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    Hello everyone,

    I am in high school at the moment, but I am planning what to study in university. I have decided that I want to study Aeronautics Engineering in university, but I have a problem.

    First of all, let's assume (for argument's sake) that I will get into any university that I apply to. Let's also assume that the best universities don't teach Aeronautics Engineering. I am faced with a difficult decision - do I go to the best university in the country and study something like Mathematics or do I go to a 'bog-standard' university and do my Aeronautics Engineering course?

    I've always felt that having a good university like Oxford or Cambridge on your CV would look better than studying at any other university, but what do you think - "Good University or Good Course"?
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    if its something that you really want to do apply for university's at a lower lever as some universities excel in certain subjects more than others. Example bolton uni has a bad rep but they excel in gaming arts and is recently becoming more popular with sports students.
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    (Original post by Lorna17)
    if its something that you really want to do apply for university's at a lower lever as some universities excel in certain subjects more than others. Example bolton uni has a bad rep but they excel in gaming arts and is recently becoming more popular with sports students.
    Aeronautical Engineering is definitely something I want to do, but then I think that not many people can get into Oxford or Cambridge. If I am being given that opportunity, surely I should take it? What do you guys think?
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    yes and you can always do another course at a different uni after.
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    You won't do well doing a course that doesn't interest you, and then do a job you don't enjoy. Do a course you know you'll enjoy which will lead to a job you will enjoy. Do you really want to give up 3 years of your life, your dream job and course path just to go to Oxbridge in the hopes some respected employer (for a job you won't really want) will gasp and weep upon seeing the universities name? Don't base your entire life around what might look mildly better on your CV, and you aren't the university you went to. Do a course you really like at the best university you think offer it in order to do a job you'll enjoy. Simple.
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    The uni, am heading to doesn't have a great reputation. University of Bedfordshire but the site the uni on has over a 100 year history of teaching physical education. Has a really good physical education department, one of only a few in the country to offer a 4 year physical education QTS course.


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    A quick google reveaaled that Glasgow, Kings and Bristol all offer this course - they are by no means 'bog-standard' and aren't at all far behind Oxford, therefore it would be stupid to do a course that doesn't interest you (of course, assuming that you can get in.) at a university that, admittedly, is better, but not ridiculously so.
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    Yes, but which career do you want to get into? Never mind the degree right now... What do you want to be doing in 10 years?

    A degree is the time to really get focused on what you want to be doing in the future, and it takes quite a lot of effort. If you do a degree that you don't enjoy, you'll lose motivation and won't do as well in it. Then you'll end up in a career you didn't want to be in, and it will take even more effort to get to where you want to be. Which is better..? A degree in something you love, with good grades, at a "lesser" university, or a degree you hate, with bad grades, at a "top" university?

    I'd argue that it's better to do well at a "lesser" university because experience will carry more weight than the place of study in the future. Especially for engineering, we're being told more and more that employers prefer a solid grade (First or 2:1, or like an A/B to you) to where you study it. Sure, a good university is an advantage, but you simply must get the grades at the university.


    Plus, any decent employer will know which universities offer which course. They can't punish you for not going to Oxford to study a course if Oxford don't even offer it! There are plenty of great universities outside of Oxbridge.


    You can get into some fantastic engineering careers regardless of where you study it. Just make sure you pick a course which is accredited (IMechE, RAeS, etc) as the employer will recognise that it's being taught to an appropriate standard and you will be able to work towards a chartered status in the future.

    Look at career paths though. Don't pick a degree for the sake of it. Think about where you want to be in a decade or two and which career you want to be in. That will be far more important. After 5-10 years of work, employers will probably stop caring about where you studied anyway.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    Yes, but which career do you want to get into? Never mind the degree right now... What do you want to be doing in 10 years?
    I hope to become an airline pilot in the future. You don't need a degree for piloting, but I wanted to do one anyway.

    I am quite good at maths (and I enjoy it a lot), so I was thinking a mathematics degree at Oxbridge. But, obviously, an aeronautical engineering degree would be better suited? They offer this course at Manchester University (my closest university). It's not so much about not enjoying the subject. I mean, I am pretty sure that I would do quite well studying mathematics at Oxbridge, so that's not a big problem for me.

    I guess for a pilot, both aeronautical studies and a mathematics degree are almost equally rated. Pilots need to be relatively good at both of them...
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    (Original post by Serenium)
    I hope to become an airline pilot in the future. You don't need a degree for piloting, but I wanted to do one anyway.

