From the very first day of the first term, students will come together to work in cross-disciplinary teams to tackle ambitious real world problems based on our research and develop the crucial teamworking skills required by industry and academia.
This is a key part of the UCL integrated engineering experience and builds on our pioneering use of scenario-based teaching at UCL, where students work in teams to produce solutions to open-ended problems using what they have learnt in classes. Although you will receive expert support during these modules, you will develop your ability to work independently, preparing you for the world beyond your studies.
These methods create a highly engaging learning environment where students have regular opportunities to put their theoretical knowledge to practical application. Our approach to learning produces well-rounded graduates with a strong grasp of the fundamentals of their discipline, accompanied by broad understanding of the complexity and context of engineering problems.
Case study: How to Change the World
During two intensive weeks of activity, a variety of global organisations present second-year students with challenge problems. Working in multidisciplinary cohorts and groups, students devise – and where possible, prototype – creative solutions to these challenge problems. Along the way, a programme of themed lectures, facilitated workshops and group studio time will provide training and spur creativity. This programme, developed with the Department for Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, moves through themes of How to Change the World… Sustainably, Equitably, and Collaboratively, and exposes students to skills for mobilising change through business, public policy, and social change.
Read more about How to Change the World.
Cutting edge learning methods
You will learn in a variety of ways. Some will be lecture-based, while some will provide you with the materials and support to self-study through video and written material, problem sheets, exercise classes and tutorials. For example, we use flipped lectures to make the most of UCL’s already excellent staff student ratio, preserving class time for interaction by doing the ‘lecturing’ through recordings beforehand. You will also spend time in experimental or computer labs learning key technical skills.
Project and design work
To really make a difference, whether through a small company, a global corporation, national government, or social enterprise, you need to be able to understand the context in which you’re working. The solution you provide can only be as good as your understanding of the needs of your clients, users, or stakeholders.
You also need to be able to generate ideas and analyze which are the most applicable. These decisions need to take into account not just the technical feasibility of a proposal but its economic viability and its ethical implications.
Whatever decision you make, you need to be able to convince other people – bosses, sponsors, taxpayers, shareholders, colleagues – that the decision is the right one and that work should go ahead.
The Design and Professional Skills programme is designed give you the ability and confidence to tackle every aspect of your job as an engineer: even the bits that, at first glance, don’t particularly look like engineering.
Your support network
You will be allocated a tutor, who you’ll meet regularly across the teaching terms throughout your time at UCL. They are there to help you with both academic and personal matters. You will also have a mentor assigned by UCL’s Transitions programme, who will be a later-year student from your department.