The UCL Integrated Engineering Programme: A Very Brief Guide

What is the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP)?

An Engineering Education curriculum structure that is specifically designed to facilitate interdisciplinary learning across various engineering disciplines by providing connecting activities between the different disciplines. In so doing it provides opportunities for students from different engineering disciplines to work collaboratively on real-life practical engineering problems.

What is the philosophy underpinning the Integrated Engineering Programme?

The Integrated Engineering Programme is based on the premise that in order to solve the emerging interdisciplinary engineering problems of the 21st century, the engineering graduate of today must have a strong theoretical and practical foundation in any of the current engineering disciplines, coupled with an ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams on interdisciplinary problems. Such skills should be simultaneously and methodically developed throughout the student journey from novice to graduate engineer.

How is the Integrated Engineering Programme structured?

Students enrol for their engineering studies in their chosen disciplines such as Biomedical, Biochemical, Chemical, Civil, Electronic and Electrical, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. From the first week of their university studies, and at regular intervals throughout the programme, students engage in team-based projects within their own disciplines and across the departments.

These projects include two cross-disciplinary team-based projects drawn from the key global challenges such as sustainable energy and global health. These two challenges are followed by regular one-week intensive, disciplinary design projects during the second half of the first year and second year known as scenarios.

At the end of the second year students undertake an intensive two-week interdisciplinary challenge, again drawn from key global challenges.  In the final year/years, programmes include a major design/research project. Overall, project-based activities constitute approximately 25% of the curriculum.

The UCL IEP Structure

(Copyright: UCL Faculty of Engineering Science)

What are the benefits of the Integrated Engineering Programme to the student?

The IEP offers students the opportunity to engage in real design and practical engineering experiences throughout their studies. In this way they acquire the necessary professional and interdisciplinary skills that they need to be effective engineers.  For instance, by the end of their second year, students will have taken part in at least 9 real-world engineering projects.


On 1st November 2017 the Higher Education Academy (HEA) recognised the UCL Faculty of Engineering Science by declaring them as one of the six winners of the 2017 HEA Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). See details of the HEA announcement here, and detail of the team submission here.

For more indepth Information:

For a more detailed overview of the Integrated Engineering Programme, read the project paper presented at the IEEE EDUCON 2015 Engineering Education Conference: Work in progress: Multi-disciplinary curriculum review of engineering education. UCL’s integrated engineering programme.

For a detailed description of the early implementation of scenarios in  UCL Civil and Environmental Engineering programmes,  see the article published in the 2010 European Journal of Engineering Education  Vol 35, Issue 3: Student experience of a scenario-centred curriculum

For a detailed description and evaluation of the cornerstone Engineering Design first year module of the Integrated Engineering Programme, see the paper presented at the 5th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference 2015: Sense of achievement: Initial evaluation of an Integrated Engineering Design cornerstone module

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