Student Advice

What is it Like to Study Engineering at University?

Ben Maples  · Jun 7th 2023

An Engineering degree is one of the most sought-after degrees at university. Universities only accept the best for an Engineering degree, which is why it’s perfect for you!


An engineering degree is one of the most popular degrees at university, both at an undergraduate and a postgraduate level.

Engineering is a specific branch of science and technology that mainly focuses on design, building and maintenance of engines, structures, machines and even chemical compounds. There are many different types of engineering and is one of the largest branches of education that a university can offer.

What do I need to study Engineering?

The university entry requirements for an engineering degree will differ depending on the university you are applying to and how prestigious the university is in this field; for instance, a university like Imperial College London, which prides itself on its engineering courses, will have different requirements than a university where engineering is not one of its specialities.

That having been said, it is thought that students would need an A-Level in Science, Mathematics, English Language and IT. Any other subjects, such as Construction or Resistant Materials or Design Technology wouldn’t hurt your application either.

The subjects you should study are fairly easy to guess, Chemistry (if you’re doing chemical engineering), Physics and Mathematics are all required. Mathematics is an absolute must!

How much reading is involved?

It’s almost impossible to gauge just how much reading you will need in a degree like this. The reading load can change depending on the course and the university that is offering it.

Most of your work will be practical, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be occasional needs to delve into textbooks.

How difficult is it to study engineering?

Engineering ranks among one of the hardest degrees you can do. The degree requires you to have everything from logic and common sense to a tremendous amount of patience when things don’t go your way. Engineering can be very difficult because you’re essentially becoming a “professional problem solver”. This is not a bad thing at all as it is not only an exceptionally hard degree but a very well sought after one too.

Some of the biggest names in the world of business have a degree in engineering, such as Bill Nye (The Science Guy!), Rowan Atkinson, Neil Armstrong, Teri Hatcher and Kalpana Chawla. This degree is not for everyone, but when you have completed your degree, you’ll be more than prepared for whatever the world has to offer. Engineering has consistently ranked as one of the most difficult degrees to study in the UK.

The difficulty in an Engineering degree is related more to the tasks involved and the precise nature of the equations needed to be able to do certain tasks. You will be required to do a lot of planning beforehand and you will be required to know all the different disciplines needed to become an engineer or work in a related field, which is why it is considered difficult.

Why study Engineering at university

How much coursework is there involved when studying Engineering?

There is a fair amount of coursework for an engineering degree, but there is also a lot of examination and practical work which are going to contribute as well. This means that coursework is likely to count for nearly 33% of your overall grade as you will have the other two modules at 33% each too.

This obviously varies depending on the university that you’re at, but the coursework is likely to take up a lot of your time.

However, the work that you put into your coursework will be invaluable to you as you’ll soon start to pick up skills and refine skills as you go along and that is absolutely needed for studying engineering.

How much does it cost to study engineering?

It’s almost impossible to get the exact costing of an undergraduate engineering degree as costings really do tend to vary depending on the university that you happen to be studying at, however, an estimated £8,500 – £12,000 tuition fee undergraduate degree is a fair estimate.

Prices can be either side of those prices depending on the university and the tier of the degree that you do.

What’s my job likelihood after studying Engineering?

The likelihood of a job at the end of a degree is difficult for everyone, however with an engineering degree, you can find a number of jobs quite easily as you can’t actually get any of the jobs listed below without an engineering degree of some sort.

The likelihood of finding a job is again difficult to predict as it all depends on how hard you’re looking for a job.

The degree will qualify you for a number of different jobs, so you will have a large pool of jobs to choose from and you will also have a slightly more enviable position than graduates with other degrees as you will have skills that every company will need at some point, so you will be a lot more desirable than those with purely vocational degrees.

As with all degrees, you do not necessarily need to take a role in a sector related to your degree. However, given that engineering is a very specialised degree in its own right, it would make sense to turn your attention to that sector.

Engineering jobs can be highly lucrative options for students as well. As with all jobs straight out of university, it can be difficult to find a job immediately or for a high amount of pay, however, the jobs you can take on are worth waiting for.

Some of the best jobs you can find with an engineering degree are:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Control and instrumentation engineer
  • Corporate investment banker
  • Engineering lecturer
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Mining engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Production manager
  • Teacher
  • Technical sales engineer
  • Water engineer

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