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General Engineering guide

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 qualifications do you need?

  5. What degrees can you study?

  6. How will you be assessed?

  7. 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.

Of all the subjects on offer at UK universities today, few have more modern applications than engineering. Engineering graduates make up about 25% of this country's production as a workforce, and the sector is currently undersubscribed in the job market.

If you find the subject area interesting, you'll probably find employment in engineering and technology interesting for the majority of your career. There is the guarantee of change and evolution, so you have the thrill of knowing you won't be doing the same thing in ten years time.

An engineering-based education also exposes you to various technical subjects and skill sets. As well as this, you'll develop skills that are transferable to most industries, such as problem solving, decision making, innovation, project management, team working and communication. These skills and the knowledge you'll gain can be applied in any country or culture around the world today.

The starting salaries are among the best across all industry sectors. The demand for skilled graduates outstrips supply, and businesses are struggling to find recruits for vacancies. New General Engineering graduates can expect to earn salaries higher than those in sales, human resources and even finance.

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.

Professional job: Usually needs a degree
Non-professional job: Doesn't usually need a degree

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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