How to Get Into Imperial for Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College London is world-renowned for being an excellent academic institution. Engineering is the largest faculty at Imperial, with more than 5,200 undergraduate students in 2021, and places are extremely competitive.

If you’re thinking of applying for Engineering or just curious about what it takes to get into some of the most competitive courses at Imperial, this guide contains everything you need to know – from entry requirements to tips on how to prepare from our expert Engineering tutors.

The Profs’ Engineering tutors have first-hand experience of the admissions process and what is required to succeed at each stage. Thanks to our expert support, 95% of students who work with The Profs receive an offer from their first or second choice university. Reach out to our team today to maximise your chances of success.

What is Engineering?

Engineering is a branch of Science and Technology that encompasses the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures. At Imperial, Engineering is an entire faculty which consists of more than 16 undergraduate courses, from Electrical to Biomedical Engineering and Aeronautical to Mechanical Engineering. Each course offers very different modules and requires vastly different skills and qualifications, so it’s important that you do your research before applying. See the section below for the full range of courses and the entry requirements for each.

What are the entry requirements for Engineering?

Engineering courses at Imperial are particularly competitive, with many requiring at least 2 A*s at A level or equivalent. The table below shows the entry requirements for Imperial’s full range of Engineering courses:

CourseA Level RequirementsIB Requirements
Aeronautical EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Aeronautical EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Aeronautics with Spacecraft EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Biomaterials and Tissue EngineeringAAA38 points overall, including 6s in both Mathematics and either Chemistry or Physics at Higher Level.
Biomedical EngineeringA*AA39 points overall, including 6s in Mathematics, Physics and a third subject at Higher Level.
Chemical EngineeringA*A*A40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Chemistry at Higher Level, as well as a 6 in Biology, Business Management, Economics or Physics at Higher Level.
Chemical with Nuclear EngineeringA*A*A40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Chemistry at Higher Level, as well as a 6 in Biology, Business Management, Economics or Physics at Higher Level.
Civil EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including a 7 in Mathematics at Higher Level and a 6 in Physics at Higher Level.
Computing (Software Engineering)A*A*A or A*AAA41 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and another relevant subject at Higher Level.
Design EngineeringA*AA39 points overall, including a 7 in Mathematics at Higher Level and a 6 in another subject at Higher Level.
Electrical and Electronic EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Electronic and Information EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Materials Science and EngineeringAAA38 points overall, including 6s in both Mathematics and either Chemistry or Physics at Higher Level.
Materials with Nuclear EngineeringAAA38 points overall, including 6s in both Mathematics and either Chemistry or Physics at Higher Level.
Mechanical EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Mechanical with Nuclear EngineeringA*A*A or A*AAA40 points overall, including 7s in both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
Molecular BioengineeringA*AA39 points overall, including 6s in Mathematics, Chemistry, and a third subject at Higher Level.

Which admissions test do you need for Engineering?

Each Engineering course at Imperial is very different, therefore each has its own entry requirements and selection process. Most courses require the Engineering and Science Admissions Test (ESAT), while others do not. You should prepare for the test in order to maximise your chances of success. See the table below for information about each course’s admissions process.

CourseAdmissions TestInterview/Admissions Day
AeronauticsYou will be required to take the ESAT.You will also be required to attend an online interview with a member of staff.
On the day of your interview, you’ll have the chance to join the department on a virtual tour and have the opportunity to converse with students and staff in topical/themed online rooms.
BioengineeringNone.If your application passes initial screening then you may be invited to an online interview.
You may also be asked to participate in a range of online activities, including a talk from the department, a group activity and a virtual tour of the department.
Chemical EngineeringYou will be required to take the ESAT.The department plans to hold interview days as part of the selection process.
Civil and Environmental EngineeringYou will be required to take the ESAT.You will also be asked to complete a video submission. The video submission is completed online and in your own time. Imperial will ask you to respond to questions that touch on your motivation, experiences and reasoning skills.
Computing (Software Engineering)You will be required to take the TMUA.If you perform well in the admissions test and admissions officers are impressed by your UCAS application, then you will be invited to participate in a series of online activities. These may include:

  • A welcome presentation from the admissions tutor
  • A tour of the facilities
  • Demonstrations of undergraduate projects
  • A 1-1 interview with one of our lecturers
Design EngineeringYou will be required to take the ESAT.If your application passes initial screening, you will be invited for an online interview. These typically run from November to February.
During the interview, your interest and aptitude will be assessed through a range of questions and problems. You are encouraged to present some examples of your own work/projects towards the end of the interview.
Electrical and Electronic EngineeringYou will be required to take the ESAT.
Mechanical EngineeringYou will be required to take the ESAT.

How hard is it to get into Engineering at Imperial?

All of Imperial’s Engineering courses are difficult to get into. Imperial is ranked as one of the top universities in the UK for Engineering and entry requirements start from AAA and rise to A*A*A at A-level (or equivalent) for many courses. You can find the 2021 undergraduate acceptance rates for each Engineering department in the table below.

