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Engineering Degree

(67 Posts)
MEgirl Wed 29-Oct-14 23:46:36

DCs in Year 11 and we've started to look at options. Went to look at Warwick today and came away underwhelmed by the engineering school though they quite liked the actual campus. Both are interested in the possibility of Imperial or UCL. I, on the other hand, would quite like them to go somewhere out of London to have the experience of living away from home. I also think that it would be a benefit if they went to different Uni's. One of them is very in to martial arts and the other wants to take it up again so that may be a factor in their decisions.

As I went to Uni overseas I have no experience of UK Uni's though DH went to Brunel. What other places are worth taking a look at? There is so much information and I'm slowly wading through it together with the DCs but suggestions and experience are very helpful.

whatsinaname01 Thu 30-Oct-14 00:04:08

My DS has just started Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough Uni and thinks it's great.
Very early days I know but it was always his favorite.
Your DC need to decide what type of engineering first and go from there....campus or city uni etc etc
Get them to go to some Open days

LaVieBoheme Thu 30-Oct-14 00:12:53

Maybe look into Salford uni. I went there for physics but the engineering department is also really good. There's a karate society too (not sure about othe MAs).

Zhx3 Thu 30-Oct-14 00:14:36

What discipline of engineering would your dcs like to do? Here are some of the weblinks to the main engineering institutions, they should have more information on the universities which run accredited degrees:

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Institution of Engineering Technology (not sure, but this might be the former electrical and electronic engineering institution.

Institution of Chemical Engineers

Institution of Civil Engineers

Have they also considered the Year in Industry scheme? It places students for a year, between A-Level and degree, with a company, on a paid placement. Although I found the work quite dull (they need bright students to perform endless research experiments, IME), it gave me some good preparation for life in industry (and life away from home!), and put some money in my pocket for university.

For me, my first two choices were Cambridge and Birmingham, with Imperial a close third (my Chemistry teacher told me at the time, rightly or wrongly, that Imperial wasn't a great place for a young woman to study engineering, as it was full of older, male, foreign postgrads smile). Loughborough has, I think, a good reputation for sport. Do your dcs want to be on a "campus" university?

everydayaschoolday Thu 30-Oct-14 00:28:47

University of Edinburgh. And a gorgeous city with vibrant student life.

BackforGood Thu 30-Oct-14 00:51:56

On these threads, Southampton often gets mentioned.

chemenger Thu 30-Oct-14 08:33:38

The good thing about Engineering degrees is that provided they are fully accredited by the relevant Institution (Zhx3 has listed the "big 4") you can be confident that the degree will be respected and appropriate for a career in engineering. The other good thing is that non-engineering employers also value engineering degrees because they are a good blend of numeracy, communication skills, problem solving and team work, which can be applied to all sorts of sectors.

What I tell applicants to my department is that once you have decided what kind of engineering you want to do the choice comes down to things like placement opportunities, the look and feel of the department when you visit (always try and speak to students as well as staff), campus vs city university, distance form home, cost of living, university reputation etc rather than the detail of the programmes. Under the skin all engineering degree programmes will give you the core skills of that discipline, and the most important core skill is the ability to learn new skills appropriate to whatever area of engineering you are employed in. In my opinion that should be something that you listen for at open days - if they say they are going to teach you all you will ever need to know then they are not planning to produce engineers that can innovate and grow the discipline.

Taster courses are a good way to get some idea of what engineering is about, also many engineering employers are happy to arrange work shadowing or work experience. Ask at open days if the staff are aware of any opportunities, or look on the Institution web pages. For Chemical Engineering there is something called "Whynotchemeng" which has loads of useful information on universities and careers, I'm sure the other institutions have similar things.

My quick test of engineering aptitude - taking toys apart when you were small to see how they worked -a clear sign of a budding engineer. If you managed to put them back together - even better. (I should offer an apology to my brother here who never knew why his train set stopped working).

Sorry, very long, engineering evangelist at work.

badgerhead Thu 30-Oct-14 09:15:27

My son in law has just started at Lincoln doing a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. My dd1 is there studying Psychology. They have a tie up with Siemens who offer a bursary to their brighter students plus work over 12 weeks in the summer.You can apply to do both BEng or MEng at Lincoln with the bursary available over 3 years plus the opportunity to work for Siemens at the end of the degree. If they want to go on and gain a good job in Engineering it is worth doing the Masters as that gets you closer to Chartered Engineer status.

senua Thu 30-Oct-14 10:30:24

Be careful of having the wool pulled over your eyes at Open Days. They will proudly tell you all about the fantastic equipment that they have, but when you get there you will find that students are seldom allowed to access it. Most of the time it will be reserved for testing for MegaCorporations because that's what brings in the money.
Ask current students what facilities are really like.

bruffin Thu 30-Oct-14 10:51:54

We have been looking for last two years
Last year ds looked at
Ended up with offers from
Southampton Bristol and Loughborough
I went with him to Brunel and was not impressed at all neither was he.

