Careers and the Industrial Placement Year

Our General Engineering courses are specifically designed to give students a strong base knowledge of key engineering disciplines from across our seven departments.

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General Engineering – The industry view

Learn how those from within the engineering industry value the interdisciplinary nature of General Engineering

“The General Engineering degree course at The University of Sheffield is a wonderful opportunity for young students to experience a variety of engineering disciplines before making an informed decision on their future specialisation. In turn, it gives business a pool of talented young engineers with a broadly based engineering qualification, supported by transferable skills which are increasingly important to industry.”

Dr Pamela Liversidge OBE DL FREng, Managing Director of Quest Investments Ltd, First female president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1997-98.

“In industry, there are nine branches of Engineering - and new ones growing every decade. Providing students with the opportunity to explore all of these engineering branches, before specialising, will give students the toolkit required for today’s complex national infrastructure needs. I think all Engineering courses should follow Sheffield’s General Engineering model. Today’s Engineers need to embrace the methods, tools and language of others to be successful (e.g. The Royal Academy of Engineering). And with national infrastructure projects (e.g. HS2) needing a multi-discipline ‘one team’ approach, I think studying an Undergraduate Degree from Sheffield is the best place to start.”

Calvin Blacker CEng FICE, Chief Engineer at Costain

“Embarking on your first steps within your career is challenging, competitive and quite often a big step into the unknown. Roles are demanding requiring candidates to be multi-disciplinary and able to quickly put into practice what they’ve learnt in the lecture theatre. The interdisciplinary and applied nature behind the General Engineering degree at Sheffield provides students with a solid and real world grounding helping them to really stand out from the crowd."

Dr Kieran Williams, Business Development Director, Environmental Monitoring Solutions

"National instruments works with engineers and scientists from a wide variety of industries to solve engineering grand challenges. When hiring engineering graduates, we look for skills and knowledge that show graduates can work across disciplines and are able to break down Engineering problems in order to suggest viable solutions. The General Engineering programme at Sheffield provides a solid engineering core in many subject areas as well as the team working and project management skills that companies such as ours are looking for."

Mahdieh Ghoddusi, Engineering Leadership Programme Manager, National Instruments

"Primetal Technologies is a technology integrator, providing complete plant solutions to the metals industries. We're typical of many project-based engineering businesses, serving a wide range of sectors. Firms like ours actively seek a multi-disciplinary engineering background when recruiting. We also look for people who take naturally to teamwork, because successful project delivery depends heavily on co-operation and the seamless combining of skills. If you're interested in a career of this kind then a broadly-based degree like Sheffield's General Engineering is going to be a big advantage."

Jon Stewart, Director, Primetals Technologies Ltd

"Within Royal Philips, which is in the business of health technology, effective innovation requires a strongly interdisciplinary approach in development in order to bring ideas to market in a timely and cost-effective manner. The General Engineering degree at the University of Sheffield, with its emphasis on linking multiple engineering disciplines, offers the potential to provide innovative companies such as Philips with graduates having the right skill-set for a successful career."

Dr Steve Franklin, Materials Technology, Philips Research

"Why would I want to train as an engineer today? Firstly because it is a great job giving you the skills to choose different industries and even locations in the world to use your skills. Secondly, because there is a shortage of top engineers and the shortage is only going to get worse, so you can enjoy rapid career progression. Thirdly, because you can do things that are good for society and humanity as a whole. Why would you want to study engineering at Sheffield? Because Sheffield has a heritage and passion for the subject. Its academic and keeps in touch with the needs of industry. It has the right blend of theory and application."

Keith Jackson, Chief Technology Officer, Meggitt PLC

Careers guidance

You will benefit from wide ranging support and guidance to assist you in securing jobs. Careers guidance and support is available from the University's Careers Service, including CV writing workshops, one to one appointments, and careers events. You will also be invited to attend industrial guest lectures as well as careers and placement fairs, designed to provide career inspiration and guidance.

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An Industrial Placement Year

  • MEng - between Years 3 and 4
  • BEng - between Years 2 and 3

This degree is all about maximising your employability. You’ll follow the same academic programme as our main MEng/BEng courses, but you may also have an opportunity to spend a year within an engineering company in a graduate-level role. It's available as a four year BEng or a five year MEng.

This course provides you with an opportunity to spend a year working in an engineering company, allowing you to gain hands-on experience whilst giving you the chance to put what you've learned in your academic studies into practice.

You will benefit from experiencing the culture of industry, operating as a graduate engineering, gaining contacts, and preparing for graduate employment.

We will provide comprehensive support and guidance to you both prior to and during your industrial placement via our dedicated Industrial Placement Year team and the Careers Service. While students are responsible for securing their placements, we will provide help with preparing your CV and support in applying for and obtaining your placement. 

The Industrial Placement Year is assessed and monitored by an academic member of staff, and in recognition, it will appear in your final degree title. It is possible to transfer onto the Industrial Placement Year option once you have begun your degree, depending upon you meeting the grade progression threshold.

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A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is an engineering research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.

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