20 October 2014
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Engineering degree courses

Engineering is a stimulating and challenging field of study for which students need a good imagination and an ability to solve problems. A general engineering degree will acquaint you with various specialist fields like civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical and is aimed at preparing you for employment in manufacturing, engineering services firms, government agencies, and laboratories.

Engineers apply the principles of science, physics and mathematics to develop practical solutions to technical problems. The education, skills and abilities acquired on this degree course will allow student to become part of a industry that designs, develops and implements structures, machines and processes that create improvements in society and the lives of people.

This page intends to give readers a overview of what they are likely to study and experience on a engineering degree or diploma course. As well as various academic options available to them, and also links to other useful and relevant academic information. All the information on this page is aimed at helping give you a firm foundation on which to build a career in engineering and to learn about the range of concepts, techniques, and knowledge required to become a professional.
 
Engineering degree qualification can give graduate a head start in the jobs market.


Engineering degree overview
These highly competitive courses will give students the opportunity to obtain a thorough grounding of general engineering and also allow them specialise in a specific discipline such as design, environment, materials and mechanics. This flexibility means that students can customize their degree to fit within their personal and professional goals.

Most engineering degree programs include strong practical elements that require a hands-on approach from students. They are designed for inquisitive, analytical, creative and detail oriented individuals who want to consolidate their existing knowledge base and further their academic skill through a research-based educational experience. Because the course encompasses many disciplines, it can help engineers from diverse fields better understand how to solve problems.

Many leading engineering universities have academic staff who are active in research and have extensive knowledge and expertise accumulated over time, quiet a few leading experts in their chosen fields of specialisation. At these institutions undergraduates may be in involved in projects that are developing the next generation of engineering products, systems, and services for industry and government. 
 
Engineering degree assessment
Most universities simply require students to attend lectures, seminars, tutorials, take part in industrial visits and also practical laboratory sessions. Some have a 70:30 split in favour or coursework, whilst others have a 50:50 split. To help you further a number of institutions provide a occasional personal tutor who will be involved in assessing a student. 

Entry and admission
This again depends on the course provider, ideally you should have a maths or science background. Typical requirements are: A level ABB/AAB; normally including Mathematics and Physics. It’s also worth checking with the university to see if being interviewed is part of the application process.

Engineering degree structure and typical course content

Year 1 modules

Design thinking
A active introduction to Engineering.
Engineering the future
Failure of stressed materials
Innovation and design
Mechanics of Solids
Mechanics of Fluids

Year 2 modules

Engineering: mechanics, materials, design
Engineering in action
Mathematical modelling
Solid mechanics
Managing complexity
Physics

Year 3 modules

Business and technological science.
Individual and group projects
Mechanical engineering
Methodology


A Engineering degree will teach students

  • How to design, engineer and manage projects and situations.
  • To apply a rigorous approach to problem solving.
  • The unique skills and knowledge required to become a successful engineer in diverse fields such as; automotive, civil, electronic, manufacturing and mechanical.

Questions to ask about the degree courses

  • Confirm that the degree is accredited by professional engineering institutions.
  • Enquire if the course complies with the requirements of key regulatory bodies and institutions like the IET, InstMC, IMechE, IStructE and ICE.
  • Does the university have teaching and research links with national and global engineering companies.
     

Engineering degree personal statement
Below is a personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing. 

Example

"I believe this is an incredibly exciting and empowering subject that will allow me to make a difference to the world and change it in a positive way.  I feel that I have always been an engineer at heart, as a youngster I was regularly taking mechanical things apart and trying to find out how they were built and worked. I was constantly looking to satisfy my curiosity of the physical world around me.

To me engineers have helped to shape the world that we live in and for centuries have been instrumental in building structures that have served communities. Their work goes on around us every day and continues to make a huge difference to the quality of people’s lives and the environment. In my opinion being a successful engineer is all about using imagination, creativity and tenacity to tackle unique  problems. These are qualities that I believe I posses along with the required discipline, enthusiasm and the willpower not to give up.

At school I studied hard to understand and master related subjects and had the opportunity to take part in several interesting projects that allowed me to see at first hand what engineering was all about. Throughout my college years I have also been fortunate enough to have family and tutors around me who have been there to support me in my career goals. They have assisted me to make  decisions that I am sure will have a positive and great effect on the rest of my life. All things considered I am confident that the education and personal experiences I have had to date have prepared me fully for a degree course at your university.

Over the summer months I held a part time administrative job at a engineering firm, my work colleagues there have served as exceptional role models and provided me with invaluable advice. The experience also gave me an insight into other aspects of  engineering which can only benefit me in the future.
 
Currently I’m looking for a course that will teach the entire core programme and give me a head start when looking for a job. I am aware of your universities very good reputation and its strong industrial links that attracts many top companies to employ your graduates. All of these factors have convinced me that your institution is where I need to study to become a successful engineer. "

More engineering personal statement examples


Typical university interview questions

Why do you want to enrol on a Engineering degree course?

Answers

  • To me engineering is all about problem solving and coming up with solutions to practical problems, indeed the work ‘engineer’ is linked to the Latin word for ‘ingenuity’. This is a skill that is highly valued by many vocations and industries all over the world therefore making a engineering degree a real asset when looking for a job.
  • After researching the career opportunities for engineering graduates I discovered that good engineers are in short supply, meaning that wages tend to be high and there are plenty of vacancies waiting to be filled.
  • I want to one day work as an engineering in the less developed countries of the world and help them develop by being involved in projects that build earthquake-proof bridges, solar energy power generation, water purification plants and sewage systems etc. Obtaining a engineering degree will be the first step towards achieving my goal.
     

How long can the degree course last
Depending on the university full time courses can last between three to four years.

Career prospects and course relevancy
To get an entry-level engineering job, one usually needs a bachelor's degree in engineering. Most engineering jobs are to found in the industrial and manufacturing industries. Other sectors where they in demands are; civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering and computer engineering.

Engineers help to develop real solutions to practical problems that people and businesses come up against every day. In the UK upon completing and graduating your degree course you will be able to apply for registration and status as a Incorporated Engineer with the Engineering Union. Any certification, knowledge and expertise you gain is equally valued in the UK, in Europe and further a field.

Degree classification and letters
On graduating from your course you will be entitled to use the letters BEng or MEng after your name.


Links to other relevant engineering degree courses
Aeronautical engineering degree
Civil engineering degree courses
Chemical engineering degree
Mechanical engineering degree

Student resources
Essay writing
Graduate internships
Introduction to graduate fasttrack schemes
Revision timetable
Revision tips
Student accommodation
Student loan company
Study skills
UCAS personal statement
University interview questions
University courses

Engineering career resource links:
Aeronautical engineer CV template
Architect Graduate CV template
CAD Technician CV template 
Chemical engineer CV template
Civil Engineering CV template
Design engineer CV template
Electrician CV template
Engineering CV template samples
Engineering cover letter example
Graduate Software_engineer CV template
Graduate Structural_engineer CV template
Mechanical Engineer CV template
Mechanic CV template
Process engineer CV template
Project engineer CV template
Quality assurance CV template
Test engineer CV template


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