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School of Mechanical Engineering



Careers in the field of mechanical engineering are wide-ranging and employment prospects are excellent. 90% of our recent graduates have successfully secured a professional or managerial position within six months of graduating (latest Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey). According to the IMechE the average starting salary for a graduate Mechanical Engineer in the UK is £26,000.

You will find many of our graduates working as Graduate Mechanical Engineers, Design Engineers, Graduate Project Managers, Product Design Engineers, Production Engineers, Mechanical Design Coordinators, Supply Managers and Territory Managers for organisations such as AMEC, BAE Systems, Thales,
Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Cameron, Red-Bull Racing, Mars,
Nestlé, Shell, and National Instruments. Graduates also find employment outside of the engineering industry, where their numerate problem solving skills are valued.

Recent graduate positions include:
• Nuclear Decommissioning Engineer, Atkins
• Graduate Engineer, BAE
• Graduate Design Engineer, Balfour Beatty Rail 
• Design Analysis Engineer, Bentley Motors
• Graduate Engineer, BP
• Graduate Engineer, British Airways
• Subsea Design Engineer, Cameron International
• Project Manager, Coca Cola 
• Mechanical Test Engineer, Cummins Turbo Technologies
• Mobility Infrastructure Engineer, CSC 
• Operations Manager, General Electric 
• Research and Development Engineer, IB Bentley
• Technology Consultant, IBM
• Specialist Engineer, Stability Control Systems, Jaguar Land Rover 
• Graduate Engineer, JCB
• Test Engineer, Johnson and Johnson
• Graduate Engineer, Ministry of Defence
• Graduate Engineer, McLaren Automotive Ltd
• Graduate Engineer, Network Rail 
• Graduate Engineer, Nissan
• Higher research scientist, National Physical Laboratory
• Graduate Engineering Trainee, Rolls-Royce
• Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Sellafield Ltd
• Pipeline Engineer, Shell 
• Principal Mechatronics Engineer, Synthotech 
• Electrification Engineer, Tata Steel 
• Chassis Engineer, Aston Martin

The School’s engagement with industry is evident in the fourth year team projects, which involve working closely with an industrial partner to deliver real engineering solutions. The collaborations ensure that, in addition to developing graduates with excellent technical capabilities, our graduates are well versed in working in a professional environment and are ready to become future leaders in their chosen field.

The companies we work with range from major transnational organisations such as BP, Shell, National Instruments and Rolls- Royce to leading high-technology companies such as Surgical Innovations. The School’s strong industrial links is one of the many reasons why our graduates are highly sought after by employers. It also ensures that your course is industry-orientated and that material is up to date.

Our staff work with numerous companies on wide-ranging research and consultancy projects. We also organise a range of industrial visits and offer additional seminars delivered by practising engineers and other professionals. This means that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.

Our degrees will equip you with the skills you need to succeed in industry, including design, problem solving, engineering ethics, numeracy and analysis skills, together with ‘transferable skills’, such as communication and working as a team.

Industrial placements

Industrial placements
All our degrees allow you to undertake a placement year as part of your degree (either in the third year of the BEng or the third or fourth year of the MEng). You don’t need to decide until the end of your first or second year whether this is something you’d like to pursue. If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your degree by 12 months. On successfully completing your placement, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your unique expertise to future employers.

A comprehensive support programme exists for students pursuing a 12-month placement. A dedicated in-house system advertises hundreds of roles, and we provide lots of support to help you with your placement search, from lectures and workshops to handbooks and industrial guides.

Whichever organisation you join for your placement year, one thing is for certain: you will be assured of experience relevant to your degree, which will allow you to apply your learning in an organisational context while you develop both personally and professionally. Your placement can also count towards the professional experience you will be required to demonstrate if you wish to become a chartered engineer.

Watch our employability videos to hear some of our students across the Faculty talking about their industrial placement experiences, or have a read of our student profiles.

Summer internship scheme
Our research group’s offer paid summer internships to work on research projects at the end of years two and three. This is a great opportunity for you to gain experience of research, develop project management skills, enhance your CV – and earn some money! Internships run for eight to ten weeks through the summer. Students are allocated self-contained projects by academic supervisors, spanning a broad range of subject and feeding directly into current research and teaching activities. Projects are funded through both internal funds and a range of industry sponsors including National Instruments and Marks & Spencer.

Read about Jacob's summer placement at the University of Leeds

Part-time work
Many students work part-time, either for the extra money or to gain valuable experience and to improve their future employability. Either way you will find plenty of opportunities through our student employment service - Joblink. This is based on campus in the Students' Union.

Study abroad

The study abroad option is available on all courses. You will spend either the third year of the BEng or fourth year of the MEng studying at a university in Australia, North America or even the far east.

Increasingly valued by employers, this will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to experience life in another country and a different culture. Some of
the universities our students have studied at recently include Illinois, Santa Barbara and Wisconsin-Madison in the USA and New South Wales in Australia.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, this will extend your studies by 12 months.

To find out more visit our Study Abroad website.

Employability team

Our dedicated Employability team, located centrally in our Employability Suite, will provide you with specialist face-to-face support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and year-in-industry placements, as well as graduate positions.

The Employability team has been awarded the 'Most Improved Commitment to Employability' category in the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2016.

The team also organises an annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fair, which attracts over 40 graduate recruiters. In addition, you will benefit from timetabled employability sessions (one hour per week), ongoing support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

The team works closely with the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country. The centre provides high-quality professional support and advice for all our students and access to thousands of opportunities for graduate employment, placements and internships.

Leeds for Life

Leeds for Life is an unique approach to helping you make the most of the University and prepare for your career from day one. Leeds for Life will help you enhance your employability by highlighting the wide range of co-curricular opportunities on offer from the University and the Students’ Union. You can join
societies, get involved in volunteering and undertake projects in the UK or overseas, or you can attend academic conferences that will help you develop your knowledge and skills. You can also access valuable career insights from our diverse graduate community via our online career networking tool, Leeds Network.

At the heart of Leeds for Life is personal tutoring where you receive structured one-to-one meetings to support your personal and academic development. This ensures that you not only do well in your degree, but also become a confident, articulate and highly employable graduate.

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