exam freak
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Hey guys i am due to start a chemistry degree in like 18 days or something. i'm interested in thermodynamics, aerodynamics and cars. I don't have A level maths so would have to do a foundation year thing. but how actually hard is the maths in mechanical engineering? I have AAB at A level in Biology Chemistry and History. I would have to do differential equations in a chemistry degree anyway, so i'm just wondering how much harder it would be then the maths in a chem degree. also i got 100% GCSE physics if that makes any difference, probably not but ye.
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pheonix254
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The maths is not to be underestimated - for engineering in the first couple of years, it's generally >40% of the course, if not more, and you'll do maths even the maths students don't do until their 2nd/3rd year in your first year. GCSE physics isn't even close to engineering degree level maths - hence the requirement for a foundation year if you don't have A-Level maths.

I don't know the mathematics content of a chemistry degree- it's not going to be absent (in fact there will likely be quite a bit), but will it be as full on as engineering? I'd hazard a guess that it isn't. Differential equations were the sort of thing that the lecturers would explain once and expect you to get because simply they're not all that challenging compared to the rest of it - at least that was the case in my experience a few years ago.

I don't want to put you off - but is the maths hard? that's down to how well you understand it and how current your maths skills are. Maths is the language of the sciences and engineering - you need to speak that language well if you're going to succeed - If I hadn't done A-Level Maths or Further Maths then I'd seriously consider the foundation year as an essential requirement - it just depends how quickly you can pick things up. Take a look at say the first few chapters of K A Stroud advanced engineering mathematics (I'm sure there is an online copy somewhere) - If you can follow that, then you'll probably be alright. If you're struggling, then you'll struggle in engineering without having the maths grounding that a foundation year would give you.

Did that answer your question?

Stu Haynes, MEng
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exam freak
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ye pretty much thanks , what university you at? also gcse physics had no maths in it, that was just to kind of go with the concept side of things i guess. gcse's are piss though, how hard is a 2:1 to get in exams?
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paprika1
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(Original post by pheonix254)
The maths is not to be underestimated - for engineering in the first couple of years, it's generally >40% of the course, if not more, and you'll do maths even the maths students don't do until their 2nd/3rd year in your first year. GCSE physics isn't even close to engineering degree level maths - hence the requirement for a foundation year if you don't have A-Level maths.

I don't know the mathematics content of a chemistry degree- it's not going to be absent (in fact there will likely be quite a bit), but will it be as full on as engineering? I'd hazard a guess that it isn't. Differential equations were the sort of thing that the lecturers would explain once and expect you to get because simply they're not all that challenging compared to the rest of it - at least that was the case in my experience a few years ago.

I don't want to put you off - but is the maths hard? that's down to how well you understand it and how current your maths skills are. Maths is the language of the sciences and engineering - you need to speak that language well if you're going to succeed - If I hadn't done A-Level Maths or Further Maths then I'd seriously consider the foundation year as an essential requirement - it just depends how quickly you can pick things up. Take a look at say the first few chapters of K A Stroud advanced engineering mathematics (I'm sure there is an online copy somewhere) - If you can follow that, then you'll probably be alright. If you're struggling, then you'll struggle in engineering without having the maths grounding that a foundation year would give you.

Did that answer your question?

Stu Haynes, MEng
Hey, I haven't done A-level maths or a Foundation Course and I am about to start my first year of Mechanical Engineering. I did however do an HND which had a math unit in it, but I don't think it was nearly as much as it should've been. Do you think I will struggle??? I did buy the KA Stroud book (done the foundation section and started complex numbers) and the J.O. Bird Mechanical Engineering Principles (Finished half of the book).
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pheonix254
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In this situation, if you're managing to follow the course texts, you'll probably be alright.

The fact that you managed to get on the course usually indicates that they believe you're capable of doing the work - if universities took loads of undergrads who weren't capable of getting the degree then they'd never get paid. They don't educate you out of the kindness of their hearts, believe me.

I am now fully employed as an engineer having graduated from Southampton. I'm currently still doing an additional part-time MSc at Newcastle funded by my employer. Getting a 2:1 at university is a whole different ball game to getting an A at A-Level though. When I was at school, you could just learn the past papers and regurgitate them in the exam and pass. In a degree, there are an awful lot more modules where you actually have to understand what is going on, or you will fail.

