Engineering is a very broad term. There are many disciplines within engineering, from acoustic to textile engineering and plenty that you probably haven’t even heard of like nanoengineering. So, what are the study options for an engineering career?
Let’s begin at the beginning. If you are about to choose your GCSEs then make sure that you really put the effort in to getting good grades in maths and science and any other technology subjects that you are able to take, but maths and science are the most important.
Engineering options beyond GCSEs
Once GCSEs are over you will have several study options for an engineering career available to you.
You could look for an engineering apprenticeship.
You could opt to study A-levels. As with GCSEs you want to go for maths and science / science related subjects.
You could study full time for a vocational qualification such as construction engineering
Engineering options beyond Level 3
Again there are lots of study options available to you. You could study for an HNC or HND
HNC (Higher National Certificate)
An HNC takes one year to complete and is considered equivalent to completing the first year of an undergraduate degree course. Though it covers many of the same subjects as the HND (see below), it is actually a level below but can be used to go on to complete a HND.
HND (Higher National Diploma)
An HND is considered to be roughly equivalent to the second year of a university degree and many people who complete a HND go on to complete a university degree, bypassing the first two years at university. It is usually geared towards more vocational subjects and students studying for a HND can usually expect a more workplace-based style of learning. It takes two years to complete, unless you have completed a HNC (see above), in which case the HND takes only a year to complete.
There are some engineering apprenticeships that offer the opportunity to gain a degree available if you do not want to study full time at university.
If you are planning on studying for an engineering degree full time at university you will see that these can last for three or four years at undergraduate level and some include a year in industry which can give you some great work experience and might even lead to a job straight out of uni if you’re good.
Engineering degrees can be BSc (Bachelor of Science) or BEng (Bachelor of Engineering)