Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers are at the forefront of future technologies. They apply the laws of maths and physics to create everything from handheld consumer devices to wind farms.

Cutting-edge facilities

Access the largest robotics lab in the UK; the Hele-Shaw fluid mechanics laboratory; and our state-of-the-art engines and propulsion laboratory.

Outstanding reputation

Mechanical Engineering at Bristol is ranked 7th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2023. We scored 93% for overall student satisfaction (NSS 2020).

Industry connections

We have valuable links with world-class local engineering and tech companies, and you’ll engage with industry from the very start of your studies.

Mechanical Engineering at Bristol

Mechanical systems make all our machines work, from satellites to miniature cameras. Mechanical engineers design and implement practical solutions for products and processes, making the best use of new materials and technologies. If you like using science to solve real-world problems and have a flair for design and creative thinking, this is the subject for you.

The research in mechanical engineering covers diverse topics, such as advanced materials for aero-engines, adaptive control systems theory, and energy studies in power stations. You will benefit from teaching influenced by the latest developments and expertise, for example through work with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is the largest robotics lab in the UK.

Engineering students at Bristol also benefit from a dedicated Industrial Liaison Office, which assigns every student an industrial mentor – an experienced engineer working in industry. They will share their experience, give advice on careers, and offer information about what skills employers are looking for. The Industrial Liaison Office also helps students find internships with companies.

I enjoy the passion of the lecturers when they explain their subject, and the mix of lectures and labs that we have. It's great to see what we learn. Bristol is beautiful in a special way – it's so vibrant.

Yasmin, MEng Mechanical Engineering

Career prospects

Students working in an engineering lab

Our courses are fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Upon completion, you will have already met part (BEng) or all (MEng) of the benchmark academic requirements for becoming an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Our graduates are in high demand by industry and often promoted quickly to senior positions around the world. The course is ideal preparation for traditional career paths such as aerospace, building, automotive, medical, marine and defence industries. Skills in team working, report writing and creativity can also open doors in business, finance, law, the civil service and more. Graduate occupations include:

  • Graduate Design Engineer
  • Technical Analyst
  • Graduate Mechanical Engineer
  • Platform Development Engineer
  • Analyst.

Our graduates have gone on to work for companies including Airbus, Arup, E.ON, KPMG, Network Rail and Rolls-Royce.

Our passionate teaching staff encourage students to turn some of the amazing concepts, devices and artefacts they work on during their final-year projects into viable commercial propositions. Several of our mechanical engineering students go on to start their own businesses.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Two people wearing protective eyewear working at machinery.

Our three-year BEng degree provides a grounding in all aspects of modern engineering. The MEng course offers the same quality experience, with the final two years focusing strongly on project work.

Across all our mechanical engineering degrees, first and second-year teaching is based on four main themes: design and manufacture; dynamics and control; thermofluids; and materials. In the first two years you are introduced to the fundamentals of engineering science and their application to real problems, including creative design units.

A major project in year three involves applying the principles covered in years one and two to tackle real-world engineering problems. These projects range from designing devices to reduce the impact of gusts on wind turbines, to developing testbeds for medical prostheses.

For MEng students, the fourth-year major group project is designed to replicate the sort of open-ended task and situation that working engineers encounter. Previous projects have seen students program industrial-scale robots to interact with humans, conceive new systems for removing plastic from rivers, and 3D print carbon-fibre bike frames.

Supportive community

Two students work together in an engineering lab

Our students, staff and researchers come from countries across the world so you'll benefit from a rich cultural diversity. We're proud of our inclusive and welcoming learning environment. Respecting different ways of thinking and working is especially important in teamwork, a big part of our practice-based curriculum and an important employability factor.

MechSoc, the official society for mechanical engineering, is run by our students with the aim of encouraging social and professional development.

Mechanical Engineering

Anyone with a passion for maths, physics, design and creative thinking and who seeks to really make a difference in the world should consider studying mechanical engineering.

Mechanical engineers apply the laws of maths and physics to create everything from handheld consumer devices to wind farms. They are at the forefront of future technologies, with highly valued skills, good job prospects and rewarding salaries.

The research in our department covers diverse topics, such as advanced materials for aero-engines, adaptive control systems theory, and energy studies in power stations. Our degrees offer you the opportunity to benefit from specialist teaching led by the latest developments in engineering practice and research in these exciting areas.

Engineering students at Bristol also benefit from a dedicated Industrial Liaison Office (ILO). The ILO assigns every student an industrial mentor and helps students find internships with companies.

Why study Mechanical Engineering at Bristol?

Bristol's engineering heritage is world famous and the city continues to develop cutting-edge engineering. Mechanical engineering tuition at Bristol is outstanding and we are ranked highly for research quality; the department is ranked sixth nationally for the subject in the Complete University Guide 2021.

Our undergraduate courses are research led, particularly in later years. You will benefit from teaching influenced by the latest developments and expertise, for example through work with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is the largest robotics lab in the UK.

Our courses are fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Upon completion, you will have already met part (studying BEng) or all (studying MEng) of the exemplifying benchmark academic requirements for becoming an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

MechSoc, the official society for mechanical engineering, is run by our students with the aim of encouraging social and professional development.

What kind of student would this course suit?

If you enjoy physics and mathematics and love designing and making things, mechanical engineering may be the course for you. Our degrees allow you to continue studying these subjects in more depth and will show you how to apply them to real engineering problems. Our courses suit students who are excited by modern technology and intrigued by discovering how things work.

How is this course taught and assessed?

The course is taught by lectures, laboratories, design classes and project work.

In the first two years, assessment is roughly 75 per cent examinations and 25 per cent coursework. Following this, the weighting between examinations and coursework is approximately equal.

What are my career prospects?

A degree in mechanical engineering from Bristol acts as a gateway for any job requiring numeracy, clear thinking and commercial awareness.

A mechanical engineering degree opens up potential careers in the automotive, aerospace, building, medical and marine industries. Graduate destinations have included Airbus, Arup, E.ON, KPMG, Network Rail and Rolls-Royce.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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