New engineering university unveils curriculum

Published: 06 Sep 2016 By The Engineer

The New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE), a brand new university with a focus on practical engineering skills, has revealed its curriculum outline ahead of a planned opening in September 2019.

New engineering

Set to be the UK’s first ‘greenfield’ university in 40 years, NMiTE will be located at a purpose-built city centre campus in Hereford. Its academic year will stretch across 46 weeks, allowing a masters in liberal engineering, a programme ‘liberated’ from the strictures and narrow confines of science and mathematics, and incorporating subjects that include finance, economics, management, quality, IT, languages, rhetoric, marketing, sociology, ethics, art, and human resources into the problem solving process.

The course also includes a six-month work placement to be completed within three years rather than the current four and a half.

The year will consist of about 13 three-week blocks where students will be broken into groups of five to work on problem-based projects, many of which will be provided by industry. A typical 40-hour week will involve around 20 hours of student-led project work and 15 hours of self-study.

“NMiTE will radically change the way engineering is taught in Britain to help tackle the growing shortage of graduate engineers, especially those with the broad range of additional applied analytical thinking, innovation, interpersonal and leadership skills that employers seek,” said David Sheppard, co-leader of NMiTE’s Development Team.

“We’ll be on the lookout for the brightest and most tenacious sixth-formers, with an A and two Bs as a minimum.  We’ll also be looking to bring in those who are currently excluded, such as the many experienced engineers in the military and also women, who often do not take A Levels in maths and physics.”

According to the university, subjects such as economics, marketing, politics and computing will not be taught separately, but rather as part of the engineering projects that the students are assigned. Instead of leaving with a single grade, students will graduate with a portfolio of achievements from the blocks they completed.

“Our approach is designed for the best and brightest who want to excel, it is definitely not for people who want to coast through university with the minimum of effort,” said Prof Peter Goodhew from NMiTE’s curriculum panel.

“It is also very focused on getting employers involved at the start and throughout so they mould the curriculum to meet the current and emerging skills industry needs.”

A white paper outlining the aims of NMiTE – and the thinking behind incorporating liberal arts into the study of engineering – can be found here.

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