International Study Centre

What can I do with a mechanical engineering degree?

Posted 20 January 2021
Strathclyde engineering student working on machinery in lab

What is mechanical engineering?

Mechanical engineering centres on designing, manufacturing and maintaining machinery. It combines science, computing and maths. It’s a vital subject, helping to shape the world around us, from nanotechnology used in healthcare, to planes and public transport.

What does a mechanical engineer do?

Mechanical engineers design machines which solve problems or streamline processes. It’s a huge field, encompassing energy generation, artificial intelligence, home electronics, and much more. As a mechanical engineer, you can really make a difference.

Mechanical engineering specialisms

Mechanical engineering is an almost limitless subject with lots of opportunity to follow your interests and make an impact. Areas you could specialise in include:
• biomedical engineering
• energy generation
• fluid mechanics
• manufacturing
• transportation systems

What skills will I develop from a mechanical engineering degree?

You will develop a variety of transferable skills alongside the technical skills specific to your programme. These include:

  • Communication and leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamworking
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Maths and computer skills

Where do mechanical engineers work?

Mechanical engineers are always in demand, in every country around the globe. It’s a steady and well-paid career option, with great job satisfaction. The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde is targeted for graduate recruitment by more than 60 companies. You could work in a number of different industries, including:

  • aerospace industry
  • automotive industry
  • construction industry
  • defence industry
  • healthcare industry
  • utilities industry

Mechanical engineering career path

It is important to get as much experience as possible, after – or during – your degree. It is a competitive field and placements and internships will help build your skills and get you noticed by employers. The average salary for a mechanical engineering graduate in the UK is £26,344.* With promotions, this could rise to £45-60,000 at a senior level. 

Mechanical engineering careers

Besides being a mechanical engineer, other jobs you could pursue with a degree in mechanical engineering include:

  • Aerospace engineer – working with cutting-edge technology to research and design aircrafts and related machinery
  • Chemical engineer – using a combination of engineering and science to research things like food processing and pharmaceuticals
  • Civil engineer – designing and managing construction projects, from bridges to sports stadiums
  • Electrical engineer - working on electrical components, devices, and systems, to design and develop safe and efficient electrical systems.
  • Nuclear engineer – responsible for producing safe energy for domestic and business use.

    The transferrable skills you will build during your degree - like numeracy and project management - mean you could also choose a less obvious industry such as investment banking.

Studying mechanical engineering abroad

Studying abroad in the UK, you will have access to world-class teaching and facilities. The UK university system is respected worldwide, and has produced some of the greatest ever engineers. 

The University of Strathclyde is ranked 4th in the UK for Mechanical Engineering (Complete University Guide League Table 2021). Your qualification will be recognised by professional bodies, which is essential to many employers.

Studying abroad is more than just the academic side. It is a chance to practise your English, as well as building confidence and learning transferrable skills from your independent life that will appeal to future employers.

You will also be open to a wealth of new experiences – from learning about other cultures, to making friends and contacts that will enrich your life for years to come.

At the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, you will build a thorough grounding in the subject alongside English preparation and help to develop your study skills. Our pathway programmes are tailor-made for international students, designed to help you start your degree at the University of Strathclyde with confidence. Start your journey to a mechanical engineering degree with the Undergraduate Foundation Programme or Pre-Masters Programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. 


Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.