UCL Engineering Review

Thinking about applying for Engineering at UCL? We will cover all of the background information you need to know when studying Engineering at UCL.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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If you are thinking of studying Engineering at University College London, it is beneficial to know more about the university and what it has to offer to you.

In this UCL Engineering guide, we cover the background information you need to understand what studying Engineering at UCL is really like, from career prospects to the application process.

About UCL Engineering

In the 2022 rankings, QS World University Rankings UCL is ranked eighth in the world, second in London, third in the UK and joint fourth in Europe.

The teaching of the UCL Engineering courses is as up to date as their research is, with interdisciplinary topics, problem-based learning, industry focus, and real challenges.

UCL is regarded as forming part of the ‘golden triangle’, an unofficial term for a set of leading universities located in the southern English cities of Cambridge, London and Oxford which includes the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Imperial College London, King’s College London and the London School of Economics. 

UCL is known for taking bright, thoughtful, creative people and giving them the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to engineer a better world. Students will be taught how to think, make, model, design, analyse, challenge, and innovate, and then practice what they have learnt by tackling engaging projects that address real-world problems.

Most importantly, students are given the chance to develop as individuals and follow their own intellectual interests while providing the structure they need to develop a coherent body of expertise.

You will learn in a variety of ways. Some will be lecture-based, while some will provide you with the materials and support to self-study through video and written material, problem sheets, exercise classes and tutorials.

UCL understands that it takes more than just technical knowledge to make a productive engineer. Interdisciplinary teamwork, project management, communication, critical thinking, and design skills are all vital. So is the ability to balance market opportunity with considerations of ethics, sustainability and the law.

These cannot be taught effectively by just having students sit passively in a lecture or ponder a thought experiment. They need to discuss and reflect, make decisions and do real work in an Engineering context.

In the first two years alone, students who are taking integrated programmes participate in at least eight intensive team-based projects that are relevant to their courses.

Furthermore, UCL Engineering offers two summer studentship programmes to current students within the faculty.

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UCL Engineering Undergraduate Degrees

If you wish to study Engineering at UCL, there are plenty of courses to have your pick from.

With 26 different Engineering courses available, there is a speciality for everyone.

The majority of the undergraduate programmes at UCL benefit from being part of the university’s award-winning integrated Engineering framework – a methodology in which they combine innovative teaching methods and an industry-oriented curriculum with discipline-specific, accredited degree programmes.

All programmes listed in bold below follow at least some aspects of this methodology.

UCL Undergraduate Engineering Entry Requirements

The Engineering courses each have their own requirements, with the highest A-Level requirements being A*A*A.

A-Level requirements start at AAB, and of the 26 Engineering courses, only seven of them do not require A-Level Mathematics.  

All of the Engineering courses also require GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above.

Each course also has contextual offers listed. This is part of UCL’s commitment to increasing participation from underrepresented groups; students may be eligible for a contextual offer as part of the Access UCL scheme. The contextual offer will be a lower offer than the standard offer.

Course Fees And Living Costs

When calculating the cost of study, there are two elements to consider – tuition fees and living costs.

Tuition fees for 2022/23 entry is £9,250 for home students per year and £32,100 for overseas students.

‘Average living costs’ can be difficult to predict, as every student will have different priorities and lifestyle choices. However, there are some estimations below for an undergraduate in UCL halls and any student privately in London for a rough idea.

It is necessary to factor in that the cost of living in London will likely be higher than many students’ hometowns or countries, so it is worth looking at funding offered by the government and UCL.

As an international student, there are some additional costs you will need to consider when coming to study in the UK. If you need to arrange a student visa, there are costs associated with this. These include the fee for the visa, the healthcare surcharges, and the financial evidence needed as part of your visa application.

You should also consider your travel costs and if you will need to purchase items you are unable to bring with you.  

Furthermore, there may also be additional course costs that are not covered by the tuition fee. This could include specialist equipment, books, or expenses relating to carrying out fieldwork.

Career Prospects For UCL Engineering Graduates

If we consider two of the Engineering courses available at UCL, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, we can clearly see the career prospects that await graduates.

For those that studied the Mechanical Engineering BEng, six months after graduating, the average annual salary is £29,363, 93% are employed or in further education, and 84% are employed in a role where a degree was essential or beneficial.

Overall, 46% of graduates are employed in Engineering professions, 13% are in business, finance and related associate professions, and 8% are working in IT and telecommunications.

The graph below shows the median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCL one, three and five years after graduating. As it shows, in their first-year graduates earn a median of £31,000, in their third year this has risen to £38,000 before increasing again to £42,000 in their fifth year of employment.

For those that studied the Civil Engineering MEng, six months after graduating, the average annual salary is £28,000, 97% are employed or in further education, and 92% are employed in a role where a degree was essential or beneficial.

Furthermore, 68% are employed in Engineering professions, 12% are in business, finance and related professions, and 4% are employed in business, research and administrative professions.

Interestingly, the median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in Civil Engineering are the same as those who studied Mechanical Engineering.

Conclusion

UCL Engineering has a lot to offer you, from award-winning teaching frameworks to developmental opportunities. 

Make sure to familiarise yourself with the different degrees that are available and their individual requirements as there are clear differences between them. 

With strong graduate prospects and career opportunities, studying an Engineering degree at UCL is highly regarded. 

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