munchen102
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I've recently applied for two courses
Aeronautical Engineering - Glasgow Uni
Astrophysics - Glasgow Uni
I received an unconditional for aeronautical engineering and haven't heard back for the astrophyiscs course, im just really unsure on which one i should take if i receive another offer. I am more interested in the astrophysics course but i'm not sure if there is a demand for astrophysicists out there. Im not too clued in on the demands of the engineering course, any help on which i should choose?
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Indecisive1
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I have also found myself in a similar situation. I am currently in second year Aeronautical engineering at University of Glasgow, but recently I have considered changing to Astrophysics. So I am very keen to hear some of the answers on this page.
I may not be able to help out with the main problem. but I can tell you a little about the demands of the engineering course.

1 - Despite the ridiculous belief that engineering is screwing nuts and bolts, you will spend most of your time in lecture theaters and tutorial rooms rather than in a lab. Which is good, because the knowledge you obtain from lectures is both valuable for later years and extremely interesting. I myself thoroughly enjoy propulsion. The labs you do take in early years are obviously very limited in what you can actually do. The university doesn't want some idiot first year playing around with their brand new turbojet engine now do they.

2 - The work load is immense, but if you stay on top of it and attend all your lectures you'll do just fine. This semester I have 12 hours of lectures every week and then add some labs and tutorials on top of this, plus a major design project running throughout the semester. Thankfully tutorials for most subjects are optional, but still useful.

3 - Mathematics is a major part of the course. Every single class I am in involves mathematics, so you'd better be good at it. You'll probably have seen a lot of arguments breaking out over who's maths is harder; Physics or Engineering? Do not get drawn into this stupid argument as there is no point. Both subjects cover different maths courses, physics being more theoretical and engineering being more applied. Physicists and Engineers are two different things, to suggest that one is 'better' than the other is just stupid. Consider the fact that I am taught by both physicists, aerospace engineers and electrical engineers.

4 - Doing Aerospace engineering doesn't just mean you have to design planes. The variety of subjects covered in the course allows you to go into various jobs or research. You will get to specialise a bit in later years, but most of what you learn is set in stone because you need it. I am hoping to go into further in space engineering at the end of my degree.

5 - An MSc in physics or astrophysics requires a 2:2 or 2:1 and above in physics, mathematics or a related subject. This means that you should just do well in your degree and show that you have a good background in physics. You may not need to decide right now!

I also have some non-academic advice if you do choose Aerospace.

1 - I hope you like guys, cause there's a lot of them in comparison to girls. Despite this the people on my course are all very nice people and fun to hang out with. Thanks to new STEM schemes there should be more girls coming into engineering soon, but just to be on the safe side talk to people outside your course aswell.

2 - Make friends. I went directly into second year and so I found it very hard to make friends, but just be nice to everyone and say yes to everything (well, not everything. No means No!), and you'll get on just fine. Remember everyone will be in the same situation.

3 - Not too sure about textbooks. Some people like them, some people don't. If you have a good lecturer then you should be fine without them. If strongly recommended then definitely get them as they will be useful later.

4 - Probably the most important thing about Glasgow Aero engineering. There is a lecturer in aerodynamics, won't say their name, but the initials are LS. Do not listen to a single word this person says as they are the most useless lecturer ever. Buy a good Aerodynamics textbook and learn the basics from there. Don't let them put you off though, the other lecturers are usually very good, enthusiastic and always helpful if you ask the right questions.

Well, thats all I really have to say at the moment, hopefully it helps. And who knows, I may even see you at uni next year!

Andrew
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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
I have also found myself in a similar situation. I am currently in second year Aeronautical engineering at University of Glasgow, but recently I have considered changing to Astrophysics. So I am very keen to hear some of the answers on this page.
I may not be able to help out with the main problem. but I can tell you a little about the demands of the engineering course.