    I am quite good at maths (and I enjoy it a lot), so I was thinking a mathematics degree at Oxbridge. But, obviously, an aeronautical engineering degree would be better suited? They offer this course at Manchester University (my closest university). It's not so much about not enjoying the subject. I mean, I am pretty sure that I would do quite well studying mathematics at Oxbridge, so that's not a big problem for me.

    I guess for a pilot, both aeronautical studies and a mathematics degree are almost equally rated. Pilots need to be relatively good at both of them...
    I doubt it would make much difference.

    If you're going through the BA pilot scheme, either degree would be suitable... It would be more about seeing that you're academically competent. Aeronautical might be slightly better, but unless you're going to be fixing the aircraft or building parts as you fly, I doubt it would be a requirement.

    If you're going through military (and you should look to join the University Air Squadron at your university even if you're not) then a degree is not a requirement either. Any will do, even if it's not a STEM subject at all.

    If you're going in to it privately funded, then they'll just want your money, so academic achievements will be far lower anyway.


    The advice I was given (I wanted to become a pilot instead of university) was to pick a subject and do something so that I had a backup. If you can't make it as a pilot (and many can't due to timing, funding or skill) or you have to retire (if you have an injury which affects your ability to fly, you may never fly again) then you need a degree or skills which you can fall back on.

    So, if you couldn't be a pilot, which career would you most like to be in? Something with maths, or something with engineering? That is how I would pick it... I wouldn't even be looking at the universities without knowing that bit first. Know where you want to be, then look at how to get there. I think you're going from a skewed angle at this.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    I doubt it would make much difference.

    If you're going through the BA pilot scheme, either degree would be suitable... It would be more about seeing that you're academically competent. Aeronautical might be slightly better, but unless you're going to be fixing the aircraft or building parts as you fly, I doubt it would be a requirement.

    If you're going through military (and you should look to join the University Air Squadron at your university even if you're not) then a degree is not a requirement either. Any will do, even if it's not a STEM subject at all.

    If you're going in to it privately funded, then they'll just want your money, so academic achievements will be far lower anyway.


    The advice I was given (I wanted to become a pilot instead of university) was to pick a subject and do something so that I had a backup. If you can't make it as a pilot (and many can't due to timing, funding or skill) or you have to retire (if you have an injury which affects your ability to fly, you may never fly again) then you need a degree or skills which you can fall back on.

    So, if you couldn't be a pilot, which career would you most like to be in? Something with maths, or something with engineering? That is how I would pick it... I wouldn't even be looking at the universities without knowing that bit first. Know where you want to be, then look at how to get there. I think you're going from a skewed angle at this.
    I think I understand what you mean. I will hopefully be applying through the BA scheme when I'm old enough. I refer to the point you make about applicants being academically capable to get onto the scheme. So if I was to apply after having attended Oxbridge, I would have a better chance of getting in? I mean, other factors can also affect the outcome, but surely getting into one of the best universities in the country is one of the best ways of proving your academic capabilities?

    Also, my back-up will be my degree. I am happy to work in anything that involves mathematics or engineering, so either of these degrees would be fine.

    I understand that I may be thinking about this the wrong way, but as I understand it, the competition for the BA scheme is extremely tough. Assuming grades are negligible, wouldn't it be better to have attended Oxford or Cambridge rather than one of the other universities. Just being able to prove that you can get into Oxbridge should be enough to prove that you have good academic capabilities, right?
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    (Original post by Serenium)
    I think I understand what you mean. I will hopefully be applying through the BA scheme when I'm old enough. I refer to the point you make about applicants being academically capable to get onto the scheme. So if I was to apply after having attended Oxbridge, I would have a better chance of getting in? I mean, other factors can also affect the outcome, but surely getting into one of the best universities in the country is one of the best ways of proving your academic capabilities?

    Also, my back-up will be my degree. I am happy to work in anything that involves mathematics or engineering, so either of these degrees would be fine.

    I understand that I may be thinking about this the wrong way, but as I understand it, the competition for the BA scheme is extremely tough. Assuming grades are negligible, wouldn't it be better to have attended Oxford or Cambridge rather than one of the other universities. Just being able to prove that you can get into Oxbridge should be enough to prove that you have good academic capabilities, right?
    I really couldn't speak from experience, but they don't strike me as the sort who will be pandering over where or what your degree is in, provided it is suitable. Sure, Oxbridge would be superb, but that's not the only way to become a pilot. There are many great universities outside of Oxbridge, so don't limit yourself to just them.

