The Ultimate Guide to Engineering Scholarships & Financial Aid

The Ultimate Guide to Engineering Scholarships & Financial Aid

We have put together a list of the best Engineering Scholarships and Financial Aid available to students in the UK

A career in engineering can be a rewarding and lucrative one, whether you decide to enter the world of work via the route of a degree, or through a work-based apprenticeship.

But the path to an engineering qualification can come with financial barriers. For example, many young people now worry that a UK university degree to be prohibitively expensive, with tuition fees now standing at over £9,000 per year.

And while there are tuition fees and loans on offer, it’s natural for students to worry about the cost of living as they’re working to get their engineering qualifications.

It’s not just university students. If you’re reading this and you’re an aspiring apprentice, you might be worried about the cost of living while you’re working.

Luckily, there are a number of organisations and charities that offer engineering scholarships and bursaries. Some might have an interest in supporting a particular type of Engineering ( for example Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering ). Some are designed to support you if you’re still at school and might be in the early stages of planning your engineering career, while others are designed to cover the cost of study if you’re already at university and on a clearly defined engineering path.

So in this article, we’re going to explore some of the best engineering scholarships out there, what they offer and how can you apply for them.

Arkwright Scholarships

What is it?

Arkwright Scholarships are offered by the Arkwright Scholarships Trust. The organisation exists to encourage school students to become future leaders in the engineering profession.

Arkwright Scholarships are awarded to students who are studying towards their A-levels, Scottish Highers or equivalent qualifications.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong desire to pursue a path as a leader within the Engineering profession.

Who can apply?

The Arkwright Trust asks that students apply in the year they’re sitting their GCSEs, Scottish Level 5s, or BTEC Level 2. In order to be eligible, students are required to study at sixth form/college, and work towards their A-levels, Scottish Highers, BTEC Level 3 diploma or IBDP.

Students who are working towards their A-levels, Scottish Highers or IBDP must also intend to study Maths as a subject.

What are the benefits?

  • Arkwright Scholars receive £600. They are invited to use this money to pay for materials to work on personal or class-room based projects. They can also use the money to purchase textbooks or pay for extra technical courses or summer programmes.
  • Scholars are paired with a Mentor – this is usually a professional engineer who can provide them with advice about the best routes into engineering and insights into how to shape their professional development.
  • Arkwright Scholars can also take advantage of a range of exclusive events run by partner organisations of the Arkwright Foundation. These include engineering companies, universities and trade associations – meaning that being an Arkwright Scholarship is a great opportunity to do some much needed networking!

Being an Arkwright Scholar can also give aspiring engineers a helping hand later down the road. Arkwright Scholars are eligible to apply to Undergraduate Scholarships worth up to £4,000 to help cover the cost of studying towards an engineering, computing or technical design degree.

How can I apply?

IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarships

These scholarships offered by the Institution for Engineering and Technology. These are scholarships for undergraduate students who are applying for an IET accredited undergraduate degree.

IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarship applicants are judged on the strength of their application, their commitment to pursuing a degree in engineering and their academic record.

Who can apply?

Diamond Jubilee Scholarships are available for UK residents. They must be an applicant for an IET accredited degree, which means that applicants for this scholarship need to check whether their degree is in fact accredited by the IET.

Apprentices can also apply but, once again, they must be working towards an IET accredited apprenticeship.

In order to be academically eligible, students will need to achieve the following grades:

  • ABB or above for A-levels.
  • ABB or above for Advanced Scottish Highers.
  • AAAAB or above for Scottish Highers.
  • 36 points or above for students taking the International Baccalaureate.

What are the benefits?

Scholarship applicants who are studying towards an IET accredited degree will receive £1,000 per annum for every year of their study (up to a maximum of 4 years).

In addition, recipients of a Diamond Jubilee can look forward to a range of networking opportunities, professional support and the opportunity to become an IET mentor for other young people looking to follow a STEM based degree. Scholarship recipients also receive free membership

How can I apply?

Students must submit an online application form by September of any given year. School exam results must be uploaded along with their application. Applicants will receive their decision in December. Successful applicants will receive their first grant in January of the following year.

Applications for this year’s scholarships closed in September 2019, meaning that successful applicants can expect to receive their first payment in January 2020.

IET Engineering Horizons Bursary

This is another great bursary from the IET, aimed at students who, in the IET’s own words, may have challenges or personal obstacles in their life.

Who can apply?

