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University of Bath

Advanced Automotive Propulsion System MRes Year Taught Unit Descriptions

The MRes year is a 12-month taught programme which is split over the two teaching semesters and the summer period.

MRes Year

The MRes year is a 12-month taught programme which is split over the two teaching semesters and the summer period. You will take 60 credits of taught courses as well as undertake a 30 credit MRes Thesis Formulation Report.

All units are compulsory and bespoke to the CDT, with some units running throughout the semester and others being concentrated into shorter periods.

Taught units in your first year include:

  • automotive propulsion system technology
  • strategic and innovative thinking
  • automotive propulsion systems evaluation
  • automotive business processes
  • automotive propulsion systems innovation
  • student-led symposia and integrative think tanks
  • thesis formulation project

Semester 1

Automotive Propulsion Technology

This unit is designed to introduce you to the current and future technology make up of Automotive Propulsion Systems. It will allow you to understand the importance and opportunities of your own specialist discipline within Automotive Propulsion Systems.

You will receive guest lectures and discussion sessions with experts and practitioners, tutorial sessions to develop ideas for coursework and presentation and practical sessions discovering propulsion hardware.

Strategic and Innovative Thinking

The aim of this unit is to provide you with strategic and innovative thinking methods to challenge the status quo of conventional systems thinking, and to provide a framework for managing the rapidly changing technological world. This course will explore strategic thinking processes, road-mapping techniques, contextualization of technology drivers and alternative thinking approaches for systems design and analysis.

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to summarise systems thinking in an automotive propulsion context, apply strategic thinking, apply effective critical thinking techniques and conduct road-mapping exercises over short, medium and long-term horizons.

Automotive Propulsion System Evaluation

This unit is designed to introduce you to a real automotive propulsion system through practical, data driven analysis of its performance and context.

As part of a multi-disciplinary group, you will analyse the performance of a current automotive propulsion system. You will take part in practical laboratory sessions collecting data on the performance of an advanced automotive propulsion system in our world class experimental facilities, complemented by quantitative and qualitative research into propulsion system performance in the market.

There will be a course on statistical techniques for assessing data integrity, analysing data and significance testing and a practical course in creativity frameworks, supported by further sessions on team working, descriptive feedback and self-reflection. This unit will help you put your trans-disciplinary learning into practice, conducting open-minded analysis without scientific or personal prejudice and leveraging the capability of others in an inclusive, collaborative team environment.

Semester 2

Automotive Business Processes

The aim of this unit is to give you an overview of the business processes and context of the current automotive industry and how these are implemented in practice. You will gain a deep understanding of the commercial landscape and trends of the automotive industry as well as the regulatory framework that governs the industry. You will learn about key business processes from specialist practitioners, with sessions including the V-process of systems engineering, 6-Sigma, just-in-time, DFMEA, project management and sustainability.

Automotive Propulsion Systems Innovation

This unit will provide you with an overview of the complete innovation insights framework and allow you to apply it to provide an innovative solution to improve the powertrain system assessed in the evaluation unit in semester 1. As part of a small team you will develop innovative solutions, build prototypes and present your business case at the annual design exhibition.

You will bring together the skills you have developed in previous units in critical thinking, data and information analysis of complex systems, problem solving and data sourcing to work in a trans-disciplinary team to apply creativity frameworks, challenge current scientific understanding and adopt alternative insights from your analysis.

Student Led Symposia (SLS) and Integrative Think Tanks (ITT)

Student-Led Symposia (SLS)

With guidance from the AAPS management team and unit convenors, you and your cohort will decide on topics and reading group activities, as well as inviting speakers to give seminars or short courses from a self-managed budget. Topics will be steered to relate to upcoming ITTs and academic staff and industrial partners attending the ITTs will be invited to be involved in the symposia series immediately before where possible. A goal of these symposia is to foster research independence. Each semester, students will be expected to prepare and deliver a presentation.

Integrative Think Tanks (ITT)

You'll take part in week-long workshops called Integrative Think Tanks at the end-of-each-semester. ITTs are significant events, focal points in the calendar of AAPS activity, and central to our goals.

ITTs are week-long facilitated workshops in which academic, industrial, and other external partners present problems requiring research solutions, with lectures on relevant background given by experts. You will work in groups with other participants in order to define routes to the solution of these problems, identifying the new research that will be necessary to make this possible. The aim is to develop skills in problem formulation and mapping directions for independent research. It is expected that some ITT problems will eventually become PhD thesis topics and result in collaborative projects with the external industrial and academic partners associated with AAPS. Your ITT participation is assessed by a presentation delivered during the week and a report written in the style of a grant proposal after the ITT.

Summer Period

Thesis Formulation Project

The three-month summer period will consist of a structured and carefully mentored process, in which you will undertake an individual preliminary research project. This is likely to be both in the field of your Ph.D. thesis and under the supervision of all or part of your PhD supervisory team. This project will allow you to explore motivation, published literature and a proposed methodology in anticipation of the beginning of your PhD in year 2. Your preliminary findings will lead you into the preparation of a 25-35 page document, called the Thesis Formulation Report, outlining, in depth and breadth, motivation, objectives and methodology for the proposed Ph.D. problem(s) you will tackle in years 2-4.