Types of Degree

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) – Subjects, Requirements and Jobs

Bachelor of Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded to students who have completed a three to five-year course of study in engineering. The duration of the course depends on the country and institution. This degree is traditionally focused on providing a comprehensive education in the principles and practice of engineering.

Key aspects of a BEng degree include:

  • Core Engineering Fundamentals: Students are taught fundamental engineering principles in fields such as mathematics, physics, and computer science, which form the basis of all engineering disciplines.
  • Specialization: Students typically choose a specific field of engineering to specialize in, such as mechanical, electrical, civil, or chemical engineering. The specialized courses delve deeper into the chosen field, providing in-depth knowledge and skills.
  • Practical Application: BEng programs often include hands-on learning through laboratories, workshops, and projects. This practical component is crucial in applying theoretical knowledge to real-world engineering problems.
  • Design and Innovation: Many programs incorporate elements of design and innovation, encouraging students to develop new solutions and technologies in their field of study.
  • Professional Development: The curriculum might also include subjects that foster professional skills such as communication, teamwork, and project management, which are essential for a career in engineering.
  • Accreditation: In many countries, BEng programs are accredited by professional engineering bodies. This accreditation is important for graduates who wish to become licensed or chartered engineers.

History of Bachelor of Engineering

The history of the Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree is closely tied to the evolution of engineering education and the profession itself. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Early Engineering Education: Prior to the formal establishment of engineering schools, engineering knowledge was often passed down through apprenticeships and on-the-job training. This was particularly true in fields like civil and mechanical engineering.
  • Industrial Revolution Impact: The Industrial Revolution, starting in the late 18th century, played a pivotal role in the development of engineering as a formal discipline. This period saw a surge in technological advancements and a growing need for skilled engineers.
  • Establishment of Engineering Schools: The first engineering schools were established in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. The École Polytechnique in Paris, founded in 1794, is one of the earliest and most notable examples. These institutions aimed to provide a systematic and theoretical foundation to engineering education, which was lacking in apprenticeship models.
  • Expansion to Bachelor’s Degrees: The concept of a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, similar to other academic degrees, began to take shape in the 19th century. Universities started to offer structured courses of study leading to a formal degree in engineering.
  • Growth in the United States: In the United States, engineering education proliferated in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with the establishment of land-grant colleges and the passing of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. These acts provided federal funding to create colleges specializing in agriculture and the mechanic arts, which included engineering.
  • Global Spread and Specialization: As the field of engineering expanded and diversified, so did the educational programs. By the 20th century, specialized branches such as electrical, chemical, and aeronautical engineering emerged, leading to more specialized degrees.
  • Standardization and Accreditation: The 20th century also saw efforts to standardize engineering education, particularly in terms of curriculum and quality. Professional bodies and accreditation organizations were established in many countries to ensure that engineering degrees met certain standards.
  • Modern Developments: Today, the Bachelor of Engineering degree is recognized globally, with variations in duration and specialization depending on the country and institution. The degree continues to evolve with advancements in technology and the industry, incorporating new areas like software, environmental, and biomedical engineering.

Bachelor of Engineering Subjects

The subjects studied in a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) program vary depending on the specific engineering discipline. However, most programs share a common set of core subjects in the initial years, followed by more specialized subjects as the program progresses. Here’s a general overview:

Core Subjects (Common across most engineering disciplines)

  • Mathematics: Includes calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and sometimes statistics and discrete mathematics.
  • Physics: Fundamental concepts in mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and sometimes modern physics.
  • Chemistry: Basic principles of chemistry, often included in chemical, materials, or environmental engineering curriculums.
  • Computer Science: Basic programming skills, data structures, and sometimes software engineering principles.
  • Engineering Mechanics: Statics and dynamics, strength of materials.
  • Material Science: Study of materials’ properties and applications.
  • Electrical Engineering Fundamentals: Basic circuit theory, digital systems.
  • Thermodynamics: For mechanical, chemical, and some other engineering disciplines.
  • Fluid Mechanics: Particularly in civil, mechanical, and chemical engineering.
  • Technical Drawing and CAD: Basics of engineering drawing and computer-aided design.

Specialized Subjects (Vary based on the engineering discipline)

  • Mechanical Engineering: Machine design, heat transfer, manufacturing processes, mechanical vibrations.
  • Electrical Engineering: Advanced circuit analysis, power systems, control systems, signal processing.
  • Civil Engineering: Structural analysis, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering.
  • Chemical Engineering: Process dynamics and control, chemical reaction engineering, separation processes.
  • Computer Engineering: Advanced programming, computer architecture, network systems, database management.
  • Biomedical Engineering: Biomechanics, biomaterials, medical imaging, computational biology.
  • Environmental Engineering: Water and wastewater treatment, air quality control, sustainable design.

