Current first year civil engineer Watch

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Hi!

I’m Rob and I’m one of four student ambassadors who will be scouring student room this year, doing our best to help wherever possible!

I’m a first year civil engineer, but have friends in all engineering fields and a number of other subjects. Being a first year, I applied through UCAS last year so can also assist if anyone is thinking of applying to Bath or would like some advice about what to think about when applying to university. Personally I chose Bath as I liked the campus environment as well as the city and felt the course and university are of a very high standard.

I am also living on campus in Westwood but have friends in nearly all other accommodation blocks, so will be able to help with any specific question on halls. I am currently in the process of looking at housing for my second year, so may be able to assist with any questions about private housing (if I’m not then hopefully one of the other ambassadors who currently live in private housing can).

I’m also a keen kayaker and kayak with the university canoe club so feel free to quiz me on that too!

Please quote me with any questions about housing, engineering or general university life and I’ll do my best to help.

Rob
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Tyler Bam
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Hey, just giving this thread a bump :bump: Are you sure you’ve posted in the right place? Posting in the specific university or course forum should help you get more responses. :yy:

If you haven’t already found it, then university connect is a really useful way for finding people at your course/university! You can also find a list of applicant threads and courses here.
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Hi again!

Just a quick reminder that I'm a first year civil engineer. I have just finished my first semester and have had my last exam today! I am really enjoying the course and the whole university experience. I'm now looking forward to a weeks break before beginning my new modules in February.

I live on the university campus in self catered accommodation. I share the kitchen with seven people although this varies depending on which accommodation you live in. My accommodation has shared bathrooms - we have four toilets and four showers between seventeen of us. Whilst you may not think this sounds a lot, it's more than adequate however of course ensuite rooms are available. Cleaners are also available, and the frequency obviously depends on how much you pay. The accommodation on campus (and the university accommodation in town) is very typical for university accommodation. If you have any specific questions about specific types of accommodation then feel free to ask - I have friends in most halls so have probably visited!

If you have any questions about civil engineering or university life then feel free to ask.

Rob
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(Original post by University Of Bath)
Hi again!

Just a quick reminder that I'm a first year civil engineer. I have just finished my first semester and have had my last exam today! I am really enjoying the course and the whole university experience. I'm now looking forward to a weeks break before beginning my new modules in February.

I live on the university campus in self catered accommodation. I share the kitchen with seven people although this varies depending on which accommodation you live in. My accommodation has shared bathrooms - we have four toilets and four showers between seventeen of us. Whilst you may not think this sounds a lot, it's more than adequate however of course ensuite rooms are available. Cleaners are also available, and the frequency obviously depends on how much you pay. The accommodation on campus (and the university accommodation in town) is very typical for university accommodation. If you have any specific questions about specific types of accommodation then feel free to ask - I have friends in most halls so have probably visited!

If you have any questions about civil engineering or university life then feel free to ask.

Rob
I've firmed for Chemical Engineering but I assume exam weighting will be quite similar - how important were your January exams, and how hard did you find them?
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(Original post by Bude8)
I've firmed for Chemical Engineering but I assume exam weighting will be quite similar - how important were your January exams, and how hard did you find them?
Hi!

Thanks for the message. Congratulations on the offer! It looks like the first year for chemical engineering doesn't count towards to overall degree (this is the same for almost all degrees here). Year 2 counts for 32% and year 3 counts 68%. Having said this, you obviously must pass your exams otherwise you will have to re-sit them or may not be allowed to carry onto year 2 (but this will all be explained when you arrive). Also, if you are looking at a placement in the middle of your degree, your first year grade may well count.

The modules you'll be doing in the first semester are:
- Chemical engineering principles (conservation, transformation & separation)
- Chemical engineering skills & practice 1
- Physical chemistry
- Biology & bio-processes
- Mathematics 1

Personally I can't comment on any of the specific chemical engineering modules as I haven't done them. My January exams were moderately hard, with a mixture of easy and hard exams. Fortunately I only have to get 40% to pass. The exams are not designed to be a major stress, but more to make sure everyone has a solid foundation for future modules.