    They're looking for 5 GCSEs, 3 A-levels (BBC) and/or a 2:2 or greater. It doesn't seem as if there is a major academic focus on their entry requirements, just that they want to see that you're capable of studying and working to an alright standard.

    You'd be a far better applicant if you showed pilot talents - Joining the Air Cadets or the University Air Squadron would be a great start. Show some character and some promise. They are hiring future pilots afterall!
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    I really couldn't speak from experience, but they don't strike me as the sort who will be pandering over where or what your degree is in, provided it is suitable. Sure, Oxbridge would be superb, but that's not the only way to become a pilot. There are many great universities outside of Oxbridge, so don't limit yourself to just them.

    They're looking for 5 GCSEs, 3 A-levels (BBC) and/or a 2:2 or greater. It doesn't seem as if there is a major academic focus on their entry requirements, just that they want to see that you're capable of studying and working to an alright standard.

    You'd be a far better applicant if you showed pilot talents - Joining the Air Cadets or the University Air Squadron would be a great start. Show some character and some promise. They are hiring future pilots afterall!
    So I guess it doesn't matter whether I do a degree in Maths or Aeronautics. Would be a bonus to get into Oxford, but yeah, I will look around for other options. I mean, Manchester University and Salford University are both within biking distance of my house and they both offer Aeronautical studies. I am pulled towards Manchester because it is better known and is closer, but I know first-hand that Salford are better with Aerospace etc.
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    Have you seen this at Oxford OP: Oxford Uni Gliding.

    The aeronautical engineering industry is definitely one in which employers would be aware of which universities punch above their general reputation for that subject. I think that applying for a job that doesn't require a specific degree, such as being a pilot, going to Oxford would definitely be advantageous over Manchester, and definitely over Salford.
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    (Original post by Serenium)
    So I guess it doesn't matter whether I do a degree in Maths or Aeronautics. Would be a bonus to get into Oxford, but yeah, I will look around for other options. I mean, Manchester University and Salford University are both within biking distance of my house and they both offer Aeronautical studies. I am pulled towards Manchester because it is better known and is closer, but I know first-hand that Salford are better with Aerospace etc.
    Manchester Uni would be a great choice. I would've thought they be better than Salford when it comes to aerospace though. They have some decent facilities and a bit more of the "prestige" if that's what you're looking for.

    Plus, there are plenty of flying opportunities around the city - You could even ask about volunteering at one of the airfields. Plus, as mentioned, check out gliding societies and generally get involved - BA will love that sort of stuff!

    Some courses do offer "with pilot training", so you can study the PPL alongside your course. That said, I don't think student finance cover it... You'll have to check that BA will be okay with that too - I don't think you can apply if you have a frozen ATPL licence, but a PPL should be okay. It's up to you, but just look out for those sorts of things.
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    I understand that I may be thinking about this the wrong way, but as I understand it, the competition for the BA scheme is extremely tough. Assuming grades are negligible, wouldn't it be better to have attended Oxford or Cambridge rather than one of the other universities. Just being able to prove that you can get into Oxbridge should be enough to prove that you have good academic capabilities, right?
    I believe that is true. They do want to invest on a cadet that could prove that they have whatever it takes to succeed in the pilot school. Having say that, excelling in ground school is one. you do need to possess the mathematical skills -which im sure you have - and the ability to stay focused and keep cool during emergency.

    Just to answer your question, if i have the capability to go to oxbridge, I would seize it without doubt. Not to worry about, its irrelevance to becoming a pilot, you could always go to aeronautics society. i believe they should have it. and fyi, cambridge has aerospace engineering under engineering.
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    Do a course you know you will enjoy rather than studying something because you feel like you have to.
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    Many Universities that aren't seen as being "elite" have brilliant departments dedicated to specific subjects. League tables and such only show you so much in my opinion (some people may disagree with me) and those "bog standard" Universities may have a very good reputation for the subject you want to study.

    Yes it may look pretty to have Oxford or Cambridge on your CV but I would advise you to go for the subject that interests you, do your research and find a University that excels in the subject that you would be happy studying at.
 
 
 
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