Due having a bit of disaster in physics he has gone back and n9w looking at a few others
He really didnt like Brighton
Went to Lancaster and Birmingham in last few weeks and really impressed. Portsmouth is he insurance choice as he already has enough points.

There is an engineering aptitude test on line. I think but not sure where it is. My dh is an engineer scored 12 and got highest in his dept and ds got 11.

The courses are very different. Some start off as general engineering and you specialize later. Nottingham is more hands on and you make a lot more of your own parts. Birmingham nuclear engineering which is ds interest actually starts in physics dept. Ds likes lancaster because its collegiate and dh was very impressed with the facilties.

LilyPotter Thu 30-Oct-14 11:08:10

Ds has just started a Masters in Civil Eng at Surrey. He's loving it so far.

Lilymaid Thu 30-Oct-14 12:12:33

It will depend what sort of engineering your DC is interested in. DH is a mechanical engineer (and fellow of several institutions) and would recommend Manchester, Bristol, Cambridge ... amongst others. If you were in/near Scotland, he'd strongly recommend Strathclyde.

MEgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 12:20:22

Thanks everyone. Lots of food for thought.

Both DCs were very disappointed by the fact that students aren't allowed to manufacture anything by themselves and have to rely on the lab assistants. They are currently at one of the very few schools in the country that does a Systems & Control GCSE (not sure if that will help them or not) and are allowed to use a variety of machines in the school workshop. As far as I know the only machine that they aren't allowed to use is the table saw. They like to be hands on so I expect they will gravitate towards somewhere that allows that.

bruffin Thu 30-Oct-14 12:54:26

Then worth looking at Nottingham as it is very hands on. Dh said Lancaster is as well.

2rebecca Thu 30-Oct-14 19:43:45

Strathclyde Heriot Watt or one of the Aberdeen unis in Scotland. They all have excellent employment statistics for their engineering graduates and the courses are more practical than some of the English ones. The Aberdeen unis (Aberdeen and Robert Gordon) have very good links with the petroleum industry. When you look at the salary range after 40 months on unistats those Scottish unis for mech eng do better than Imperial.

2rebecca Thu 30-Oct-14 19:56:39

My son has just started MEng at Strathclyde and loves it. He's getting to do welding and alot of practical stuff. The maths starts fairly easy in the first year as he has advanced higher and it's designed so you can do it with just higher maths. He's doing electronics stuff in practicals as well which he's finding easy as he did tech at AH. There are loads of clubs and he likes being in the middle of a (relatively cheap) city.

SaintJulie Fri 31-Oct-14 16:36:45

Don't whatever you do even consider Plymouth Uni - engineering department not very good. They promise lots but don't deliver especially around the diving element/module of the course.

summerdip Fri 31-Oct-14 19:49:28

Can I ask why you didn't like Brighton?

bruffin Fri 31-Oct-14 21:52:55

I didnt go summerdip but ds went last weekend. He is away this weekend so will ask him when he gets home.

RaisingSteam Fri 31-Oct-14 22:18:50

Have they an idea of which discipline? If not a degree that starts general may be better.

I did my MSc at Imperial in 2000, they are absolutely world class. I didn't fancy it when I was an undergraduate as I was a country bumpkin swayed by the Cambridge lifestyle but the engineering departments and teaching at Imperial seemed much better.

Needmoresleep Fri 31-Oct-14 23:08:59

Since he still year 11 worth looking at what the Smallpeice Trust offer. They do some really fab courses introducing young people to engineering.

bruffin Sat 01-Nov-14 00:08:42

In year 11 they can apply for Arkwright Scholarships
My ds is an Arkwright Scholar and they paid for a Headstart course at Imperial and he got £600 to spend in 6th form as well as a few trips. The scholarships are for future designers and engineers.

bruffin Sat 01-Nov-14 00:11:51

Headstart courses

saintsandpoets Sat 01-Nov-14 00:13:49

As a Durham graduate, I cannot sing its praises highly enough!

bruffin Sat 01-Nov-14 15:18:21

Spoke to ds
He didnt like Brighton because very little research and everyone he spoke to was there through clearing. Just didnt seem very inspiring compared to others.

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