Engineering in the United Kingdom

The UK has some of the best and highest ranked engineering schools in the world. Within the wide boundaries of the engineering profession there are thousands of challenging activities in areas such as research, development, design, manufacture and operation of products and services. Engineers belong to one of the greatest professions in the world; responsible for almost everything we use, consume and take part in every day. From leisure activities to medical treatment, mobile communications to modern transport systems, engineers often find themselves in key positions in industry and commerce. However this trend goes further and broader than businesses that can be classified as "engineering." Choosing the right Engineering course and university can be difficult and it is crucial to understand which university is best for you when taking into consideration your academic background, future career goals, and where you wish to specialise in.

Types of Engineering Degree

Demand for good engineers is high. In the finance, mechanical, IT and electronics sectors in particular, there are world shortages of chartered and incorporated engineers, and unemployment amongst professional engineers is lower than for almost any other profession. In the UK alone, engineering-led industry contributes about 40% of its gross domestic product and is a key part of the national economy. From motor racing to a household electrician, the role of the engineer is crucial. For anyone looking for a rewarding future with a wide variety of employment prospects, there has never been a more exciting time to embark on a career in engineering.

  1. Chemical Engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the application of physical science (e.g., chemistry and physics), and life sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology and biochemistry) with mathematics and economics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. Chemical engineers ensure the processes are operated safely, sustainably and economically when converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms.
  2. Civil Engineeringis a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering.
  3. Electrical Engineeringis a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. It covers a range of subtopics including power, electronics, control systems, signal processing and telecommunications. Usually electrical engineering is considered to deal with the problems associated with large-scale electrical systems such as power transmission and motor control, whereas electronic engineering deals with the study of small-scale electronic systems including computers and integrated circuits
  4. Mechanical Engineeringis a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of machines and tools.
  5. Computer Engineeringdeals with the design of computers and computer systems. This may involve the design of new hardware, the design of PDAs, USBs or the use of computers to control an industrial plant. Computer engineers may also work on a system's software. However, the design of complex software systems is often the domain of software engineering, which is usually considered a separate discipline.
  6. Mechatronics Engineeringis an engineering discipline which deals with the convergence of electrical and mechanical systems. Such combined systems are known as electromechanical systems and have widespread adoption. Examples include automated manufacturing systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and various subsystems of aircraft and automobiles.

Engineering Entry Requirements

There are two types of engineering programmes offered at UK universities; B.Eng (Bachelor of Engineering) and M.Eng (Master of Engineering).

A B.Eng is a standard 3-year degree in engineering. Those who complete a B.Eng have the appropriate training and experience to apply to become an Incorporated Engineer. However, for those wishing to become a Chartered Engineer, it is mandatory to follow degree studies with advanced study equivalent to the final year of an M.Eng programme. Some UK universities allow students to switch between the B.Eng and M.Eng during the early years of the course. An M.Eng degree is the university level qualification taken by students wishing to become Chartered Engineers. M.Eng courses take a minimum of 4 years, 5 years for those wishing to conduct one year's work experience.

  1. Typical International Baccalaureate requirements: 35 points.
  2. Typical A-levels requirements: AAB including mathematics and physics.
  3. Typical IELTS requirements: 7.0 overall, with no lower than 6.5 in any one component.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK?

UK tuition fees are frequently a source of controversy, with prices having risen to eye-watering levels for home students (UK/EU) in recent years. Now, UK and EU students at English universities are required to pay up to £9,250 (~US$13,050) per year.

International undergraduate tuition fees vary considerably, starting at around £10,000 (~US$14,130) and going up to £38,000 (~US$53,700) or more for medical degrees (source: Reddin Survey of University Tuition Fees). At all levels, humanities and social sciences degrees tend to cost the least, while laboratory and clinical degree programs are markedly more expensive, but when you combine these fees with the average cost of living in the UK, around £12,200 (~US$16,950) per year, then it can be hard to see how it’s possible to study in the UK without it costing you a small fortune. The total average cost of studying in the UK is estimated to be at least £22,200 (~US$31,380) per year, with studying in London likely to be significantly more expensive. While these costs may be daunting, remember that most UK universities offer shorter programs compared to countries such as the US (three years for the average undergraduate degree instead of four, and one year for a master’s degree instead of two), so you may be able to subtract a year's worth of fees and living costs from your total budget. If these figures haven’t been enough to put you off studying in the UK, here’s a closer look at what you’ll be spending your money on, and how Brexit may affect your costs.

