Is a Master's Degree in Engineering the right choice?

August 9, 2022

When choosing to study for an engineering degree, you will often be presented with two choices. You can either study for a three-year Bachelor's degree, or you can extend your studies by a year and complete a combined BA and MA programme.

If you decide to return to university to complete your MA, it will typically take two years. The majority of engineering students in the UK choose to study for a three-year Bachelor's degree. However, an increasing number of students are starting to question whether this is the best route to take.

Reasons to get an MA in engineering

There are a number of reasons why you might want to consider studying for a Master's degree in engineering

  1. The first reason is that the demand for more experienced engineers is at an all-time high. Securing your MA in engineering is also the first step to studying for a PhD in engineering, and this is the next step towards gaining chartered status. As a chartered engineer, you can greatly increase your earning potential.
  2. The second reason you might want to study for a Master's degree in engineering is that it will allow you to specialise in a particular area of engineering. This is important because the field of engineering is becoming increasingly complex, and employers are looking for engineers with specialist knowledge. By completing a Master's degree in engineering, you will be able to demonstrate your knowledge in a particular field.
  3. The third reason to study for a Master's degree in engineering is that it will give you the opportunity to work abroad. Many engineering companies are now globalised, and they are looking for engineers with international experience. By completing a Master's degree in engineering, you will be able to compete globally with candidates who might have a higher level of education than you.

Now that we've covered some of the common reasons you might choose to study for an MA in engineering, let's look at the practicalities of how to make it happen and what you might choose to do instead.

What is an MA in engineering, and how long does it take?

An MA in engineering is a postgraduate degree that usually takes two years to complete. The first year of the course is typically spent completing core modules, and the second year is spent specialising in a particular area of engineering. To be accepted onto an MA in engineering, you will need to have completed your BA in engineering. Some institutions offer a combined BA and MA in engineering, which can be completed in four years.

What are the entry requirements for an MA in engineering?

The entry requirements for an MA in engineering vary depending on the institution you choose to study at. However, most institutions will require you to have a 2:1 or above in your BA in engineering.

How much does an MA in engineering cost?

This all depends on your choice of university. Some institutions will offer a discount on fees to returning students. Otherwise, you will need to pay either full-time or part-time fees. University fees are typically around £9,250 per year for full-time students.

What are the career prospects for an MA in engineering?

The career prospects for an MA in engineering are excellent. With an MA in engineering, you will be able to work in a variety of different fields, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering. You will also be able to work in a variety of different countries, as many engineering companies are now globalised.

If you decide you'd like to continue studying, you could apply for a PhD programme. This would take between five to seven years to complete. Once you have your PhD, you can then apply for chartered status. This will allow you to demonstrate your expertise and will also greatly increase your earning potential.

Is an MA in engineering the right choice for me?

If you're thinking about studying for an MA in engineering, then the answer is probably yes. An MA in engineering will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this rapidly growing field. 

It will also allow you to specialise in a particular area of engineering, which is becoming increasingly important as the field becomes more complex. And finally, it will give you the opportunity to work abroad, which is an excellent way to gain international experience.

Is an MA in engineering worth it?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on your individual circumstances and what you hope to gain from your studies. However, if you are looking to further your career in engineering, or if you want to specialise in a particular area of engineering, then an MA in engineering is definitely worth considering.

What can you do instead of an MA in engineering?

If you choose not to do an MA in engineering, there are other ways to develop your engineering career. It is certainly possible to work your way into engineering on an apprenticeship, which will mean you can study while you work. 

You could also undertake specialist training and placements in different sectors to be able to shape your career in different directions. While studying for an MA offers straightforward career development, there are other ways to achieve your goals. An MA in engineering certainly isn’t the only option you have to choose from.

Key takeaway

Engineering is a rapidly growing field, and there are many different specialities to choose from. By completing a Master's degree in engineering, you will be able to compete globally with candidates who might have a higher level of education than you. 

The career prospects for an MA in engineering are excellent, and with an MA in engineering, you will be able to increase your earnings and work anywhere in the world. While an MA in engineering might help to enhance your career and increase your earning potential, it certainly isn’t a requirement for a lucrative career in the sector.

Nolan Recruitment is a Specialist Engineering Recruitment Agency. One of the UK's best Engineering & Technical Recruiter

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