How to Apply to a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in the UK in 2020

Mechanical Engineering is an art, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. It takes creativity to fix and make electric cars and new robotics tech, to give you just a couple of examples. And what better place to unleash your engineering genius than in the UK?  

Both countries have great employment prospects with Mechanical Engineering graduates starting a job within 6 months after graduation. The cherry on top: both countries are English-speaking, so you won’t have to worry about language barriers.  

But if you landed on this page, you probably know that already. So, we’ll jump right to what pains you most in the process of pursuing your dream degree – the application process. You’ll soon see that it’s not as complicated as you’d think.

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1. All applications start with choosing the right university

There are plenty of British and Irish universities where programmes in Mechanical Engineering are available to international students like you. But some that have applications open right now are:

To select the university that’s right for you, remember to consider tuition fees, living costs, academic curricula and whether the city they’re located in fits your vision of student life.

Find Mechanical Engineering Masters in the UK

2. General admission requirements for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

The key and general requirement for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering is … having graduated from a Bachelor’s. Well, it’s a bit more to it than just that. 

Ideally, universities are looking for candidates that have at least a second-class Honours degree or equivalent qualification, in Mechanical Engineering or a similar area. Other Bachelor’s specialisations accepted by universities are Physics or Mathematics.

Admission commissions would also love it if your Bachelor’s has lasted 4 years and is a Bachelor’s of Science Degree type.

If you feel like you are not the ideal candidate, do not despair. It is also possible to apply to courses in Mechanical Engineering if you have appropriate professional or industrial experience. In this way, you will earn a Postgraduate Diploma which will make you eligible for Master’s course in Mechanical Engineering.

Admission documents for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in UK or Ireland

British and Irish universities have similar admission requirements for Mechanical Engineering degrees that last 1-2 years. The basic countdown includes:

  • CV showing relevant Engineering experience and academic background
  • Application form
  • Statement of purpose
  • GMAT, GPA or GRE scores
  • TOEFL, IELTS or other similar English tests
  • Official transcripts and Bachelor’s diploma
  • Letters of recommendation

However, when looking to apply to a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering in the UK there is a special situation you need to pay attention to. British universities also offer a type of degree that grants you a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) diploma in diverse Engineering disciplines. This is a degree which lasts 4 years, includes both Bachelor’s and Master’s courses, and has different application requirements.

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3. Exam requirements for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Looking at the list of application documents you probably figured out that you will need some exam certificates in order to show the admission commission you are ready for an English-taught Master’s.

English Language Exams

In order to apply to a Mechanical Engineering degree in UK, you need to have very good English skills. Consider that such a programme is very technical, and you’ll need to master all subject-related terms in English. Most universities accept the following language exams and minimum scores:

  • TOEFL iBT ® : 92
  • TOEFL®PBT: 550
  • IELTS: 6.0
  • C1 Advanced: 180

Note that these exam scores may differ from programme to programme. Be sure to check the exact score with each programme and take a course and language test, if you haven’t already.

You might be exempt from a language test if you come from an English-speaking country or if your Bachelor’s was taught in English.

GPA scores

Some universities in the UK and Ireland will require your GPA, GMAT or GRE scores. The GPA translates into Grade Point Average. Most Mechanical Engineering programmes that require your GPA require that you have a high GPA, especially during a Bachelor’s in a related subject area. Most importantly, universities care about your grades and exams in courses like Maths, Physics and Engineering Science.  

GMAT Scores

The GMAT exam measures your reasoning skills (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing and integrated reasoning). Scores range from 200 to 800, but most Mechanical Engineering programmes that require this exam only accept candidates with higher scores (over 500). So, be sure to prepare in advance if the Mechanical Engineering Master’s you are applying to requires this type of exam.

GRE Scores

The GRE test (Graduate Record Exam) is a typical exam required to apply to graduate programmes. Similar to GMAT, this exam will test your critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. For each set of skills there are different measurements scales. The higher your score at each set of skills, the better your Mechanical Engineering application will look.

View Masters in Mechanical Engineering in the UK

4. Special requirements for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

When applying to a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering abroad, you should pay attention to three other requirements in your admission documents: work experience, preparation courses, and recommendation letters. They speak of your capacity to pursue and graduate from your programme successfully:

Previous Mechanical Engineering experience

When it comes to Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, most British programmes value more the academic experience. However, if you have relevant work experience you can still apply to a Mechanical Engineering Master’s.

For example, you can hold a Bachelor’s in Engineering and have work experience in a company that makes products based on Mechanical Engineering knowledge. Or you can hold a Bachelor’s in a non-Engineering subject, but have taken a preparation course in Mechanical Engineering and work in a mechanical engineering company.

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Preparation Courses in Mechanical Engineering

When you don’t fulfil the standard entry requirements, you can always apply for Pre-Masters which will qualify you. Ideally, you should take a pre-master course at the same university you want to pursue your Master’s. 

You can also consider the following British schools that offer Mechanical Engineering Pre-Masters:

Letters of Recommendation

Most programmes in the UK and Ireland will require you to submit three letters of recommendation. Yes, 3. These letters should come from the professors you worked with during your Bachelor’s and should show the admission committee that they believe you will effectively pursue and graduate your Master’s studies at the new university.

In special circumstances, universities will accept that some of the letters come from your employers, if you already work in a relevant mechanical engineering field. However, at least one letter should still come from a professor. 

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