5 benefits of studying engineering

Two engineering students work on a car at Kingston ISC

What is engineering?

Engineering is the application of mathematic and scientific principles to solve problems. Engineers research, invent and refine processes across a wide range of fields including medicine, transport, electronics, and much more. Most of what you see around you was designed by an engineer somewhere.

Why study engineering?

Engineering is a fascinating and ever-evolving subject. There are many specialities to choose from according to your interests, as well as a huge range of jobs available. As an engineer, you can make your mark on the world in a positive and enduring way.

1. Employability

During an engineering degree, you practise all the skills that will be vital both in the workplace and in everyday life. The logical thinking, objectivity and decision-making you will develop are key in engineering jobs, as well as being transferrable skills for other careers. Engineers make great managers and, as a result, engineering is the most common undergraduate degree among Fortune 500 CEOs. Some of the most famous of these include Tim Cook (Apple), Satya Nadella (Microsoft) and Mary Barra (General Motors).

2. High salary potential

Engineering is a stable and well-paid profession. 9 of the top 10 highest paid degree subjects are engineering-related and in 2017, graduates with an engineering degree achieved an average gross annual wage of £45,000 — nearly double that of graduates of English, linguistics, languages and media.* With specialist training and a few years’ experience, salaries can be even higher.

3. International opportunities

Engineers are needed in every country in the world. They design and implement solutions to everyday problems such as access to water and electricity, safe transport and medicine — things that are needed everywhere. This means you will have opportunities to travel and work in other countries, enjoying all the experiences that come with it.

4. Improve the world

As an engineer, you will contribute to society in a unique way, be helping to invent and develop infrastructure that improves people’s lives. From medical engineering to civil engineering, what you do at work will make an impact that you can be proud of. For example, engineers are heavily involved in designing and implementing renewable technologies that benefit the planet and they have recently played a vital role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, inventing lab-free ‘PCR’ testing and manufacturing vaccines.

5. Think creatively

Engineering is an exciting subject because it combines scientific and mathematical knowledge with creative thinking. It teaches you to question the established ways of doing things and to come up with new ideas. In order to do this, you need creativity and an ability to look beyond what has been done before.

Reasons to study engineering in the UK

From its famous history of engineering to its work experience opportunities, there are plenty of reasons to choose the UK. Here are some of them:

Globally recognised degrees

The UK has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its higher education. Holding a degree from a university here shows employers that you have had a thorough and well-rounded education.

Professional experience

Work experience and internships are key components of an engineering degree in the UK. Practical experience is key, giving you better knowledge and workplace skills such as communication and teamwork.

Engineering nation

From Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who created the world’s first underwater tunnel, to Richard Trevithick, who invented the first steam-powered locomotive, British engineers have helped to change the world. The UK’s proud history of engineering makes it a respected and inspiring place to study.

Your pathway to engineering

Kingston University’s School of Engineering and the Environment has world-leading academics, fantastic facilities and strong links with industry leaders. It’s an obvious choice for those looking to train as engineers in the UK.

The International Study Centre offers specialist preparation programmes for international students. Study with us for a year and gain the skills and confidence you need to succeed in your undergraduate degree at Kingston University.

International Foundation Year

The International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing is designed for students who don’t yet meet the academic of English language requirements for direct entry to the University. Gain engineering knowledge and practise your English as you adjust to life in the UK in a supportive environment, surrounded by other international students.

International Year One

The new International Year One in Engineering offers international students the chance to gain extra support and tuition without delaying their graduation date. Designed to prepare you to enter the second year of a degree at Kingston University, the programme combines an introduction to the UK education system with engineering tuition and English language help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I study to become a software engineer?

To become a software engineer, you need a computer science (or similar) degree. 

When applying for jobs, potential employers will often give you a programming task and ask about your own personal experience outside of study. The technical knowledge you gain from studying a computer science degree will prepare you for a future role in this field.

How do I study engineering in the UK?

To get onto an engineer course at university, make sure you've studied a similar course beforehand. This will help you with your application.

For example, to get onto a computer science degree, you would need to have studied maths, or something related to computing.

What university should I go to to become an engineer?

Some things to consider when choosing what university to study your engineering degree:

  1. Think about where in the UK you would like to study; you'll be here for a while, so picking a location that works best for you is important
  2. Check university websites for more details on the courses; what modules are studied? How long for? Do you find the course content interesting?
  3. Attend an open day (virtual or in-person), if you can, to get a feel for the university and whether it would be a good fit for you
  4. Look at the university rankings for computer science and filter by preferences that matter to you.

*Office for National Statistics