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Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Master of Engineering (MEng) – what is the difference, and which one should you choose?

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Our courses offer varying routes, all tailored to getting you the right qualification and professional status you will need to progress in your future career.

Students considering applying for an engineering degree can often be undecided on whether to study a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Master of Engineering (MEng) degree. Some students may not know there are two options available to them; some students may not know the differences between the two, and some may not know that the two paths will mean graduates will obtain different professional titles if they register for professional status.

Professional status

In simple terms, a BEng is an undergraduate degree programme of three years, while a MEng is a programme of four years – a longer period of study because it is an undergraduate course with an integrated Master’s.

Studying a BEng or MEng will mainly depend on whether a student wishes to obtain professional status as an incorporated engineer (IEng) or a chartered engineer (CEng). BEng students can become IEngs, however MEng graduates can go on to become CEngs, as becoming a chartered engineer requires four years of study. BEng students can of course complete a Master’s course (MSc) after they graduate to top up their studies and become CEngs.

Professional registration means an engineer has met globally recognised professional standards. The benefits of obtaining professional status include improved career prospects and higher earning potential. Please see the Engineering Council website.

Incorporated engineer or chartered engineer?

Incorporated engineers have the knowledge and understanding to maintain and manage technologies. They may carry out varied complex roles such as engineering design, development, manufacturing, construction and operation.

Chartered engineers also have this knowledge and understanding, but work more independently and provide consultancy services to companies. Some go on to become innovators, for example developing solutions to engineering problems. Salaries for chartered engineers tend to be higher.

A personal choice

Deciding between a BEng and an MEng is a personal choice. Students will need to consider carefully what they wish to gain from their university experiences and qualifications and should make their choices accordingly. The University of Greenwich offers both BEng and MEng degrees and is happy to answer any questions students may have.

Keep London moving with a placement in Engineering


A Greenwich engineering graduate is lending his expertise to keep London’s railways moving safely with a placement at Southeastern Railways.