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You can use the Engineering Council's Accredited Course Search to check whether specific courses have been accredited. It is important to check the column ‘Accredited by Intake year’ as what matters is the accreditation status when you start. If accredited status is removed during your course, you and any other students already on that course would still graduate with an accredited degree as long as it was accredited when you began studying. Students starting a degree part-way through should check the accreditation status as if they had entered in the first year.
It is also important to consider what level of accreditation applies. For instance:
Universities decide whether or not they wish to apply for accreditation. Some choose not to and holders of non-accredited degrees may also work towards IEng or CEng registration via an individual assessment by their professional engineering institution. Further information on individual route applications is available from the institutions themselves.
Once you begin your course, join a relevant professional engineering institution. Whilst studying, you might be offered either free or reduced rate membership. Becoming an institution member looks great on your CV and can provide you with connections and resources to help you to get the most from your studies. You might find that your institution offers ways to actively engage as a student, such as becoming its student rep. Once you join, your institution will let you know how best to become involved.
Your second year (and third if you are on an Integrated Masters course) is the ideal time to get yourself some relevant work experience to develop your skills and apply your knowledge in preparation for employment. This could be through summer holiday work or year in industry placements. Whatever you do will help you to build your competence and can count towards your end goal of professional registration.
In addition, you should start to keep a record of your professional development. Make use of the resources available to you from your professional engineering institution and start to research accredited graduate professional development schemes ready for the job hunting process.
Many universities encourage students to take a year out in industry as part of the degree programme. Placements provide a good opportunity to develop your engineering competence. You should begin recording the work-based experience that you will need as evidence when you apply for professional registration. Placements often result in offers of employment after graduation, but if yours doesn’t lead directly to a permanent job it is still a strong addition to your CV. The experience and knowledge you develop through a placement will help prepare you to complete a successful final year of study and could inform any project work.
The greatest piece of advice we can give you is to ensure that you stay in touch with your engineering institution. When you graduate it is likely that your email address and contact details will change, so make sure that you advise your institution of your up to date details as your membership will be of enormous value in the early years of your career.
If you are still looking for a job, you could think about applying for accredited graduate schemes as these will support you in becoming professionally registered. Smaller employers might not have a formal scheme in place but many of them will be highly supportive if you let them know that you’re aiming to become professionally registered. Finally, make the most of the resources available to you from your engineering institution membership to enhance your skills and knowledge.