The first two years are common to all mechanical engineering students, with teaching based on four main themes: design and manufacture dynamics and control materials thermofluids Years one and two cover the fundamental principles of mechanical engineering and include lectures, laboratories, design classes and short projects in modelling and manufacturing. The third year builds on this foundation and applies the principles covered in years one and two to more realistic and complex engineering applications. A major element of the third year is an open-ended individual research project that requires students to demonstrate independent and creative thinking. In the fourth year, students select courses from a range of specialist options, which provide an insight into state-of-the-art engineering research. The fourth year also includes a second major project undertaken in a group of around four students. In these projects, students must work effectively as a team to address a substantial open-ended technical challenge.