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Engineering Degree Confusion

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    Can you do a degree in just engineering? I was reseaching into aerospace and mechanical engineering degrees and when I was looking at entry requirements for different uni's I decided to look at cambridge and when browsing the courses the only engineering couse they had was "engineering". So when they say engineering do they actually mean just engineering? And if yes could you explain to me a bit more about the concept and if its valued more highly then mechanical or aerospace.
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    General engineering, then you specialise.
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    The courses you're referring to are General Engineering courses. At least at Cambridge, I believe you spend the first two years doing common subjects which are relevant to most areas of engineering (maths, thermo, control, management) before specialising in your preferred area for the last two years. I don't know what gets printed on the certificate - whether it's just 'engineering' or the specialisation you chose. As for more valued, it probably depends on the job. By it's nature it's less specialised so your depth of knowledge may be less in some areas than someone who studied a specific course, but the Oxford/Cambridge tag has it's own prestige. Jobs such as naval architecture may prefer someone who has spent their whole degree on that as it's a relatively specialised subject, but a bank looking for numerate, intelligent people probably isn't interested in the branch of engineering you studied.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    The courses you're referring to are General Engineering courses. At least at Cambridge, I believe you spend the first two years doing common subjects which are relevant to most areas of engineering (maths, thermo, control, management) before specialising in your preferred area for the last two years. I don't know what gets printed on the certificate - whether it's just 'engineering' or the specialisation you chose. As for more valued, it probably depends on the job. By it's nature it's less specialised so your depth of knowledge may be less in some areas than someone who studied a specific course, but the Oxford/Cambridge tag has it's own prestige. Jobs such as naval architecture may prefer someone who has spent their whole degree on that as it's a relatively specialised subject, but a bank looking for numerate, intelligent people probably isn't interested in the branch of engineering you studied.
    I think your right, I manged to find this on cambridges website;

    "The Cambridge course is unique. It isn't a 'general' course but allows you to keep your options open while equipping you with all the analytical, design and computing skills that underpin modern engineering practice.

    Part I provides a broad education in engineering fundamentals, enabling you to make a genuinely informed choice about the area in which to specialise from your third year (many students change direction as a result). Part II then provides in-depth training in your chosen professional discipline."

    I presume that the area you speacialise in would be the actual course printed on the certificate
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    Yeah. I'm not sure I really agree with that statement from Cambridge though, I was pretty clear on which engineering discipline I wanted to do when I started and so was pretty much everyone else I knew. I was at Southampton and in the first semester aero, ship science and mech shared a lot of modules, and I think if you were thinking of changing you could probably have done so, probably up until the end of first year. Not specialising early also means you can't start to do the more focused stuff - the shippys were off on boats and the aeros spent a week flight testing by the end of second year (mechs weren't so lucky as it's already a broad subject, so there isn't the same opportunity to focus).

    I also find it a bit weird that Cambridge have the civil engineers with the rest. It's a very different discipline - it wasn't even in the same faculty, let alone the same school, when I was at Southampton, though they seem to have changed it now.
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    (Original post by Ciao)
    Can you do a degree in just engineering? I was reseaching into aerospace and mechanical engineering degrees and when I was looking at entry requirements for different uni's I decided to look at cambridge and when browsing the courses the only engineering couse they had was "engineering". So when they say engineering do they actually mean just engineering? And if yes could you explain to me a bit more about the concept and if its valued more highly then mechanical or aerospace.
    Cambridge general engineering is something like this:

    1st year: 85% Mechanical 10% Electrical 5% Civil

    2nd year: 60% Mechanical 25% Electrical and rest Civil

    3rd year: specialization

    Note: rough percentage estimates

    I am not including aerospace because it is almost identical to mechanical in the first two years.
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    I never understood how on earth a general engineering degree could work.
    Strathclyde manage to fill nearly 25 hours a week contact time with just electrical, so how on earth do general degrees fit everything in? Surely there must be a lot of "skimming over" certain topics, like programming and stuff?
    We run an EME course (electrical mechanical) and they swap out programming and physics for mechanics and heat & flow but I can't imagine being able to fit civil/aero/chemical etc around that too.
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    As far as I know, all engineering disciplines are the same for the first year, so you can change if you like. This is because most all the basic principles are the same. At certain other places, the disciplines don't branch out until the third year. At my uni, the "general" engineering course is only offered as a BSc, which is definitely not as respectable as a BEng in the engineering industry. To be honest, mechanical engineering will definitely not restrict your options, have you considered this.

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