DepartmentNo. of applicationsNo. of admissionsAcceptance rate
Aeronautics1,26816412.9%
Bioengineering75117823.7%
Chemical Engineering76416020.9%
Civil and Environmental Engineering56610718.9%
Computing3,6622326.3%
Dyson School of Design Engineering5099017.7%
Electrical and Electronic Engineering1,66621612.7%
Materials71810314.3%
Mechanical Engineering1,96022011.2%

Working with The Profs’ admissions tutors is proven to improve your chances of getting into Imperial to study Engineering. Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are top UK university graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what Imperial is looking for in top Engineering applicants. Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help you.

What are the fees for Engineering at Imperial?

The table below shows the fees for Imperial’s Engineering course for both home (UK) and overseas students:

Student statusCourse fees (per year)
Home£9,250
Overseas£35,100

You can find out more information about what fees you will pay on Imperial’s fee status page. You can also use Imperial’s fees and funding page to see the funding options available to you.

4 tips on how to get into Engineering at Imperial

1. Prepare thoroughly for each stage of the admissions process

When applying to study Engineering at Imperial, there are many stages of the admissions process to consider, and you should prepare for each one thoroughly.

  • Your grades – preparation for your Engineering application really starts from the moment you start studying for your A-levels (or equivalent). Excellent grades are essential in order to be considered for a place at Imperial, so you should be aiming for A*AA or A*A*A in your A-levels (or equivalent) as a minimum for most courses (check the entry requirements above).
  • Your UCAS application – the first official stage of your Engineering application is completing your UCAS application online. As well as your grades, this includes your personal statement. This is the first chance you’ll get to showcase your suitability for Engineering and prove to Imperial that you are interested and committed to the subject areas. Learn more about how to write a stand-out personal statement in this helpful guide
  • The admissions test – most Engineering courses at Imperial require you to take the ESAT as part of the admissions process. It’s important that you find out what is involved in this admissions test and prepare accordingly to give yourself the best chance of an offer. Our expert admissions tutors can provide support with this.
  • The interview – some courses require you to attend an interview at Imperial. This is your last chance to impress the university and prove that you are an excellent candidate for the course. University interviews are like oral admissions tests and there is often even a mark scheme your interviewers will be scoring you against, so it’s important to seek professional help to prepare effectively.

2. Do your research

It’s particularly important to do your research when it comes to applying for Engineering courses at university, as each one offers slightly different modules and styles of teaching. For instance, Cambridge’s Engineering course involves studying a wide range of Engineering fundamentals in years 1 and 2, and you won’t need to specialise in a chosen area of Engineering until the third and fourth year of the degree course. Imperial College London, in contrast, offers a wide range of specialised undergraduate Engineering courses that allow you to study one particular area of Engineering from year 1.

Making sure that you are aware of these differences and know why Imperial is a great choice for you will help you to tailor your personal statement and prepare effectively for your interview. It’s a good idea to have specific modules in mind, for example, that you are particularly interested in studying, as well as additional reading and studying you have done to further your knowledge outside of the school curriculum.

You should also consider how a degree in Engineering from Imperial will help you achieve your future ambitions, whether educational or career-related. Demonstrating that you have a long-term plan will show the admissions team that you are driven and committed to studying Engineering. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to stick to it and the university will expect your ambitions to shift as you gain experience on the course, but that initial drive is what is really important.

Top tip: To help you formulate a plan or generate ideas on what you might like to do with your Engineering degree, you should do your research into Engineering as an industry and the many different types that you can pursue as a career. This will also help you to decide which of Imperial’s Engineering courses is best suited to you, as each course provides very different knowledge, skills and job prospects.
If you can, try to get some work experience in these fields to give you a better understanding of what the real world of Engineering is like. You could also speak to people you admire or who have worked in the field you are interested in on LinkedIn, as well as looking into Engineering alumni of Imperial and other top institutions to see where they are now for inspiration.

3. Demonstrate your mathematical ability and passion for Maths and Engineering

Places on Imperial’s Engineering courses are incredibly competitive and most successful applicants achieve at least one A* in their A levels (or equivalent). It’s therefore important that, as well as excelling academically, you demonstrate strong mathematical ability and a genuine passion for Maths both in and outside of school.

The main way to highlight this aptitude for Maths is in your personal statement. If you’ve consistently performed exceptionally well in Mathematics and Maths-based subjects then include evidence of this in your statement. You can also ask your referee to vouch for this.
In addition, if you have competed in any extracurricular Maths challenges such as the UK Maths challenge or Engineering competitions, you should include these in your statement, as they are a great way of proving your abilities and passions and make your application stand out from other strong applicants.

Note that all students applying to university for 2023, 2024 or 2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS.

4. Seek help from an Engineering expert

Imperial is ranked one of the best universities in the UK to study Engineering and its faculty is renowned for its excellent industry links. It’s therefore no surprise that Engineering courses at Imperial are incredibly competitive and require you to perform well in multiple stages to be in with a chance of securing an offer. Unfortunately, schools and colleges are oftentimes not equipped to provide specialist Engineering preparation due to a lack of experience, expertise or resources. As a result, we advise seeking a professional Engineering admissions tutor to help you through the process.

The Profs’ Engineering tutors have many years of experience helping students develop their academic profiles, prepare for the ESAT, and excel in the admissions interview. 95% of students who work with one of The Profs’ tutors receive an offer from their first or second choice university. You’ll also gain invaluable independent study skills that will prepare you for study at an elite UK university, as well as a deeper and broader understanding of a range of Engineering fundamentals and more specialised areas. Reach out to our experienced team today to get started.