Why study engineering?

Engineering students in a lab

Engineering plays a vital role in almost every aspect of modern life. It is important to a wide range of industries, from building construction to pharmaceuticals and food processing. Using science, maths and specialist skills, you’ll develop new ideas and find solutions to real-world problems, like transport issues, global warming and clean water. With a range of different fields to choose from, you’ll find the right specialism for you to apply your knowledge and follow your ambitions.

Fields of engineering

There are many areas of engineering you can specialise in, including: 

  • Civil engineering – design and construction within the built environment.
  • Mechanical engineering – a focus on machines, such as engines, turbines and fridges.
  • Electrical engineering – concerned with electricity, electronics and electromagnetism.
  • Chemical engineering – the design and operation of industrial chemical plants.

Benefits of studying engineering

Engineering degrees are a popular choice for undergraduates. The benefits include:

Solve global issues

Engineers help to solve and manage real-world problems, like energy shortages and natural disasters. You could be building better machinery, improving structures or inventing new products that improve people’s quality of life.

Career prospects

Job prospects are excellent for engineers in the UK and worldwide. You’ll gain specialist engineering knowledge, and transferable skills in maths, science and design. Engineering courses also equip you with communication, teamwork and management skills which are relevant to a wider range of career options.

Practical work

Studying engineering is very hands-on. During your degree, you’ll experience the same standard of materials and machinery that are used in the industry. This means you’ll graduate with practical skills you can apply directly to a job.

Why study engineering at Durham University?

Durham’s engineering department is a leading centre of research. The University's undergraduate engineering degree is ranked 4th in the UK (Complete University Guide 2022).

Teaching involves lectures, problem-solving tasks, laboratory work, computer-based classes and research projects. The teaching staff are experts who have strong partnerships with industry leaders such as Rolls Royce and BP.

Engineering students at Durham University enjoy a large amount of flexibility and choice. You’ll learn how to tackle traditional and modern engineering problems, and you’ll study advanced engineering topics. There will also be group design projects which teach you how to work in a team using sophisticated analysis and design tools

Extracurricular activities and student-run societies are an important part of life at Durham. These give you an opportunity to try new activities, gain new skills and develop your interests. For example, the DUEM society (Durham University Electric Motorsport) design, build and race solar-powered cars across the globe.

Key skills from studying engineering

Engineering courses give you specialist skills that you can apply to the workplace after graduating. These include:

  • Project management
  • Creative thinking
  • Logical thinking
  • Statistical analysis
  • Investigative research
  • Data processing
  • Problem-solving
  • Verbal and written communication
  • CAD (computer aided design)
  • Technical writing
  • Budget management

What engineering degree can I study at Durham University?

Durham University offer their BEng General Engineering and MEng General Engineering degrees, as well as a range of discipline-specific courses including Engineering (Civil), Engineering (Electrical), Engineering (Electronic), Engineering (Mechanical) and Engineering (Renewable Energy).

When studying an Engineering degree at Durham University, all students study General Engineering for the first two years, at which point students make an informed decision about which specialism and length of degree (BEng/MEng) to opt for.

The MEng option allows students to undertake a placement year/year in industry as part of their undergraduate degree, providing invaluable practical experience between the second and third year. Durham University has links with companies such as British Airways, BP, IBM and Caterpillar, amongst many others, as placement opportunities.

All courses are accredited by the relevant engineering professional institution.

Degree preparation at the International Study Centre

Our International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering prepares you for an undergraduate engineering degree at Durham. Focussed engineering modules give you the subject knowledge you need for success in your degree. You will learn about physics and engineering concepts, and you’ll develop confidence in problem-solving. You will also study core modules in English, maths and chemistry.

The Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering prepares you for an engineering related Masters degree. The course lasts for 2 or 3 terms and includes designated modules in computational mathematics and advanced applied mathematics. You will also study core modules that include laboratory skills, experimental design, and advanced writing skills for science and engineering.

Engineering degree jobs

Graduates from Durham’s top-ranked engineering school are in demand. Your degree will prepare you for a wide range of engineering and non-engineering careers, as well as further education.

Jobs related to a engineering degree include:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • CAD technician
  • Mining engineer
  • Water engineer
  • Environmental consultancy
  • Industrial research
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Technical writer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it hard to study engineering?

Studying engineering can be rewarding. and with dedication, problem-solving skills, and a passion for innovation, it can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

Which engineering is best to study?

The "best" engineering field to study depends on your interests and career goals. Popular options include civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science engineering.

Which engineering jobs are in demand?

Several engineering fields are in high demand, including software engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and biomedical engineering. 


for General Engineering (Complete University Guide 2022)