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Mechanical Engineering guide

Mechanical engineering is at the forefront of developing new technologies for many industries including transport, healthcare, construction and robotics.

Engineer using tablet to check and control automation robot arms machine.


  1. What's Mechanical Engineering?

  2. Why study Mechanical Engineering?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Mechanical 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 Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical Engineering is the discipline that applies the principles of engineering into the design, analysis, manufacturing and maintenance of machines and mechanical production techniques.

MechEng is the branch of engineering education that has been around for the longest period of time. Nowadays, alongside the traditional practical application of techniques, much is based on computer simulations.

Why study Mechanical Engineering?

A Mechanical Engineering student gains a very wide set of skills. Computer applications, electricity, structures, mathematics, physics, drafting...you'll gain inside knowledge of nearly every other type of engineering.

It's considered to be one of the most challenging undergraduate degree courses available. However, once you push through the core curricula, your prove yourself capable of most professional challenges.

In later years of the degree, MechEng allows for a lot of branching out and option exploration. Some go into aerospace engineering, engine design, robotics, manufacturing or even theme park ride design.

Mechanical engineers have a working knowledge of computer applications, electricity, structures, mathematics and physics. Plus, they’re required to have some understanding of social, environmental and economic factors.

Aircraft maintenance mechanic with a flash light inspects plane engine

What jobs can you get?

Mechanical Engineering has the obvious focus of setting graduates up for life as an engineer, but there are other options if you'd prefer more administrative work.

Particular job areas include as an engineer in aerospace, civil contracting, controls and instruments, maintenance and, of course, mechanisms. Banking, patents and management are also pathways.

Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Mechanical Engineering graduates, such as Capita.

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

What qualifications do you need? 

Mechanical Engineering often requires high grades for entry.

Always check the entry requirements for the particular university or college course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • MEng Mechanical Engineering
  • MEng Mechanical Engineering with a year abroad
  • MEng Mechanical Engineering with Management
  • MEng Mechanical Engineering with Sustainable Energy

Choose a dual honours degree to combine an engineering education with another subject you’re interested in.

How will you be assessed?

Teaching methods for most courses include lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory sessions backed up by design classes and practical workshops.

Assessment methods are usually split between exams and continuous assessment, such as reports, computer exercises, laboratories and essays.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include an MSc in Engineering Management, Operations Management, Project Management and Advanced Mechanical Engineering. A straight MSc in MechEng is also available.

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