KB6059 - Global Design Challenges

What will I learn on this module?

This module allows you to develop your design skills and knowledge through their application to addressing acknowledged global design challenges and problems. It will involve the consideration, selection and application of suitable design methodologies, approaches and techniques that are appropriate to the design problem posed. Problems within the module will be identified as having a significant impact on society (in a global context) that would benefit from the derivation of engineering design solutions within the remit of mechanical engineering subject areas. Key activities based upon design thinking and approaches, sound problem research and its translation into design requirements, through the implementation of scientific and engineering principles will be used to solve complex design problems within an environment that represents an authentic engineering design team and communication of the design results. Professional engineering considerations, such as sustainability and economics, will be some of the factors integral to the process of deriving a solution. They will necessitate a systematic and considered approach to the problem which will be supported by evidenced practical demonstration of design outcome suitability.

How will I learn on this module?

Active learning sessions will be used to present design thinking examples to assist you in exploring key concepts and topics within the module. Sessions will involve a combination of open-thinking and practical learning exercises to enable you to develop your design judgement and apply your learning to authentic engineering problems of significant scale and value. A problem-solving focused curriculum will allow you to explore and understand what may be deemed to be conventional solutions and provide an opportunity for innovative discovery of alternatives. Learning activities will enable students to work collaboratively through the development of teamwork and communication skills, and the encouragement of creative thinking to solve engineering problems.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During your active learning sessions, academic support will be available to facilitate your exploration of the problem-solving activities. Formative feedback will be provided by the module team, including answering student queries and providing guidance concerning the module such as assessments and your academic progress. The electronic learning platform (eLP) provides a comprehensive resource for integrated learning incorporating learning materials and reading lists that will facilitate directed and self-directed learning. Contact with academic tutors and your peers outside formal teaching hours is encouraged through dedicated ‘office hours’, discussion boards and messaging systems within the eLP. Professional support staff, such as Ask4Help, provide the first point of contact for a range of queries, including, for example, those concerning assessment submission, late submission/extensions, and other administrative issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1. Select and evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to address complex global design problems to allow an integrated or systems approach to the solution of complex problems. (C4)(C6)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO2. Design solutions for complex problems that meet a combination of societal, user, business and customer needs as appropriate. This will involve consideration of applicable health and safety, diversity, inclusion, cultural, societal, environmental and commercial matters, codes of practice and industry standards. (C5)
MLO3. Use practical laboratory and workshop skills to investigate complex problems pertinent to global design challenges. (C12)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO4. Evaluate the global environmental and societal impact of solutions to complex engineering design problems and minimise adverse impacts and security risks. (C7)(C10)
MLO5. Function and communicate effectively as an individual, and as a member or leader of a team to communicate the analysis of complex problems that have a global context to technical and nontechnical audiences. (C16)(C17)

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
Academic staff on the module will assess you in a formative manner to help build your confidence and highlight any misunderstandings you may have of the theoretical and professional concepts presented in the module. Your formative feedback will be given to you either verbally by academic staff on the module during formally scheduled teaching sessions or using the eLP. Your formative feedback aims to help you learn and prepare for the submission of your summative assessment.

Summative Assessment
Academic staff on the module will assess you in a summative manner by two pieces of coursework;
Component 1 (30%) to assess your understanding of integrated or systems approaches considering the wider needs of all stakeholders (MLOs 1 and 2) through completing an initial design specification activity (2500 words or equivalent).
Component 2 (70%), to assess, is used to evaluate your individual ability to apply a broad range of skills, intellectual and practical, to investigate complex engineering and design challenges, MLOs 3, 4 and 5, through submission of an individual written validation of design process outcomes (3500 words or equivalent).

Feedback will be provided electronically through the eLP within 20 working days of the date of submission.





Module abstract

This module allows you to develop your design skills and knowledge through their application to addressing authentic, recognised global design challenges. Through the selection and implementation of appropriate engineering design approaches and methods, a holistic and systematic resolution to the design problem will be derived in a realistic engineering design environment, taking into account the professional expectations and considerations required when addressing such problems in industry. It will involve the application of creative approaches and innovative solution finding that will be supported through practical demonstration of fitness for purpose and validity of design feature viability. In the module, you will be encouraged to investigate and gain confidence in research and critical thinking through the application of appropriate knowledge and methodologies to tackle complex problems. Active learning sessions will be used to present you with new material and assist you in exploring key concepts and topics within the module. Sessions will involve a combination of content delivery and practical learning exercises to enable you to apply your learning to authentic engineering problems. The module utilises the electronic learning platform (eLP) to provide a comprehensive resource for integrated learning incorporating learning materials and reading lists that will facilitate directed and self-directed learning.

Course info

UCAS Code H3P6

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years Full Time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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