Automotive Engineering

120 credits (MSc, 2 years)

Programme aim

The aim of the Automotive Engineering programme is to provide students with a system perspective of automotive vehicles and depth within three focus areas: powertrain, vehicle dynamics and safety.

The programme is based on lectures, large assignments, simulations and experiments, and these are carried out as real case studies, or using other similar methods, with assistance from industrial tools.

Powertrain and vehicle dynamics are two essential disciplines in terms of understanding and designing the automotive vehicle system and its behaviour. The same is true of the field of safety, which is also a strong competence area at Chalmers; this brings a unique touch to the programme not found at many other universities.

Since all industrial automotive product development is carried out in a team-based project environment, the programme stresses the importance of project work. The aim of the projects is to provide a work environment that closely resembles that found in industry. Students work on a multi-cultural team composed of many different competencies. Project tasks derive from industry or academia, and they take technical aspects as well as the importance of communication, teamwork and project management into consideration.

Why apply

Skilled automotive engineers are required to meet the ever-increasing demands on high-quality individual mobility and transportation of people and goods, especially when considering global warming, environmental challenges and not least the vision of zero accidents. In the west coast region of Sweden, there has been a long tradition of research and development within manufacturing and assembly facilities for the automotive industry.

The Automotive Engineering Master’s Programme at Chalmers has the potential to provide students with the knowledge and competence needed to develop technologies for a sustainable mobile society that is in line with industry’s needs.

Learning objectives

Graduates will be able to:

  • identify and discuss vehicles as complex systems from technical and social perspectives through a broad platform in automotive engineering
  • analyze new technical challenges and create technical advancements in the automotive industry in three focus areas: powertrain, vehicle dynamics and safety
  • synthesize and evaluate automotive systems and products in terms of direct use and lifecycle analysis and take environmental and economic aspects into consideration
  • through applications and practice:
    • utilize automotive-related IT and product development tools
    • demonstrate the skills needed to manage and contribute to team-based engineering activities and projects in a multi-cultural environment.
Other Programmes that might interest you

Please note that the above schematic view corresponds to the academic year starting in autumn 2015. Minor changes may occur.


The Automotive Engineering programme is a mechanical engineering programme that focuses on powertrain, vehicle dynamics and safety. This naturally only covers parts of the competencies needed to develop automotive vehicles. However, students can obtain supplementary knowledge within the sister programmes connected to control, production, electronics and materials.

The programme starts with four mandatory courses during the autumn.
The first of these discusses development of vehicles and introduces some of the main subsystems, modelling and simulation tools.
The other three mandatory courses fall under each of the three focus areas. To achieve the required depth within automotive engineering, students must choose four extra courses.

The programme offers seven additional courses and two projects to choose among, depending on interest. Thus the programme consists of either four courses or two courses and a project.

Programme content in detail

You will find the programme content in detail, incl. syllabus and description of the courses for the current year in the Student Portal, the intranet for enrolled students at Chalmers.

Career opportunities

The programme will lead to professional roles within research and development, design, and testing of processes, systems and parts of automotive vehicles or other mechanical systems. Some of the career possibilities include design of suspension systems, development of engine processes, design and evaluation of active and passive safety systems, testing and evaluation of powertrains, suspensions, stability of heavy vehicles, and new opportunities in the area of autonomous driving.

The holistic approach provided by the programme also offers a suitable background when aiming for a career/role within technical support, sales, manufacturing or management at different levels.

Research connections

Automotive engineering is a prioritized area of research at Chalmers. Through competence centres within catalysts, combustion, hybrids and safety linked to one of Chalmers’ Areas of Advance, Transport, Chalmers has gained a worldwide reputation. The Department of Applied Mechanics hosts three such centres: SAFER, Combustion Engine Research Centre (CERC) and Swedish Hybrid Vehicle Centre (SHC).

Safety research has achieved international acclaim, in particular with respect to activities in biomechanics related to whiplash injuries, and research on internal combustion engines has focused on lowering emissions by spray modelling and injection strategies. Chalmers hosts the Swedish Hybrid Centre, SHC, which is a cooperation initiative between Swedish universities and the automotive industry. Research focuses on batteries, powertrain control and electric motors.

All research groups at the Department of Applied Mechanics support the master's programme and graduate schools for PhD students, and constitute a natural continuation of all three tracks. Many of the courses in the curriculum may also be incorporated into the PhD programmes. The master’s programme therefore serves as a natural platform for PhD studies.

Department of Applied Mechanics

Published: Fri 26 Nov 2010. Modified: Fri 21 Oct 2016