As with the Diamond Jubilee scholarships, these awards are open to students who are working towards an IET sponsored degree or apprenticeship.


Undergraduate degrees who are about to start a BEng or MEng degree accredited by the IET should apply by September of the academic year in which they start studying.

Undergraduate degrees who are already studying towards an IET accredited degree can also apply.


Apprentices who have begun an IET accredited apprenticeship by September of any given year can apply for this award. Existing apprentices are also welcome to apply for this award.

What are the benefits?

These apprenticeships are designed to help students who are struggling with money, and may need to cover costs like books, computer equipment or transport.

  • Students will receive £1,000 a year for every year of their undergraduate degree, whether it’s 3 years for a BEng or 4 years for a MEng.
  • Apprentices will receive £1,000 a year for the duration of their apprenticeship (up to 4 years).

How can I apply?

Once they have checked that they have met the criteria for this apprenticeship, students and apprentices can apply through an apply through an online submission form.

IET Power Academy Scholarships

The IET’S Power Academy is a partnership between industry and a number of selected partner universities. It has been set up to help fill a skills shortage in power engineering jobs.

A number of scholarships are offered to students at partner universities.

Who can apply?

This scholarship is open to UK/EU students with three good A level grades, preferably in subjects like Maths and Physics. Students will need to be commencing an electrical, electronic or power engineering course at any one of the nominated partner universities.

What are the benefits?

Successful applicants will receive a sum of £2,750 for every year that they are studying. In addition, they will receive:

  • £250 for books and software.
  • Paid summer work placements.
  • Mentoring from industrial partners.

How can I apply?

There are three stages to this application process. Applicants must first fill out a form online and answer a series of questions to determine their eligibility.

The second stage is an assessment centre at one of the partner companies for this award. Assessment centres are designed to test a candidate’s team working, communication and problem solving skills.

If candidates are successful at their assessment centre, they will be invited to an interview with the relevant partner company.

The Shipwrights Bursary Scheme

The Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme encourages small businesses in the marine sector to train apprentices and harks back to the founding principles of the Shipwrights Company.

New apprenticeship standards have been developed in Marine Engineering, Boatbuilder and Marina and Boatyard Operative. Fresh standards in Marine Electrician are also under development.

These new standards are all set at level 3 which is equivalent to two ‘A’ levels.

The Shipwrights Bursary Scheme was established in 2014, with support from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the Shipwrights company have been offering grants to approximately 20 employers a year to financially support an apprentice in their first year.

The initial year is often the most financially difficult for an employer when recruiting a new apprentice – and at the Shipwrights we understand the pressures on an SME business. The bursary is only open to SMEs businesses who do not pay into, or benefit from, the apprenticeship levy.

Alongside financial assistance a dedicated scheme manager will help you with the ‘end to end’ application process; refer you to a training provider that can meet your needs; advise on managing an apprenticeship programme from recruitment to graduation and provide information, advice and guidance on apprenticeship standards

Find out more at Shipwrights’ Apprenticeship Scheme

Institute of Mechanical Engineers Awards and Scholarships

The Institute of Mechanical Engineering offers a number of scholarships and awards for engineering undergraduates and apprentices. Some of the most notable include:

First Year Undergraduate Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to students on the first year of an Institution-accredited degree. Each scholarship is worth:

  • £9,000 for three years of an MEng degree (excluding the industrial placement year)
  • £6,000 for two years of a BEng degree (again, excluding an industrial placement year).

Students who want to apply for these Undergraduate Scholarships must go through an interview process. Shortlisted students can expect to be notified in mid-August of the year when they apply whether they have been invited for interview or not. Shortlisted candidates will also have their travel costs reimbursed up to a maximum of £100.

Foundation Degree Grant

The Institute will offer financial support to outstanding mechanical engineers who are planning to take a foundation degree prior to gaining a university degree.

Foundation Degree grants are available to aspiring engineering students who have already completed a two year apprenticeship before they start their apprenticeship. So it’s worth bearing in mind that these grants are only available to people who have taken a vocational route into engineering.

In order to apply, students need to fill in an application form and submit two references. Again, shortlisted candidates for this scholarship will be invited for interview in August of the year in which they apply.

Whitworth Scholarship Award

The Whitworth Award is aimed at engineering apprentices who want to study towards a university degree. It is open to students who want to take an undergraduate course (i.e. a MEng) or a one year postgraduate course (i.e. a MSc).

Whitworth scholars can apply for the following awards.

