You love exploring new technologies and are interested in the technical and scientific aspects of things? Then studying Engineering at university is the right path for you.
Almost everything we depend on in our daily lives was created by engineers: roads, railways, computers, smart phones, the energy that powers buildings, medical equipment used in hospitals etc. Engineers solve major problems and come up with safer, quicker and more cost-effective methods of doing things.
So you’ve decided that you want to study Engineering. But that’s a vast academic field with many possible specialisations. It might not be easy to choose from all those options. But below is a detailed A to Z rundown on the various engineering subjects, to help you decide which one fits you best.
If you’re interested in cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and similar motor vehicles, studying Automotive Engineering might be the right choice for you. Automotive engineers are concerned with the design and development of automobiles and their subsystems. With sophisticated, cutting-edge technology you will get to make products that are thrilling and bring more freedom in mobility to people. This subject is very hot right now with new, more environmentally friendly engine and drive technologies as well as the rise of self-driving technology.
Aviation Engineering is a relatively young science that has had a profound impact on humanity: Journeys that used to take months now take hours, not to mention we have landed on the moon! If you are interested in the science of flight, consider a course in Aviation & Aeronautical Engineering. As an aviation engineer or aeronautics specialist you get to design and construct all kinds of aircraft. And it’s possible to specialise in outer space engineering, as well. Like many other Engineering subjects, courses in these fields will include a lot of Mathematics and Physics.
Many exciting developments are taking place at the intersection of Biology and Technology. A degree in Biotech or Bioengineering lays out a future-proof career path for you. Biotechnology experts come up with quicker and better solutions to vital problems in medical practice and bio-renewable energy to enhance the life and welfare of humans. Studying Bioengineering or Biotechnology is the right choice for you if you are interested in medicine, biology, and how those disciplines relate to technology and engineering.
Turning raw materials into valuable, useful products: That’s what Chemical Engineering does at its core. Chemical Engineering is a multidisciplinary field in which you learn everything about complex industrial processes, from design to development to production. The job opportunities for Chemical Engineering graduates are extremely versatile: You can work in virtually any industry, e.g. in pharmaceuticals, food processing, pulp & paper, electronics, petrochemicals, biotechnology and many others.
Roads, railways, bridges, canals, dams, airports and more: Civil Engineering is a field that covers more or less everything that is built around us. Civil engineering and construction professionals work on major infrastructure projects that are usually large in scale. You should expect a Civil Engineering course to be heavy in Mathematics and Physics, too.
Closely related to Power & Energy Engineering, Electrical Engineering covers the large-scale generation and distribution of electricity, as well as the surrounding challenges with electrical equipment. In an Electrical Engineering programme, you will learn and apply the mathematics and physics of electricity and electromagnetism to various systems.
Sophisticated electronic systems are all around us: Computers, smartphones, cars, TVs, and even washing machines are outfitted with modern circuitry. Studying for a degree in Electronics you will learn to understand the inner workings of such equipment. You will learn to design and develop electronic components, and understand how complex electronic or communication systems work. With technology playing an ever-larger role in our lives, you are bound to have an exciting career lined up for you.
Decades of pollution have left our environment in bad shape. Governments and businesses alike slowly realise that responsibility and sustainability are key imperatives for our future. That makes Environmental Engineering an exciting discipline with great career perspectives for years to come. As an Environmental Engineer, you will apply scientific and engineering principles to reduce industrial pollution and improve the environment for humans, animals and plants. Detrimental effects on the environment can be reduced and controlled by educating the public, promoting conservation of natural resources, defining and implementing regulations and by applying good, sustainable engineering practices.
Maybe you find it too difficult to choose a sub-discipline of Engineering - especially when looking for a Bachelor’s degree that can be a challenge. If you don’t want to settle for a subject too early, look for general Engineering degrees. Such courses usually begin by giving you a basic overview of all relevant disciplines and employ you with a solid understanding of the mathematical and physical foundations that you will need to explore the more specialised fields.
Industrial systems and processes can be complex - and Systems Engineering is the field in which you learn to develop, integrate and maintain them. Process design and evaluation is part of it, as is the reduction of inefficiencies. A degree in Industrial Engineering or Systems Engineering will allow you to learn a great deal about a broad range of Engineering disciplines. That makes it a good foundation for a flexible career in your future.
If you want to work at the intersection of Business Administration and Production or Engineering, a degree in Industrial Management is the right choice for you. Working in the field of industrial management means improving efficiency in businesses and can include analyzing, planning logistics and costs for a business; supervising engineers; analyzing data; and coordinating production processes. Similar to Industrial & Systems Engineering, Industrial Management degrees usually have a stronger focus on all business-related questions.
Find study programmes in Industrial Management
If you have an interest in the research, development and construction of new marine craft and their components, a degree in marine engineering is an excellent option. Marine engineers are the people who design, build, test and repair boats, ships, yachts, underwater vessels, offshore craft, and drilling equipment, and they usually work hand in hand with naval architects.
Materials Science, or Materials Engineering, deals with properties of matter and its use in various scientific and engineering areas. Materials Science study programmes cover aspects of material chemistry and physics at the atomic and molecular level. You will learn to understand material composition in order to analyse and test materials, and you will learn to design, develop and manufacture new materials with novel characteristics - for all kinds of applications.
Mechanical Engineering is all about moving parts: As a mechanical engineer, you apply principles from Mathematics, Physics, Materials Science and other Engineering disciplines to design, build and improve mechanical systems. This is a very diverse field with many exciting specialisations. A degree in Mechanical Engineering will allow you to pursue paths in virtually any industry.
Fossil fuels continue to play a major role in our economies, as do other natural resources found underground. In a course that focuses on Mining or Oil & Gas, you will learn about the exploration, assessment and extraction of metals, fossil fuels, minerals and petroleum from the earth. A mining engineer investigates mineral resources and also plans and supervises the building of mines. An oil and gas engineer assesses petroleum and gas reservoirs and also supervises drilling works.
If you love to explore how energy systems and electricity works, a power and energy engineering degree can open up many opportunities for you. Energy & Power Engineering deals with the study of production, storage, distribution, and application of energy within artificial or natural energy systems. Further specialisation is possible, e.g. with a focus on nuclear energy or renewable energy sources.
Robots have revolutionised many fields from manufacturing to medicine - and their influence will become even more important. With a degree in Robotics, as a robotics engineer, you can be involved in the creation of robotic systems that are able do work that human beings are unable to do. Through their designs and creations, robotics engineers help to make working more efficient, safer and easier. Robotics courses are closely related to fields like Electronics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.