Whitworth Scholarship Awards

Supporting the development of outstanding young engineers planning to embark on or already on an undergraduate degree level programme.

This will normally be an MEng or postgraduate Masters courses, i.e. an MSc.  The awards are to encourage young engineers who have entered industry and have completed at least two years of good practical engineering training who then decided to further their academic studies to degree level.


The Whitworth Awards are open to engineers in all the main engineering disciplines including mechanical civil electrical and other engineering disciplines

  • We welcome applications from anyone who has pursued a vocational route in an engineering discipline typically for at least two years after having left full-time education and before entering a degree-level engineering course.
  • For undergraduate engineering degree-level courses of any engineering discipline including MEng and postgraduate MSc courses
  • We also offer awards to students who are already enrolled on an engineering degree-level programme of any engineering discipline.

The eligibility requirements for both undergraduate and MSc studies are as follows:

For undergraduate study

  • Applicants must be a British, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.
  • Applicants must have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least three consecutive years prior to undertaking study in the UK at a college of FE/HE or university.
  • Applicants must have pursued a vocational route in an engineering discipline typically for at least two years after having left full-time education.

For MSc study

  • Applicants must be a recent graduate who has typically completed at least two-years of an engineering apprenticeship or equivalent practical experience.
  • Applicants must be a British, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen.
  • Applicants must be normally resident in the United Kingdom and have lived here for the last three years.

Award conditions

  • Only one Whitworth Award can be granted to an individual.
  • Interviews are mandatory for all short-listed candidates.
  • The Whitworth Scholarship Award can be held in conjunction with other awards (except any other Whitworth Award).
  • Progress reports will be required annually and award holders will be notified of the form they should take. An unsatisfactory report could lead to termination of the award.

Award criteria

  • The Whitworth Awards panel is looking for outstanding young engineers who would justify consideration for one of the awards offered annually in the United Kingdom.
  • Candidates are expected to display academic excellence and practical ability together with the personal qualities needed to achieve success in industry. 
  • Particular attention is paid to each candidates record in practical engineering at school/college and the employing organisation.

Value of award

  • Full-time study: £9,000 per year for up to four years (excluding industrial placements)
  • Sandwich degree: the award will be paid on a pro-rata basis
  • Part-time study: the award will be paid on a reduced basis normally £3,000 per year
  • MSc (1 year full-time): £9,000
  • MSc (2 year part-time): normally £3,000 per year
  • The Whitworth Scholarship Award will not exceed a total of £36,000 for any individual
  • At completion of the programme of study, the panel will consider the candidates overall achievements. If the panel approves the award holder will receive a certificate and medal and be in titled to use the title ‘Whitworth Scholar’ with the designatory letters 'WhSch'.
  • Payments are made termly to each award holder as soon as possible after the beginning of each term.

Application process

Closing date: 31 July 2024.

  • Candidates are required to complete an individual detailed application form, outlining their experiences and career to date.
  • Candidates complete a detailed application form, that is downloaded, and then completed and returned as a separate document.


  • A candidate who is about to start a degree level programme will be asked to supply the names of two referees who must be able and willing to vouch for their theoretical and practical training and suitability for the award.
  • One referee should be a senior member of staff from the candidates school or college and the other senior representative of the engineering organisation where practical engineering experience was obtained.
  • Undergraduates applying in the first or later years of their degree level program will be asked for an additional reference from the head of the relevant academic department.
  • Candidates are required to forward the reference request forms to their chosen referees, with a copy of their completed application. Referees are asked to submit their reference to panda@imeche.org by 5 August.


  • Interviews are mandatory for shortlisted candidates.
  • The Institution will notify candidates of the decision of the Whitworth Awards panel which meets in early August to determine the shortlist of candidates.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview in London in mid-August following the closing date.
  • The final decisions on the awards are usually communicated to candidates during the week following the interviews.

To apply

Download the application form with the relevant number of reference request forms: (Reference Request 1 and 2 for candidates about to commence their studies) or (Reference Request 1, 2 and 3 for candidates who have already commenced their studies).

Application form
Reference request 1
Reference request 2
Reference request 3

Once the application is complete, candidates should:

1.    Forward a copy to their chosen referees with the reference request form, asking their referees to submit their reference to panda@imeche.org by 5 August

2.    Email a copy to panda@imeche.org by 31 July.

Sir Joseph Whitworth and Whitworth Scholars

In 1868 Sir Joseph Whitworth founded these engineering scholarships associated in his name, under the trusteeship of the minister of public instruction. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers the present trustee offers scholarship awards from the Whitworth Scholarship Trust Fund for the length of an engineering degree level programme; in the case of part-time study the scholarship award is provided on a pro-rata basis.

At the satisfactory completion of the degree level programme, each award holder will be in titled to use the title Whitworth Scholar with designatory letters WhSch. The title has been borne by many distinguished engineers including 13 Presidents of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Consequently, the prestige of the award is extremely high. It marks young engineers who are expected to be high achievers in their subsequent careers.

Further information

Award winners

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