  • Full time study scholarships worth £9,000 a year for up to four years.
  • Part time study scholarships worth up to £2,800 per year.
  • 9,000 a year for students working towards a one year MSc
  • 2,725 a year for students on a part time MSc (usually two years).

Again, this is a scholarship for people who have elected to take a vocational route into engineering.

Applications for the next round of Whitworth Scholarships open in February 2020 and close on 30th June 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in August 2020.

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers has a range of other awards and scholarships, so it’s worth visiting their website to learn more.

Lloyds Register Foundation Supported Scholarships

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation funds a number of organisations to run events and award scholarships on its behalf.

The foundation funds a number of engineering scholarships with notable partner universities in the UK, including.

  • University College, London
  • The University of Birmingham
  • The University of Portsmouth
  • The University of Southampton

The Lloyds Register Foundation also partners with a number of the organisations we’ve already listed in this article, including the Arkwright Foundation and The Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The full list of organisations it currently supports can be found here. On this page you will find links to the universities currently offering scholarships through the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

QUEST Undergraduate Scholarships

QUEST Undergraduate Scholarships are funded by the Institute for Civil Engineers (ICE). Whilst deadlines for 2019 applications have now closed, it’s worth thinking about applying if you’re starting an engineering degree course in September 2020.

Who Can Apply?

Students who are starting a civil engineering undergraduate degree in September/October 2020 are eligible to apply for a Quest Scholarship. Applicants will also need predicted A-level grades of ABB or higher.

QUEST Scholarship applicants will need to demonstrate the following.

  • A demonstrable passion for civil engineering.
  • Academic ability.
  • Examples of relevant work experience
  • Leadership and team-working skills.
  • An understanding of current and future challenges in the civil engineering sector.

What are the benefits?

QUEST Scholars can expect to receive:

  • £8,000 over the course of their studies.
  • Potential for a full time job with a leading civil engineering or construction company on graduation.
  • Paid work placements for every summer.
  • An ICE QUEST scholar badge – which looks great for engineering graduates who want to go on to become a chartered engineer.

How can I apply?

Applications for the next round of QUEST Scholarships open on the 9th March 2020. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview day at ICE London on the 11th September 2020.

Royal Academy of Engineering Scholarships

The Royal Academy of Engineering offers a number of scholarships and bursaries for aspiring engineers. These are a few of the scholarships on offer.

Engineering Leader’s Scholarships

To be eligible for an Engineering Leader’s Scholarships, you need to be applying to study an undergraduate degree in engineering or a related discipline. Students who are working towards a degree apprenticeship can also apply for this.

What sets apart this engineering scholarship from some of the previous ones is that you need to have already completed the first year of your undergraduate degree/apprenticeship to be eligible to apply.

The Engineering Leadership Scholarships are designed to help ambitious undergraduates who wish to become role models for the next generation of engineers. Successful applicants will receive:

  • £5,000 for personal development and experienced mentorship to help them get advice on their professional development.
  • Scholars are also invited to attend professional development and networking events with other scholarship holders, both past and present.

In order to be considered, prospective scholars need to submit an application form in which they will need to prove their eligibility, a personal reference and a letter of confirmation from the Higher Education institution you are studying with.

For students and apprentices interested in this scholarship, it’s worth noting that the application deadline is 13th January 2020. So if you’re reading this, is best to start thinking about your application!

Sir Ralph Robins Scholarship

Applicants to the Engineering Leaders Scholarship can also apply for the Sir Ralph Robins scholarship. This scholarship gives applicants an additional £5,000 to spend on tuition fees and an additional 10-week or one year paid internship at Rolls Royce plc.

This scholarship is open to students from an under-represented or under privileged backgrounds.

University Specific Scholarships

Many UK universities offer students engineering scholarships. We can’t list them all here, but below are a few examples of notable universities that offer financial assistance for engineering students, as well as offering work placements, years in industry and mentoring opportunities with engineering employers.

Note that many of these universities also partner with some of the scholarship organisations we’ve already discussed.

The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham have two main scholarships for their School of Engineering that it’s worth students thinking about.

First Class Scholarships

  • Students need to specify the University of Birmingham as their first choice in their UCAS application.
  • Successful applicants will need A*AA grades for A-level; an overall IB grade of 32 for International Baccalaureate students (it’s worth noting that the university will consider other secondary school qualifications.
  • First Class Scholarships are worth £3,000 at the point of entry.

