Manufacturing engineering

Explore the world of manufacturing engineering to streamline processes, turn concepts into reality, and become a key player in driving efficiency and innovation in diverse industries.

Manufacturing engineering is all about using processes, technology, and resources to bring ideas to life. It goes beyond production lines, developing manufacturing systems, quality control, and the integration of cutting-edge technologies like automation and additive manufacturing.

The career options are varied, from aerospace and automotive to electronics and healthcare. It can lead to roles such as manufacturing engineer, process engineer, or production manager, where you contribute to enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring product quality.

As industries evolve, so do the opportunities within manufacturing engineering, paving the way for leadership positions in research and development, supply chain management, and even entrepreneurial ventures.

The impact you could make
  • Develop sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.
  • Get involved in the research and development of new materials and advanced manufacturing processes.
  • Contribute to the development of industries, creating employment opportunities and economic stability in communities.
What you could study
  • Engineering materials and manufacturing technology
  • Automation and robotics
  • Automated manufacturing project
  • Computer aided manufacturing
  • Sustainability and the product lifecycle
  • Design principles for manufacturing

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

Chat to a current manufacturing engineering student

Chat to a current manufacturing engineering student using UniBuddy.

Some conversation starters for you:

  1. Ask which modules they really enjoyed.
  2. Find out how easy it was for them to make friends on their course.
  3. Do they have any tips on your personal statement?
  4. Did they do anything to prep for uni before they went?
  5. Are there books, podcasts or YouTube channels they would recommend?

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Example module
"Any module involving CAD or manufacturing such as engineering design, systems and manufacture."
Second year engineering student, University of Central Lancashire
Example project
"One of my favourites is the steam engine, which as a group we had to design the parts and manufacture them. Best part was that it actually worked flawlessly!"
Second year engineering student, Birmingham City University

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some manufacturing engineering courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Material selection knowledge
  • Use of simulation tools
  • Understand code for CNC machines and automation systems
  • Safety protocols in manufacturing environments
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management skills

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying manufacturing engineering. The following information is based on a typical engineering professional role.
Available jobs
124,090 vacancies in the past year
4.79% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £63,830

What is a biotechnology manufacturing design engineer?

Are you interested in how biological systems and processes can help us to develop and manufacture new products and drugs, food and beverages, and other consumer products through biomanufacturing? You’d be embarking on a sustainable career to manufacture more efficient products in a renewable way, relying on what nature has to offer instead of synthetic, more expensive solutions.

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study manufacturing engineering at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from manufacturing engineering applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Let’s talk about engineering apprenticeships

Listen to our podcast all about degree apprenticeships in engineering. Find out about funding, what day-to-day life is like, making friends, and more from our expert panel.

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:
  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.
  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around manufacturing engineering with the following:
  1. Engineering Design Show

    Have a day out at the UK’s biggest show dedicated to mechanical, electronics, and embedded design.
  2. How It’s Made – Discovery UK

    A TV series that puts everyday objects such as trumpets, sinks, pin ball machines, ballet slippers, cowboy boots and buses under the microscope to find out what it takes to manufacture the things we often take for granted.

  3. Keep up-to-date with the latest news

    You'll find all the latest news and research on The Institution of Engineering and Technology website.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our advice will help you get ahead in your manufacturing engineering journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Do you love innovation and like to stay up-to-date with technology and the latest advancements?
  • If you have a passion for sustainability, discuss any experiences, coursework, or personal projects related to sustainable manufacturing practices.
  • On the same thread, discuss your understanding of the environmental and social implications of manufacturing processes.
  • If you have a particular interest in a specialised area of manufacturing like additive manufacturing or smart manufacturing, briefly mention it.
  • Talk about your genuine passion for manufacturing engineering and why you find it exciting and meaningful.

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