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Study General Engineering, Why & How To Study

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. What General Engineering degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a General Engineering degree?

  4. What topics does a General Engineering degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study General Engineering?

  7. What do General Engineering graduates earn?

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

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to General Engineering

  11. Have any questions?

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.

What General Engineering degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in General Engineering include:

  • Engineering and Management BEng/Meng
  • General Engineering BEng (three years)
  • General Engineering MEng (four years)
  • Integrated Engineering (with a year in industry) BEng
  • Sustainable Engineering MEng

Options may include an integrated foundation year, industrial placement, or a year abroad.

What do you need to get onto a General Engineering degree?

Entry requirements for a General Engineering degree at a university range from 64–168 UCAS points. This could include the qualifications below.

  • A Levels: A*A*A–DDE
  • BTECs: D*D*D*–MMP (or in combination with A Levels)
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAA–CCCC (Advanced Highers: AAA– AA)
  • International Baccalaureate: 40–24
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied: maths and/or physics at A Level (or equivalent)

Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Further maths or other science subjects
  • General studies and critical thinking A Levels may not be accepted

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Insight days or shadowing to see an engineer’s daily work
  • Growing your skills through online courses, MOOCs, challenges or competitions
  • Finding out more about the business of engineering on professional body websites, engineering magazines, podcasts, YouTube videos…
  • If eligible, STEM summer schools such as UNIQ or the Sutton Trust

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of science taken at A Level
  • Interview and entry assessments may be required by some universities

What topics does a General Engineering degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Mathematics for engineers and scientists
  • Solid mechanics and structures
  • Electronic and electrical systems
  • Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics
  • Engineering practice
  • Engineering design
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Control and signal processing
  • Materials
  • Civil design
  • Modern manufacturing techniques

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following, and will vary from module to module:

  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Group assignments
  • Posters
  • Presentations
  • Team projects
  • Written exams

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.

Career-specific skills:

  • Overview of engineering as a broad discipline – which may include electrical, electronic, civil and mechanical engineering
  • Understanding of all aspects of the engineering process, from design and development to building, testing and maintenance
  • Industry experience from placements

Transferable skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Team working
  • Planning
  • Project management
  • Communication (written and verbal)

Professional accreditation:

  • Degrees may be accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and/or by specialist engineering bodies like the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
  • May include registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng), and partial registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng)

What do General Engineering graduates earn?

General Engineering graduates can expect an entry-level salary of around £19,000–£29,000.

Thereafter, your salary will very much depend on the area in which you specialised. The average pay for a senior manufacturing engineer might be £50,500, while a senior engineer in civil engineering could be earning £67,500 or more.

What jobs can you get as a General Engineering graduate?

A degree in General Engineering is highly vocational, and could lead to the following jobs:

  • Automotive engineer
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Database administrator
  • Hydrogeologist
  • IT consultant
  • Metallurgist
  • Pilot
  • Telecommunications engineer

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Postgraduate courses are normally limited to those with a previous degree in an engineering, maths, science or technology subject. Examples of postgraduate courses include:

  • Engineering MPhil/PhD
  • Engineering Science DPhil/MSc (Res)
  • Engineering Design MSc
  • Engineering and Education MSc
  • Engineering with Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc

Similar subjects to General Engineering

Other subject areas that might appeal to you include:

Have any questions?

If you’ve got any questions about studying General Engineering, you can email our experts at We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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