The efficacy of a CDIO based integrated curriculum as preparation for professional practice in product design and development

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The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast started BEng and MEng degree programmes in Product Design and Development (PDD) in 2004. Intended from the outset to be significantly different from the existing programmes within the School the PDD degrees used the syllabus and standards defined by the CDIO Initiative as the basis for an integrated curriculum. Students are taught in the context of conceiving, designing, implementing and operating a product. Fundamental to this approach is a core sequence of Design-Build-Test (DBT) experiences which facilitates the development of a range of professional skills as well as the immediate application of technical knowledge gained in strategically aligned supporting modules.
The key objective of the degree programmes is to better prepare students for professional practice. PDD graduates were surveyed using a questionnaire developed by the CDIO founders and interviewed to examine the efficacy of these degree programmes, particularly in this key objective. Graduate employment rates, self assessment of graduate attributes and examples of work produced by MEng graduates provided positive evidence that their capabilities met the requirements of the profession. The 24% questionnaire response rate from the 96 graduates to date did not however facilitate statistically significant conclusions to be drawn and particularly not for BEng graduates who were under represented in the response group. While not providing proof of efficacy the investigation did provide a good amount of useful data for consideration as part of a continuous improvement process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 06 Sep 2013
EventEngineering and Product Design Education (EPDE 2013) - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 05 Sep 201306 Sep 2013


ConferenceEngineering and Product Design Education (EPDE 2013)


  • CDIO, graduate attributes, preparation for professional practice


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