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Within WMG, and the fast-paced automotive research environment in which we work, we constantly review and revise our Master’s module content to ensure it keeps up and aligns with latest research and industry trends in the sector. We have developed a number of new modules, and re-structured the SAE programme.

The new course design mirrors the System Engineering V-cycle used for product development in industry and consists of four layers. Course participants begin working at Layer 1: Stakeholder Motivations (Global, legislative, customer etc.) and progress through Layer 2: Vehicle, and Layer 3: Systems, before studying at Layer 4: Component engineering. Alongside this progression, there are additional supporting modules covering industry tools and techniques applicable at all layers and to manage the design life-cycle itself. Please see the Course Content tab for further details.

This Master's course is designed for engineering or STEM subject graduates with an interest in automotive innovation. You will develop the skills to design and evaluate the next generation of low environmental impact automotive products.

The course is ideally suited to those aspiring to become research managers and technology leaders within the strategically important areas of vehicle electrification and sustainability. Through your studies, you will develop the management skills, technical awareness, and vision to assess different technology options within the context of environmental legislation and consumer expectations for vehicle quality, reliability, and performance.

Throughout the year, you will gain a holistic understanding of the different technology options and methods for design, system integration, and verification that will drive the market introduction of new energy efficient vehicles.

You will develop the skills to design and evaluate the next generation of automotive products that have a lower environmental impact than conventional vehicles. You will learn the latest innovations in research, technology management, and leadership that are pre-requisite for career progression within the international automotive industry.

The precursor to this course (MSc Sustainable Automotive Engineering) was accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
This course has been designed to be accredited by the IET and, in line with IET directives, WMG will apply for accreditation once the first cohort have graduated. It is usual in these circumstances for accreditation to be backdated.
Tuesday, 01 January 2019

Course content

Course modules 

Automotive Research, Strategy and Environment (Layer 1 - Global & Customer Motivations)

The introductory module of the new ‘Sustainable Automotive Electrification’ course. Content focuses on the motivations for electrification and hybridisation in the automotive industry: global warming and pollution. The module then introduces the overarching legislative and regulatory frameworks alongside organisational and strategic approaches of manufacturers in response to the problem.

Automotive Hybridisation and Electrification (Layer 2 - Vehicle)

This module covers the principles and concepts behind the engineering of hybrid and electrified vehicles at the vehicle system layer. Customer requirements, such as performance feel, efficiency and sound quality, are introduced. This will be consolidated with a thorough understanding of how technical solutions, and verification methods, are delivered to ensure that the product meets customer needs and expectations. Propulsion architectures, control methods and integration issues are covered in detail and a thorough understanding of the process is gained.

Energy Storage Systems (Layer 3 - Systems)

There are many complexities and challenges of introducing high voltage technology to passenger vehicles. This module provides a comprehensive study of energy storage systems for hybrid and electric vehicle applications in the automotive industry. You will gain hands-on experience of battery and hydrogen fuel-cell testing, which includes the wide and varying conditions of real-world applications.

Electrical Drivetrains (Layer 3 - Systems)

Advanced propulsion technologies will lead the way for a cleaner and greener world; these technologies are especially important and appropriate for hybrid and electric vehicles and will be a core part of your learning on this module. You’ll also look at how to design, drive and control the electric machines of the future. The module includes a significant practical element where students gain hands-on experience of electric machine characterisation and testing, as well as classroom-based investigation and consolidation of the control technology employed.

Systems Engineering and Functional Safety (All layers)

Developing complex automotive systems requires an in-depth understanding and awareness of essential processes – this includes user cases, requirements and specifications through to validation and verification of functional and safe systems. Systems Engineering is the industrial framework for developing complex systems, and functional safety ensures that any such systems are fit for their intended purpose. Starting with Systems Engineering, you’ll cover the principles and concepts of complexity and systems thinking; lean engineering; system architecture; and model-based systems engineering. On the functional safety side, you’ll learn how to incorporate the systems engineering principles through the safety life-cycle by looking at hazard and risk analysis; system development; safety and change management; confidence levels; and verification.

Modelling and Simulation of Systems (All layers)

In this module, you will gain a comprehensive understanding and practical experience of the modelling and simulation of physical systems within an automotive context. Developing both theoretical and practical understanding of the derivation of ordinary differential equations, applicable numerical methods and the construction of models to solve problems in both time and frequency domains.

Elective modules

Two modules must be taken from the following list. These modules will allow you to gain further specialist, technical understanding

Please note: the modules outlined above represent those available for this course in the 2020/21 academic year. They should be regarded as an illustrative guide to modules available in future years.


Your project will be worth 60 CATS (33% of the final grade) and supports you in developing your personal research skills.

The project must be based on a topical aspect of sustainable automotive electrification. Projects should be of a technical nature, or relate to strategic direction of sustainable automotive technologies.

Learning style

The taught component of the course consists of lectures, workshops, practicals, demonstrations, problem classes, syndicate exercises, and a review.

Module leaders are experts in their fields and are supported by external speakers working in organisations at the forefront of their fields.

Rather than exams, each module is assessed through in-module assignments (IMA) and a post module assignment (PMA) based on the learning objectives of the module. Your PMA should take around 60 hours of work and consolidate the knowledge you have gained during the module week. Automotive modules include several industry speakers and real-world case studies.

