Postgraduate study and qualifications

Postgraduate pathways in engineering

22 Jun 2023, 13:20

Whether your ambitions lie in academia or industry, you may find postgraduate study in a specific property discipline worth pursuing. If so, several options are available, so you will need to evaluate them carefully. Such available options will normally be determined by your particular undergraduate degree, but there are regularly exceptions for mature students or those with previous working experience.

choose your path

Your postgraduate options in Engineering

While a postgraduate qualification may not guarantee you an easy entry into an engineering career, statistics show that postgraduates have superior employment prospects.

Recent years have seen a growth in the number of engineering graduates who choose to pursue further study in the field, ranging from year-long postgraduate diplomas and Masters programmes to research based MPhils and PhDs. Conversion courses in engineering can also be taken, though they often require a primary degree from a relevant discipline. You can find funded Masters and PhDs advertised in the national press and on institution websites. An up to date list of courses can be found at our course database on .

It’s common for engineering graduates to take postgraduate diplomas or Masters in business, finance and project management in order to apply for business and engineering related positions upon graduation.

Both the Republic and Northern Ireland have seen heavy investment in Research and Development (R&D) in recent years, with both governments investing in collaborations with academia and industry to boost growth. Institutions are increasingly collaborating with industry to provide courses that combine theory and study with practical experience. For example, NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics’ PhD and MEngSc in Power Electronics and Energy Conversion are both facilitated by Galway's Power Electronics Research Centre, which is one of six centres formed by the Programme of Advanced Technology, a partnership between government, industry and academia.

Choosing the right course and institution

One you've found the course that's right for you, you'll need to choose the right institution. That could mean continuing at your undergraduate University, in a setting you're familiar with, or perhaps you would benefit from a fresh start in a fresh setting. Your original University could possibly have more to offer in terms of supports and funding though, so make sure you make an informed decision. A departure into the world of postgraduate study will help you expand your horizons and build a new network of contacts and access to specialised academic expertise. Whether you're determined to build a career in industry or would prefer to stay in academia, your prospects will be greatly enhanced if you develop a range of skills that will complement yuour growing academic knowledge. Develop a strong knowledge of the commercial side of the industry and research the major players and trends there. Make sure you make the most of any opportunities to attend professional development courses, conferences or outreach courses, these will help develop your core skills and transferable skills, in addition to providing you with fresh insights into the industry.

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