Is an MEng better than a BEng?

(40 Posts)
SundaysFundays Wed 22-Feb-17 14:50:38

That really. I know an MEng means you've got a higher qual (Masters) but in the working world, does it really make a difference to getting a job, interviews etc does it make your CV stand out?

I like the idea of a 3 or 4 yr engineering degree and then deciding mature on what they would like to do a Masters in (if at all), but the MEng means you can do it all in one go. However it also seems such a long slog (5yrs) and perhaps one might want to do a masters in something different later on, seems like a waste of time, but maybe not.

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LynetteScavo Wed 22-Feb-17 16:26:27

Just place marking, as I'd like to know too smile

ladypie21 Wed 22-Feb-17 16:30:29

Depends on what your career goals are and in what discipline. If you plan on getting chartered at any stage it's likely you will need an MEng. If you plan on entering an engineering consultancy type company then you are also likely to be required to have an MEng. If you are using the qualifications as a springboard to another career it may not matter so much

chemenger Wed 22-Feb-17 16:36:35

Major engineering employers generally look only at MEng graduates. As the PP said for consultants in particular chartered status is important (this varies a bit from discipline to discipline with some having a higher level of chartered engineer than others). Most degrees offering industrial placements as part of the programme only do so for MEng students. It is increasingly common to do a BEng plus a more specialised MSc, either in Engineering or something else, that often gives the same status for professional institution membership. In the olden days before upstream oil and gas recruitment stopped it was a recognised route to do BEng plus MSc in petroleum engineering. If there is no intention to go into an engineering career then there is little advantage to the MEng.

SundaysFundays Wed 22-Feb-17 17:17:16

Ooh some great replies, it's actually for my nephew who is thinking of studying engineering. So it seems if you are aspirational an MEng would be better. I think there's no point doing a BEng if you don't plan on working in the industry later. Does this also apply to subjects like Software/computer/systems engineering?

DN is quite keen on doing one with an industrial placement. Does the university help with finding these placements or are the students supposed to find one themselves? What happens if you can't find one?

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user7214743615 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:40:49

Remember that you can almost always transfer into and out of MEng (provided that your marks are OK). So you can be registered on an MEng but graduate with a BEng after three years or you can register on the BEng and transfer later to an MEng (subject to marks, and having taken any prerequisite modules).

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 22-Feb-17 17:44:09

DH has MEng (although not a recent graduate, ahem) He was told at the time that employers in Engineering were looking for MEng rather than BEng, mainly to do with the fact that European engineering degrees were longer than UK ones and a MEng was seen as comparable. His course was 4 yrs.


hellsbells99 Thu 23-Feb-17 07:54:05

My DD is currently doing an MEng. We were told it is easier to start with this (finance wise etc) and then decide by the end of year 2 whether she wanted to do BEng or MEng. Also the year in industry is an option whichever course she is on. It is up to DD to sort her own placement out but with help from the university - they do seem to be good at helping and advising and already in year 1 she has had some employability type sessions.

Jenijena Thu 23-Feb-17 07:59:23

He'll definitely get help in finding his placement but independent skills are encouraged. I'd also aim for the MEng - it is the standard qualification, but transferring to the BEng remains an option if he's not enjoying it.

User006point5 Thu 23-Feb-17 09:03:05

I'm totally confused about this, having left this up to DS. He's applied to do an MEng. Does this mean he's going to take an extra year to do his degree? So it's four years, plus a year in industry, if he does a placement course???

chemenger Thu 23-Feb-17 09:04:29

By placement I meant those that are within the normal duration of the course, not years in industry which usually add a further year of study, sorry, I should have been clearer.

chemenger Thu 23-Feb-17 09:10:25

User 006point5 : It depends where he has applied and what programme he is doing. A standard BEng is three years in England, Wales and NI, a standard MEng is four. In Scotland both are a year longer but sometimes students can enter into 2nd year.
Most but not all "year in industry" programmes will add a further year to that , so BEng 4 and MEng 5 years. Some programmes integrate industrial experience into the normal duration, I know Manchester used to do this so the year in industry (MEng only) was completed within the normal 4 years. Other places do 6 months in industry (I know of two in Scotland, there may be more) within the normal duration.

