Why study electrical and electronic engineering?

Electrical and electronic engineers work at the forefront of practical technology, improving the devices and systems we use every day. From solar-energy systems to mobile phones, we innovate to meet society's communication, tech and energy needs.

Electrical and electronic engineering explained

Electricity is integral to modern life - power generation, transport, medicine, quantum information, computing, artificial intelligence (AI), cryptography, communications, the list is endless. So what distinguishes electrical from electronic? Put simply, electrical engineers deal with the supply and flow of power; electronic engineers create the electronic devices we use every day.

Electrical engineering is about harnessing electricity:

  • producing, delivering storing and transmitting it
  • large-scale systems to distribute and control power
  • circuits where electricity flows from one point to another
  • high-voltage applications with heavy currents

Electronic engineering is about electrical circuits and components:

  • creating, designing and testing them
  • integrating them into computer hardware and systems
  • circuits that process, and have decision-making capabilities
  • low-voltage applications and with low-strength current
  • robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computation, communications 

Both fields focus on real-world applications. If you are excited by maths and science, love technology and its potential benefits for society, this is the course for you.

Why Bristol is best for electrical and electronic engineering

  • You will be taught by internationally-renowned specialists with a passion for their subjects and expertise covering 5G and beyond, IoT, future transport, smart cities, autonomous networks, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Our courses reflect all the latest developments and the needs of industry. For example, Bristol University is part of the 5GUK Test Network, a collaboration that delivered the world's first end-to-end 5G systems trials.  
  • You'll have privileged access to state-of-the-art facilities.
  • We offer a wide range of scholarships, summer placements, industrial seminars and exclusive employment opportunities.
  • We train future leadeers by encouraging you to think in innovative ways and challenge existing practice.
  • We are the only university offering both the UK Electronics Skills Foundation and the E3 Academy Scholarship.
  • Bristol is home to one of Europe’s largest cluster of micro-electronics industries and the UK’s biggest aerospace companies, along with a thriving creative media industry.
  • Many of our undergraduate degree programmes are accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
  • The University of Bristol ranked 6th in the UK for Engineering in the Times Higher Education analysis of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. 

Research is at the heart of our mission, hence our international reputation. It informs our teaching and underpins our economic role in the region and collaborations across the world. Here are just some of the many innovations our lecturing staff have contributed to:-

  • the world’s first in-home HDTV wireless video distribution system
  • a novel medical scanner for the early detection of breast cancer using non-ionising radiation
  • the electrical motor technologies used in the Airbus A380
  • Europe’s first Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) cellular network technology.


These are just some of the global trends and key challenges that electrical and electronic engineers address:-

  • Rapid technological growth, a revolution in information and consumer technology and digital media 
  • Urgent need for alternative and sustainable solutions for energy and transport
  • Development of advanced networks such as the Smart Grid
  • The automated transport revolution
  • The intertwining of computing and manufacturing into ‘Industry 4.0’
  • Advances in medical science, aerospace, robotics and artificial intelligence 

All this means a strong and growing demand for electrical and electronic engineers. They will be at the heart of future innovation. Starting and average salaries are already high. Studies predict excellent future employment prospects with continued job security and a rise in crossover opportunities and diversification. Demand is worldwide, hence the opportunities to work abroad during your studies.

Electrical engineers are in high demand in the UK currently. I feel this opens a lot of doors for me.

Abdul Bello, MEng

Student life in Bristol

Why you'll fall in love with our city. 

The Faculty really supports students’ interests and future career plans by setting up programmes such as the Industrial Mentoring Scheme. The links with industry give us real insight on all the different career paths available.

Andrea Bejarano Carbó , MEng

The stats: prospects for graduates

  • In a survey by Statista, the global annual revenue growth (2022-2025) for consumer electronics is predicted at 5.14%
  • The average salary for our MEng graduates 15 months after their course is £30,000 (Discover Uni). 
  • survey of engineering and technology firms by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in 2021 found that 27% of electrical and electronic engineering companies surveyed identified a labour shortage for highly skilled roles (university level or higher).

IET accreditation

The Institution of Engineering and Technology logoMany of our undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes are IET accredited. MEng graduates who complete a period of suitable industrial experience after graduation, may use the title Chartered Engineer (CEng) and apply to use the 'Eur Ing' title, which is respected throughout Europe. 

Undergraduates are enrolled into the IET Academic Partner programme and have access to a dedicated student web area for news, revision advice, final year project toolkit as well as job hunting and CV tips.

Year in Industry

All our undergraduates can benefit from paid placements in the UK and overseas to

  • improve technical and transferable skills
  • develop professional networks
  • boost your CV and your bank account.   
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