A Guide to Automotive Engineering Courses

The automotive industry is one that has been around for many years, and continues to grow. The technology within the industry is changing and improving, adapting with the demands of the consumers. Automotive engineering is concerned with the design and production of motor vehicles, as well as the improvement of components associated, such as engines and aerodynamics. You might be dealing with any vehicle, from civilian to high end sports and formula one cars.


An undergraduate degree in automotive engineering will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the area. You will be able to develop your understanding of both basic and complex engineering principles, as well as applying your skills to practical situations.

Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical and workshop sessions. You may be required to take part in a placement year or module.


Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics
  • Materials
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Computer Aided Engineering
  • Body and Chassis Performance

If your degree course requires you to write a dissertation or submit a final major project, this will give you the opportunity to further explore and research a favoured area of automotive engineering.

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of a degree in automotive engineering will depend on your institution of choice. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), or a Bachelor of Science (BSc). Many universities also offer the option of an integrated Master of Engineering (MEng).

Some degree courses are accredited by professional bodies of engineering. For example, some degrees are accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). If your degree is accredited by IMechE, you might be presented with the opportunity to take part in the Formula Student event at Silverstone.

Certain employers might require that you are a chartered engineer. Certain degrees meet the standards for this, but your university will be able to provide more information about this.

Studying Automotive Engineering at University

You can study Automotive Engineering at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level at University.

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Timeframe and Further Studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree in automotive engineering will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.

Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies might be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for an automotive engineering course will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and other universities might consider previous relevant work experience.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their automotive engineering programmes.

  • UK – 6.0 IELTS
  • US – 3.0 GPA

Funding Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.

Career Options

Graduates of automotive engineering will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. You might choose to work directly within the field, as a graduate engineer, manufacturing engineer, nuclear engineer, design engineering or automotive engineer. These roles could be with automotive companies, or with other engineering companies.

Throughout your degree, you will have gained a wide range of transferable skills. These will be useful in a variety of industries. Skills gained might include project management, problem solving, idea development, and analytical thinking.

Top Courses in Automotive Engineering

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