The Cambridge Engineering course is unique. It allows you to keep your options open while equipping you with all the analytical, design and computing skills that underpin modern engineering practice. Part I (Years 1 and 2) provides a broad education in engineering fundamentals, enabling you to make a genuinely informed choice about the area in which to specialise from your third year (many students change direction as a result). Part II (Years 3 and 4) then provides in-depth training in your chosen professional discipline.
The following specialisations are available within our Engineering course:
The Department is a leading international centre for research, consistently ranked the highest amongst British universities. We also have strong links with industry, with many research projects funded by industrial companies.
Our facilities are excellent: the new Dyson Centre for Engineering Design provides access to traditional hand and machine tools, as well as modern computer-controlled machinery and rapid prototyping; the Design and Project Office is equipped with more than 80 workstations; the library has 30,000 books and takes about 350 journals; and extensive mechanical and electrical workshops are available. The Department’s Language Programme for Engineers offers specialised courses at all levels in French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.
You’re required to complete six weeks of industrial experience by the end of the third year, obtained by deferring entry or during vacations. Our full-time Industrial Placement Co-ordinator helps deferred entrants and undergraduates to find suitable placements (in the UK and abroad) and sponsorship.
A small number of students spend their third year studying abroad through our exchange schemes with École Centrale Paris and the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The course is accredited by the Engineering Council and by all other major institutions, including the Institutions of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Engineering and Technology (IET), Civil Engineers (ICE) Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC), the Insitute of Highway Engineers (IHE), the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). An appropriate combination of Part II papers is required in each case.
When you graduate, you’re fully qualified in your chosen area, knowledgeable across the range of engineering disciplines, and able to apply new technologies in novel situations, giving you an advantage over engineering graduates from other more narrowly focused courses. Prospects are typically excellent, for example, 91% of our students who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further study within six months.
The average starting salary of Cambridge Engineering graduates in 2015 was £31,400.
Our students are in great demand and they go on to careers in all the major industrial and commercial sectors. Positions currently held by some of our graduates include graduate engineer at Mott MacDonald, program manager in emerging markets operations at Google, project engineer at Atelier One, heat management engineer at McLaren Automotive, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, and environmental engineer at Water Environment Ltd.
Teaching is provided through a mixture of lectures, practicals, projects and supervisions, and in Year 1 you can typically expect around 22 hours of teaching each week. You’re assessed each year through coursework and written exams.
A few students graduate after three years with the BA (Honours) degree. However, most continue to the fourth year (Part IIB), successful completion of which leads to the BA and MEng degrees. Progression to Part IIB is dependent on achievement in Parts IB and IIA.
The broad foundation of the first two years (Part I) gives you an understanding of the basic principles of a wide range of subjects, together with an appreciation of the external pressures under which these ideas are likely to be applied.
In Year 1, you take four papers and sit a three-hour written exam in each:
You also undertake several coursework activities and projects, on topics including structural design, product design, presentation skills, drawing, laboratory experiments and computer programming.
You study eight papers on core subjects at a more advanced level:
In the third term, you select two topics from seven engineering disciplines plus a language option. These topics emphasise engineering design and introduce the more specialised work of the third year.
Coursework includes laboratory experiments and computing exercises. Several experiments are linked around the common theme of earthquake-resistant structures. A highlight of the year is the compulsory integrated design project where you work in teams to design and build robot vehicles which are then tested against each other.
Professional specialisation begins in earnest and you study 10 papers from an extensive portfolio, from which a core is associated with one of the following disciplines:
Alternatively, you can choose (General) Engineering, in which there are fewer restrictions on paper combinations.
In addition, you take an Extension Activity (selected from several topics, usually relevant to your professional discipline) and, in the final term, choose two from a variety of design and computer-based projects or projects in a foreign language.
Progression to Part IIB is dependent on achievement in Parts IB and IIA, and successful completion of Part IIB leads to the BA and MEng degrees.
In Part IIB, further specialisation is possible and you select eight papers from nearly 100 options which vary each year. These papers benefit from the Department’s research and are taught by experts in the particular field. As a result, you graduate with a Masters-level appreciation of theory and practice in your chosen area.
A major project occupies about half of your time throughout the final year. Many projects are associated with current Department research and have direct industrial input and application. Recent projects include:
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.
Your living expenses may be higher than for a Home student (eg if you stay in Cambridge/the UK during vacations). The minimum resources needed in Cambridge for the year (excluding tuition and College fees) are estimated to be approximately £10,080 in 2017-18 and £10,310 in 2018-19, depending on lifestyle (you should allow for increases in future years).