Students' cost of living in the UK

Current UK student visa requirements stipulate that you must have at least £1,015 (~US$1,435) in your bank account for each month you plan to stay in the UK anywhere outside of London. This works out as £12,180 (~US$17,200) per year. If you wish to study in London, you’ll need to budget considerably more - at least £1,265 (~US$1,800) per month, the equivalent of £15,180 (~US$21,500) a year. When you’re here, you can make the cost of living in the UK more affordable by taking advantage of student discounts – for example, students in London can get an 18+ Student Oyster photocard, giving you 30 percent off travelcards and bus/tram season tickets, and students all over the country can apply for an NUS Extra Card for a small fee. One other way to beat the banker and make your money go further is to study somewhere in the UK where the cost of living is cheaper.According to the Natwest Student Living Index 2017, Welsh capital Cardiff is the most affordable city for students in the UK, followed in the top three by Aberdeen in Scotland, and Durham in north-east England.

Accommodation in the UK

Most students live in university halls of residence in their first year before moving into rented private accommodation in their following years. Many universities offer both self-catered and catered halls of residence, with food included in the price of rent for the latter. The biggest difference in the cost of living in London compared to the rest of the UK is in rent, with University College London (UCL) estimating accommodation expenses of £8,073 (~US$11,400) per academic year (nine months/39 weeks). However, you may be able to find more affordable accommodation in university halls or a flat share.

The results of Save the Student’s National Student Accommodation Survey 2017 found that students spend an average of £125 (~US$175) per week on rent in the UK – with a huge regional variation: students in Northern Ireland spent only £91 (~US$129) a week, which is exactly half the amount spent by those in London (£182/US$257). Unless bills are included, you’ll probably spend a further £70 per month (~US$100) on bills for utilities and the internet.

Other average living costs in the UK

  1. weekly food shop will likely cost you about £30/$42, and a meal in a pub or restaurant can be about £12/$17
  2. Depending on your course, you’ll likely spend at least £30 a month on books and other course materials
  3. Your mobile phone bill is likely to be at least £15/$22 a month
  4. Gym membership costs roughly £32/$45 a month, but you may be able to get a student discount
  5. A typical night out (outside of London) costs about £30/$42 in total
  6. In terms of entertainment, if you want to watch TV in your room, you need a TV license – this is £147 (~US$107) per year.
  7. A cinema ticket costs roughly £10/$14
  8. Depending on your spending habits, you might spend £35-55 (US$49-77) or so on clothing each month

University of Cambridge There are two levels of tuition fees at publicly funded UK universities: home student fees (including EU students) and international student fees. For home students, institutions in England can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 (~US$13,050) per year for undergraduate degree programs. In Wales, the maximum fee is £9,000 (~US$12,700), while in Northern Ireland the limit is £4,160 (~US$5,900) for EU and Northern Irish students, and up to £9,250 for students from the rest of the UK.

In Scotland, an undergraduate degree is effectively free for students from Scotland and the EU. This is thanks to a subsidy from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). The SAAS also offers a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 (~US$7,770) for home postgraduate students. It should be noted that the Scottish definition of “home” student differs slightly, in that it doesn’t include students from the rest of the UK – i.e. England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Students from the rest of the UK who want to undertake an undergraduate degree in Scotland will pay up to £9,250 a year.

There’s also good news for students from Wales, who only need to pay £3,900 (~US$5,500) per year in UK tuition fees to study anywhere in the UK, with the rest covered by the Welsh government. Postgraduate tuition fees vary significantly, depending on the university and the subject. Home students may be able to receive some funding from one of the UK’s research councils, the university itself, or via a career sponsorship scheme.

What Impact with Brexit Have?

The UK’s decision to exit the European Union (Brexit) means many EU students are concerned that their tuition fees could increase. However, there’s no sign the government plans to increase fees yet. In fact, so far many UK universities have pledged to keep tuition fees fixed at the same rate for current EU students for the duration of their course. It’s also been confirmed that EU students enrolling at UK universities in both autumn 2018 and autumn 2019 will remain eligible for the same fees and financial aid as domestic students throughout their course, even after the UK leaves the EU in March 2018. This article was originally published in October 2013. It was most recently updated in July 2018.