1 - Despite the ridiculous belief that engineering is screwing nuts and bolts, you will spend most of your time in lecture theaters and tutorial rooms rather than in a lab. Which is good, because the knowledge you obtain from lectures is both valuable for later years and extremely interesting. I myself thoroughly enjoy propulsion. The labs you do take in early years are obviously very limited in what you can actually do. The university doesn't want some idiot first year playing around with their brand new turbojet engine now do they.

2 - The work load is immense, but if you stay on top of it and attend all your lectures you'll do just fine. This semester I have 12 hours of lectures every week and then add some labs and tutorials on top of this, plus a major design project running throughout the semester. Thankfully tutorials for most subjects are optional, but still useful.

3 - Mathematics is a major part of the course. Every single class I am in involves mathematics, so you'd better be good at it. You'll probably have seen a lot of arguments breaking out over who's maths is harder; Physics or Engineering? Do not get drawn into this stupid argument as there is no point. Both subjects cover different maths courses, physics being more theoretical and engineering being more applied. Physicists and Engineers are two different things, to suggest that one is 'better' than the other is just stupid. Consider the fact that I am taught by both physicists, aerospace engineers and electrical engineers.

4 - Doing Aerospace engineering doesn't just mean you have to design planes. The variety of subjects covered in the course allows you to go into various jobs or research. You will get to specialise a bit in later years, but most of what you learn is set in stone because you need it. I am hoping to go into further in space engineering at the end of my degree.

5 - An MSc in physics or astrophysics requires a 2:2 or 2:1 and above in physics, mathematics or a related subject. This means that you should just do well in your degree and show that you have a good background in physics. You may not need to decide right now!

I also have some non-academic advice if you do choose Aerospace.

1 - I hope you like guys, cause there's a lot of them in comparison to girls. Despite this the people on my course are all very nice people and fun to hang out with. Thanks to new STEM schemes there should be more girls coming into engineering soon, but just to be on the safe side talk to people outside your course aswell.

2 - Make friends. I went directly into second year and so I found it very hard to make friends, but just be nice to everyone and say yes to everything (well, not everything. No means No!), and you'll get on just fine. Remember everyone will be in the same situation.

3 - Not too sure about textbooks. Some people like them, some people don't. If you have a good lecturer then you should be fine without them. If strongly recommended then definitely get them as they will be useful later.

4 - Probably the most important thing about Glasgow Aero engineering. There is a lecturer in aerodynamics, won't say their name, but the initials are LS. Do not listen to a single word this person says as they are the most useless lecturer ever. Buy a good Aerodynamics textbook and learn the basics from there. Don't let them put you off though, the other lecturers are usually very good, enthusiastic and always helpful if you ask the right questions.

Well, thats all I really have to say at the moment, hopefully it helps. And who knows, I may even see you at uni next year!

Andrew
Thanks that is a great reply. Especially point 5, that's exactly what I was thinking of!!

Can I ask a question? When you first chose the course did u have a life long love of aircraft and the likes, or was it more the idea of learning the course with an integration of maths and physics?

Thanks a lot!


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Indecisive1
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Well, I'll be blatantly honest. I do not care about aircraft in the slightest.

I've always loved maths and physics and I was originally going to apply for Astrophysics or particle physics, but I was discouraged by my parents, and almost all teachers, and they instead directed me to aeronautical engineering. After looking up a bit more about the subject I realised that it was the course for me.

I can say right now, even though its quite early in my degree, that I will not design aircraft. The only reason I chose to do aero engineering is because it is a path to space engineering. There are a number of MSc courses that lead into this, such as UCL's MSc in Space Science, Cranfield's MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering, and like I said before there are lots of MSc's in Astrophysics that you can get into from an engineering degree.

See, I've always liked solving complex and interesting mathematical and physical problems, but I've also found cosmology very interesting. Both Engineering and Astrophysics involve complex maths but the difference is the knowledge and skills you obtain.

Astrophysicists collect data from stars/galaxies and analyse it and then try to come up with explanations for their findings.
Engineers use the knowledge of astrophysicists to create new ideas to solve problems.

