How Should I Choose University for Engineering in the UK?

by Oct 11, 2020Jobs and Education

Engineering is the most popular course in the UK for international students. However, the job opportunities for Engineering in the UK is limited. It might even diminish further as UK is going through a lot of challenges like Brexit and Pandemic.

It is quite important to analyse and understand the opportunities in the UK before you decide to study in the UK. Read more to learn about the opportunities in the UK.

After analysing the opportunities and let’s say you still decided to study Engineering in the UK. Then, the next step would be to understand the factors you need to consider to choose the university.

Why the Rakings Does Not Matter?

It would be terrible to choose the university only based on ranking.

Because, the ranking provided by an organisation is based on their own criteria. Typically every organisation produce different list based on their own assessment criteria.

More importantly it is measured on a university services as a whole rather than at granular level of courses they offer.

This mean nothing when it comes to the course you are looking to study because it is not rated or ranked at the course level.

University ranking can be helpful to an extent as it provides a broad overview of the university and what you can expect at a high level.

However, you will have to look beyond the ranking and other factors when it comes to choosing the university for your course.

Factors to Consider to Choose University for Engineering

Subject Area in University for Engineering

The University you choose for your subject area or the engineering course should be taught for a very long time.

Age of the course is important because the longer the course is taught, the better course structure. The course would be have refined over the time to improvise it.

Having said that, the course should also incorporate the latest technology in the curriculum.

Some universities teach the course for a long time. However, they may not changed or made minimal change to the curriculum since it was started.

Do not ever compromise on this factor. If the university is not offering what you want then do not choose that university even if they are ranked higher.

How can you find the age of the course? Simply contact the university via their contact page and most universities respond within few days.

Collaboration with Industries

There is a possibility that the university works closely with the industries when they teach the course for a long time.

They university specialised in a stream of engineering could be involved in lot of research programmes with the industry.

You may wondering how this will benefit you. Certainly it benefits the students. Because, the university may involve their students on those projects. This will help students to create network with the professional in the industries.

As a result, you will gain exposure or experience with real projects. It also leads the way to secure a job after course completion.

When I was studying in the university, this helped me a lot to learn from professionals and added value to my resume.

One of my classmate got placement job with a reference of a professor.

It is useful for those who do not have any experience on hand. It is hard to get a job in the UK without industry experience.

How to find whether the university involved in research projects? Simply google it. Follow the university on social media like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. University post news about working with the industries on social media.

Career Service

Look for universities which provides great career service. University with good career service should help students in resume preparations and conduct career fairs.

Some universities also help to get you a part-time job and also finding internships and industry placements.

I found my job from the job postings posted by the university department. My university also helped me to prepare a resume that got me several interview opportunities.

How to find whether the university provides good career support? Check the university website. Reach out to alumni’s of the University. Preferably the one who done the same course as you look to study. They can provide feedback about the career service. Also, about the course and staff’s support. You can again find them on social media.

Mode of Teaching

Does it really matters? Short answer is yes.

The whole world and every business is changing to new normal and making digital transformation to adapt to virtual collaboration.

As a result, most of the universities may teach the course through online tutorials than more lectures. This means physically working with fellow students and lecturers become limited.

Although, one could argue in the digital and AI world, virtual collaboration is effective.

This is may not be true when it comes to studying engineering courses. Especially like mechanical or chemical engineering. Because, in those course you need to get lot of practical experience. Often, work with machinery or testing materials.

Additionally, you come to a foreign as international study only to study but also to experience other culture and their ways of working and living.

Your experience and exposure to the culture of the country you study is quite important for you to land on a job.

Therefore, it is important to understand the proportion of mode of teaching to decide on the university.

How to find the mode of teaching? Again, course details university website is best place to look for. You can also contact university via contact page for further questions.

Example: Research on an University for Engineering

Below is an example of research about MSc Mechanical Engineering course at Loughborough University. This is not a promotion of the course or Loughborough University. It is only used to show the example of a research you can make.

Subject Area in University for Engineering

Let’s assume I want to study MSc Mechanical Engineering course at Loughborough University. We need to check the age of the course and whether it is accredited by relevant professional bodies.

This course was started before 2008 but the exact start date is not clear. Students can contact the university to find more information such as exact start date of the course.

However, it has been accredited since 2008. The accreditation is in line with the review process of below institutions.

  • Engineering Designers (IED)
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Data Source: Course details on the University Website.

Collaboration with Industries

We need to check whether the university is working with the industries on research projects.

Loughborough University have been awarded £2.9m to establish a new development centre. This project is to improve the measurement and quality control in manufacturing.

The aim of the project is to help manufacturing firms to improve their measurement and quality control systems.

The university is also working on various research projects with the industry. Some of them are 3D printing technology, Dynamic Refinement and Energy Efficiency of Hybrid Electric Powertrains and more.

This shows that the university is quite heavily involved in research projects with the industries.

Data Source: News and research page on University website.

Career Service

Loughborough University is arranging profile raising events on campus such as careers fairs, Placement fair and Drop-in attractions and bespoke events.

They also support students with mock interviews, provide advice on careers, resumes. You can book online appointment to university website to get the advice on careers.

Data Source: Data Network page in university website and their twitter account.

Mode of Teaching

Loughborough University teach the course in different modes such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical session and groupworks.

However, the proportion of these different modes of teaching is not clearly defined in their website. It is best to reach out to the university for more information.

Data Source: Course details on the University Website.

Bottom line

It is not enough just to know about the university and its ranking. Look beyond the ranking and analyse about the values or features of the course that the university offers. You can research based on above factors.

Make your decision based on facts from your research. Do not just blindly choose an university and the course because a consultancy or a friend is suggesting.

Always do own your research to choose the university.

About Me

My name is Naresh Jayakumar. I am mastering personal finance to effectively manage, save and grow money. I’m on my happy jounery to financial indenpendence.

I blog to share the tricks and hacks of making, managing and saving money to help others achieve Financial Independence in their lives too.


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