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Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

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Industrial experience

Studying a degree in our Department means gaining the opportunity to enhance your employability by taking on valuable, exciting industrial experience.

Our Master of Engineering (MEng) is a four-year course offered across all our subject areas. The addition of a fourth year includes units in management, as well as options for more specialised topics and a major group design project.

The MEng can be extended to five years of study with the extra year spent in industry enabling you to graduate as an experienced engineer.

Study options

Explore your industrial experience study options below.

Studying with industrial experience

Placements are valuable ways to gain industrial experience and enhance your employability. A good degree is important to employers but increasingly, organisations want graduates to demonstrate that they have undertaken some industrial experience. The skills and experience could put you ahead of others when applying for graduate jobs in the future.

Studying with management

The average starting salary of our engineering graduates is £24,000.

Most professional engineers will find themselves in positions of responsibility. Projects must be planned, costed and managed, and products must be designed, manufactured and marketed in the real world. An engineer is thus often required to possess skills in management, decision-making and finance.

We collaborate with the Alliance Manchester Business School in offering four degree courses with management.

Case studies

Explore the case studies below to discover what other students thought of their industrial experience.

Aerodynamic development for Red Bull Racing F1 team

I really enjoyed my placement, as F1 aerodynamics is something I've wanted to do since childhood. I had the opportunity to get involved with several different projects, with a lot of responsibility.

Scott, a student from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, was fortunate in securing a work placement as an Aerodynamics Development Student for Red Bull Racing F1 team, based in Milton Keynes. The role involved using CAD to design new aero components, and test them using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) or in the Wind Tunnel (WT), to increase the amount of downforce the car produced efficiently.

"I now have a much better understanding of fundamental aerodynamics and use of practical aero development tools, such as CAD, CFD, WT testing and Track testing," Scott reported. "The atmosphere at Red Bull in particular was very fun and friendly. I also got the chance to attend various Red Bull events, GP race weekends at Silverstone and travel to Shanghai for the Chinese GP."

Technical aerospace support at Rolls-Royce

I learned that big companies like Rolls-Royce are not as intimidating as they may seem. And I discovered that I prefer being a big part in a small team than a small part in a big team.

Mitchell, a student on the Mechanical Engineering MEng with Industrial Experience at MACE, undertook a year's placement with Rolls-Royce's aerospace division in Derby, providing technical support for Beluga XL and Airbus A380 (Trent 900) flight test aircraft.

His role included management of flight test engines for safety and flight clearance, co-ordinating delivery of engine hardware and tooling and supporting short-term requirements from the on-site test teams based in Toulouse, France.

"I was given lots of opportunity to prove what I was capable of and was able to take on challenging tasks," says Mitchell. "I presented technical topics to chief engineers from both Rolls-Royce and Airbus and met the CEO. I talked to him about inspiring young engineers and then led an activity that ultimately helped the early career recruitment team improve their methods."

Technical support at National Instruments

I've have learned the importance of collaboration. My job involves continuous research and since none of the problems I have to solve every day are the same, discussing and sharing knowledge with colleagues is essential.

Ruta, a student on MACE's Aerospace Engineering with Industrial Experience course, undertook a placement year providing technical support to companies and engineers in Northern Europe that use National Instruments' automated testing hardware and software. She was also given the opportunity to develop her own ideas using National Instruments products.

"I can't overstate the skills and experienced I have gained from this placement," says Ruta. "Everything from work etiquette, professional communication and teamwork to discipline, self-motivation and determination to achieve goals. I also feel much more confident in myself and my abilities which I believe will help me during interviews and assessment centres in the future."

Testing missile systems at defence company MBDA

I've enjoyed being given real responsibilities within a team to contribute to real-world products. This comes in particular contrast to the university environment which typically requires more independent work.

Tobias, a student from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, spent a year working in the Integration and Systems Valuation department at MBDA - a European defence sector company that develops and manufactures missile systems. His role involved the testing and qualification of MBDA products at both missile and component level, as well as the integration of their weapon systems onto existing military platforms.

"Working in industry has given me a lot more direction and confidence in what I’m working towards, both academically and professionally," says Tobias. "I feel that since returning, my approach to university work has generally improved, I’ve developed a stronger overall work ethic and I’m in a better position to perform to a higher standard for the remaining years of my degree."