Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering?

Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines, such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators.

Manufacturing Engineers focus on the design, development and operation of integrated systems of production to obtain high quality & economically competitive products. These systems may include material handling equipment, machine tools, robots or even computers or networks of computers.

Simply put, Mechanical engineers design and develop specific types of machines, while manufacturing engineers work to improve the manufacturing process for a range of products and may also contribute to altering product designs.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering courses in the following subject areas:

  • MEng in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering – An introduction to the use of advanced Computer-Aided Engineering tools.
  • Civil, Mechanical and Electronics Engineering – A study of the modern trends in various engineering disciplines and of the latest technologies.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Mechanical and Electrical Quantity Surveying – Gain the knowledge, skills and expertise in Mechanical and Electrical Quantity Surveying.
  • BEng in Mechanical Engineering – Combine the basic knowledge of physical sciences and engineering education with experience and expertise to invent, design and manufacture, run and maintain mechanical systems equipment and tools in all branches of industry.
  • Engineering: Mechanical Engineering – Gain a broad knowledge of the principles and applications of mechanical engineering;
  • Higher National Diploma in Manufacturing Engineering – A study of the manufacturing principals to engineers/technicians in the areas of manufacturing systems design.
  • Good Manufacturing Practice & Technology – The principal aim of this course is to provide a nationally accredited Level 6 educational course in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Technology for people who are employed in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Engineering: Manufacturing Technology – Gain an understanding of modern manufacturing systems.

Studying Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in college

There are many Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or structured internship programmes and summer placement schemes. These provide an excellent insight into the nature of the work and are often hands-on.

Getting in touch directly with large engineering employers will show you take your work seriously. The work is often hands-on and provides a good insight into the engineering environment. It can also be a good idea to shadow different engineers to help you decide which area you’d like to work in. Employers value work experience and especially relating to the career you’d like to pursue.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of Engineering processes and practices.

Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering deals with the design, development, installation, operation and maintenance of anything that has moving parts, making it a field that is used in most industries. You will find relevant opportunities in a range of sectors such as aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, construction, energy, manufacturing, medicine, railway engineering and even sport.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday. Working hours typically include regular extra hours, but not usually weekends or shifts.

Related jobs include:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • CAD technician
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Control and instrumentation engineer
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Acoustic consultant
  • Clinical technologist
  • Corporate investment banker
  • Land-based engineer
  • Mining engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Production manager
  • Technical sales engineer
  • Water engineer

Further study

After completing a course in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as aeronautical engineering, agricultural engineering, computer-aided engineering and engineering science, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering or nuclear engineering.


Why is Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering important?

Mechanical and Manufacturing engineers research, design, build, test, maintain and improve everything from power plants, renewable energy systems and electrical generators and robots to computer systems, aircraft engines and cars. Everything that has been built around us has had a Mechanical or Manufacturing Engineers input at some point in the process, without them the world around us would literally be falling down.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering?

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering is a combination of maths, science, technology, business and management. It is important that you are able to solve problems using both logic and creative and innovative approaches, able to plan and prioritise, work to deadlines and under pressure.

You should also be highly computer literate with excellent analytical skills, capable of careful attention to detail, able to exercise good judgement and accept responsibility and able to communicate with others and work in multidisciplinary teams.

Is manufacturing engineering the same as mechanical engineering?
Mechanical engineers design and develop specific types of machines, while manufacturing engineers work to improve the manufacturing process for a range of products and may also contribute to altering product designs.

Where can I study Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Mechanical engineering has been recognised and applied since the beginning of history, Archimedes had a big influence in the development of mechanics around 287-212 BC. In 78-139 AD, Zhang Heng evolved the water clock and discovered a seismometer in China.
  • Engineers determine how much force travels from the pavement through the shoe to the foot. Through their calculations and design, weight is dispersed through the entire foot, allowing better performance and comfort.
  • You can thank an engineer for your choice of over 500 channels, great sound quality and gaming systems. This technology is an example of advancements in engineering.
  • Engineers are involved in designing, building, lighting, and even crowd control at theme parks all over the world.
  • The “Traub,” the rarest motorcycle in the world, was found behind a brick wall in Chicago in 1968, and still runs to this day. The engine’s technology was well ahead of its time, and even some mechanisms on it had never used on any other American motorcycle

Mariza Halliday

Medicinal Chemistry
Information Systems Studies


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