I think that I'd rather create things and solve problems than simply collect data and analyse it.
I love learning something interesting but I'd rather do something interesting.
So I may just keep cosmology to my free time, but then again someone else may comment with some better information than I and change my mind.
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stuart_aitken
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At the Queen Mary physics open day we were told a pretty golden statement - it doesn't matter what speciality you choose in physics, you'll still broadly be a physicist with understanding of all areas. So in relation to your question about employment prospects for astrophysics - probably not a lot in that field, but 'general' physics is the 4th highest paid employment in the uk. Win. The best part is that I never knew about the employment potential when I chose physics (well, theoretical physics). What a bonus!

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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
Well, I'll be blatantly honest. I do not care about aircraft in the slightest.

I've always loved maths and physics and I was originally going to apply for Astrophysics or particle physics, but I was discouraged by my parents, and almost all teachers, and they instead directed me to aeronautical engineering. After looking up a bit more about the subject I realised that it was the course for me.

I can say right now, even though its quite early in my degree, that I will not design aircraft. The only reason I chose to do aero engineering is because it is a path to space engineering. There are a number of MSc courses that lead into this, such as UCL's MSc in Space Science, Cranfield's MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering, and like I said before there are lots of MSc's in Astrophysics that you can get into from an engineering degree.

See, I've always liked solving complex and interesting mathematical and physical problems, but I've also found cosmology very interesting. Both Engineering and Astrophysics involve complex maths but the difference is the knowledge and skills you obtain.

Astrophysicists collect data from stars/galaxies and analyse it and then try to come up with explanations for their findings.
Engineers use the knowledge of astrophysicists to create new ideas to solve problems.

I think that I'd rather create things and solve problems than simply collect data and analyse it.
I love learning something interesting but I'd rather do something interesting.
So I may just keep cosmology to my free time, but then again someone else may comment with some better information than I and change my mind.
Thanks this clears a lot up. I'm in the same mindset as you with the aerospace engineering or astrophysics gateway. Are you from Scotland or England?

A more general question i have. Do you enjoy the course and the university in general?
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Indecisive1
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I'm actually from Northern Ireland.

I am really enjoying the course so far. A lot of the topics are very interesting, but at the moment there is a lot of theoretical maths that doesn't seem to be applicable to anything. It's just maths for the sake of maths.
So, that part is quite dull because I see no point, but the lecturers insist that we need to learn it now as it will be applied later.
So, in the first two years some of it will be a bit dull, but it will pick up as it is applied to more complex and interesting subjects. You only need to pass the first two years, but I'd recommend still doing your best as it will help.

You must realise that the degree is a means to an end. The stuff you learn may not be the most interesting, but is essential. The interesting stuff comes after the degree when you get to apply your knowledge to satellites and space planes! Who knows, you could design the Deathstar!

The university itself is fantastic! I really do love it here, despite the ever changing weather.

Fresher's week is amazing as there are two unions, so there are so many different things going on. As soon as you arrive at your halls (assuming you're living in halls) union reps and helpers will be round giving you advice on where's best to go. There are also loads of restaurant promotions (I basically lived of pizza), and loads of club promoters hanging around the uni, but if I were you I'd stick with the unions for a while, just because its a more studenty experience.

There are loads of clubs and societies to join up with (however I didn't join any because a lot of them are serious societies and I'm not a serious guy), and the gym holds taster sessions for all of the sports that week which is good fun and makes it easy to meet people.

The two unions are the Glasgow University Union (GUU) and the the Queen Margaret Union (QMU).
The GUU is pretty cool, its mainly home to the sporty societies. It has a subway, a cafe, and a nightclub (Though its not really that good right now), but it also has the beer bar where pub quizs and drinking championships take place, its all very chilled there, and cheap.

The QMU is more 'alternative', the more obscure societies hang out there (like the 'Graphic Novel and Comics Society'). It also has a student cafe and a couple of bars with pool tables and table football, there is also an open-mic night every tuesday (I sometimes play, look out for me, I'll be the nervous guy with a guitar), and the QMU hosts a lot of live bands as well.

