Subject Spotlight: Mechanical Engineering


What is Mechanical Engineering? 

Mechanical engineering merges creativity with principles of physics and mathematics to design, analyse, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems. It’s one of the oldest and broadest branches of engineering, covering the design and production of machinery and mechanical devices from tiny components to large-scale systems; it brings together principles of physics, mathematics and material science for the research, design, development and testing of mechanical products and systems. If you’re fascinated by how things work and enjoy solving complex problems, mechanical engineering could be perfect for you.


Why Study Mechanical Engineering Abroad? 

There are many reasons why you should consider a mechanical engineering course. Here are a few: 

  • Versatility – Mechanical engineers work across various sectors, from automotive and aerospace to energy and manufacturing.
  • Innovation – The field offers opportunities to create innovative solutions to real-world problems, such as renewable energy or autonomous vehicles.
  • High Demand – There’s a consistent demand for skilled mechanical engineers worldwide, ensuring excellent job prospects.

What’s it Like to Study Mechanical Engineering? 

Studying Mechanical Engineering involves learning about thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, materials science and structural analysis, among other topics. Most programs also offer practical workshops and internships for hands-on experience in designing and analysing mechanical systems. 

Career Prospects For Mechanical Engineering Students 

A degree in Mechanical Engineering can open a wealth of career opportunities across a wide range of sectors. Mechanical Engineering graduates can find opportunities in automotive, aerospace, energy, and manufacturing, for example, in roles such as Systems Engineer, Project Engineer or Research and Development Engineer. Here are some more specific roles: 

Design Engineer

Design Engineers use software tools to create blueprints for new products or systems. They work closely with clients and other engineers to make sure designs meet the required specifications and standards. 

Manufacturing Engineer

Focused on the production process, Manufacturing Engineers work to improve efficiency and quality. They might design new equipment, plan workflows or troubleshoot production issues. 

Automotive Engineer

Automotive Engineers specialise in the design, development and production of vehicles. They might work on specific aspects like engine design, safety features or fuel efficiency. 

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace Engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, satellites and missiles, also testing prototypes to ensure they function according to design. 

HVAC Engineer

HVAC covers heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and an HVAC engineer designs, installs and maintains them to provide comfortable and safe indoor environments. 

Robotics Engineer

Robotics Engineers cover a wide range of sectors, designing and developing robots and robotic systems. This can involve working on hardware, software or testing processes. 

Energy Engineer

A role in high demand, Energy Engineers focus on producing energy more efficiently or developing new energy sources. They might work in areas like renewable energy, energy management or environmental compliance. 

Each of these roles requires a solid understanding of mechanical engineering principles, excellent problem-solving skills and a keen eye for detail. As you progress in your career, you may have the opportunity to specialise further or move into project management or consultancy roles. 

Professional Bodies for Mechanical Engineering 

Key professional bodies in this field include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). These organisations provide resources, networking opportunities and continuous professional development. 

Skills Mechanical Engineering Students Should Have 

If you decide a mechanical engineering degree is the best university course for you, there are certain skills you’ll need to develop to be successful.

  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • A good understanding of mathematical and scientific principles
  • The ability to use computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • A deep interest in understanding how mechanical systems work 

Typical Degrees that are Mechanical Engineering-Focused 

Degree titles might include Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering or Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. Some programs may offer specialisations in areas like Robotics, Automotive Engineering or Energy Systems.

Which Universities Offer Mechanical Engineering Degrees and What are the Entry Requirements?

Studying mechanical engineering could lead to a rewarding career – and NCUK offers a range of pathway qualifications to get onto a top-tier engineering course overseas. 

You can find more information and guidance on the options available here. NCUK offers a pathway to a wide variety of courses – you can read more about the universities and the entry requirements using our course finder.