A degree in engineering from one of the UK’s top engineering universities will make the competition in a saturated field that much easier.
There are more engineers around today than the world needs, but not all of them have the skills to match with the jobs that are available. Studying at a university with world-class faculty and facilities will give you the skills and the head start you need.
If you don’t know which colleges to research, this list will show you the way to the UK’s top engineering universities. Some application advice will also make the process a little bit easier.
University of Cambridge
Cambridge is arguably the UK’s best engineering university and the world’s second-best. It’s been the home of Newton, Francis Bacon, James Clerk Maxwell, Darwin, Watson and Crick, and a host of other inspiring men and women in the sciences. Naturally, admissions are tough at the department of engineering.
Everyone wants to go to Cambridge and Oxford, but there are only ten thousand places at the undergraduate level between these two universities and over forty thousand apply each year. So what’s a secret to cracking Cambridge? Proof that you won’t sink under the workload.
The Cambridge system is unique in that terms are short and intense. You’re expected to learn quickly. Close, one-on-one evaluations will really test your abilities. You have to be a straight A student, that’s a basic requirement. But you also have to have to be very good at the subject you’re applying to and strongly motivated.
Did you take on a research project in high school? Win in the Olympiads? These are the things that count. Extra-curricular activities, not so much. If you think you’re a fast worker and a hard worker, you should apply to Cambridge.
You’ll have to submit a Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) beside your UCAS form. You’ll also need to take a subject test around October/November or during your interview and the TSA (Thinking Skills Assessment.)
University of Oxford
Oxford’s engineering department is strongly research-oriented. If you get in, you’ll learn to use the latest technology, work towards innovations and new achievements in science. The staff and faculty are excellent, as in Cambridge, and there’s a lot of interdisciplinary work going on as well as industrial projects.
Preparing for Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) applications simultaneously is often the natural choice because the processes are very similar. Expect tricky interview questions and top entry requirements. Like Cambridge, extracurricular don’t matter as much as academics. But your grades aren’t the only criteria for entry.
You’ll need to take a Thinking Skills Assessment test and a Physics Admissions Test (PAT.) Oxbridge also asks you to submit examples of written coursework.
Note that your personal statement may be used as a guide for your interview. So, make sure to talk confidently about what you’ve written in it. Be prepared to stay for a couple of days and be interviewed at a number of colleges.
Imperial College London
Imperial College London was ranked 8th in the World according to QS. It focuses only on engineering, science, business and medicine, so expect rigorous and world-class education and facilities. Applications for the post-grad programs begin around mid-November. You’ll know within six to eight weeks whether you’ll be called for an interview. They do have a system of overseas interviews for students who can’t make it.
The references you attach to your application are very important at Imperial College. So is your personal statement. Like Oxbridge, you usually need to have straight A’s to apply. But it’s easier to get into than the Ivy League colleges in the US, for instance. Again, a Master’s course is easier to get into than an undergrad course.
Some areas an international student usually has trouble with is English, so a good TOEFL or IELTS score is necessary. It’s also easier if you’ve been in an international school in your country and taken the Cambridge O levels or the IB. Be very clear why you want to study at Imperial College, and be prepared to convince the interviewer. That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting in.
University of Warwick
Warwick’s School of Engineering offers a good mix of theory and practice in industry projects. Like ICL, Warwick places a lot of emphasis on your references and personal statement. In your statement, you need to show that you’re passionate about your subject, you’ve read widely beyond your syllabus, have developed your thinking based on your experience with the subject.
Do you have a clear idea of what the course will do for you personally? Do you have specific plans of what career you’ll enter into once your program is over?
These are the questions you need to honestly and critically answer, and if it aligns with the qualities that the university is looking for in their research students you’re likely to find a place there. If you’re unsure about these answers, you may have a harder time at the university down the line.
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is home to the UK’s largest school of chemical engineering. The undergraduate degrees in Engineering are highly coveted, and the university has produced (or has on its faculty) 25 Nobel Prize winners.
To apply, you need to have a minimum of 6.0 in your IELTS but even if your grades are less than straight A’s you may still apply. There’s a lot of emphasis on your personal statement, where you must show that you’re enthusiastic about your subject and do have other interests besides academics. Voluntary work and other kinds of social work are a bonus.
Besides these top 5 universities, also keep an eye out for application processes at the University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of Swansea, University of Leeds and the University of Surrey.
All have excellent engineering departments. But remember, you can only apply to five universities using UCAS, so only apply when you’ve some confidence of being accepted so you don’t end up wasting an application. Good luck!
Apply for an International Engineering Scholarship in the UK
Engineering Scholarships for International Students at the University of Strathclyde in UK, 2019
A number of awards are available at the University of Strathclyde for self-funded, international (non-EU) fee-paying students. These opportunities are open for pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate research, postgraduate taught programme.
Award: Undergraduate-£4,000, Postgraduate Taught-£3,000, Postgraduate Research – £4,000
Application Deadline: August 11, 2019
Think Big International Foundation Programme Scholarship at the University of Bristol, UK 2019
Applications are open for the Think Big International Foundation Programme Scholarship at the University of Bristol. Applicants who classed as an overseas student for fee purposes are eligible to apply.
Award: 10 scholarships of £5,000
Application Deadline: June 30, 2019
Beit Strathclyde (BStrath) Scholarships at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow in UK, 2019
The University of Strathclyde Glasgow is delighted to offer the Beit Strathclyde (BStrath) Scholarships. Citizens of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are eligible to apply for this opportunity.
Award: Fully Funded
Application Deadline: July 31, 2019
Women In Engineering Scholarships for UK/EU and Overseas Students at the University of Warwick in the UK
The University of Warwick is accepting applications for the Women In Engineering Scholarships. The awards are open to Home/EU and Overseas students to pursue full-time MSc courses.
Award: 25% of tuition fees
Application Deadline: July 31, 2019
Faculty of Engineering Excellence funding for International Students in Scotland
Funding opportunities are available at the University of Strathclyde. Faculty of Engineering Excellence award is open to all international students who hold the citizenship of any country except the EU countries.
Award: £4,000 along with a £1,500
Application Deadline: August 11, 2019
Surrey Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) Merit Scholarship 2019, UK
The University of Surrey is pleased to announce the merit-based undergraduate scholarship. The program is available for UK, EU and International citizens to pursue an undergraduate degree program in Electrical and Electrical Engineering (EEE). A merit-based support will provide a £2,000 cash award.
Award: Up to £2,000
Application Deadline: July 20, 2019
DA VINCI Academic funding for International Students at the University of Kent in the UK, 2019
Kent University is offering applications for the DA VINCI Academic Scholarship 2019 for high-achieving students. The program is open for UK, EU, and Overseas applicants to pursue an undergraduate degree program.
Award: 20 awards worth up to £1,000
Application Deadline: June 20, 2019
PhD Scholarship in Chemical Engineering for International Students in Australia
RMIT University is giving an opportunity to apply for the PhD Scholarship in Chemical Engineering. The program is open for the Australian citizen or a self-funded international student with the backgrounds in chemical engineering.
Application Deadline: Applications will close when a candidate is selected.
Fully Funded International PhD Studentships at the University of Southampton in UK, 2019
The University of Southampton is allowing applicants to apply for its Fully Funded International PhD Studentships. The grant program is open for UK, EU, and international applicants who are highly motivated postgraduate research students.
Award: Full tuition plus a stipend of £14,777 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years
Application Deadline: August 31, 2019