Unfortunately, you won't be in the old Hogwarts-like building you always see in the brochures. Its mainly for ceremonies, exams and sometimes employer conventions.

Overall, I truly love it here. I have made some great friends in halls and in class and the social life is brilliant, there's always something going on.
Although I have considered changing course, I have never considered leaving the uni.
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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
I'm actually from Northern Ireland.

I am really enjoying the course so far. A lot of the topics are very interesting, but at the moment there is a lot of theoretical maths that doesn't seem to be applicable to anything. It's just maths for the sake of maths.
So, that part is quite dull because I see no point, but the lecturers insist that we need to learn it now as it will be applied later.
So, in the first two years some of it will be a bit dull, but it will pick up as it is applied to more complex and interesting subjects. You only need to pass the first two years, but I'd recommend still doing your best as it will help.

You must realise that the degree is a means to an end. The stuff you learn may not be the most interesting, but is essential. The interesting stuff comes after the degree when you get to apply your knowledge to satellites and space planes! Who knows, you could design the Deathstar!

The university itself is fantastic! I really do love it here, despite the ever changing weather.

Fresher's week is amazing as there are two unions, so there are so many different things going on. As soon as you arrive at your halls (assuming you're living in halls) union reps and helpers will be round giving you advice on where's best to go. There are also loads of restaurant promotions (I basically lived of pizza), and loads of club promoters hanging around the uni, but if I were you I'd stick with the unions for a while, just because its a more studenty experience.

There are loads of clubs and societies to join up with (however I didn't join any because a lot of them are serious societies and I'm not a serious guy), and the gym holds taster sessions for all of the sports that week which is good fun and makes it easy to meet people.

The two unions are the Glasgow University Union (GUU) and the the Queen Margaret Union (QMU).
The GUU is pretty cool, its mainly home to the sporty societies. It has a subway, a cafe, and a nightclub (Though its not really that good right now), but it also has the beer bar where pub quizs and drinking championships take place, its all very chilled there, and cheap.

The QMU is more 'alternative', the more obscure societies hang out there (like the 'Graphic Novel and Comics Society'). It also has a student cafe and a couple of bars with pool tables and table football, there is also an open-mic night every tuesday (I sometimes play, look out for me, I'll be the nervous guy with a guitar), and the QMU hosts a lot of live bands as well.

Unfortunately, you won't be in the old Hogwarts-like building you always see in the brochures. Its mainly for ceremonies, exams and sometimes employer conventions.

Overall, I truly love it here. I have made some great friends in halls and in class and the social life is brilliant, there's always something going on.
Although I have considered changing course, I have never considered leaving the uni.
Thanks for the insight, I was 90% sure on the aero over the astro but now, you've basically answered all my queries and fears.

I am a Glasgow local so ill be staying at home and commuting, but will obviously partake in the student experience!

Thank you very much, ill look out for you!


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Indecisive1
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Glad to be help!
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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
Glad to be help!
Sorry to drag this on but 2 things:
Is there any particular reason you want to change to astrophysics or is it just a preference to the subject rather than flaws with the aero?

And do you know if it is possible to study a language as well as the course? Or would you need to do that in your own time?


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Indecisive1
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No need to apologise, I'm just happy to help.

The reason I've been considering changing to astrophysics is because I'm very passionate about it. I know that I would enjoy whatever I would be learning in the degree simply because i care about it. But i don't know if I would enjoy doing astrophysics research.
So, I think I'll continue to study astrophysics in my own time (maybe do an Open University course?), but I'm going to continue on Aero so I can learn the skills and theory necessary for what I want to do.

You can not study a language as well as Aero engineering, as its a vocational degree. But you may be able to learn it in an additional course run by the uni. I'm not entirely sure about it, so don't take my word for it.
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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
No need to apologise, I'm just happy to help.

The reason I've been considering changing to astrophysics is because I'm very passionate about it. I know that I would enjoy whatever I would be learning in the degree simply because i care about it. But i don't know if I would enjoy doing astrophysics research.
So, I think I'll continue to study astrophysics in my own time (maybe do an Open University course?), but I'm going to continue on Aero so I can learn the skills and theory necessary for what I want to do.

You can not study a language as well as Aero engineering, as its a vocational degree. But you may be able to learn it in an additional course run by the uni. I'm not entirely sure about it, so don't take my word for it.
Thanks! Do u know if you are definitely allowed to switch to the astro course or would you begin at the beginning?

Thanks. I want to learn German and am sorta planning to try and do a year abroad in Germany. But I still think it's a very employable quality, engineer and bi-linguistic. I've seen in the physics course you can do like another subject to your choice but probably can't in the engineering course. Ill probably just do it in my spare time. It was just that it was £180 I think for 3 sets of 18 lessons (I'm not 100% accurate about the amount of lessons though) and well that's quite a lot of money haha


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Indecisive1
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Knowing another language is definitely a good quality for employment, but don't just learn it because of that. If you enjoy it, do it.
That is quite a lot of money but there's always German language CDs and books as well.
German would be a good language as well, as German engineering is a very large business.

I have been bouncing about from lecturers and advisers from both physics and engineering, discussing my switch from aero to astro, and finally I've been given some useful information.
Because of my A level grades (3As in physics, maths and chemistry) I could enter second year physics, like I did with aero, but I have to prove that my maths skills are good enough (i.e. get good grades in maths modules this year) and I have to do well this year to prove that I can cope with university standard learning which is very different from high school learning.
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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
Knowing another language is definitely a good quality for employment, but don't just learn it because of that. If you enjoy it, do it.
That is quite a lot of money but there's always German language CDs and books as well.
German would be a good language as well, as German engineering is a very large business.

I have been bouncing about from lecturers and advisers from both physics and engineering, discussing my switch from aero to astro, and finally I've been given some useful information.
Because of my A level grades (3As in physics, maths and chemistry) I could enter second year physics, like I did with aero, but I have to prove that my maths skills are good enough (i.e. get good grades in maths modules this year) and I have to do well this year to prove that I can cope with university standard learning which is very different from high school learning.
Yeah I would like to learn German out of interest anyway (you might guess with my username) I love Germany haha!

Yeah that clears a lot up! I read somewhere that a physics student can jump into an engineering degree but not vice-versa.

So are you definitely switching?


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Atheism
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
4 - Probably the most important thing about Glasgow Aero engineering. There is a lecturer in aerodynamics, won't say their name, but the initials are LS. Do not listen to a single word this person says as they are the most useless lecturer ever.
Dr Ladislav Smrcek? Google ;P
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Indecisive1
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I'm still not sure if I'm switching or not, its a pretty big decision. I'll probably stay with Aero, though.

To Atheism : Yes, but I didn't want to be mean
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munchen102
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(Original post by Indecisive1)
I'm still not sure if I'm switching or not, its a pretty big decision. I'll probably stay with Aero, though.

To Atheism : Yes, but I didn't want to be mean
Thanks for the advice! All the best


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Jojo mn
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I want to do aerospace engineering, but because there is only aeronautical engineering in Scotland, can I continue it as aerospace engineering as I more interested in space and spaceships than airplanes?

Also I love theoretical physics. I want to study it, but I wanna know doing theoretical physics first will be a good option or aeranautic all engineering? As physics doesn't have many jobs and good salaries, as I believe so I want a proper job because without money life is not possible.
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anisha211
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Hi! I have a similar problem. I am an international student from America and due to some visa issues I can only study in Scotland. I would like to study aerospace engineering or astrophysics but my problem is that apart from the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde, other universities in Scotland do not offer this course (and personally I don't fancy applying to Strathclyde it's just a bit too small for me). However, many good and well-known universities offer astrophysics. So my question is - Can I pursue a masters in aerospace/aeronautical engineering after I've done a Bachelors in astrophysics??? I've heard that you can do an MSc in astrophysics after you've done a BEng in aerospace engineering but I don't now if this works the other way round. I don't know if you can help but you seemed really informed about both astrophysics and aerospace. Thank you!!
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