Student Advice

What is a BEng?

Ben Maples  · May 7th 2024  · 4 min

Students looking to take a more refined and structured approach towards the world of Engineering, should look at the BEng.


A BEng is the perfect undergraduate degree for students looking to study engineering in the UK. It’s a course that gives you a proper industry qualification and covers a massive range of subjects that other engineering courses don’t!

In this guide, we’ll look at how the BEng differs from other professional engineering qualifications, the entry requirements, course length and why you should apply.

BSc vs BEng

What is a BEng?

A BEng is a Bachelor of Engineering. It's a professional undergraduate degree, which means that you're set up to work in a specific profession or industry sector. If you want to become an incorporated engineer, then you'll need the BEng.

General modules include:

  • Computing for engineers
  • Electrical engineering
  • Engineering materials
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Fluid mechanics and energy transfer
  • Integrated design
  • Mechanics

In your 2nd and 3rd year, you'll then need to pick which area you want to specialise in. This is usually civil engineering, electronic and electrical engineering or mechanical engineering.

As well as engineering, the BEng focuses on maths and science. The BEng is awarded after at least 3 years of studying an engineering degree accredited by the Engineering Council’s professional engineering institutions.

What’s the difference between BEng and MEng?

The BEng an undergraduate degree while the MEng is a postgraduate degree. The MEng (Master of Engineering) is considered an Integrated Master’s degree and is a four-year course.

What’s the difference between BEng and BSc?

The BEng and the BSc cover the same areas, but the BEng takes 4 years to complete, while the BSc takes 3. The BSc is a more theory-focused degree, while the BEng is a mixture of theory and practical work.

Are all BEng’s an Honours degree?

It’s a common misconception that an Honours degree is awarded if you completed 3 years of study, but that’s not true!

While you will need to do the 3 years, you also need to earn 360 credits for the course. If you study for 3 years or more but don’t get all the credits, then it’s just an ordinary degree, rather than a BEng hons.

BEng Electrical Engineering

What is an incorporated engineer?

An incorporated engineer is an engineer who has the knowledge and understanding to be able to manage and maintain equipment and technology. Incorporated engineers’ roles will vary depending on who employs you, but generally, you'll be in charge of engineering design, development, construction, operation and manufacturing.

What are the entry requirements for the BEng?

The entry requirements for the BEng will vary depending on where you study. Typically, you'll be asked to have A-Levels in maths and physics. If you don’t have an A-Level in physics, then your uni might accept further maths, if you studied it.

Universities will always prefer that you have A-Levels (or Scottish Highers if you're in Scotland), but they have been known to accept other qualifications. BTECs, HNC, HNDs and T-Levels have been known to be accepted.

Some universities might ask you to sit an admissions test as part of your application process. It will all depends on where you apply so be sure to check university entry requirements.

How long is a BEng?

Generally, the BEng is studied full-time for 3 years. If you’re studying part-time, then it's usually 5 years.

What subjects are covered by a BEng?

Anything that is an engineering course can be studied as a BEng. The only thing that will stop you from studying a BEng in a subject is if the university you want to go to doesn’t offer it!

Typically, topics include:

  • Computing and numerical methods
  • Geotechnics
  • Hydraulics
  • Mechanics (Civil)
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Surveying
  • Sustainable & resilient infrastructure
  • Tools & techniques for enterprise
  • Tools for civil engineers

BEng Chemical Engineering

Do all universities offer a BEng?

A uni may offer engineering courses but it may not be an BEng. Universities like Oxbridge or Imperial College London will offer a MEng, but not a BEng.

Should I study a BEng?

It really depends on you and what you want to do when you leave uni! If you want to become an incorporated engineer, then the BEng degree is perfect for you and what you want to do.

However, if you want to become a chartered engineer, then you'll need to have the MEng. Equally, if you want to study the MEng, then some universities might require you to have sat the BEng beforehand. Be mindful that some universities, like the Open University, ask you to sit the MEng within 4 years of completing the BEng.

A BEng is an excellent thing to enter the job market with! It’s a chance to work towards formal accreditation from an official professional body, like the Engineering Council or the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). If you’re looking to enter the world of Engineering after graduation, then a BEng might be the one for you!

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