As education in the UK and the world has grown more and more popular, universities have begun to offer more and more specific qualifications. While an ordinary Bachelor’s degree might be enough to secure a job in most companies, more specific forms of the degree have come into effect.
The BEng is a qualification that can be of tremendous importance to you in later life, especially if you are considering a career in Engineering.
What is a BEng?
A BEng is a Bachelor of Engineering, a professional undergraduate degree, which is awarded to a student after three-to-five years of studying an Engineering degree at university. When studying a BEng degree in the UK, the degree will need to be accredited by an Engineering Council’s professional engineering institution. It is often referred to as a BEng (hons), as it is considered to be an Honourary degree, which means that the student has completed 360+ credits, which have been completed over a three-year period.
The BEng is focused on Engineering, but also places great importance in Mathematics and Science. The BEng aims to give students a more multi-discplined approach to Engineering, however, those looking to remain in a single discipline would be better suited with a BSc.
What is the difference between BEng and MEng?
These are two degrees that both focus on the discipline of Engineering. The BEng is an undergraduate degree with specific focus on Engineering, with the supplementary focus on Mathematics and Science.
The MEng, is a Masters degree and is the minimum standard required to become a Chartered Engineer. The MEng is also equivalent to the Diplom in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and also to the Civilingenjör (Master of Science in Engineering) in Sweden.
The main differences between the two are that the BEng is an undergraduate degree, whereas the MEng is a postgraduate degree. A BEng is not required in order to sit the MEng, though some universities do require it. Other universities, for instance, the University of Durham allow students to achieve the BEng degree after their third year at the university before they continue with their fourth.
What is the difference between BEng and BSc?
The BEng and the BSc are both undergraduate degrees, however, the BEng is a specialised degree that focuses on multi-faceted learning, whereas the BSc is a a general degree.
There are a few other differences too, the BEng takes four years to complete, whereas the BSc takes three, and the job market is not as full for those with a BSc degree as it is for those with a BEng degree.
Another big difference is the approach of the two degrees. Though the BEng has theoretical approaches, but tends to focus more on the practical application of certain skills, whereas the BSc is almost entirely theoretical-based, with a few notable exceptions.
Are all BEng’s an Honours degree?
Not always, no. It is often assumed that an Honours degree is bestowed upon a student who completes three years or more of study, however, the student must also reach 360 credits in their subject.
Most qualifications like the Integrated Masters are considered to be an Honours degree. The BEng must be studied fully until the required credits are met over a three-year period; if a student studies for three years or more, but does not achieve 360 credits, then it will be considered an ordinary degree.
How long is a BEng?
This depends on how you plan on studying the course. If you are studying the BEng full-time, then it will take three-years and will amount to 360 credits.
If you are studying the BEng part-time, then it can take as long as five years, though it is generally thought to take four. The duration of a part-time course will depend on the university that you are attending and their policy regarding part-time courses.
How to become a Chartered Engineer with a BEng?
Many people who achieve the BEng look into the possibility of becoming a Chartered Engineer. The BEng is one of the few qualifications that can set people onto the correct path to become one and gives students the opportunity to learn the different disciplines required for the job.
The most common way to become a Chartered Engineer is to study either an MSc or an Engineering doctorate (EngD). You will need to have completed a BEng prior to taking either qualification on.
The Engineering Council also provides an MSc in Professional Engineering, which is currently offered through five accredited universities, which are:
- Aston University — MSc & BEng
- Kingston University — MSc
- Staffordshire University — MSc
- University of Derby — MSc
- University of South Wales — MSc
These universities have courses that are professionally accredited. Though other universities will offer an MSc or a BEng that can help you, these universities and their courses are the best chance for you to be able to find work as a Chartered Engineer.