From the clock that ticks away on your wall to your car tyres that spin smoothly on their axle, almost everything you use that moves was built with the help of a mechanical engineer. So if you’ve always been a curious cat and are constantly taking things apart to figure out how everyday items work, a career in mechanical engineering may be your calling!
Our comprehensive guide to mechanical engineering explores all you need to know about studying mechanical engineering in Malaysia.
#1. The Basics of Mechanical Engineering
a) What is Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering involves the design, construction and operation of innovative machines, devices and systems using the principles of physics, engineering, mathematics and material science.
As one of the oldest and broadest areas of engineering, it is needed in almost all industries including manufacturing, oil and gas, automotive, entertainment, healthcare and even aerospace. The field encompasses the making of both large machinery and small moving components; think sensors, lasers used for surgeries, vehicles, aircraft engines and machines for product or food manufacturing.
Ever wondered how thousands of your favourite Cadbury chocolate delights are wrapped in just a few minutes? You guessed right — using special food packaging machines that were designed and built by mechanical engineers.
#2. Studying a Mechanical Engineering Degree
a) Entry Requirements & Qualifications
To take a course in Mechanical Engineering, you are required to meet the entry requirements set by colleges or universities.
(i) Diploma in Mechanical Engineering
If you are planning to pursue a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, these are the general entry requirements that you are required to meet:
- SPM / O-Level: Minimum 3 credits, including Maths and 1 Science (e.g. Physics) or General Science, and a pass in English.
A Diploma in Mechanical Engineering typically takes about 2.5 – 3 years to complete.
Upon completion, you can choose to join the working world, or further your studies to a Degree in Mechanical Engineering (entering from the second year onwards).
(ii) Degree in Mechanical Engineering
To pursue a Degree in Mechanical Engineering, you need to complete your SPM or equivalent qualification and a pre-university programme.
The requirements needed to pursue a Mechanical Engineering Degree are:
- A-Level: Minimum 2Es including Maths and Physics; or
- STPM: Minimum 2Cs including Maths and Physics; or
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum average ATAR of 65 including Maths and Physics; or
- Foundation in Science: Minimum CGPA of 2.00; or
- Diploma: Minimum CGPA of 2.00
In addition to that, you will also need to pass the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) Band 2 and get a pass in English.
Also, it is advisable that you check if your Mechanical Engineering Degree is recognised by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and is listed on the Engineering Accreditation Council’s website. This is important if you want to pursue a career as a Professional Engineer.
A Degree in Mechanical Engineering is usually 4 years long.
b) How Does Your Education Pathway Look Like?
Upon the completion of your SPM or equivalent qualification, you can opt to enrol into a pre-university (STPM, A-Level, etc.) or Foundation in Science programme. Alternatively, you can also choose to pursue a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.
Completing a pre-university or a foundation programme will enable you to proceed to a Mechanical Engineering Degree.
Once you have completed a recognised Mechanical Engineering Degree, you can register with the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) as a Graduate Engineer. If you want to proceed further to deepen your knowledge and skills to be a Professional Engineer, you’ll need to:
- Go through 3 years of professional development and work experience
- Attend the required courses set by BEM
- Pass the Professional Assessment Examination (PAE)
c) What Will You Study in Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering will equip you with a wide range of knowledge and skills. You will learn how to use your knowledge of mathematics, physics and other engineering fundamentals to design, manufacture, run and maintain mechanical equipment, machinery and tools.
Here are some of the subjects you may study as part of your Mechanical Engineering Degree:
- Engineering Mathematics
- Fluid Mechanics
- Material Science and Engineering
- Fundamentals of Electronics
- Computer Aided Engineering
- Control and Instrumentation
#3. Why Should You Study Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical engineers are key to the development of society thanks to all the cool inventions they make possible. Here are some reasons why you should consider taking up mechanical engineering.
(a) You are curious about how things work
You have a burning desire to discover how things work and you often find yourself taking things apart and reassembling them to learn how they tick.
(b) You are good at Maths and Science
Designing and assembling complex systems and machinery requires the knowledge of advanced math and physics to ensure precision and accuracy. So if you’re a whiz at these subjects, you should consider mechanical engineering as a career.