Each module usually lasts one week. See here for more information about the course structure.

Friday, 01 February 2019

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

In order to meet our academic entry requirement, you should have obtained the minimum of a UK second class honours degree (or equivalent) in an engineering or STEM subject, and you should have an interest in automotive innovation.

The course is ideally suited to those aspiring to become research managers and technology leaders within the strategically important areas of vehicle electrification and sustainability.

English language
For non-native English speakers, we require an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any one component).
What you will need to apply
  • A completed application form and application fee.
  • A Personal Statement, which can be included in the online application.
  • A scan of your transcript (marksheet). If you are still studying, send us your transcripts to date. NB: if you are made an offer, we will then require your original degree transcripts and certificate in hard copy format to clear your conditions.
  • English test result (if applicable) - this can be submitted after you have an offer.
  • One reference. If you completed studies less than 2 years ago, this should be an academic reference. If you graduated more than 2 years ago, we will accept professional references. We contact your referee directly, so please include their valid professional email address on your application form.

You can read more about the application process on our how to apply page.

Two-stage application process

Please be aware that this course will have a two-stage application process. Once you have submitted your application, and providing you meet our admission requirements, our team will be in touch with instructions on the next stage. The second stage will require a video statement or an interview.

Friday, 01 March 2019

Student views

What our students say...

SAE_student1Ben Silvester

"Learning was centered around various different activities that kept the course stimulating right the way through. These included workshops and practicals for example, as well as guest lecturers from industry and research, and visit to companies and on-site labs. I also very much enjoyed the collaborative aspect of working in small groups to solve problems and find solutions, which really enhanced my learning experience. The state-of-the-art facilities and automotive expertise at WMG are second to none - it’s great to be surrounded by all of that.” ~ Read more from Ben.

Thomas Thies

"The course starts with a very holistic view of the problems and drivers shaping the automotive legislation. These were then linked to Powertrain Architectures and their sub-components to promote thinking at a more vehicle-level, rather than at a component level. This knowledge helped me to understand the seemingly endless opportunities for engine hybridisation, as well as the challenges of full electrification. SAE has definitely prepared me really well for industry"

Monday, 01 April 2019


Employability and career prospects

As an SAE graduate, you will have gained in-depth technical knowledge of the design lifecycle of a low-environmental-impact vehicle, from motivation, legislation, and customer needs through to modelling, safety, energy storage and propulsion.

As a result, after graduating from this course, you will be able to access roles as a research and development engineer or become a technology leader within key sectors of vehicle electrification and sustainability. Our graduates have secured these roles in areas such as electric drive systems, battery packs, battery modelling, electrical distribution systems and control systems.

You can expect to take on such a position with an automotive manufacturer or a specialist supplier of vehicle electrification technologies. Below are some examples of the companies that past SAE graduates have gone on to work for:

  • Ashok Leyland Ltd
  • Continental Engineering Services
  • Geely
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Lotus
  • Ricardo PLC
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Tesla
  • TVS Motor Company

In addition, our SAE graduates have also moved into broader research and development positions within the vehicle electrification sector, as well as taking on consultancy roles and academic research at doctoral level.

WMG: a department embedded in industry

You'll be studying in an environment surrounded by professionals from the vehicle electrification sector; including hearing directly from industry experts and guest speakers in many of our modules.

Throughout the year, we also host activities and events that will help you to understand potential career pathways including; seminars; external speakers; industrial visits; alumni talks and more. We encourage our students to make the most of the opportunities available to learn about career options for the future.

Warwick Careers Service

The University of Warwick's Careers Service offers specific careers support to WMG students, through a dedicated Careers Advisor, Siobhan Qadir. The service provides practical workshops and 1-1 appointments for our students covering many aspects of career choice and development, including: how to build a strong CV and write job applications; effective career planning and guidance; and how to enhance your interview and networking skills.

Additionally, each year, employers have a presence on campus, with careers fairs, presentations and guest lectures happening on a regular basis; meaning you'll have lots of exposure to potential employers.

There are also various events run throughout the year to develop your skillset and teach you how to market this to employers. Individual workshops are hosted on a variety of topics, such as networking and time management. Or for those interested in a more complete programme, you can partake in awards such as WMG Skills+ to develop your core employability skills, or the Intercultural Training Programme to strengthen your intercultural awareness. In addition, there is a wealth of online material available to help strengthen your industrial knowledge and build on employability skills, such as the WMG Virtual Careers Programme. Find out more about the support available to you by visiting our Careers and Employability page.


We hope that your relationship with WMG and the University of Warwick will continue long after your graduate. The university and the department both have vast alumni networks and, upon graduation, you'll be a member of this ever-growing community of professionals working in countries around the world. You'll have access to our alumni support; events; e-mentoring scheme; amongst many other opportunities.

You can read about more about the careers and experiences of our alumni on our alumni profiles web pages.

Wednesday, 01 May 2019


Please note, this is course information for 2021 entry. We will be updating our web pages at the end of September to reflect the latest course information for 2022 entry. Applications for 2022 entry will open from mid-October.

Environmental legislation is driving the automotive industry to meet emissions targets; innovative technologies are needed now, more than ever, to achieve this. Design and evaluate the sustainable vehicles of the future.


*Applications will close prior to the deadline if capacity on this course is reached. Early application is strongly recommended.