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MEng vs MSc

  1. May 19, 2009 #1

    I live and study in the UK; currently about to finish second year of Mechanical Engineering before going to do a placement year in industry. I would like to do an MEng and was set to change providing my grades are ok when I was told that "if" I wanted to work abroad, than graduating with a BEng and then completing an MSc would be the better option. Through research, I was told that there not that different in content. I would like to be able to graduate with the highest grades possible as everyone does, I also would like the degree type that is preferred/most recognised and also would like to have the choice to not struggle getting work abroad if I chose to? Is this the informtion correct and what is most advisable?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2009 #2
    Both are as as valid as one another as they are both acredited by the IMechE. Neither will increase nor decrease your chances of getting a job in the UK or abroad.

    The BEng and MSc is a more traditional route, but the postgrad degree will cost you more as you dont get funded for it.

    However as I suspect you started after top up fees then tuition will cost you the same, but you wont get the maintainence loan or grant.

    Where are you study atm?
  4. May 19, 2009 #3
    Yea, my goal is to go on and become chartered. I am an affiliate member at the moment and will be completing the forms during my year out that will count towards chartered status. I study at Brunel in West London.
  5. May 19, 2009 #4
    Just do the MEng, mostly becuase its cheaper.

    I think the MEng is marginally more suited to industry anyway, with only doing one research project and usually one group design project. With the BEng and MSc you end up doing two research projects and no group work.

    In reality there is so little to choose between them.
  6. May 19, 2009 #5
    What about with respect to working abroad?

  7. May 19, 2009 #6
    Not too sure about that to be honest. I would suspect there is no difference between the two options, a good degree is a good degree at the end of the day.

    If you want to work abroad its kind of required that you get a 2:1 or a 1st (obviosly the 1st is bettwe :D) and have experience. The year in industy will help you more than anything, as that's what'll swing a job offer your way.

    I wouldnt take my word as gospel though, your tutor will have a better idea about this.
  8. May 19, 2009 #7
    ok thanks for your help.
  9. Jun 10, 2009 #8
    Dear all,

    An MSc would be the preferred route for most. An MEng is still an undergraduate qualification and it will only be a development of your BEng. But in an MSc, it is completely new and different course, and you can really get a chance input your undergraduate skills from you BEng into a proper Masters degree.

    I finished with a B.Eng and then went on to do an MSc. And I have been told that employers prefer a postgraduate degree anyway.

    Oh also, by the way, there is group project in MSc. I suppose this depends on which university and course you do.

    Regards and Good Luck
  10. Jun 10, 2009 #9
    Employers really couldn't give a toss so long as you have a set level of qualification and can show that you can do the job.

    Bottom line is either will allow you to become chartered, and either will get you in the door but wont nail you the job. Anyone saying someone who walks in with a postgrad masters vs an undergrad masters is prefererd for the job is talking utter tosh.

    As a point i've heard several people say that MEng is better than a postgrad, in reality my friends that have taken the different routes (BEng, then MSC and MEng) have both had equal opportunities in employment. Which leads me to the conclusion that it makes bugger all difference.

    Another point to the OP, if you want to get places learn to be good at interviews.

    EDIT: MEng is also a 'proper' masters.
  11. Jun 10, 2009 #10


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    It depends what you mean by 'proper.' An MEng is classed as a masters in the national qualifications framework (i.e. it is a grade 7 qualification), but it is an undergraduate degree.
  12. Jun 10, 2009 #11
    Your point being cristo?

    As not to appear bised,

    The MSc does have the advange of you being able to specialise more. Which admittedly will give you the edge is you choose to work in a given field.

    So an MSc in say Motorsports from Cranfield will give you the edge over someone with a pure Mechanical MEng who applies to a motorsports team/company/etc.

    On the other hand applying for a mech eng job designing washing machines or something equally mundane an MSc in Mech eng will give you no edge over an MEng.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  13. Jun 10, 2009 #12


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    My point is that your comment means nothing until you define 'proper.'
  14. Jun 10, 2009 #13
    Define the word proper.

    Proper as in "not Bull****". Both accredited by the IMechE to the same level of credence.

    The above by star707 makes it sound like the MEng is the equivilant to nothing more than advanced colouring in, and is utterly inferior and 'not proper' when compared to a BEng/MSc combo.

    As you pointed out both are masters, both are level 7 qualifications.

    What I acutally meant by the above was, "its an undergraduate degree" my responce is "So what?"
  15. Jun 11, 2009 #14
    A proper Masters degree. What does that mean?

    Proper means the following: -
    marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness; "proper medical treatment"; "proper manners" etc.

    I am not saying MEng isn't good, yes is very good. I am just saying that why do another academic year after your degree and still have only an undergraduate degree completed. Just spend the year doing an accredited MSc course which lasts a full year, afterwards one can be classified as a postgraduate degree holder. Do a single dissertation at a BEng level, and then apply all your knowledge and build on your skills onto a more professional level on a postgraduate course. Thats all I meant.

    True say you can get charter quicker on an MEng degree. But there are advantages and disadvantages in both, but my personal opinion is for an MSc, as you get a whole years worth of study rather than just normally an academic year.
  16. Jun 11, 2009 #15
    1. Because its much much cheaper to do a 4 year undergraduate degree.
    2. In the eyes of the IMechE you are qualified to the same level.
    3. From all the experience that I and my friends have, its makes no practical difference for getting a job in a random field. (The classification and interview matter much more)
    4. In pretty much all the places i've looked (which isnt many i'll admit as I was on the MEng from he start) the MSc has exactly the same taught modules as the 4th year undergrad course.

    Now admittedly the MSc does have the MEng beat in a extra research. You can specialise more in a given field.

    But on cost benefit analysis, I just think the MEng offers almost the same, for much less.
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