Deciding on a career path has never been easy but if you decide to pursue a career in engineering, you would be open to a number of opportunities in Europe. Also, many sub-specialties you may become interested in exist in European countries well-known for high quality research, excellent infrastructure and high level academics.
Taking the United Kingdom (UK) as a point of focus and a reflection of what obtains in most European countries, we examine the route to getting an Engineering degree.
Generally, the emphasis in Engineering education across Europe is learning to think for yourself and work independently. In the UK, this is achieved by closely aligning Engineering and Technology education with industry. Students are offered several opportunities to work alongside seasoned professionals on various research projects at international level before graduation.
General admission requirementsTo be accepted into an undergraduate engineering program in the UK, you must have good scores in your O'level Mathematics, Physics and/or Chemistry.
Regarding language requirements, a proof of your proficiency in the English language is MANDATORY if you are from a non-English speaking country. Your proficiency may be proven by obtaining good scores in English Tests like the TOEFL and IELTS.
Applications for admission into undergraduate courses are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) for both foreign and UK home students. UCAS is a British admission service responsible for managing undergraduate applications to full-time higher education courses at universities and colleges in the UK.
Choosing your course and schoolAlong with your application, you are allowed to submit up to FIVE related courses you would want if your application for your preferred course turns out unsuccessful. All applications are completed by mid-January of the year in which candidates wish to start their studies.
In certain situations, an EARLY deadline of the month of October of the year before your studies commence is the rule. This situation exists when you apply to universities like Cambridge or Oxford; and also when you apply to courses like Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science for all UK schools.
Please note that candidates cannot apply to Cambridge and Oxford at the same time. Unless you already have a degree or are going to complete a degree, you may not commence a new course at either of the universities.
Students need to do important background checks on universities to find out what suits them most. Important parameters to research about and assess are the school's ranking, location, faculty, facilities, foreign student population, etc etc.
Check your preferred university website(s) for information on admission norms, eligibility criteria and deadline for your course, both preferred and alternatives, as these may vary from course to course and school to school.
Funding your studyIt is important to consider how you would fund your study - personally, family contributions or financial aid. These, when considered early on, prevents a lot of hassles and headaches later on.
Several Universities in the UK offer financial aid in the form scholarships and grants to both foreign International and UK home students each year in various fields. UCAS is also well equipped to give you good information on student finance and preparing for your studies as well.
Study & Scholarships is currently compiling a list of Top Scholarships in UK for Engineering Students and would provide a link to it here when completed. Meanwhile, here are scholarships in UK for international students.
Engineering InstitutionsAlthough opinions may differ, of course; but the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking is among the most influential university rankings by higher education professionals in the world. It "...judges world class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook."
The THE ranking is published every year. According to its 2013-2014 annual ranking, there are thirteen top-rated UK universities out of the top 100 universities for engineering in the world. In their order of ranking from top to bottom, these are:
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- Imperial College London
- Univerity of Manchester
- University College London
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Nottingham
- University of Bristol
- University of Southampton
- Brunel University
- University of Leeds
- Univerity ofBirmingham
- Univerity of Sheffield
Editor's note: Another consideration for your perusal is the Academic Ranking Of World Universities published every year by researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
In conclusion...Students with UK engineering degrees are in high demand by employers including industry giants like IBM, Rolls Royce, HP, Siemens and many more. This is also true of most engineering universities in many countries of Europe.
A largely recent hike in fees in UK universities for undergraduate courses, seems not to have affected most of the postgraduate courses. Despite this hike, however, the clamor for a UK qualification, and by extension European qualification, seem to be increasing the more as students are now more eager than ever to study in the UK because of the quality of education.
If you successfully gain admission into a UK university, then I'd like to end this write-up by telling you that the “sky is just the beginning for you”. Good-luck in your engineering pursuits!
By Peter Okonkwo, who loves to share his knowledge of topics through blogging and guest posts. Article first published on Study & Scholarships 10th August 2011. Rewritten 19th January 2016. All rights reserved. Do not copy.
Related: Scholarships in the UK for International Students