Guest blog: MSc Engineering conversion courses at the University of Exeter

You don’t need to have studied Engineering to begin a career as a professional engineer

Why should I consider an engineering conversion course?

An engineering conversion course can be a great way to learn new skills, build on your existing knowledge and increase your employability. In an ever competitive job market, the demand for engineers only continues to rise. Employers are placing increasing value on graduates with well-rounded professional skill-sets and a broader knowledge base – gained from transferring from a different undergraduate specialism. All of this, plus the introduction from 2016 of postgraduate student loans of up to £10,000, make now a great time to consider a career in engineering.

How are the programmes delivered?

The programmes are delivered in short, intensive teaching blocks, enabling you to quickly build new knowledge in each individual area before moving on to the next. Some teaching takes place in conjunction with the University’s Business School. The structure of the courses mean that some modules are taught in conjunction with other programmes, enabling you to network with students from other specialisms and build professional contacts for the future.

What career opportunities are available following an Engineering conversion course?

Engineering is everywhere, and an engineering conversion course can potentially open up opportunities across many sectors. A conversion MSc programme enables you to learn new engineering skills whilst retaining your undergraduate specialism, making you especially attractive to employers in a range of fields.

What skills can I gain from an Engineering conversion course?

The conversion programmes are particularly valuable in the development of transferable skills including management skills, communications skills, computational techniques, data handling and analysis, problem solving, decision making and research methodology. Many of these skills are addressed within both an industrial and commercial context.

What are the entry requirements for the conversion programmes?

The entry requirements for the conversion programmes are a good honours degree in any subject from a recognised university. As these are conversion programmes, applications from non-engineering graduates are particularly encouraged.  We do consider all applications where there is evidence of exceptional performance in modules relevant to the programme of study, significant relevant work experience or professional qualifications.

Hear from a current engineering conversion student:

David Forber, a current University of Exeter postgraduate engineering student who took his first degree in Geology, said:

“Coming to study Engineering at Exeter felt like a progression rather than a transition. In my first degree I developed skills such as reporting, analytics, field work and perseverance. Which have all proven to be really useful in my current study.

Going into my first degree, studying Geology, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to succeed in a science discipline. However, by the time I graduated I really understood how much more I was capable of, and this gave me a lot more confidence to pursue further study.

I think that having studied a non-engineering undergraduate discipline can in many ways be a real advantage, as it provides a wider perspective, and a broader set of skills and understanding that can be applied and built upon going forward.”

What are the courses available?

The University of Exeter is offering MSc programmes in Civil, Structural and Water Engineering as conversion courses. These three programmes are also each available as a “with Management” variant. The courses are specifically aimed at graduates from non-engineering backgrounds who wish to transition to careers in engineering, allowing them to take advantage of the national demand for graduates with an engineering qualification.

The programmes run for 12 months, starting in September 2016.

If you would like to find out more about the engineering conversion programmes, visit

Alternatively, contact us at and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Niamh O’Brien


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