Immersing yourself in the world of science and a practical role is what engineering is all about. Engineering is a broad term and subject, involving structures, machines and scientific applications.
Being an engineer is a university graduate profession, dedicated to problem-solving and can range in various specialisms. Engineers work at all levels, across multiple projects and the main goal is to find new ways to innovate existing ideas.
What is engineering?
Engineering is a subject involving problem-solving, scientific application and practical knowledge, to aid in creating, building, maintaining and upgrading machines and structures. It covers a whole host of everyday issues we face as a society. From the devices we use to communicate, and create new materials, to the process of developing medicines, all of these things have been created by an engineer.
he entry requirements for an engineering degree vary depending on the university you are applying for.
The subject teaches you all about using maths and science to find solutions and combat extraordinary things for the world’s most challenging issues.
As engineering is a broad term, there are many types of engineering you can take a degree in, based on your interests and ambitions.
- Aerospace/aeronautical engineering: Focusing on the research, design, development, construction and testing of an aircraft.
- Chemical engineering: This involves the use of biological and chemical processes to produce substances or materials. It combines natural and experimental sciences, as well as life sciences, economics and mathematics.
- Civil engineering: The practice of designing and developing infrastructure products ranging from single roads and buildings to larger projects such as water supply networks.
- Computer engineering: This focuses on the design and prototyping of computing software and hardware. It combines electrical engineering with computer science.
- Electrical and electronics engineering: Both disciplines focus on the application of electrical power. The types of engineers differ slightly, however, because electrical engineers work on the large-scale production of electrical power and electronics engineers, focus on smaller electronic circuits.
- Mechanical engineering: This involves the design, manufacturing and maintenance of mechanical systems.
What are the modules for this course?
Engineering courses can differ, depending on where you go to university, the topic of the course and its specialism. In general, these are the modules you could potentially study:
- Civil design
- Control and signal processing
- Electrical engineering
- Electronic and electrical systems
- Electrical and information engineering
- Engineering design
- Engineering Mathematics
- Engineering practice
- Industrial design
- Mathematics for engineers and scientists
- Mathematical methods
- Measurement and data
- Mechanical engineering
- Mechanics and structures
- Structures and materials
- Thermodynamic and fluid mechanicsc
What are the entry requirements?
The entry requirements for an engineering degree vary depending on the university you are applying for. Generally, they require from 64-168 UCAS points, which could include these engineer qualifications:
- A-levels: Usually, a minimum of two A-levels are expected with three A-levels for the most popular engineering degrees. The required grades can range from CCC to AAA, with most universities asking for ABB. Maths is an essential subject to acquire and some universities may prefer you to have either a physics or chemistry A-level also. Some universities may even ask for all three. Further maths, design or computing can also be valid and useful because they broaden your understanding of maths and literacy in design.
- BTECs: Universities may also accept BTEC qualifications as your entry into the course, either alone or in combination with A-levels. The expected grades range from D*D*D*-MMP.
- Scottish Highers: With Highers, entry requirements can range from ABBB to AAAAB with universities generally requiring AABBB. Sometimes, universities may ask for Advanced Highers to supplement Highers, with the grades AA.
- Vocational courses: Other suitable qualifications which can be accepted as an alternative to A-levels/Highers are vocational courses. These can range from level 3-level 6 in subjects such as BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Engineering.
- International Baccalaureate (IB): For students who take the IB, your entry requirements can range from 40-24.
Aside from engineer qualifications, work experience will give you an advantage when applying for university and can be gained through internships, work placements, volunteering, shadowing or self-learning. For example, you can shadow an engineer's day work, partake in online courses to grow your skills and listen to podcasts and videos from professional engineering bodies.
How do I write my personal statement on this subject?
Your personal statement needs to be informative and concise for an engineering degree. It’s a competitive degree so your engineering personal statement is crucial. Universities want to see you demonstrate motivation, interest and commitment to your chosen subject of engineering.
For reading material and equipment, every course will be different in the specifications, based on your modules and university.
You will want to include an explanation of what drives your interest in engineering, why you want to do engineering and how the topics you have taken in A-levels will help you with the chosen degree. The next thing to include is evidence. You want to demonstrate real enthusiasm for the subject through evidence such as relevant work experience, additional research and reading or membership in relevant professional bodies and clubs. It’s all about showing you are engaged in the engineering industry outside of the classroom. Another thing is to share the skills and qualities you have that will help with your studies.
It’s also useful to highlight relevant qualities such as problem-solving, teamwork, communication skills and leadership, and examples of how you have shown these.
What books or equipment do I need?
For reading material and equipment, every course will be different in the specifications, based on your modules and university. Although, being prepared with independent reading can help you to develop your studies and get ready for an undergraduate degree.
Jobs for engineering degrees are vast with a range of career options.
Many books or reading materials can aid your development when starting your degree. It may be worth registering with a professional body such as the Engineering Council to access relevant and up-to-date reading material and continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. The library of resources is endless for engineering books and appropriate reads. For example, Structures – or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J.E. Gordon gives an introduction to engineering or The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman shares tips on how to build objects.
How will I be assessed?
With an engineering degree, you can be assessed in various ways, which can differ based on your modules. These include:
- Written exams
- Group assignments
- Team projects
- Posters (create poster presentations related to engineering issues/topics of a certain module)
What are the career prospects?
Jobs for engineering degrees are vast with a range of career options. It’s down to you which path you choose to take based on the specialism in your engineering degree.
Postgraduate study is for students who have graduated with their undergraduate degrees and want to develop their studies further.
You can work in numerous sectors such as manufacturing, education, agriculture, government services, pharmaceuticals, sales and marketing. The technical and practical knowledge of engineering graduates appeals to most industries. From working as an engineer in your specialisms such as a chemical engineer or electrical engineer to going down a different route like working in logistics or operational management, the world is your oyster.
What jobs can I get with this degree?
As engineering can apply to most industries, you have a wide choice when picking your career move. You can go work as an engineer in the following roles:
A technical subject with insightful knowledge, an analytical mind and insight into science and mathematics, engineering teaches you a whole host of skills. These can be applied to other roles including:
How does engineering change at a postgraduate level?
Postgraduate study is for students who have graduated with their undergraduate degrees and want to develop their studies further. Postgraduate study in engineering provides the opportunity to further your insight into the subject and continue your research projects. If you have worked in the industry, this level of real-world experience can help aid your qualification.
Engineering is a subject involving problem-solving, scientific application and practical knowledge, to aid in creating, building, maintaining and upgrading machines and structures.
Postgraduate courses usually require a previous degree in engineering, science, maths or a technology subject. Most universities offer the option of a four-year undergraduate degree or an integrated master's degree (MEng) in engineering. An integrated degree takes four years and combines undergraduate and postgraduate study in one single course. For undergraduate degrees alone, a postgraduate qualification of engineering is taken for further study. Some examples of postgraduate degrees include:
- Engineering Design MSc
- Engineering and Education MSc
- Engineering with Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc
- Engineering MPhil/PhD
- Engineering Science DPhil/MSc (Res)
- MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering
- MSc Civil Engineering
- MSc Engineering Management
- MSc Materials Science and Engineering
- MSc Water, Waste and Environmental Engineering
- PhD Engineering
What is the average grad salary in this area?
For graduate engineers, your salary depends on the type of engineer, location and organisation. On average in the UK, the graduate engineer's salary is between £26,500-£30,000. In London, the average graduate salary is higher, around the £31,000 mark.
- Graduate Engineer average salary in United Kingdom, 2022 — Talent.com Retrieved 7 October 2022.