I hope this offers some assistance. This page here offers some more specifics if you require them.

Rob
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indiaharding
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I hold an offer for the MEng civil with year in placement course at Bath and a MEng general engineering course at Durham.
What would you say are the highlights and drawbacks of studying civil and/or in Bath. Thanks


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Hi!

Thanks for the message. Congratulations on the offer! It looks like the first year for chemical engineering doesn't count towards to overall degree (this is the same for almost all degrees here). Year 2 counts for 32% and year 3 counts 68%. Having said this, you obviously must pass your exams otherwise you will have to re-sit them or may not be allowed to carry onto year 2 (but this will all be explained when you arrive). Also, if you are looking at a placement in the middle of your degree, your first year grade may well count.

The modules you'll be doing in the first semester are:
- Chemical engineering principles (conservation, transformation & separation)
- Chemical engineering skills & practice 1
- Physical chemistry
- Biology & bio-processes
- Mathematics 1

Personally I can't comment on any of the specific chemical engineering modules as I haven't done them. My January exams were moderately hard, with a mixture of easy and hard exams. Fortunately I only have to get 40% to pass. The exams are not designed to be a major stress, but more to make sure everyone has a solid foundation for future modules.

I hope this offers some assistance. This page here offers some more specifics if you require them.

Rob
I was also wondering, what calculators do engineers use? TI84s?


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(Original post by indiaharding)
I hold an offer for the MEng civil with year in placement course at Bath and a MEng general engineering course at Durham.
What would you say are the highlights and drawbacks of studying civil and/or in Bath. Thanks


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Hi!

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

This is a very good question and very similar to the type of thing I was wondering last year, when applying.

So Durham's course is general engineering. This means that you'll be doing some chemical, mechanical, civil etc for the first year (maybe two) and then specialising into civil engineering afterwards. Now this has two advantages, firstly it means that if you aren't completely sure about which branch of engineering you prefer, you have time to try it all out before deciding. Secondly, if you graduate as a civil engineer, you'll most likely be working in an office or company with engineers from all the other branches. If your education means you have a basic understanding of their jobs (i.e. you've done a little chemical, mechanical engineering etc) then you will probably be able to work better in the team. The disadvantage of a general course is that if you're sure you want to do civil then you may find it frustrating and difficult doing other branches that prehaphs don't interest you. So Durham's course structure may or may not interest you.

At Bath we have a similar (ish!) concept. Our civil engineering department is combined with the architecture department. This is for exactly the same reason as above (you'll be working together so should be educated together). So at Bath you will work with the architects quite a lot and do some joint projects.

The other educational thing you may like to think about is the performance of the universities. A good way to do this is to look at league tables however, don’t become too dictated by these. A good place to start might be: the complete university guide or the Guardian league tables. Another consideration is ‘student satisfaction’ which is also published in league table format. Bath generally does well in these and is the most satisfied in the UK according to the results of the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

So whilst education is important when you decide between the two, there are lots of other factors you could consider when deciding upon the best university. There is no set formula and people make decisions based on different things. The most important thing is that you are happy at the university you choose. In essence, you will be living and breathing the university every day, so you need to be completely happy with your choice. Bath is a reasonably small campus university (all lecture rooms, library, and much of the accommodation is on one site) and it has everything from shops to cafes and banks to a chaplaincy all on one site. Personally, when I decided which university was right for me, I saw it as a positive that it was a small campus and everything was so local. However, I know for other people, they don’t like the ‘bubble’ effect and much prefer the more open ‘city university’. Sadly I've never been to Durham so can't comment on it.


Another thing that might matter to you is location (maybe you want to get away from home or stay close to home!), or accommodation (however in my opinion all student accommodation is very similar and depends more on how much you pay than the location).
These are just things that I considered when applying to university however there might be more obscure things that really matter to you. For example, one of my friends went to Cardiff University because he loves kayaking and they have a white-water canoe centre very close! Personally I think you should focus more on the factors listed above, but each person is different.

In regards to what there is to do, I think Bath can keep you busy! The city is reasonably small, but many people think it’s extremely pretty and personally I enjoy spending time in town. In terms of meeting people, there are loads of people to meet – the university has over 15,000 students! You’ll have a chance to meet people in your accommodation, in your department and at any of the societies you may join. We have over 80 societies.

I hope the advice aids you in making the right decision - I wish I could help more – I was in the same situation last year, and I know how you’re feeling! Ultimately, both are very good universities and the likelihood is that you’ll be happy at any of them, but spend time thinking through the options and make sure you chose the one you think you’ll be happiest at!

I hope that my response is of some assistance to you. Apologies for its length, but I wanted to answer your questions in enough detail for you to be able to make an informed decision.

Best of luck with your decision making process and if you need any more help, please don’t hesitate to get back to me.

Rob
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(Original post by Bude8)
I was also wondering, what calculators do engineers use? TI84s?


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As a first year civil engineer, I've only used a normal scientific calculator and not a graphical calculator. I do have a graphical calculator from A-Level but it's been in my cupboard, unused since September! The type of thing we've done so far doesn't require anything more than a normal scientific calculator.

In exams, you'll probably be provided with one, and the university calculators are Casio FX-85ES, but you don't necessarily need that specific model for everyday use.

It might be that in later years you require something else, but my advice would be not to buy anything extra now!

Rob
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indiaharding
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Hi!

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

This is a very good question and very similar to the type of thing I was wondering last year, when applying.

So Durham's course is general engineering. This means that you'll be doing some chemical, mechanical, civil etc for the first year (maybe two) and then specialising into civil engineering afterwards. Now this has two advantages, firstly it means that if you aren't completely sure about which branch of engineering you prefer, you have time to try it all out before deciding. Secondly, if you graduate as a civil engineer, you'll most likely be working in an office or company with engineers from all the other branches. If your education means you have a basic understanding of their jobs (i.e. you've done a little chemical, mechanical engineering etc) then you will probably be able to work better in the team. The disadvantage of a general course is that if you're sure you want to do civil then you may find it frustrating and difficult doing other branches that prehaphs don't interest you. So Durham's course structure may or may not interest you.

At Bath we have a similar (ish!) concept. Our civil engineering department is combined with the architecture department. This is for exactly the same reason as above (you'll be working together so should be educated together). So at Bath you will work with the architects quite a lot and do some joint projects.

The other educational thing you may like to think about is the performance of the universities. A good way to do this is to look at league tables however, don’t become too dictated by these. A good place to start might be: the complete university guide or the Guardian league tables. Another consideration is ‘student satisfaction’ which is also published in league table format. Bath generally does well in these and is the most satisfied in the UK according to the results of the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS).

So whilst education is important when you decide between the two, there are lots of other factors you could consider when deciding upon the best university. There is no set formula and people make decisions based on different things. The most important thing is that you are happy at the university you choose. In essence, you will be living and breathing the university every day, so you need to be completely happy with your choice. Bath is a reasonably small campus university (all lecture rooms, library, and much of the accommodation is on one site) and it has everything from shops to cafes and banks to a chaplaincy all on one site. Personally, when I decided which university was right for me, I saw it as a positive that it was a small campus and everything was so local. However, I know for other people, they don’t like the ‘bubble’ effect and much prefer the more open ‘city university’. Sadly I've never been to Durham so can't comment on it.


Another thing that might matter to you is location (maybe you want to get away from home or stay close to home!), or accommodation (however in my opinion all student accommodation is very similar and depends more on how much you pay than the location).
These are just things that I considered when applying to university however there might be more obscure things that really matter to you. For example, one of my friends went to Cardiff University because he loves kayaking and they have a white-water canoe centre very close! Personally I think you should focus more on the factors listed above, but each person is different.

In regards to what there is to do, I think Bath can keep you busy! The city is reasonably small, but many people think it’s extremely pretty and personally I enjoy spending time in town. In terms of meeting people, there are loads of people to meet – the university has over 15,000 students! You’ll have a chance to meet people in your accommodation, in your department and at any of the societies you may join. We have over 80 societies.

