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Guide to studying General Engineering

From nanotechnology to sports, General Engineering will teach you everything about the wider engineering area.

Asian man engineer using digital tablet working late night shift at petroleum oil refinery.


  1. What's General Engineering?

  2. Why study General Engineering?

  3. What jobs can you get as a General Engineering graduate?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's General Engineering?

Engineering is the application of scientific and practical knowledge to build, create, maintain and upgrade structures and machines.

General Engineering is a course which allows those who have an interest in the subject, but don’t want to specialise straight away, to study an overview before choosing a specific subject branch later on.

Why study General Engineering?

General Engineering courses allow you to keep your options open for your first year of undergraduate study, or in some cases throughout your entire course, as you study topics from across all engineering disciplines.

Read our six reasons to study General Engineering for more information on why you might choose to study this subject area.

Female Industrial Engineer in the Heavy Industry Manufacturing Factory.

What jobs can you get as a General Engineering graduate?

Particular job roles include 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.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of General Engineering have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate General Engineering students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need? 

Requirements vary at each institution, but most will ask for A Levels (or equivalent) in Mathematics and Physics.

Always confirm the grades and other entry requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

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

How will you be assessed?

You can expect to be assessed by a mixture of coursework and written examinations. Design-based work is assessed through presentations, as well as working in a team on projects and group assignments. Projects are assessed through 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's years 2, 3 and 4.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include the straight MEng as a postgraduate course, as well as courses in Engineering and Technology, Environmental Sustainability, Renewable Energy and Engineering and Informatics.

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