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Applying for Engineering Degrees

If you are currently considering engineering as a career that you may be interested in, then you will need to ensure that you make the right choice for you.

This guide will give you lots of information about the subject, meaning that you will be able to use that information to make the best possible decision for you.

Why study engineering at university?

There are a number of reasons that people choose to study engineering at university, and it is no secret that places are highly sought after. Some of the reasons that people choose to study engineering are:

  • The course is well respected. It is well-known that engineering can be a challenging and demanding subject, and as a result of this it is always going to be a course that brings a lot of respect with it.
     
  • You learn skills that can be used even if you don’t go on to work in the sector. A degree in engineering will teach you to think in an entirely new way than you may have done before. You will learn how to objectively solve problems that you face, and this is something that you will take with you through all walks of life, whether related to engineering or not.
     
  • There is anticipated financial security. If you pass your degree well, you are likely to be able to secure a job in engineering – and the roles that are on offer are typically highly paid when compared to jobs in other sectors. While this should never be your only reason to apply for a course, there is no denying that it helps when considering future plans and potential.
     
  • You could make a real difference in the world. All jobs make a difference in a way – but engineering is special in that you can design or build things that people will use, that will transform lives on a daily basis. This kind of success can be incredibly motivating, and lots of people crave the ability to work in such a world-changing role.

Which universities offer engineering?

There are many universities that you can apply for, and every course is slightly different, so you should always check this before you make your decision.

There are a number of universities that you can apply to study engineering at, including:

What will I learn?

While studying engineering at university, you will be taught all of the basic skills that engineers need to know, which will include maths and dynamics.

Usually, as you get further into the course, you will be able to narrow down your specialism into an area of engineering that you are really interested in.

Not only will you be taught about the subject, but you will also learn a lot of skills that you can take forward with you into many walks of life, including the ability to work as a team, communicate, and solve problems.

Some of the things that you learn while studying engineering are hugely important for your future, no matter what you choose to do.

What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements will vary between universities, with some expecting top grades, whereas others will accept students with B grades.

There is usually a requirement to have mathematics and at least one science – but this varies depending on where you apply, and because everyone has individual circumstances there may be other qualifications that are accepted instead – get in touch with the university in question if you’re not sure.

What branches of engineering can I apply for?

There are a number of different branches of engineering that are catered for in UK universities, however if you are not yet sure about which exact branch you wish to study, then starting a General Engineering course could be a good choice for you.

This would allow you to begin with the basics, and then specialise later in the course, when you have a better idea of what you’d like to do.

The branches of engineering that you can choose from are:

  • Chemical Engineering. This deals with using maths and science to convert raw materials into forms that can be used more effectively or safely. This is related to sustainability and may be a good choice if you enjoy physical science.
     
  • Civil Engineering. This is all about designing, constructing and maintaining things such as bridges, dams and canals. There are several sub-categories even within this branch, however you don’t need to specialise further until you have studied for a few years.
     
  • Electrical Engineering. If you choose to work in this field, you will be responsible for things such as signal processing, communications and power, both on a large scale and a smaller scale. This may be interesting for you to study if you have an interest in physics.
     
  • Mechanical Engineering. This branch of engineering studies the use of mechanical power along with heat to design, produce and operate tools and machinery. This is probably the typical person’s idea of what an engineering course really is.
     
  • Computer Engineering. This can involve designing and maintaining both computers and software, and learning how to use computer systems in different environments to the best possible effects. If you enjoy learning about technology, then this could be a good branch for you.

How do I write a personal statement for Engineering?

Like all personal statements, you should start off by writing a series of notes under a number of headings that will help you put together a first, rough draft. These notes should include:

  • What subjects you are currently studying at school, why you chose them and what aspects of them you particularly like
  • Extra reading or other activities you currently undertake to supplement your studies, and what you have learned from them
  • Any clubs, sociteties etc. you are part of that are related to engineering, or you feel could benefit your university studies
  • Relevant work experience you have completed and what you learned from it. Think about useful knowledge you have gained, as well as practical skills such as teamwork, organisation, and problem-solving.

Remember - for each point listed above, try to provide at least one or two examples of what you have done to back them all up. Admissions tutors want to see evidence of all your relevant academic, social and other responsibilities, otherwise your statement is more likely to make your application unsuccessful.

These notes, including the examples you have chosen to include, should then form the basis of a solid opening, middle and conclusion for your engineering personal statement.

For more help and advice on putting together a polished statement, please take a look at the following resources:

What can I do after I graduate?

After you graduate, you will be able to apply for engineering jobs in a wide range of companies.

You may find that you need to build up your experience if you haven’t already done so during your course, so if you are lacking in key experience then trying to arrange a placement would be a good place to start.

If you find that you don’t wish to work in an engineering role, then the skills that you have built up during your degree will still be incredibly useful. There are many different roles that would value what you have learned during your degree, as you will have learned a lot about science, maths, and key skills such as problem solving and communication.

Therefore, if you wish to apply for a different sector of work, you will have plenty that you are able to talk about in your application and interview.

Further information    

For more information on applying for an engineering degree at university, or the engineering sector in general, please visit: