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What A-levels to choose for Mechanical Engineering? Is Chemistry needed/recommended? watch

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    Chemistry isn't essential for mechanical engineering. However, I think a lot of people underrate its usefulness.

    Chemistry plays an important role in some key subjects in mechanical engineering, the most obvious one being materials. Materials and welding are both important subjects for many practising mechanical engineers, and a good knowledge of chemistry will serve you well in these areas. Chemistry also plays a big part in environmental engineering, and combustion too, which is perhaps another area that lots of mechanical engineers would like to work in.

    I haven't done any chemistry whatsoever, and I do feel this disadvantaged me when I studied certain topics, namely environmental engineering and materials and corrosion.

    Whether chemistry is "better" than design & technology is a different issue, because I'd imagine that D&T also teaches useful material for mechanical engineering, like for example CAD, how to dimension things, tolerances, types of fits, thread types, etc., which I must admit is generally going to be more useful for mechanical engineering than chemistry, providing that's what it actually covers.

    But seeing as you have got the three main subjects I don't think it will matter much.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Chemistry isn't essential for mechanical engineering. However, I think a lot of people underrate its usefulness.

    Chemistry plays an important role in some key subjects in mechanical engineering, the most obvious one being materials. Materials and welding are both important subjects for many practising mechanical engineers, and a good knowledge of chemistry will serve you well in these areas. Chemistry also plays a big part in environmental engineering, and combustion too, which is perhaps another area that lots of mechanical engineers would like to work in.

    I haven't done any chemistry whatsoever, and I do feel this disadvantaged me when I studied certain topics, namely environmental engineering and materials and corrosion.

    Whether chemistry is "better" than design & technology is a different issue, because I'd imagine that D&T also teaches useful material for mechanical engineering, like for example CAD, how to dimension things, tolerances, types of fits, thread types, etc., which I must admit is generally going to be more useful for mechanical engineering than chemistry, providing that's what it actually covers.

    But seeing as you have got the three main subjects I don't think it will matter much.
    Thank you very much for all of this information! It is really useful because I hadn't thought of the importance of doing Chemistry for areas of mechanical engineering which are really attractive and interesting (particularly materials and combustion).

    However I must confess that the Technology & Design course at my school is more of a "self-thought" course. Now don't get me wrong, by this I definitely don't mean that there is no theory, it is just that a lot of the time will be spent on projects (Controlled Assessments) and not so much time will be spent on learning the intricacies of Engineering. Therefore I must say that if I choose this subject, I will not learn so much about the details that make engineering possible (such as CAD, etc) but more about the skills that make an engineer successful (time management, team work, communication, etc.)

    I would also like to say that I have looked at the Chemistry specification and I can say that, while there is definitely stuff that seem interesting (such as combustion, or materials, polymers, and others), there is a LARGE section of the specification which I am not particularly passionate about.

    Having said all of this, and considering that I am already doing the three most important A-levels for my career, would you recommend that I do Tech & Design or Chemistry? Especially if I want to have the possibility to apply to the top universities.

    Thanks again for all your help!
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Thank you very much for all of this information! It is really useful because I hadn't thought of the importance of doing Chemistry for areas of mechanical engineering which are really attractive and interesting (particularly materials and combustion).

    However I must confess that the Technology & Design course at my school is more of a "self-thought" course. Now don't get me wrong, by this I definitely don't mean that there is no theory, it is just that a lot of the time will be spent on projects (Controlled Assessments) and not so much time will be spent on learning the intricacies of Engineering. Therefore I must say that if I choose this subject, I will not learn so much about the details that make engineering possible (such as CAD, etc) but more about the skills that make an engineer successful (time management, team work, communication, etc.)

    I would also like to say that I have looked at the Chemistry specification and I can say that, while there is definitely stuff that seem interesting (such as combustion, or materials, polymers, and others), there is a LARGE section of the specification which I am not particularly passionate about.

    Having said all of this, and considering that I am already doing the three most important A-levels for my career, would you recommend that I do Tech & Design or Chemistry? Especially if I want to have the possibility to apply to the top universities.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    To be honest I'm not the best person to ask as I didn't do A-levels as I'm Scottish.

    I admit I'm perhaps somewhat biased to chemistry on the basis I know nothing about it but wish that I did, and also happen to have an interest in materials and welding and corrosion. I don't know what the syllabus includes; much of it could well be of little use in engineering, as others have alluded to.

    Nor do I know what the syllabus of D&T is. If it includes what I previously mentioned then I would say it would be very useful, more so than chemistry, but that's just speculation on my behalf. It might even be possible for you to get good with CAD in your own time. So I can't really say until I know what D&T actually includes, but I will however question the need for a fourth A-level. The main three plus getting good with CAD in your own time as a hobby might be a better option than both of the ones you are presenting me with.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    To be honest I'm not the best person to ask as I didn't do A-levels as I'm Scottish.

    I admit I'm perhaps somewhat biased to chemistry on the basis I know nothing about it but wish that I did, and also happen to have an interest in materials and welding and corrosion. I don't know what the syllabus includes; much of it could well be of little use in engineering, as others have alluded to.

    Nor do I know what the syllabus of D&T is. If it includes what I previously mentioned then I would say it would be very useful, more so than chemistry, but that's just speculation on my behalf. It might even be possible for you to get good with CAD in your own time. So I can't really say until I know what D&T actually includes, but I will however question the need for a fourth A-level. The main three plus getting good with CAD in your own time as a hobby might be a better option than both of the ones you are presenting me with.
    Thanks very much again for the different opinions and advice that you have given me! I will certainly take all of this into consideration.
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    This information for the university of bath may help.

    Preferred subjects

    We prefer the third A level to be in a relevant subject such as Further Mathematics,* Design and Technology or a traditional subject.

    Last year, besides Mathematics and Physics, the top 3 subjects offered by successful candidates were:

    Further Mathematics 43%
    Chemistry 33%
    Design & Technology 12%

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    (Original post by sharpshark)
    This information for the university of bath may help.

    Preferred subjects

    We prefer the third A level to be in a relevant subject such as Further Mathematics,* Design and Technology or a traditional subject.

    Last year, besides Mathematics and Physics, the top 3 subjects offered by successful candidates were:

    Further Mathematics 43%
    Chemistry 33%
    Design & Technology 12%

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thank you very much for this inormation! I know I am definitely doing Further Maths but it seems that the other two subjects I was choosing from are also preferred (Tech and Chemistry) so I'm guessing that any of the two will be a good choice
 
 
 
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