Royal Holloway University: Engineering education for successful careers

Throughout the Royal Holloway University’s illustrious 150-year heritage, project-led teaching and practical experience has always been at the heart. It is this dedication to pioneering learning that maintains the University’s position in the top one percent of the world.

Believing the best way to learn and keep their students relevant is to dive straight into the deep end, practical group-based projects remain a central pillar of the learning experience; and nowhere is this more evident than in the University’s Faculty of Science.

The Faculty is acutely aware that Electrical Engineering is a core element of most systems we use in our daily lives – everything from mobile communications, computers and transport systems, to television, radio and music. Understanding the fundamental importance of the discipline, the Faculty takes measures to ensure they are producing graduates that go to be forward thinkers and future trailblazers.

Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation at all levels of the curriculum, Electrical Engineering students are taught to think outside the box through a number of practical, real-life learning opportunities that prepare them for the ever-evolving world of electronics.

From day one, students get their hands dirty and overcome challenges through team projects in their very first semester. After all, what better way to learn than by doing?

Placements are also available for all students to get a taste of life in the workforce and to work alongside professionals, helping to solve problems with real-life consequences.

Industry experts are regularly invited to campus to deliver lectures and seminars, giving students the chance to pick the brains of leaders in the field. The Faculty also urges students to take on summer internships to put all that learning into practice.

The University’s Bachelors and Masters courses come with the option of pursuing a year in industry. The value this adds to your experience and job prospects after graduation simply can’t be overstated.

The option to pursue a year in industry should be considered nothing less than gold dust. By the time you’ve finished your course, you will already be prepped and ready to thrive on an independent basis, or become a productive and highly-valued member of any team.

The cutting-edge research done at the Faculty means when you enter the workforce or your year in industry, you will already be well-versed in the best-practice of the field; able to implement some of the world-leading knowledge you’ve acquired into the practical projects of the real-world.

To ensure graduates are well-rounded in all elements of tomorrow’s electrical engineering field, the Faculty ensures the curriculum works in synergy with a multitude of other disciplines. These include Computer Science, Physics, Environmental Science, Music and Media Arts, so students also learn to appreciate the creative side of engineering applications.

This multidisciplinary approach is a valuable attribute to have in the competitive and dynamic modern-day job market and displays a candidate’s versatility.

These elements come together to make Faculty of Science graduates incredibly employable. Royal Holloway University itself already has a great reputation among employers, with over 90 percent of graduates in work or further study six months after graduating, and the largest careers service in Europe of which students can make full use.

But the Faculty of Science is consistently turning out job-ready graduates with a devotion and passion for their field. Masters graduate Charlotte Ayres, for example, graduated in 2013, and now works as a Systems Engineer for Missile Systems at MBDA. She attributes many of her vital professional skills to her time at Royal Holloway.

“It gave me the problem-solving skills and [ability] to adapt to almost any technical role,” she says, going on to describe her time at Royal Holloway as “friendly, vibrant and idyllic”.

Bachelors graduate, Katie Lawrence, found it was the soft skills she picked up through her practical learning experience at Royal Holloway that really helped her land her dream job as Performance Engineer at Land Rover BAR.

“Of course my degree helped,” Katie explains, “but it was all the other skills I learnt – time management, team work, dedication, hard work and determination that really helped me in my career.”

To ensure all students are operating on a level playing field when it comes to education and employment, the Department dedicates resources to encouraging women in Electronic Engineering. Above all else, Royal Holloway aims to deliver the next generation of female scientists and engineers, and has so far been commended for its work.

While 15.8 percent of UK Engineering and Technology undergraduates are typically women, Royal Holloway is constantly striving to redefine a sector that has traditionally been dominated by males. But the University’s first year Electronic Engineering programme currently enrols a female population that exceeds 30 percent, highlighting the institution’s efforts to dispel conventional gender roles.

The Faculty is the proud recipient of two Athena Swan Silver awards and four Bronze awards for its policies and procedures that ensure representation and fairness, and facilitate an inclusive working environment. As a result of this work, the Faculty welcomes a cohort of female students that’s far greater than the national average.

On top of the great practical experience and collaborative environment, the University also wants to provide the best possible facilities for you to hone your skills.

Investing a whopping £20 million in a new state-of-the-art complex, the Electrical Engineering Department is now housed in a purpose-built development, home to hi-tech equipment, ‘help yourself’ collaboration spaces, research spaces, project fabrication, and computing and electronics laboratories.

This innovation hub will be where you’ll spend most of your time as an Electrical Engineering student. Here, you’ll hone your skills of collaboration, teamwork, practical project problem-solving and expert engineering knowledge, so when you take those first steps into the competitive world of work, you’re set for success with your Royal Holloway experience behind you.

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