What is engineering?

Engineering uses maths and science – especially physics – to improve the world around us and it all starts with what you learn in school. It can be creative, hands-on practical work whilst solving real world problems. While science (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) helps us to understand the world, engineering brings this understanding to come to life through problem solving, designing and building things.

From the apps you use on your smartphone to minimising the damage from earthquakes engineering is everywhere helping to improve people’s lives across the globe. Engineering is behind many parts of your daily life from your smartphone and hair styling products to the lights you switch on and the shoes on your feet. 

You could be working with materials and chemicals to design the latest sportswear, finding new ways to preserve food, or making the latest skin care products.

What is an engineer?

By using science - especially physics - and maths in a practical and creative way they can take an idea and turn it into reality.  Engineers develop the computer games of the future, produce safer, cleaner transport, help everyone in the world access clean water, work with athletes to help them get more Olympic gold medals, develop lifesaving medical equipment or explore space.

Download our 'What is engineering' leaflet for more information because whatever you’re into – whether it’s music or wildlife, sport or computer games, there’s a world of exciting possibilities on offer. You could travel the world, meet interesting people and improve people’s lives.

Hear from real engineers

Find out more about what it’s like to be an engineer by listening to some engineers talk about their jobs and what inspired them on our Real jobs page.


What is engineering leaflet

If you’re interested in finding out more about engineering and the careers it could lead to, download this resource to find out more about engineering and the different routes into the sector.

Download the leaflet