SocksRock Thu 23-Feb-17 09:12:49

Always go for the MEng to start with. You can't get CEng (chartered status) without it. I started uni in 1997 and I think I was one of the last years that could have chartered with a BEng, so it's been that way for a while. If he doesn't cope, you can switch to the BEng but it's harder to go the other way on the financing side I think.

User006point5 Thu 23-Feb-17 09:15:08

chemenger Thank you, that's really helpful. I've just looked at his first-choice course, and it is indeed as you say. I hadn't realised he was planning a four-year course, plus extra year in industry. Oh dear, even more expense for us, plus a larger loan for him. I'd better stop Mumsnetting, and get back to my work... smile

2014newme Thu 23-Feb-17 09:18:55

Yes I think it does as you need it to get chartered.

chemenger Thu 23-Feb-17 09:37:52

I've just realised I may have implied that Manchester no longer has an integrated year in Industry, I was trying to say that I don't know if they still do, I have no reason to believe they don't (but I can't be bothered to look it up).

chemenger Thu 23-Feb-17 09:41:15

The good thing is that he will be paid while on his year in industry, some companies pay their interns pretty well. (I'm assuming that's the case, we don't allow our placement students to go on unpaid placements in industry).

You do need an MEng or a BEng plus MSc or equivalent to meet the educational requirements of chartered status.

Enelya Thu 23-Feb-17 09:44:18

User don't forget he will get paid for this year in industry. I paid for all my final year off the proceeds and also had a months Safari smile. Admittedly I was under the lower fees system but he should still make a profit and boost his employability no end

BoJolly Thu 23-Feb-17 10:16:13

DS1 did a 5 year MEng at Brunel university, which included a year in the industry. He was offered employment before he did his final year, but it was the project he did for his Masters that got him the job he wanted.

I don't know if things have changed now but the advantage of him signing up for a 5 year course meant he could get student finance for all of it. If he had done a BEng and then done Masters at a later date - he would have had to finance the Masters himself.

Glitteryunicorn Thu 23-Feb-17 10:31:07

You don't need a MEng to become chartered you can prove it through further learning to masters level (I'm in the process of doing this myself) or many companies will sponsor you to complete a masters at a later date which may benefit your career more as you might wish to pursue a certain specialisation or move into management rather than stay in a technical role.
My own technical areas of interest have changed quite a bit over the course of my career.

Realistically if you come out of a 5 year degree course you are in no better position than those with a BEng career wise but those individuals will have 2 years more work experience and less debt than you.

SundaysFundays Thu 23-Feb-17 10:40:56

I think Glittery has just thrown in a curve ball into the whole discussion. I hadn't thought of the points you quite rightly raised. Hmmm...

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Glitteryunicorn Thu 23-Feb-17 10:43:36

To clarify further learning to masters level you need to demonstrate a level of knowledge within your chosen field which any engineer in a position to be applying for chartered status should easily have achieved.

Additional evidence is submitted with your application e.g. an enhanced CV or technical report.

Details of the requirements for registration can be found on the engineering council website in the UKSPEC for professional registration.

I'm a registed mentor with one of the engineering institutes and currently submitting my own application for chartered status with a BSc post 1997.

User006point5 Thu 23-Feb-17 11:21:40

Enelya Yes, that's certainly what I'm hoping... well, not that expensive safari, of course. wink envy

This thread has been really useful for me, so I really appreciate all these knowledgeable comments.

DS has also applied to the Dyson higher apprenticeship scheme, but that seems only to be a BEng. I don't know how far he'll get with that application, though.

Enelya Thu 23-Feb-17 13:40:32

Just to let you know Dyson have a reputation as a challenging employer... I don't want to derail the tread though, so feel free to pm me!

2014newme Thu 23-Feb-17 13:50:59

I have hears,same Re Dyson but it's still very good experience so I wouldn't let it out you off

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