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Access Officer,
Cambridge University Students' Union
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Cambridge CB2 1RX


Manufacturing Engineering

The Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) is probably the most misunderstood course in Cambridge. It isn’t burly northern men telling you how to bash bits of metal and afternoons spent bodging things out of 2x4.


Bernadette Hall
4th Year

It is a quality education in business for people who have demonstrated an ability to find the square root of a concrete block and want to know whether making concrete blocks is going to make them a millionaire.

“ You'll learn and apply skills in business strategy, marketing and design ”

The first year concentrates on the skills you need to know to run your own business. This includes how you finance it, HR issues, factory organisation, materials processing and design of real products. One of the best things about MET is the opportunities you get to apply these skills – teams of four put together a business proposal with the help of a local bank manager: the product can be nearly anything as long as you can demonstrate its ability to make money.

Projects have ranged from a special feedback glove to help blind people to the “Water Mortar” water gun. Whether you lean more towards technical, design, finance, management or some of each, you have the opportunity to get as much out of it as you want, even take the idea forward commercially. The glove has already paid off a few overdrafts.

Best thing? 2-week overseas research project

The final year of MET is much more outward looking. You’ll learn about and apply lots of skills such as business strategy and marketing, although the best thing is the two weeks you’ll spend overseas researching a project of your classes’ choosing. Last year we went to California to study sustainability, a hot topic at the moment. The class organise everything, from sponsorship to the itinerary, which (as well as being a lot of fun) looks great on your CV. Whilst some of the course takes place in fairly informal seminars, a lot of it is project based in teams and involves visits to companies outside Cambridge. Ask any MET about the banter in the minibuses or company project stories and you’ll quickly realise that not only have they gained valuable experience of the real world, they’ve learnt more about themselves and others than any other degree allows. We’ve learned from the experience of successful start ups, multinationals and an Emmy award winner. We’ve tried automating a production line, making jam and solving a company’s problems in 3 days. We’ve been offered jobs by companies we’ve done projects with, by multinationals and management consultants. In fact, rumour has it that the Money Earning Tripos has the highest average starting salary of all in Cambridge.

So, if you’re tempted by engineering, but worried that you’ll spend the rest of your life worrying about decimal places and conversion factors, then this is the course for you. If your dream is to be the next Richard Branson, this course is for you. If you want to have 40 best mates when you leave uni, this course is for you.

Worst thing? Jealousy from other Engineers