Other Important Areas

  • Engineering Economics and Management: Basics of economic analysis and management principles in engineering context.
  • Communication Skills: Technical writing, presentation skills, and teamwork.
  • Project Management: Principles of managing engineering projects.
  • Ethics and Professional Practice: Understanding of ethical considerations in engineering.

Practical Components

  • Laboratory Work: Experiments and practical exercises related to core and specialized subjects.
  • Design Projects: Often in the later years, focusing on designing, building, and testing engineering solutions.
  • Internships/Industrial Training: Some programs include practical industry experience.
  • Capstone Project: A major project in the final year that typically involves design, research, or extensive problem-solving.

The specific subjects and their depth vary widely among institutions and engineering disciplines, but this overview gives a general sense of the breadth of topics covered in a Bachelor of Engineering program.

Bachelor of Engineering Requirements

Requirement TypeDescription
Educational Background– High school diploma or equivalent.
– Strong performance in mathematics and science subjects, particularly physics and chemistry.
Entrance Examinations– Many institutions require standardized test scores (e.g., SAT, ACT in the USA; A-levels in the UK; JEE in India).
– Some universities conduct their own entrance exams.
Language Proficiency– For non-native English speakers, proficiency in English often tested through TOEFL, IELTS, or similar exams.
– Specific requirements vary by country and institution.
Grade Point Average (GPA)– Minimum GPA requirement, which varies by institution.
– Competitive programs may require higher GPAs.
Letters of Recommendation– Usually required for admission, often from high school teachers or counselors.
Personal Statement or Essay– A written statement expressing the applicant’s interest in engineering, career goals, and reasons for choosing the program.
Interviews– Some institutions may conduct interviews as part of the admissions process.
Coursework Requirements– Completion of a specified number of credits.
– Core courses in mathematics, science, and engineering fundamentals.
– Specialized courses in the chosen engineering discipline.
– Electives and liberal arts courses, as required by the program.
Practical Experience– Laboratory work, workshops, and hands-on projects.
– Some programs may require internships or industrial training.
Capstone Project– A final year project that often involves research, design, and practical application of engineering principles.
Minimum Grade Requirements– Maintaining a minimum grade or GPA in core subjects.
– Some courses may have prerequisites or require a passing grade for progression.
Professional Skills Development– Courses or modules in communication, teamwork, ethics, and management.
Accreditation Standards– Programs may have specific requirements to meet accreditation standards set by engineering education bodies in the respective country.

These requirements are typical for BEng programs, but specifics can vary widely between different countries and institutions. It’s always recommended to check the detailed admission criteria and course requirements of the specific university and program you are interested in.

Bachelor of Engineering Majors

Engineering MajorDescription
Mechanical EngineeringFocuses on the design, analysis, and manufacture of mechanical systems. It encompasses areas like thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and material science.
Electrical EngineeringDeals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It includes subfields like power systems, control systems, and telecommunications.
Civil EngineeringConcerned with the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure like roads, bridges, and buildings. It includes structural, geotechnical, and environmental engineering.
Chemical EngineeringInvolves the application of chemical, physical, and biological sciences to convert raw materials into useful products. Key areas include process engineering and material synthesis.
Computer EngineeringCombines elements of electrical engineering and computer science. It focuses on the design and development of computer systems and hardware.
Aerospace EngineeringCenters on the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft. It includes aerodynamics, propulsion systems, and avionics.
Biomedical EngineeringIntegrates engineering principles with medical sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.
Environmental EngineeringFocuses on developing solutions to environmental challenges, such as water and air pollution, waste management, and sustainable design.
Industrial EngineeringAims to optimize complex processes, systems, or organizations by developing, improving, and implementing integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, and equipment.
Materials EngineeringInvolves the development, processing, and testing of materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips to aircraft wings.
Systems EngineeringAn interdisciplinary field that focuses on designing and managing complex systems over their life cycles. It involves systems analysis, management, and quality assurance.
Software EngineeringDedicated to the development, operation, and maintenance of software systems. It’s a systematic approach to software design, development, and maintenance.
Nuclear EngineeringConcerned with the application of nuclear processes in energy production, nuclear power plants, and various types of nuclear reactors.
Marine EngineeringFocuses on the design, development, production, and maintenance of equipment used at sea, including ships and oil platforms.
Mining EngineeringDeals with the extraction of minerals from the earth, focusing on mine design, mining methods, and the management of mining operations.

