Engineering Thermodynamics (H3052)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

Topics covered in this module include:

  • fundamental concepts: fluid properties, work, heat, temperature, properties of a gas from the ideal gas law
  • 1st Law of Thermodynamics – the equivalence of work and heat, concepts of thermodynamic systems and boundaries, internal energy, enthalpy
  • and applications to non-flow and steady flow processes, an introduction to thermodynamic cycles, Bernoulli's equation
  • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and the concept of reversibility and the Carnot cycle
  • General Thermodynamic relations (Maxwell)
  • application of thermodynamic principles to simple engine cycles (Otto, Diesel & Joule)
  • properties of vapours with specific reference to the use of the steam tables and application to simple Rankine and refrigeration cycles
  • properties of mixtures with specific reference to the measurement of humidity
  • dimensional analysis, Buckingham's theorem and derivation of some basic dimensional groups (e.g. Reynolds number and skin friction coefficient)
  • heat transfer – use of the basic laws for simple problems in conduction, convection and radiation.


73%: Lecture
27%: Practical (Laboratory, Workshop)


25%: Coursework (Problem set, Report)
75%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 45 hours of contact time and about 105 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: