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What is mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineers build the world around us. From the tiniest nanotechnology, through to cars and buildings, to airplanes and space stations, mechanical engineers are responsible for the design and development of most things.

Studying mechanical engineering is a combination of science, maths, and computing. It’s the study of machinery, and how to manufacture and maintain it at all levels. It’s a limitless subject, which plays a role in everything from vehicles to cities, energy to artificial intelligence, military to healthcare, and everything in between.

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Mechanical engineering course entry requirements

Mechanical engineering is considered to be one of the most challenging undergraduate degrees on offer, so you won’t be surprised to hear that entry requirements can be steep. Generally, you’ll need to have a qualification in maths and/or physics. But, just as importantly, you’ll need to show good grades in whichever subjects you’re studying.

Other subjects that will support an application for mechanical engineering include further maths, design technology, computing, product design, and the other sciences. When it comes to your skills and extracurricular activities, universities will be looking for practicality, attention to detail, proficiency with technology, computing, and numeracy.

Can I still apply if I don’t have good grades in maths and physics?

Each university has its own entry requirements. Maths and physics are generally the most important subjects for mechanical engineering, but many students manage to get on a course without having studied them. Showing a strong personal profile can sometimes be just as important as an academic one. Always check with the university you’re applying to.

Why study mechanical engineering at university?

Mechanical engineering is the broadest of the engineering subjects, giving you an insight into the others, and giving you the most wide-ranging career options. When you combine this with the fact that mechanical engineers are in demand in almost every sector, play your cards right and you may end up as one of the most employable graduates around.

If you’re looking for a future-proof skill, then remember that mechanical engineers are heavily involved in automation, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence. The rapid development of technology also means that studying mechanical engineering is never going to be boring. You’ll be among the first to test emerging techniques and technologies, and much of your study will be practical and hands-on.

Some modules you may study are:

  • Structural materials
  • Engineering concepts
  • Solid mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Thermofluids
  • Biomedical and bioengineering
  • Electromechanicals
  • Systems modelling

Even if you don’t decide to stay in engineering, the transferable skills you master will set you up for careers in a wide range of sectors.

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