What is Electrical and Electronic Engineering?
Very basically, electrical and electronic engineers design anything that uses batteries or electricity. Therefore, this includes designing anything from mobile phones, ipads, computer games hardware and satnavs, to the controls in cars and aeroplanes, right through to electricity generation and distribution. There is a worldwide shortage of electrical and electronic engineers.
Electrical and electronic engineering offers exciting challenges due to rapid advances in fields such as telecommunications, computer software, hardware and networking, medical electronics, security, virtual and augmented reality, control and robotics and renewable energy systems.
What is the difference between the BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering degrees at Queens?
The BEng is a Bachelor of Engineering is a three year degree programme (three years plus an optional placement year in industry). This consists of the fundamentals of engineering with special emphasis on applications and design. All BEng course students are normally required to complete at least 12 weeks of approved industrial training before graduating. The MEng is a Masters in engineering. The MEng degree is a four –year degree programme (four years plus an optional placement year in industry). This consists of an appropriate blend of engineering knowledge and skills in business practice and management. All MEng course students must normally complete at least 24 weeks of approved industrial training before graduating.
Would you recommend applying for both the MEng and BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering?
No, you really only have to apply for one of these courses. If you are applying for the MEng and are worried that you may not get the grades to get into this degree, then you may be reassured to know that if this happens, you will automatically be offered a place on the BEng degree, provided you achieve the grades for that. There is also some flexibility when you start one of these degrees, as both courses share the same first and second year. This means that you can change from the BEng degree to the MEng degree after 2nd year provided you gain a certain mark in your year 2 exams. At the same time, you may also transfer from the MEng degree to the BEng degree after 2nd year.
What is the difference between the Electrical & Electronic Engineering degree and the Software & Electronic Systems Engineering degree?
Electrical and electronic engineering involves the study of both smaller electronic devices requiring lower voltages as well as larger electrical equipment requiring higher voltages (electricity generation etc.). The Software and Electronic Systems Engineering degree covers the electronics part of the former degree but not the part covering larger electrical devices. In it’s place you study software, and mainly how to program hardware – for example, a mobile phone is made up of a hardware component and a software component, so someone with the latter degree could design the whole mobile phone.
Electrical and Electronic Engineering opens up additional opportunities within the electrical power industry (where there is a particular shortage of graduates) and Software and Electronic Systems Engineering opens up additional opportunities in the software profession where there is also a particular shortage of graduates. Which course you choose really depends on whether you would prefer to do electrical power engineering or software, alongside electronics.
Are there any scholarships or bursaries available for Electrical and Electronic Engineering students?
Yes, Electrical and Electronic Engineering offers the more scholarships than most other degrees at Queen’s. This is due to the particular shortage of graduates in this area – companies offer scholarships to try and encourage more students to study this degree as this will result in a bigger pool of electrical and electronic engineers to recruit from.
There are a number of scholarships on offer, including the Power Academy, NIE, Asidua, Schrader and Electric Ireland Scholarships. Further information on all of these scholarships may be found here.
Do Electrical and Electronic Engineering students complete a placement year?
Both the MEng and BEng are also offered incorporating a paid sandwich year in industry. This professional experience year is usually taken after Stage 2 and Students may gain a licentiateship of the City and Guilds from this period of work.
All BEng course students are normally required to complete at least 12 weeks of approved industrial training before graduating. All MEng course students must normally complete at least 24 weeks of approved industrial training before graduating. This can be carried out during the summer months.
The University will help you to find a placement company. Normally each year a large number of companies contact the School with details of student placements. Over the past 4 years, the number of placements on offer has exceeded the number of students seeking placements.
What type of job roles do Electrical and Electronic Engineering graduates do?
Graduates with a Queen’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering are highly sought after locally, nationally and internationally.
With a worldwide shortage of qualified engineers, there are excellent well paid career prospects across a wide spectrum: design, research, development, production, marketing and sales in employment areas such as avionics and space, telecommunications and broadcasting, power generation and transmission, renewable energy, computing and software, electronic systems and microelectronics, advanced manufacturing and robotics.
An engineering degree is also a passport into many other professions, due to the mathematical and project management skills you will have gained on the course. Examples include accountancy, investment banking, software, actuarial jobs and general management roles.
Current starting salaries for graduates of this course at Queen’s range from £18-£38K.
What sort of companies do Electrical and Electronic graduates secure employment with?
There are many companies who employ Electrical and Electronic Engineers. These include NIE, SONI, Airtricity, Andor Technology, Rolls Royce, Asidua, BT, FG Wilson,NYSE, Schrader Electronics, to name a few.