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Insights into Construction & Engineering

What about Engineering?

Engineering degrees are often over looked by many students. However they are an excellent degree, enormously respected by employers.

“The combination of rigour and practicality in their training, as well as the wide range of disciplines to which they are subjected during their studies, makes engineering graduates attractive to a wide range of employers in engineering, finance, commerce and other areas.”

You do not have to pursue an engineering career at the end. You do however need to have a strong aptitude in both physics and maths, taking both at A level. Further maths would also be valuable. The other thing to bear in mind is that they are not as popular as many other courses and therefore this is often reflected in lower university offers. Universities are also very keen to attract women onto their courses.

Engineering is a broad subject so you will have to decide whether to specialise in civil, chemical, electrical, aeronautical or mechanical engineering for example, or simply take a general engineering degree. If you specialise in a particular area (e.g. mechanical) you’ve got a higher chance of scoring a better job in that field, although it could be said to limit the breadth of positions available to you. Those who don’t specialise generally enter careers in commerce, teaching, the civil service and journalism where an engineering education is a useful preparation.

If you are unsure of the kind of engineering you wish to specialize in, many universities offer general engineering programs for the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, allowing students the opportunity to experience the different specialties before having to opt for one to complete their degree.

Mechanical Engineering

This is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. It involves the application of physical principles for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems.

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a broad field of engineering that deals with the planning, construction, and maintenance of fixed structures, or public works. Civil engineers are responsible for things such as roads, structures, water supply, sewage systems, flood control and traffic.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is the application of science, in particular chemistry, physics and maths to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. Chemical engineers are engaged in the development and production of a diverse range of products and chemicals. These products include high performance materials needed for aerospace, automotive, biomedical, electronic, environmental and military applications. Examples include ultra-strong fibers, fabrics, adhesives and composites for vehicles, bio-compatible materials for implants and prosthetics, gels for medical applications, pharmaceuticals, and films. Additionally, chemical engineering is often intertwined with biology and biomedical engineering.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline that deals with the study and application of electricity, electromagnetism and electronics.

Aeronautical Engineering

Aeronautical engineering is the branch of engineering that concerns aircraft, spacecraft and related topics.

It is now common amongst international engineering programmes not simply to offer a bachelors degree, but an integrated graduate programme where an additional year immediately turns the undergraduate degree into a Masters qualification - these are often referred to as MEng degree programmes.  You’ll need this if you want to become an accredited chartered engineer, and it tends to be the most popular option.

Most undergraduate degrees also offer the option of a sandwich course combining studying with working in industry for your third year. This is very common and a sensible approach to gaining a first class work placement.

You may also want to take a gap year before university and work in industry – look at the opportunities in Year In Industry (YINI) in the gap year section of this web site for more detail.

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