These are just some of the majors available in Bachelor of Engineering programs around the world. Each major offers its own unique set of courses, research opportunities, and career prospects. Students typically choose their major based on their interests, strengths, and career goals.

Bachelor of Engineering Jobs

Engineering MajorTypical Job RolesSectors/Industries
Mechanical EngineeringMechanical Engineer, Design Engineer, HVAC EngineerAutomotive, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Energy
Electrical EngineeringElectrical Engineer, Control Systems Engineer, Power EngineerElectronics, Power Generation, Telecommunications, Construction
Civil EngineeringCivil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Transportation EngineerConstruction, Infrastructure, Urban Development, Environmental Management
Chemical EngineeringChemical Engineer, Process Engineer, Environmental EngineerPharmaceutical, Petrochemical, Food and Beverage, Environmental
Computer EngineeringComputer Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Network EngineerInformation Technology, Telecommunications, Consumer Electronics
Aerospace EngineeringAerospace Engineer, Flight Systems Engineer, Test EngineerAerospace, Defense, Space Research, Aviation
Biomedical EngineeringBiomedical Engineer, Clinical Engineer, Medical Device DesignerHealthcare, Medical Devices, Research Institutions
Environmental EngineeringEnvironmental Engineer, Sustainability Consultant, Waste Management EngineerEnvironmental Protection, Waste Management, Sustainable Development
Industrial EngineeringIndustrial Engineer, Operations Manager, Quality Assurance EngineerManufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare, Business Services
Materials EngineeringMaterials Engineer, Metallurgical Engineer, Research ScientistAdvanced Materials, Electronics, Automotive, Aerospace
Systems EngineeringSystems Engineer, Project Manager, Quality Control EngineerTechnology, Defense, Telecommunications, Transportation
Software EngineeringSoftware Developer, Systems Analyst, IT ConsultantSoftware Development, Information Technology, Banking and Finance
Nuclear EngineeringNuclear Engineer, Radiation Engineer, Reactor OperatorEnergy Production, Nuclear Power Plants, Research Laboratories
Marine EngineeringMarine Engineer, Ship Designer, Offshore EngineerShipbuilding, Maritime, Offshore Energy Extraction
Mining EngineeringMining Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, Drill and Blast EngineerMining and Minerals, Quarrying, Environmental Consulting

These job roles offer a glimpse into the diverse opportunities available to engineering graduates. Each role requires a unique set of skills and knowledge, often gained through both academic study and practical experience in the field. The industry sectors also vary widely, ranging from traditional fields like automotive and aerospace to emerging sectors like renewable energy and sustainable development.

Importance of Bachelor of Engineering Degree

The Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree holds significant importance for several reasons, both for the individual graduate and for society at large. Here are some key points highlighting its importance:

  • Foundation for Professional Engineering Career: The BEng degree provides the foundational knowledge and skills required for a career in various engineering fields. It is often a prerequisite for professional engineering licensure and certification in many countries.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Engineering education focuses on solving complex problems. This skill is highly valued in many sectors beyond traditional engineering, including finance, consulting, and technology.
  • Innovation and Technological Advancement: Engineers play a crucial role in innovation and technological development, which are key drivers of economic growth and societal progress. A BEng degree equips graduates with the ability to contribute to these areas.
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Engineering education combines knowledge from mathematics, science, and technology with practical application. This interdisciplinary approach is increasingly important in tackling complex modern challenges.
  • Global Opportunities: A BEng degree is recognized worldwide, providing graduates with global career opportunities. Engineers are needed everywhere, from developing new technologies to maintaining and improving existing infrastructure.
  • High Demand: There is a consistent demand for engineers in various industries. This demand often translates into stable career prospects and competitive salaries for engineering graduates.
  • Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills: Engineering students learn to approach problems analytically, using data and evidence-based reasoning. These critical thinking skills are valuable in any career.
  • Contribution to Society: Engineers design and build infrastructures, develop new technologies, and create solutions to environmental challenges. Their work is essential in improving the quality of life and safety in society.
  • Adaptability to Future Trends: The BEng curriculum often includes emerging technologies and trends, preparing graduates to adapt and contribute to future developments in fields like renewable energy, AI, and biotechnology.
  • Teamwork and Leadership Skills: Engineering projects typically require teamwork. Students learn to collaborate, lead projects, and communicate effectively, skills that are essential in any professional setting.
  • Ethical and Sustainable Practices: Engineering education emphasizes the importance of ethics and sustainable practices in professional work, which is crucial in today’s world where environmental and ethical considerations are paramount.
  • Lifelong Learning and Professional Development: The field of engineering is always evolving. A BEng degree fosters a mindset of continuous learning and development, which is vital for personal and professional growth.

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer