Study structure and curriculum

The University of Applied Sciences (HBO) Automotive Engineering Programme takes 4 years and the teaching materials consist of theory, practical sessions and project work. Every student follows the same programme for the first 2 years. From the 3rd academic year onwards, you have multiple choices focused on your specific interests. In particular, your choice of internship and minor help you give your studies your own specific direction and substance. If you devote 40 hours per week to your studies, you will definitely make it.

How many hours a week you will need to spend on your studies?

  • 25 hours of lectures / classes
  • 10 hours on projects / assignments
  • 10 hours of self-study

How is the study programme organised?

Theory: 60%
Self study: 25%
Practical work: 15%

First year

The first year is primarily focused on orienting your studies and future profession. You are introduced to the automotive engineer’s broad engineering domain and you establish an initial theoretical basis that will enable you to start working as an automotive engineer in the future. The lectures cover the theory, which you can immediately apply in practicals and projects. A sample of the subjects covered: motor dynamics, vehicle dynamics, mechanics and materials science. Mathematics is a common thread throughout your studies. We will help you with additional lectures should you require any help with mathematics.

Download Automotive Engineering Programme Guide - study year 1 - 2019-2020

Second Year

Starting in the second academic year, you will expand your automotive knowledge and engineering skills and you will increasingly gain insight into the connection between certain subjects. The thinking process becomes more abstract and projects become more complicated, but challenge you to engage in creative, out-of-the-box thinking. You will do all this in collaboration with your fellow students. In addition to taking specific automotive subjects in the engineering domain, such as motor dynamics, vehicle dynamics, vehicle electrical engineering, materials science (light-weight structures are becoming increasingly more important), electrical drive trains and motor management systems, you will also take subjects such as mechanics, thermodynamics, electrical engineering and process control systems.

Download Automotive Engineerg Programme Guide - study year 2 - 2019-2020

Every semester, as part of your required courses, you will be involved in Automotive Projects. In the second half of the second year, during semester 4, these are the APJ7 and APJ8 projects (automotive projects for modules 7 and 8). Combined, these projects form the eco marathon project.

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Subject knowledge gaps

Having completed a senior general secondary education (HAVO) or a pre-university education (VWO) programme, it is certainly possible for you to enrol in an automotive study programme, even without a great deal of previous technical experience. Yet, without sufficient knowledge of Mathematics B in particular, it is possible for you to experience knowledge gaps in the area of mathematics.

In this case, you have the option of taking a short course to help bring your mathematics skills up to par. You will find additional information on this topic here.

If you effectively follow the programme from the very beginning and you consistently keep up with the work load, you should virtually always be able to complete this programme without any major difficulties.

Enrolment of senior secondary vocational education (MBO) students

MBO students can of course enrol as well. If you are enrolling after completing your MBO studies, you have the option of updating your knowledge of mathematics and physics through means of the MBO to University of Applied Sciences (HBO) Transition Cours

Internship and graduation

In the first half of the third academic year you will spend 20 weeks in an internship. This is the perfect opportunity for you to put into practice what you have learned during you study programme. You will be entering the job market! You will complete an internship in a company in the Netherlands or abroad. Naturally we will help you with the selection of your internship.

In the second half of the thirs academic year of your bachelor programme Automotive Engineering you will do your minor programme. All Fontys full-time bachelor's degree programmes consist of a major and a minor. The major is the core of the programme and provides the basic programme. The major Automotive engineering will prepare you for your future profession. The minor is an elective programme of one semester. As a full-time student, you can opt for a broadening Fontys minor in any study field or you choose for a deepening minor offered by Automotive Engineering, Electric Drive or Motorsport Engineering. The choice is yours. Even minors outside Fontys UAS and abroad are possible. With the minor you give your study an extra boost.


In Semester 7, thefirst semester of the 4th year, the programme devotes attention to the spearheads of AutomotiveNL, the cluster organisation for the Dutch automotive industry, mobility sector and automotive education sector:

  • Smart mobility (traffic safety and vehicle systems, advanced driver assistance systems)
  • Future power trains (hybrid drives, electrical drives, motors with exhaust aftertreatment systems)

In the 4th year of your bachelor programme in Automotive engineering you will do your specialisation semester. Your programme will be composed of 30 credits divided as such:

  • 10 credits for the APJ13/14 project in the field of Future Power Train or Smart Mobility
  • 2 credits Automotive Manufacturing
  • 2 credits Automotive Systems Engineering
  • 4 credits Automotive Engine Systems 13
  • 4 credits Automotive Electric Drive
  • 4 credits Automotive Virtual Engineering
  • 4 credits Automotive Vehicle Systems

The second semester of the 4th year, semester 8, will be your graduation internship period. Normally you will work and study in a compnay; for the conclusion of your graduation internship period, you will write a bachelor thesis. At the end of the programme you will have achieved 240 credits which will lead to the allocation of the Bachelor of Science degree.