(c) You want to see the world evolve
Humans are lazy productive creatures who are always looking for things to ease their everyday lives and you want to continuously improve it with advances in technology. From creating robots to assist in complicated surgeries to creating submarines that will allow people to explore undiscovered parts of the ocean, you want to create things that’ll help the masses.
#4. What Skills Do You Need for a Mechanical Engineering Course?
Here are some of the key skills and qualities you need to develop to do well in a Mechanical Engineering programme.
(a) Ability to solve complex problems
Engineering requires you to be able to think critically and creatively so that you can solve issues that arise during the design, manufacturing and operation stages of product development. For example, if you’re working at a glass packaging company and the wrapping machine constantly breaks down, it’s your job to figure out how to fix it.
(b) Computer skills
To create precise designs, you will need to be proficient in a range of computer software including AutoCAD and SolidWorks. As such, you will need to stay updated on the latest technology in the industry.
(c) Effective oral and written communication
As mechanical engineers often work in a team, this means you will need to be able to communicate effectively with team members. A small miscommunication on how to assemble parts can lead to unfavourable results, so it’s important to articulate your vision clearly and thoroughly.
#5. What Career Options Do You Have with a Mechanical Engineering Degree?
Mechanical Engineering graduates can seek employment opportunities from a wide range of industries from automotive and energy to research and consultancy.
Here are some Mechanical Engineering-related careers that you can seek upon graduating:
- Mechanical engineer
- Manufacturing engineer
- Automotive engineer
- Aircraft engineer
- Design engineer
- Robotics engineer
#6. Where Can You Study Mechanical Engineering in Malaysia?
If Mechanical Engineering is right up your alley, then check out some of the best universities to study Mechanical Engineering in Malaysia.
Mechanical Engineering BEng / MEng (Hons)
Estimated Fees: RM202,700
Rated MEng programme is fully accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and UK’s Institution of Engineering Designers (IED)
Hands-on opportunities to conduct project development research, develop product prototypes and learn advanced engineering software such as SolidWorks, MATLAB and ANSYS
Study abroad opportunities at campuses in China and the UK as well as partner universities across the globe
Ranked 114th in the world and 18th in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2023)
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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Campus: Kuching, Sarawak
Intakes: Sep & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM134,080
Accredited by Engineers Australia and Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
Hands-on learning and visualization
Industry Engaged Learning – Experience real work environment
TOP 10 JobStreet preferred private universities
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
Campus: Kota Damansara, Selangor
Intakes: May, Jun & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM90,000
Option to articulate into Mechanical Engineering Degree at University of Central Lancashire, UK
Accredited by Board of Engineers Malaysia
Industrial-driven programme that equips you with the fundamentals of engineering and technical engineering skills
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons)
Intakes: Jan, Jun & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM82,588
Well-balanced curriculum between theoretical knowledge, experiments and real life experience
Recognised by MQA and the Board of Engineers Malaysia
Awarded SETARA 5-Stars by the Ministry of Higher Education
BEng (Honours) or MEng (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering
Intakes: Jan & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM130,340 (3 years BEng), RM173,620 (4 years MEng)
Accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
Inter-campus exchange programme for students to study in the UK
Ranked Top 300 in the world for Mechanical Engineering (Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018)
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, Mar, Jun & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM135,200
Strong industrial alliances with industry leaders, including Shell, Petronas, Honeywell and SCOMI Group Bhd
Experience real-life working environment through a 8-week internship programme
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronic Engineering
Campus: Bukit Jalil
Intakes: Feb, Apr & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM100,600
Accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
Dynamic internship exposure for a period of 12 weeks
Rated Tier 5 (Excellent) out by the Ministry of Education (MQA SETARA 2017)
INTI International University
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering
Campus: Nilai, Negeri Sembilan
Intakes: Jan, May & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM79,804
Full accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) Malaysia under the Washington Accord
Industrial lectures by leaders of the engineering industry
Experience real-life working environment through industry visits and internship