Mechanical engineering is the discipline of engineering that combines physics, mathematics, engineering and materials science to design, manufacture and maintain mechanical devices and systems. You will need to be able to design a product for its optimum functionality and aesthetics, manufacture devices and parts in the most efficient and cost effective way, and continue to maintain the product so that it is able to operate smoothly.
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About Mechanical Engineering
The accreditation of a degree in mechanical engineering will depend on your institution. It will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying. At undergraduate level, you are likely to be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or an integrated Master of Engineering (MEng). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Research (MRes). Further study will award degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate mechanical engineering degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £9,000
An undergraduate degree will provide you with a foundation of knowledge in the main areas of mechanical engineering. You could study modules on electrical and electronics systems, mechanical systems analysis, thermodynamics, and biomaterials, among many others. The majority of undergraduate degree courses will be designed to suit students who may not have a wealth of experience of mechanical engineering, as well as challenging those students who have already gained skills and expertise in the area. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, incorporating practical and workshop sessions. You may be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work placement. Depending on your course, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods could include written work, group project work, and individual project work.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MSc, you will be able to build on the knowledge that you gained at undergraduate level. The modules available to study will be around more complex and specialist areas of mechanical engineering. You will cover both traditional subjects and contemporary subjects. Modules and specialisms might include aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, and manufacturing engineering, incorporating all relevant areas within these branches. Assessment methods can include written work, group projects, and a major research project.
The entry requirements for a degree in mechanical engineering will depend on your institution of choice, as well as the level of study you are applying for. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in mathematics or further mathematics, with some universities also requesting science experience. If you have a strong background in another quantitative subject, such as economics, this may be accepted by some institutions. If you do not have a background in the desired areas, but can show that you are passionate about the subject, some universities will still consider your application. You will be able to display this through your personal statement or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most universities will require you to have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - A*AA-ABB
- UCAS Points - 144-128 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics
- Degree Requirements - 2:1 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
Graduates of mechanical engineering will find that there are many career opportunities that are available to them. The most common destination for graduates is to work within engineering roles. If you wish to work in a role directly related to mechanical engineering, you could choose to work in aeronautics, rail and automotive, military or robotics. If you wish to work in a role not directly related to mechanical engineering, you might choose to work in pharmaceuticals, electronics, construction, and energy production. Alternatively, you could work as a self-employed consultant, assisting firms with their specific tasks.
Throughout your degree, you will have gained a wide range of transferable skills that will be useful in many different industries. This will make your graduate prospects varied and exciting. Studying mechanical engineering will develop your quantitative skills, and improve your problem solving. As well as these skills, you will also gain skills such as time management, project management, analytical thinking, and idea design and development.