London city in the UK

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom.The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core and financial centre − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that closely follow its medieval limits. The adjacent City of Westminster is an Inner London borough and has for centuries been the location of much of the national government. Thirty one additional boroughs north and south of the river also comprise modern London. London is governed by the mayor of London and the London Assembly London is one of the world's most important global cities and has been called the world's most powerful,most desirable,most influential, most visited,most expensive,sustainable, most investment-friendly, and most-popular-for-work city. It exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. London ranks 26th out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP. It is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic.It is the leading investment destination,hosting more international retailers than any other city. As of 2020, London has the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Europe, after Moscow.In 2019, London had the highest number of ultra high-net-worth individuals in Europe.London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe, and London is home to highly ranked institutions such as Imperial College London in natural and applied sciences, and the London School of Economics in social sciences. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games.

Where can I study Engineering in the UK?

To learn more about the best engineering courses in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking engineering universities for each discipline in the Guardian University Guide 2021 below:

General Engineering

  1. University of Bristol.
  2. University of Cambridge.
  3. Imperial College London.
  4. University of Oxford.
  5. University of Warwick.
  6. Loughborough University.
  7. Aston University.
  8. Durham University.
  9. University of Leeds.
  10. Nottingham Trent University.

Civil Engineering

  1. University of Southampton.
  2. University of Bristol.
  3. University of Leeds.
  4. Imperial College London.
  5. University of West London.
  6. University of Bath.
  7. Abertay University.
  8. University of Bradford.
  9. University of Leeds
  10. Nottingham Trent University

Why Choose the UK for Your Engineering Studies?

According to Engineering UK’s 2020 Report, “the UK at all levels of education does not have the current capacity or the required rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers and technicians by 2022.” In short, there is a demand for engineers in the UK which is not currently being met; that means that a degree in engineering from a UK institution should put you in good stead for a wide range of jobs in an ever-expanding field.

  • UK invests approximately 9.5 billion GBP a year on engineering research.
  • As a result, an estimated amount of 280 billion GBP is added to the gross value of the country in return.
  • Currently, due to the sector-wide skills shortage of engineers in the UK, the annual demand for them is estimated to rise to approximately 124,000 engineers by the year 2024.
  • Indian students who took MBBS admission in Dnipropetrovsk Medical Academy and graduated from it have shown excellent results in not only MCI Screening Test (FMGE) but also in various other country’s licensing exams like USMLE, PLAB, NZREX, etc.
  • Hundreds of Indian students who became doctors from Dnipro are today practicing in India and other parts of the world which proves the quality of MBBS in Dnipro, Ukraine.
  • This is a particular advantage for graduates wanting to move directly into the engineering profession; that’s because a master’s degree is the normal academic requirement around the world for gaining, after a relevant on-the-job experience, professional recognition as a Chartered Engineer. An alternative route to becoming a Chartered Engineer is to study for a bachelor’s degree and then take a one-year MSc course afterwards in a specialised area of engineering e.g. Professional Engineering or Engineering Management. You can study any area of engineering, and at the cutting-edge of engineering research, right across the UK. A few courses offer one or more years of general engineering before specialising; but the majority concentrate on one specific engineering discipline from the start.
  • There’s something for everyone with an interest in engineering. And you will be able to get more information by going to universities’ own websites. Editor’s note: You can also use UCAS to search for Engineering courses in the UK or compare department rankings in The Guardian’s UK University League Tables. Nearly all UK engineering courses are accredited by the engineering professional bodies to guarantee that they meet national standards. That being said, the way in which engineering is taught and courses are delivered varies from one university to another; some may focus more on problem-based learning, others on more traditional teaching methods. Again, you should look closely at how courses are structured and taught, so you can apply for the course that best suits you. One of the most exciting opportunities for international students are the exchange programs many universities offer. It entails spending up to a year on an exchange program at a European university, with the added advantage of being able to operate in a second language.
  • The UK attracts many international students – for the quality of courses, and the opportunity to master the international business language in the country of its origin – this is particularly the case for engineering. Nearly a quarter of engineering students come to the UK from outside the EU, and UK universities work to ensure that overseas students feel welcome and make the most of their time in the UK. Top-quality engineering faculty from all over the world are doing research and teaching in the UK, adding to the international dimension of the British university environment.