Hertfordshire University, formerly Hatfield Polytechnic, has run courses for the automotive industry for many years.
Its advisory panel of vehicle manufacturers asked for a course that would draw its engineers away from immersion in detail and give them breadth in areas of vehicle design, manufacture and management.
‘Manufacturers were finding people were becoming very deep in a very narrow area,’ says Penny Taylor, the course co-ordinator.
‘It wasn’t good enough to be an excellent engineer; they needed to have management experience as well.’
Hertfordshire, along with Loughborough, Birmingham, Luton and the Open University, produce modules for study in industry. Students, typically in their mid-30s, choose four units from one of three areas of study: design, manufacture and management, and two from the other areas.
A final year project sees the development of a study for use at work. Studies have included the design and development of engineering tools at Aston Martin and an analysis of communications management on project teams.