Put it this way - I got nothing less than an A at GSCE, yet in one of my first exams at university I got 34%. Bit of a wake up call, that.
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united.spammers
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(Original post by exam freak)
Hey guys i am due to start a chemistry degree in like 18 days or something. i'm interested in thermodynamics, aerodynamics and cars. I don't have A level maths so would have to do a foundation year thing. but how actually hard is the maths in mechanical engineering? I have AAB at A level in Biology Chemistry and History. I would have to do differential equations in a chemistry degree anyway, so i'm just wondering how much harder it would be then the maths in a chem degree. also i got 100% GCSE physics if that makes any difference, probably not but ye.
The maths isn't that hard really, and this is coming from a guy who got a B at A-Level and didn't do Further Maths. For me, the straight maths modules are kind of straightforward compared to topics like thermodynamics and vibration where the concepts are much harder to grasp.
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exam freak
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i'm really good conceptually i was just worried about the maths, anyway i'm doing a foundation year then either mechanical or chemical I LIKE BOTH it's so hard to Choose!!! I'm very good at following methods, so i guess just a case of practice questions. The main topic i'm into is thermodynamics
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(Original post by united.spammers)
The maths isn't that hard really, and this is coming from a guy who got a B at A-Level and didn't do Further Maths. For me, the straight maths modules are kind of straightforward compared to topics like thermodynamics and vibration where the concepts are much harder to grasp.
did you do physics before
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Muffie
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I didn't take maths at A level and had to do an engineering foundation year to get into mechanical engineering. I did both electrical and mechanical engineering on the foundation year, but the math unit was just terrible and primary school level!!! The maths on the first year of my course made absolutely no sense to me. Everyone who'd come straight from a level maths seemed comfortable with it, but I had to teach myself. A book I got out of the library several times was one called newnes mathematics pocket book by J.O. Bird mentioned above and it mainly helped me with the more complex integration and differentiation. The maths was a lot of work, but it actually ended up as one of my highest exam marks. The maths in the mechanical science and thermodynamics isn't too bad, you've just got to memorise a lot of formulae and remember to check your units before you start.
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EstebanK0
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(Original post by Muffie)
I didn't take maths at A level and had to do an engineering foundation year to get into mechanical engineering. I did both electrical and mechanical engineering on the foundation year, but the math unit was just terrible and primary school level!!! The maths on the first year of my course made absolutely no sense to me. Everyone who'd come straight from a level maths seemed comfortable with it, but I had to teach myself. A book I got out of the library several times was one called newnes mathematics pocket book by J.O. Bird mentioned above and it mainly helped me with the more complex integration and differentiation. The maths was a lot of work, but it actually ended up as one of my highest exam marks. The maths in the mechanical science and thermodynamics isn't too bad, you've just got to memorise a lot of formulae and remember to check your units before you start.
Where did you do your foundation year? Are studying electrical or mechanical engineering now?
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Muffie
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(Original post by EstebanK0)
Where did you do your foundation year? Are studying electrical or mechanical engineering now?
Mechanical engineering at MMU. Not the best, but in retrospect I don't know what was going through my head when I picked my a levels :facepalm:

They've changed the foundation year now and do a physics one instead. Sadly, this involved getting rid of the engineering lecturer. He was so motivational and just a really great teacher. I hadn't done physics in years and got over 90% in both engineering exams. I didn't do nearly as well on the first year of my course, but it was a big step up even after the foundation. The mechanical science and thermodynamics units were well above everyone's starting level though, and the foundation gave a head start on some things.
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a10
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(Original post by Muffie)
Mechanical engineering at MMU. Not the best, but in retrospect I don't know what was going through my head when I picked my a levels :facepalm:

They've changed the foundation year now and do a physics one instead. Sadly, this involved getting rid of the engineering lecturer. He was so motivational and just a really great teacher. I hadn't done physics in years and got over 90% in both engineering exams. I didn't do nearly as well on the first year of my course, but it was a big step up even after the foundation. The mechanical science and thermodynamics units were well above everyone's starting level though, and the foundation gave a head start on some things.
I don't know why but it always makes me smile seeing girls in engineering! I absolutely think they should be more girls doing it!

you're going into year 2 now I presume?
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Muffie
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(Original post by a10)
I don't know why but it always makes me smile seeing girls in engineering! I absolutely think they should be more girls doing it!

you're going into year 2 now I presume?
Yup. 1 girl down this year too, so only 5 of us left. The girl:guy ratio isn't looking too great, but it's better than last year's 6:144 as we lose the automotive half of the group from this year on and all of the girls are in the mechanical half.

Hopefully the guy in charge of the year will take it a little more seriously this year. I got a big fat zero for 10% of one unit for being in hospital during the lab they took my grade from. The guy says he'll average out my 70%+ lab marks from the year. Grade comes back 0. Grrrr
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WGR
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(Original post by a10)
I don't know why but it always makes me smile seeing girls in engineering! I absolutely think they should be more girls doing it!

you're going into year 2 now I presume?
I'm the opposite sort of; I don't want it to be an all boys club because I believe that people should be allowed to do whatever they want but I like that it is an all boys club because I like being in a woman-free environment if that makes sense
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a10
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(Original post by WGR)
I'm the opposite sort of; I don't want it to be an all boys club because I believe that people should be allowed to do whatever they want but I like that it is an all boys club because I like being in a woman-free environment if that makes sense
Yeah I get what you're saying. Overall its just nice to see that it's not 100% male dominant, having girls in an engineering environment is good as it brings a different perspective on things and a different feeling to it from the opposite sex.

What discipline are you studying?
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WGR
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(Original post by a10)
Yeah I get what you're saying. Overall its just nice to see that it's not 100% male dominant, having girls in an engineering environment is good as it brings a different perspective things and a different feeling to it from the opposite sex.

What discipline are you studying?
Probably going to study electronic.
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a10
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(Original post by Muffie)
Yup. 1 girl down this year too, so only 5 of us left. The girl:guy ratio isn't looking too great, but it's better than last year's 6:144 as we lose the automotive half of the group from this year on and all of the girls are in the mechanical half.

Hopefully the guy in charge of the year will take it a little more seriously this year. I got a big fat zero for 10% of one unit for being in hospital during the lab they took my grade from. The guy says he'll average out my 70%+ lab marks from the year. Grade comes back 0. Grrrr
Ohh wow that was very unfortunate, what happened in the end? Did you question why it was zero sinc he said that?
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a10
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(Original post by WGR)
Probably going to study electronic.
2014 entry? Aswome
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WGR
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(Original post by a10)
2014 entry? Aswome
2013. But the way things are going 2035 entry.
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a10
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(Original post by WGR)
2013. But the way things are going 2035 entry.
:lol: which university are you going to? Are you feeling excited?
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