Guide to Studying General Engineering

What is General Engineering?

  • General engineering is a course which allows those who have an interest in the subject but no desire to specialise straight away, to study a general overview before studying a specific subject branch later on.
  • Engineering is the application of scientific and practical knowledge in order to build and create structures and machines, as well as their future maintainance and upgrading.

Why study General Engineering?

  • From the microscopic intricacy of nanotechnology or the civil engineering challenge of designing a hydroelectric dam, general engineering will teach you everything about engineering.
  • These courses allow students to keep their options open for their first year, or even in some cases throughout their entire course, as they study topics from across all engineering disciplines.
  • There is a choice of how to study - you can either go for the three year Bachelors or a four year Masters, so this is a course which, more than most others, can be tailored for you.
  • You will benefit from shared knowledge of all areas of an engineering department and gain a better appreciation for the business of engineering in which various experts collaborate on a single project - like on this course. 
  • Later in many versions of the course you can also learn about design and project management; this will help you to put your practical knowledge in a business context, and learn more about engineering business.

Coursework, assessment and exams

  • Students are assessed in most courses by a mixture of coursework and written examinations. Design based work is assessed by presentations, as well as working in a team on projects and group assignments. Projects are assessed by a variety of methods, including presentations, essays and posters.
  • In the BEng programmes, Years 2 and 3 contribute to the final degree award, whilst for MEng programmes, it is Years 2, 3 and 4.

What degree can I get? 

  • BEng General Engineering (three years)
  • MEng General Engineering (four years)
  • MEng Sustainable Engineering
  • MEng Engineering and Management

What qualifications do I need?

  • Requirements vary at each institution.
  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in.

Use the CUG Course Chooser to search through General Engineering courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include the straight MEng as a postgraduate course, as well as Engineering and Technology, Enviornmental Sustainability, Renewable Energy, and Engineering & Informatics.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • General Engineering degrees are producing a supply for an ever increasing demand - in an increasingly negative job market for graduates, engineering is one area where there has never been a better time to look for a job.
  • Particular job areas include as a pilot, automotive engineer, broadcast engineer, database administrator, hydrogeologist, IT consultant, metallurgist and telecommunications engineer.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for General Engineering graduates, such as Rolls-Royce.