Find the best colleges for engineering and technology degrees in the UK using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data.
Top 7 universities for engineering in the UK 2023
From the London Underground to the Channel Tunnel, the UK’s list of engineering feats is endless. Almost everything you see around you, from cars to skyscrapers, was designed by a team of engineers, and studying an engineering degree can put you on the first step to working on such projects.
In the UK, it is common for students on all undergraduate engineering degrees to follow the same course in the first two years. After that, students are able to pursue their interests and specialise in the branch of engineering they enjoy most. Unlike most undergraduate degrees in the UK, engineering programmes are four years long, often with a year in industry in the middle.
There are many branches of engineering that students can choose to specialise in, including civil engineering, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering and many others. Many students will embark on further education in order to deepen their special expertise.
These are the best universities in the UK for engineering degrees.
5. University of Manchester
Prospective undergraduate students at the University of Manchester can choose from a variety of engineering courses including: chemical, computer, electrical and electronic, mechanical, aerospace and civil.
Students can choose to study the three-year bachelor’s in engineering or the four-year course leading to a master’s.
There are postgraduate options as taught courses in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, structural engineering and many others. There are also postgraduate research opportunities where students can join a research project in a number of areas including modelling and simulation, nuclear engineering and innovative manufacturing, among others.
The University of Manchester also offers a foundation year course for both UK and international students if students do not have the appropriate subject background when applying. On completion, foundation students will then progress into the first year of an engineering degree.
Engineering students are able to work with and access a number of facilities including laser labs, wind tunnels and flight simulators.
The UCL engineering department provides undergraduate students with a range of 23 degree programmes, including chemical engineering, bioprocessing of new medicines, and civil engineering.
UCL also offers a range of master’s engineering programmes to its postgraduate students, from chemical process engineering to nanotechnology and naval architecture.
The UCL engineering undergraduate programme follows the IEP teaching model, which focuses on collaboration and learning through projects. Students may also customise their degree study by choosing between three linked interdisciplinary pathways.
Students on engineering courses at UCL come from more than 120 different nations.
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3. Imperial College London
Imperial College London offers undergraduate students a range of different engineering degrees: aeronautical, biomaterials and tissue, biomedical, chemical, civil, design, electrical and electronic, electronic and information, materials, mechanical, and molecular bioengineering.
Most of these courses have a four-year structure in which the first two years cover fundamentals and the third and fourth year allow for specialising.
Most of the courses also offer the option of a year abroad or in industry. Undergraduates are also able to gain accreditation from the relevant engineering institution.
Postgraduate options are very varied, with courses available in aeronautics, bioengineering, chemical engineering and much more.
Engineering students have access to many facilities – from the space engineering lab to the hydrodynamic flume, the wind tunnel and the flight simulator. Design engineering students will be part of the Dyson School, which was founded in 2014 after a donation from the James Dyson Foundation.
2. University of Cambridge
Cambridge’s engineering undergraduate course is four years long.
Notable alumni include Sir Christopher Sydney Cockerell, the inventor of the hovercraft, and Harry Ricardo, who contributed to the development of the internal combustion engine.
The first two years of the course provide a broad engineering education, and the third and fourth years allow students to select modules to specialise their course further. These include aerospace and aerothermal; bioengineering; civil, structural and environmental; electrical and electronic; electrical and information sciences; energy, sustainability and the environment; information and computer engineering; instrumentation and control; and mechanical.
Students must complete six weeks of industrial experience across their first three years, with the help of their placement coordinator. In their third year, some study abroad through one of Cambridge’s exchange schemes, in Paris or Singapore.
There are six postgraduate programmes in engineering that can be taken either as a taught course or as research study.
1. University of Oxford
The University of Oxford offers a four-year engineering science undergraduate programme covering many different modules, from microelectronics to offshore oil.
All applicants must take the physics aptitude test as part of the application process to all engineering and maths courses.
In the first two years, all students will take the same modules; in years three and four, students may choose to specialise in one of six topics – biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, information or mechanical engineering. At the end of the four years, students will have a master of engineering degree.
Undergraduate students are also encouraged to obtain industrial engineering experience.
The department also offers a range of master’s and doctoral research programmes for postgraduate students, including energy systems, engineering science, and nanotechnology for medicine and healthcare.
Prospective engineering students are able to connect with current Oxford engineering student ambassadors and ask them questions about the courses and life at Oxford.