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General Engineering courses

General engineering is an ideal route into the field for those who are still unsure about the area they wish to specialise in, and would like more time to consider their options. The subject provides a broad, core study of engineering while also allowing students to tailor parts of their course as they realise what interests them most. First year study revolves around the core principles of engineering design with subsequent years borrowing from various engineering streams. On top of a deep understanding of the subject, you’ll acquire key skills such as project management and working as part of a team.

Studying general engineering at university

Example course modules

  • Health issues and ethics
  • Applied Mechanics
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics I
  • Electronic Fundamentals and Manufacture
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists
  • Process Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics
  • Design and Computing in Engineering Practice
  • Solids and Structures

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 26%
    Male : 74%
  • Mature : 41%
    School leaver : 59%
  • Full-time : 54%
    Part-time : 46%

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
A general engineering degree is a great path into an industry which is looking to recruit large numbers of graduates to meet demand across a number of industries. Roles include those in research and development to design and manufacturing. While competition is high amongst the larger engineering companies, there are a multitude of opportunities offered by smaller employers too – in fact, many companies are struggling to fill all these graduate vacancies. Work experience while you study through internships and placements, is vital to gain experience as well an understanding of the direction you wish to head in. Once you’ve decided on the area you would like to specialise in during your degree, progression into the automotive, power, energy and aerospace sectors (to name just a few), through the likes of global names like Rolls-Royce, British Petroleum and Airbus is possible. Just Engineers, The Engineer and E&TJ are some examples of the widely-used vacancy websites.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Engineering professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Industrial engineer
  • Environmental engineer

Other real-life job examples

  • Sales engineer
  • Management consultant
  • Accountant

What employers like about this subject

A general engineering degree teaches a number of desirable transferable skills, beyond just subject-specific knowledge. The subject sees students take ideas from a very early stage and applying them to real world problems and requirements, assessing risks and practical issues. Problem-solving is integral as products undergo this refinement, and you seek resolutions to problems which arise. You’ll also learn how to work as part of a large team, arguing your opinion and analysing others’ to ultimately reach a common goal. You’ll also use numeracy skills in working to budget and deadline, as well as computing skills in the utilisation of design software in early stages.