

We appreciate that it can feel like you are being bombarded with requests to complete surveys see our page on student surveys and giving feedback on the course for details of the feedback mechanisms which the Department particularly values.  These include the fast feedback facility, course-specific and national surveys and the best lecturers awards.

Please ensure that all comments comply with the Department's code of conduct for survey respondents.

Inclusive teaching

The Department's approach

The Equality Act (2010) requires higher education institutions to take positive steps to make their education accessible to disabled students and to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to provision to ensure that disabled students are not disadvantaged. Disabilities may include physical or mental impairments: the majority of these students have specific learning difficulty (SpLD) in the form of dyslexia. The University has a Code of Practice on Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Students and the Disability Resource Centre has some standard recommendations for appropriate academic support for such students. Further provision may be required in particular cases.

In an organisation of our size and complexity, individual variations in provision are potentially disruptive. However, many of the suggested adjustments are just good educational practice, so represent things we should be doing anyway as a Department that takes pride in the excellence of its teaching. Indeed, we already follow many of the recommendations (e.g. provision of cribs). The approach we have adopted is therefore to aim to have inclusive standard procedures for all teaching activities. Students are expected to make use of available resources to suit their needs, and to contact staff themselves (e.g. lecturers, lab leaders) if additional material is required.

The syllabus pages will give you lecturer details for part IA and part IB lecturers.  Lab leader details can be found here for IA and IB.

Contact details of part II lecturers can be found on the relevant syllabus pages.

Any enquiries should be addressed to the Director of Undergraduate Education.

Facuty Board recommendations

  • Electronic versions of handouts should be made available online 24 hours in advance of lectures or other teaching sessions (e.g. labs). [This allows students who do have special requirements to produce their own customised hard copy if they wish: e.g. single-sided; large format; non-white background].
  • Filled-in versions of notes should be made available online after lectures, ideally within a week but certainly by the end of term.
  • Recording lectures (audio) is often recommended to students as a learning aid. Students are permitted to use the recording only for their own personal study, and acknowledging IP and copyright. Lecturers are asked to consent to their lectures being recorded under these conditions.
  • In labs, instruction should be provided in both written and verbal form.
  • Lecturers should remember to pay attention to ‘signposting’ e.g. statement a start of each lecture of what is being covered; tracking progression throughout lecture; summary of main teaching points at end.
  • All staff should make particular effort to put new vocabulary into context and explain new concepts. It is helpful to provide some repetition.

Sensus Access

Sensus Access is a free self-service facility which is designed to allow diabled students and staff (or those supporting them) to create accessible alternative formats of inaccessible digital documents.  Further information is available on the Disability Resource Centre's website.

Course material on Moodle

Most of the Department's courses have a page on the University's Virtual Learning Environment Moodle.

These pages are maintained by course lecturers. Students registered to these courses are automatically enrolled at the start of the course and can engage in the course activities, including coursework submission when appropriate.

Other members of the University, staff or students, can self-enrol as observer and gain access to handouts and other documents made available to the students by the lecturers. This access is provided to students so that they can make an informed decision regarding their course selection. There might be copyright restrictions to the course material; any use of the course content that is not related to students education is not allowed. The material should not be redistributed by the students in any circumstances.

A key is needed to self-enrol on any course. By using this key, you indicate that you agree with the condition above.

Enrolment key: cued_moodle_access

You may wish to look at our 'getting started' guide.

Departmental facilities and rules

See the facilities and rules page for information about access to the Department, departmental rules and facilities such as the computer system and The Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication etc.

Dyson Centre

Private engineering project space, training and student team space

The Dyson Centre for Engineering Design (not to be confused with the James Dyson Building) is your space as Engineering Undergraduates, where you can undertake your own private engineering projects and experiments, and a space in which engineering students teams can operate.

The area offers training in use of a variety of machines including lathes, milling machines, laser cutters, and there are also selfservice 3D printers which you can learn how to use.

Various funding sources are available to help you kick start your project and the staff are on hand to offer help and advice with all aspects of engineering theory, development and design.

For more information see www.dysoncentre.eng.cam.ac.uk

Also of note is Engineering Stores, where a vast range of engineering materials and components are held in stock for immediate purchase, details are available on:



Last updated on 23/08/2019 10:13