Skip to main content

Unit information: Computer Based Modelling 4 in 2020/21

Unit name Computer Based Modelling 4
Unit code MENGM1411
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Harrison
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit introduces students to Matlab through the use of self-guide workbooks and extended exercises problems within a supported-learning environment. The basic concepts of programming in Matlab, including loops, conditional statements, matrix manipulation, function definition and plotting will be covered. This is followed by an extended individual Matlab-based project, during which the student will develop a computer model of an engineering problem. Supporting notes are provided.


To understand how to develop a computer model of an engineering system using the Matlab programming package. To increase the student's ability and confidence in the development of programs to model physical systems.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  1. Computation: Use Matlab to perform arithmetical operations and solve basic mathematical problems (matrices manipulation)
  2. Visualisation: Display computational results graphically using the Matlab programming package and GUI
  3. Programming: Write functional code using a step-by-step organised process to accomplish specific tasks and model an engineering system (relational and logical operators, conditional statements, and loop structures, use of scripts and functions, and introductory program debugging)
  4. Apply problem solving techniques (top-down analysis) to solve open-ended engineering problems
  5. Optimise algorithms (time, memory needs, complexity)

  6. Use precise, accurate, written language and technical tools such as flow charts, pseudocode to describe a program

Teaching details

The course will mainly be taught through self-study with supported learning. Learning material will be available on-line

Assessment Details

Single coursework assessing all learning outcomes.

Reading and References

  • Hunt, B.R., A Guide to MATLAB: For Beginners & Experienced Users. (2006), 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press. ISBN-10: 0521615658. ISBN-13: 9780521615655. Classmark: QA297 HUN
  • Hahn, B.D. & Valentine, D.T., Essential MATLAB for Engineers & Scientists. (2013), 5th ed., Oxford Academic Press. ISBN-10: 0123946131. ISBN-13: 9780123946133. Classmark: QA297 HAH.
  • In addition, Matlab's on-line help is extensively used.