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Posted Jan. 13, 2014

Spotlight on: Postgrad Study in Engineering

In an effort to boost engagement with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), 40 universities were recently awarded a share of £25 million in funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. This has paved the way for scholarships for national and international students, with as many as 2,800 students set to receive support, as well as funding for some remarkable postgraduate research projects . It is an exciting time to explore an exciting and diverse subject, the breadth and scope of which may surprise you.

What is Postgrad Engineering?

A broad subject. It concerns the branch of science and technology focussed on the design, building and use of machines or systems. Postgraduate engineering programs are divided into different areas of specialisation, from aeronautical to chemical, mechanical and software engineering. It is the study of systems and how they work, and appeals to those with an analytical and inventive mind. Examples of postgraduate courses include:

Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Software Engineering, Communications Engineering, Automotive Engineering, Transport Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Energy Engineering, and many more!

Where to Study

The hardest task for any prospective student is determining precisely the area of their interest, and striking a balance between passion and profession. You want to know that your chosen area is going to give you a good chance of employment on finishing the course, and the best way to determine this is by looking at the different areas that different universities specialise in. It's not always advisable to choose 'the best' university, at least not in an all round sense. You will have learnt from undergraduate study that it is better to opt for a good department than a good university. While institutions such as Imperial College in London fly the flag of undoubted educational esteem, the University of Nottingham, for example, has a formidable mechanical engineering school. Our detailed guide on choosing the right course is a good place to start.

With the injection of funds in England, universities such as Kingston University in London and the University of Portsmouth are placing a special emphasis on support for postgraduate engineering study. It is highly advisable to stay current on developments within university departments and schools to work out which is going to offer the best range of opportunities for your chosen area.

The Lowdown

One way to find out about the merit of university courses is to check league tables on sites like The Times Higher Education World University Rankings . Here you can view league tables by subject or region. International students will benefit from scores related to 'international outlook' while the website also provides scores for research, industry income and citations, giving prospective students a good idea of the areas where a particular university excels. Some students will be more concerned with a good score for research, while others will be more interested in industry income.

You'll find that Oxbridge and Imperial continue to top the league tables, but might be surprised to learn that the University of Southhampton has one of the best Electrical Engineering departments, and that the University of Bath beats Imperial College in some league tables for Civil Engineering.

How to Apply

The entry requirements and application process are simple. As an MSc. or PhD. student you will be required to hold a bachelors degree with a grade of 2.1 or 2.2, or, in certain circumstances, relevant industry specific experience in place of higher education.

You can apply to many of the UK's postgraduate engineering courses through the UCAS UKPASS online application process, or through online applications via an specific higher education institution.

Need Further Information?

Remember that the website has a wealth of information on choosing courses, applying, securing funding and essentially every area of enquiry you're likely to have as a prospective postgrad student. Check out our advice page for further information.

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