Hi, my name is Abdullah. I am 21 years old and currently in
my second year studying at the University of Manchester. I study Mechanical Engineering
which I find exciting, inventive and fun! So, what is it like and what can you
do with an engineering degree?
Why I Chose Mechanical Engineering
First, let’s see the many reasons for studying it. I chose
the course so I could become an engineer primarily because I enjoy STEM subjects.
Studying engineering has enabled me to use the topics I liked the most in one
course: Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Furthermore, being an engineer provides
the opportunity to apply your knowledge to real-world situations and be
creative every day, solving real-world problems. Additionally, the rapid and
constant developments mean the subject will only become more interesting and
engineers will be more and more sought after. There are always plenty of jobs
and you will never be bored with what you do.
A Day in the Life of a Mechanical Engineering Student
On a typical day, I wake up at around 7.30 am and travel by
bus to the university which starts at 9 am most of the time. With around 6 or 7
hours at university, the day is made up of a mix of lectures and tutorials
spread over 2 campuses: Main Campus and North Campus (where engineers are
mainly based). On North Campus, lectures are always in the Renold Building. Also, there
is the George Begg Building with exceptional computer facilities. This is where
I prefer to work with friends; 2-3 hours of study is required each day. Finally,
to research for assignments, I go to North Campus’s Sackville Street Building
library for books.
In terms of work outside classes, this contains coursework,
reports based on previous lab sessions or rewatching lectures once uploaded
online to further grasp the concepts. In addition, there are tutorial sheets
that I need to attempt before the tutorial class. These are questions based on lectures
in the past week of that module then the class tutor goes through the solutions.
While this seems like a lot, there is still plenty of free time if you chose to
study Mechanical Engineering!
What Can You Do With a Mechanical Engineering Degree?
Using the Careers Service and career fairs at the
university, I have learnt about options you have after you finish the course in
lots of detail. The obvious one is to become a mechanical engineer which most
students do. Mechanical engineers are mostly hired by the aerospace, automotive
and manufacturing industries. After the course, you can also do a Master’s
degree which is another 1-year degree. With this, engineers are able to become
chartered engineers in the future which means faster career progression and increased
Surprisingly, there is considerable demand for engineering students in investment
banking too. Generally, it is working as an analyst to predict market trends
because students are taught the numerical and analytical skills applicable to
the role. Alternatively, I learnt at a university career fair that there is
also scientific research in engineering as an option but this requires an extra
Overall, I would conclude that studying Mechanical Engineering
has a lot of benefits and an extensive range of excellent career prospects that
it leads to. To learn more, details can be found on the university website in
the links below:
My name is Craig Morrison and I
am a 2nd year PhD student in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace
and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester. My research is linked to
the nuclear industry, using computers to try and simulate what happens to
materials in the extreme environment in a nuclear reactor.
In Depth I enjoyed STEM subjects throughout
school and studied for A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography.
I considered applying to study Physics at university but was unsure of the jobs
on offer after graduation. I was advised that for those who are curious about
science and maths but still have an eye for practical problems, maybe stemming
from a childhood love of Lego or Meccano, studying engineering can be a good
alternative to a pure science at university. So I decided engineering was for me
and went to the University of Sheffield to study for a degree in Mechanical
For those who don’t know, engineering is the
practical application of science to real world problems. Albert Einstein was
once quoted as saying; ‘Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers
create that which has never been’. Essentially the science taught at school and
university explores the world around us, developing equations and theories to
explain why things behave the way they do. Engineering takes the principles developed by
scientists and uses them to design and create the man-made world we live in.
Engineers are tasked with solving a
wide range of problems, often with significant time, resource and financial
constraints. New challenges evolve with the world around us ensuring that the
learning and self-improvement never stops. How do we supply food, water and
clean energy to a global population that is expected to hit 9 billion by 2040?
Where will these people live? How do we combat the effects of global warming?
These issues make for scary reading, but provide the fuel from which engineers
Different branches of
engineering exist to cope with the different problems encountered in everyday
life. The house you live in and the bridges you drive over were designed by
civil engineers. The car or train you travel in were designed by a mechanical
engineer to get you there quickly and safely whilst using as little fuel as
possible. Aerospace engineers create the planes which fly over huge distances
to take you go on holiday. And that’s not mentioning electrical/electronic,
materials, manufacturing, bio-engineering or the multiple other engineering
disciplines fields that have emerged.
In many engineering industries a
skills shortage is imminent as large chunks of the workforce approach
retirement age ensuring engineering graduates and apprentices are in high
demand. Furthermore, the team working, communication and problem solving skills
are sought by other industries as well – business, accounting and finance in
particular – a reassuring thought for those interested in the subject but
unsure as to whether engineering is their preferred long term career choice.
general rule, to study an engineering based course at University will require
an A level in Maths alongside a science depending on the branch which you wish
to study, e.g. Physics will be needed for Mechanical engineering, chemistry for
Chemical engineering, biology for Bioengineering.
Make no mistake an engineering degree
can be difficult and challenging but in terms of employability and job
satisfaction it remains one of the best degrees you can study. There is also a
fun side with societies where students can design and build a racing car
(formula student), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV society) or experience
piloting and aircraft design (Flight Simulator Society). Whether you want to design
rollercoasters, become an astronaut or improve our future by solving some of
the biggest issues faced by the world today, an engineering degree could be
your first step to an exciting, varied and satisfying career.
Find out more about engineering
at the University of Manchester here: http://www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/
You can find out more about
engineering in general and the careers on offer here: http://www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/
You can find out more about student
societies in MACE here: http://www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/study/student-experience/studentsocieties/