Guide to studying Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is at the forefront of developing new technologies for many industries including transport, healthcare, construction and robotics.
- What do graduates do and earn?
Mechanical Engineering is the discipline that applies the principles of engineering to the design, analysis, manufacturing, and maintenance of machines and mechanical production techniques.
MechEng is the branch of engineering education that's been around the longest. Nowadays, alongside the traditional practical application of techniques, much is based on computer simulations.
A Mechanical Engineering student gains an extensive set of skills. Computer applications, electricity, structures, mathematics, physics, drafting – basically knowledge of nearly every other type of engineering.
It's considered to be one of the most challenging undergraduate degree courses available. Once you've pushed through the core curricula, you'll 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.
Read our five reasons to study Mechanical Engineering for more information on why you might choose this subject area.
Mechanical Engineering has the obvious focus of setting graduates up for life as an engineer. Still, there are other options available for those who'd prefer a job on the administrative side.
Particular job areas include an engineer in aerospace, civil contracting, controls and instruments, maintenance, and mechanisms. Banking, patents and management are also pathways.
Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Mechanical Engineering graduates, such as Capita.
In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Mechanical Engineering have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.
The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Mechanical 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
Mechanical Engineering often requires high grades for entry. Always check the entry requirements for the particular university or college course you're interested in.
- MEng Mechanical Engineering
- MEng Mechanical Engineering with a year abroad
- MEng Mechanical Engineering with Management
- MEng Mechanical Engineering with Sustainable Energy
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.
There's an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
Examples include an MSc in Engineering Management, Operations Management, Project Management, and Advanced Mechanical Engineering. A straight MSc in MechEng is also available.