The Enhancement Scholarship

Again, this is a scholarship worth £3,000 and students must put Birmingham first on their UCAS application.

This scholarship is open to students from places where participation in higher education are low. UK and EU students are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

It’s worth noting that students who apply for the Enhancement Scholarship cannot apply for a First Class scholarship and vice versa.

The University of Bristol

There are a number of engineering scholarships on offer through the university’s Faculty of Engineering. Potential applicants are invited to write to each department via email to get more information about the prizes on offer.

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering offers a number of scholarships for students.

School of Engineering Industrial Scholarships

These scholarships are available to students applying for Electronic and Electrical Engineering degree courses. Students must achieve 4 ‘A’ grades in their Scottish Highers, or 3 ‘A’s if studying towards Advanced Highers or A-levels.

Successful applicants for this scholarship will receive an annual sum of £1,000 every year for up to three years.

Full details about this scholarship can be found here.

UK Electronics Skills Foundation Scholarships (UKESF)

These scholarships are offered to students who are studying towards an IET accredited BEng or MEng degree in Electronics or Electrical Engineering. These scholarships are supported by the UK Electronics Skills Foundation.

Successful applicants for this scholarship can take advantage of:

  • Annual bursaries of up to £1,000.
  • Paid summer work placements
  • Industrial mentoring, professional development training at UKESF Scholar Workshops.
  • Opportunities to build relationships with potential employers.

Again, these scholarships are open to UK/EU students.

The University of Manchester

The University’s School of Electrical and Engineering offers a number of scholarships.

The Beatrice Shilling Scholarship

These are open to female UK/EU students. The award is worth £6,000 per year, excluding a year in industry.

In order to be eligible for this scholarship, students must have a conditional/unconditional offer by the end of June in the year they choose to apply. Female applicants must also aid in the department’s outreach activities to encourage other young women to pursue a degree in engineering.

Engineering Success Scholarship

To be eligible for this award, students need to achieve achieve A*AA at A-Level or equivalent. They will also need to achieve an A* in Maths, Physics, Electronics or Further Mathematics.

Note: The University of Manchester are not offering this scholarship in September 2020, so if you’re applying to a degree in this academic year, this award will not be available.

The University of Manchester is also a partner institution for a number of other scholarships we’ve mentioned so far. These include other IET scholarships and the Whitworth scholarship.

Newcastle University

Newcastle University offers a number of scholarships in the various engineering disciplines.

Engineering Excellence Scholarships

This is a scholarship offered to first year students only. Students applying to any degree in the university’s School of Engineering can apply for this scholarship.

Students receive an award of £1,000 for the first year of study.

To be eligible, students must have achieved AAA in their A-levels (or an equivalent grade in an equivalent qualification). They must also have specified Newcastle University as their first choice in their UCAS application.

Departmental Scholarships

Newcastle University offers a range of scholarships for the various engineering disciplines, including:

  • Chemical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Electrical and electronic engineering.
  • Marine technology
  • Mechanical engineering

If you’re interested in Newcastle University as a potential destination, it’s worth looking at the full range of their departmental scholarships.

The University of Southampton SUCCESS Scholarships

The SUCCESS Scholarship scheme is available to anyone who is applying to study civil engineering at the University of Southampton.

Who can apply?

This scholarship is available to first and second year students who are studying civil engineering at Southampton. Students will need to apply by October/November of the academic year in which they apply.

What are the benefits?

Students who successfully apply for a SUCCESS scholarship can benefit from:

  • An annual bursary of £1,650
  • Summer work placements
  • Mentorship from a person in the engineering industry.

Successful applicants for this scholarship will take part in an initial 8 week summer work placement, after which they will receive their yearly bursary of £1,650. The placement will be hosted by one of the companies sponsoring this award.

During the course of their work experience and their degree programme, they will also work with a mentor from their sponsoring company.

How can I apply?

Students will need to complete an application form in the first instance. These applications are then screened and considered by the sponsoring companies.

Shortlisted candidates will then attend an interview day on the university’s campus. As well as getting the chance to have an informal discussion with reps from sponsoring companies, candidates will then attend a formal interview in the afternoon.

Successful applicants are notified shortly after this interview day.

The University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde offers a wealth of engineering scholarship for UK/EU and international students alike, including some of the scholarships we’ve listed above. The range of Strathclyde scholarships are such that there are too many to list here, but it’s worth checking out the University’s website for more information on the financial support available.