International Study Centre

Careers in Engineering

Student working on racing car

Engineering is a sector that is as important as it is varied. The field has nearly six million employees in the UK alone and has a real impact on people’s lives.

Engineers are often at the forefront of technological breakthroughs, and they use their skills and ingenuity to solve problems.

Find out more about engineering as a subject here.

A graduate from an engineering degree has plenty of avenues to explore for their career. Depending on the focus of your degree, as well as your interests and career goals, there is likely a job waiting for you – particularly when your degree is from a respected university, like the University of Sussex.

Types of careers in engineering

So, the field of engineering has many job opportunities, but what are they, and what job titles can you look out for in each area?

Automotive careers in engineering

Automotive engineers design, create, and refine our modes of transport, usually focusing on cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles. Examples of job titles you can expect to find include:

  • Automotive Design Engineer
  • Vehicle Development Engineer
  • Automotive Service Engineer.

Employers of automotive engineering graduates in the UK include luxury car makers Jaguar Land Rover and McLaren.

Careers in electrical engineering

Electrical and electronic engineers work with electrical components. This could include many things, from computing to a nation’s power grid, and plenty in between. Job titles for graduates could include:

  • Risk and Compliance Consultant
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer.

Careers in mechanical engineering

A mechanical engineer uses their skills to create, maintain, and manufacture machinery and other mechanical systems. An area in high demand, you can find job roles like:

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Reliability Engineer
  • Pipeline Engineer.

Jobs in civil engineering

Civil engineers are focused on our physical environment. They will design key infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports, waterworks, and trainlines. You can find civil engineering jobs all around the world:

  • Civil Design Engineer
  • Water Resource Engineer
  • Construction Engineer.

Jobs in chemical engineering

A chemical engineer will work on the process of converting raw materials, like crude oil, into products that can be used and sold. Job titles in this area include:

  • Process Engineer
  • Process Safety Engineer
  • Energy Engineer.

Structural jobs in engineering

Structural engineers design, examine and analyse the structural elements of structures. Often looking at the stability of buildings, bridges, or roads, this field has plenty of job titles.

  • Construction Materials Technician
  • Architectural Engineer
  • Structural Plan Engineer

What else can I do with an engineering degree?

While going from an undergraduate degree straight into an engineering career is a viable option, particularly as larger engineering businesses often have graduate schemes, some students may want to look at other options.

Postgraduate opportunities

Postgraduate degrees are a great way to continue developing your engineering skills in a more focused area. Masters programmes are often more specific than an undergraduate degree, allowing you to gain a deeper insight into your chosen subject.

Completing a Masters also shows employers that you are serious about the field and have a comprehensive knowledge – giving you an edge in the job market, and, potentially, allowing you to start your career at a higher level.


After you graduate, you may choose to work in a lab on innovative research. Research-intensive universities, like the University of Sussex, carry out important research that improves our world – 88% of Sussex’s Department of Engineering and Design’s research was categorised as world-leading, or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014).

Other careers thanks to transferable skills

A degree in engineering will see you develop plenty of skills that you can use in the field of engineering, or otherwise. Some of the transferable skills you’ll gain are:

  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Mathematics and numeracy
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Spoken and written English
  • Computing and IT

Start your engineering career in the UK

The UK is famed for its engineering excellence. The universities here have a global reputation for high standards, and the country has a storied history with engineering – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Alexander Graham Bell, and Tim Berners-Lee were all born here.

With the generous post-study work visa, graduates can also stay and work in the UK for up to two years after completing their studies, making the UK a brilliant place to start an engineering career.

How to study engineering in the UK

The University of Sussex International Study Centre is a popular choice among international students who want to study at a UK university. Through a mix of university-style lectures and seminars, delivered by expert staff, you will develop your subject knowledge and English language ability so you can progress to the University with confidence. We have also integrated valuable career skills into all of our programmes to give you a head start.

Undergraduate pathways to engineering degrees

At the University of Sussex International Study Centre, you have two undergraduate pathways to choose from.

International Foundation Year

The International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering will introduce you to engineering concepts, and see you improve your maths and physics knowledge, as well as your English language and study skills, over the course of two semesters. Once you successfully complete the programme and achieve the required grades, you will be able to progress to the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex.

International Year One

The International Year One in Engineering is a two-semester programme and is equivalent to the first year of your undergraduate degree. Designed specifically for ambitious international students, the programme will give you the subject-specific knowledge, and English language skills necessary to succeed at Sussex.

You will have the opportunity to tailor your programme based on your intended progression degree, enabling you to choose a path that suits your career goals best. After you successfully complete the International Year One, and achieve the required grades, you’ll be able to progress to the second year of your chosen undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate pathway to engineering Masters

Pre-Masters Programme

If you already have an undergraduate degree, but want to pursue an engineering degree in the UK, the Pre-Masters Programme in Science and Engineering allows you to do just that. Studied over one or two semesters, you will study modules designed to improve your engineering knowledge, as well as boost your English language skills to prepare you for a Masters degree at the University of Sussex.

After you successfully complete the programme, and achieve the required grades, you can progress to the Masters degree of your choice.

Apply now

If you are ready to start your academic journey at the University of Sussex International Study Centre, you can use our simple application form to apply today.

Why study Engineering?


How long does it take to become an engineer?

The typical engineering degree in the UK takes three years to complete at undergraduate level. If you wish to develop your skills and knowledge further you can do so with a postgraduate degree, which will take an additional year to complete. 

Is engineering hard to study?

As with all university degrees, engineering comes with its challenges. However, the high-level skills and academic knowledge you learn during this time, makes the challenging work more rewarding. 

Which engineering degree is best for my future career?

The best engineering degree for you is the one that interests you the most. If you choose an area you have interest in, you are more likely to enjoy your studies and want to learn more about the topic.