I hope the advice aids you in making the right decision - I wish I could help more – I was in the same situation last year, and I know how you’re feeling! Ultimately, both are very good universities and the likelihood is that you’ll be happy at any of them, but spend time thinking through the options and make sure you chose the one you think you’ll be happiest at!

I hope that my response is of some assistance to you. Apologies for its length, but I wanted to answer your questions in enough detail for you to be able to make an informed decision.

Best of luck with your decision making process and if you need any more help, please don’t hesitate to get back to me.

Rob
Thank you ever so much for your reply, been incredibly useful!
I shall try an take all factors on board before making my final decision.
Thank you
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LucentDoughnut98
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Hi, Im looking to do Civil Engineering at Uni and will be applying this winter. I am doing Maths and Physics A Level but however i am doing Statistics modules in Maths not Mechanics.

I was wondering if I would be able to cope with a Civil Engineering degree without M1 and M2?

Cheers
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(Original post by LucentDoughnut98)
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Hi, Im looking to do Civil Engineering at Uni and will be applying this winter. I am doing Maths and Physics A Level but however i am doing Statistics modules in Maths not Mechanics.

I was wondering if I would be able to cope with a Civil Engineering degree without M1 and M2?

Cheers
Hi,

A great questions - thanks for getting in contact!

The most important thing is the A-Level Maths and Physics which you obviously have. For an engineering degree, of course mechanics modules would be more useful than statistics modules. Personally I did further maths and sat M1,2,3 and S1 and S2. In terms of coping, those who did mechanics modules may have a small advantage over you but I wouldn't have said it is particularly large. Presumably you have done basic mechanics in your physics course, and this would be enough in my opinion. The mechanics would be most useful in structures 1, but the course starts off very basic, from simply resolving forces and using equilibrium. As such, a basic understanding of equilibrium and forces should be enough. In essence, those without mechanics modules will be learning new content from day 1 whereas those who have already done M1,M2 may not cover new content until a week or two in.

The first part of the first semester isn't meant to be majorly difficult. There will be lots of people from lots of different backgrounds and countries who have all had different educations. The first part of the semester is simply to get everyone to the same level, so you have nothing to worry about.

So in essence, as long as you work hard and appreciate that those have done mechanics modules have a small head-start on you, I don't think you'll be disadvantaged or get left behind.

I hope that's helped. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Best of luck,

Rob
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LucentDoughnut98
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(Original post by University Of Bath)
Hi,

A great questions - thanks for getting in contact!

The most important thing is the A-Level Maths and Physics which you obviously have. For an engineering degree, of course mechanics modules would be more useful than statistics modules. Personally I did further maths and sat M1,2,3 and S1 and S2. In terms of coping, those who did mechanics modules may have a small advantage over you but I wouldn't have said it is particularly large. Presumably you have done basic mechanics in your physics course, and this would be enough in my opinion. The mechanics would be most useful in structures 1, but the course starts off very basic, from simply resolving forces and using equilibrium. As such, a basic understanding of equilibrium and forces should be enough. In essence, those without mechanics modules will be learning new content from day 1 whereas those who have already done M1,M2 may not cover new content until a week or two in.

The first part of the first semester isn't meant to be majorly difficult. There will be lots of people from lots of different backgrounds and countries who have all had different educations. The first part of the semester is simply to get everyone to the same level, so you have nothing to worry about.

So in essence, as long as you work hard and appreciate that those have done mechanics modules have a small head-start on you, I don't think you'll be disadvantaged or get left behind.

I hope that's helped. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Best of luck,

Rob
Thanks! This is has certainly helped me! One more question, what are the job prospects for civil engineering in general? Cheers mate

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(Original post by LucentDoughnut98)
Thanks! This is has certainly helped me! One more question, what are the job prospects for civil engineering in general? Cheers mate

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Hi,

Thanks for the question!

Needless to say I can't be totally definitive with my answer as the world is always changing and no-one really knows what the economy and construction industry will be like when you graduate.

However, Bath does have a very good employment rate. A quick look at the guardian league table shows it fairs well with other top unis for employment after months. If you want more facts like these, I'd suggest a quick Google for similar league tables by different companies.

At the moment, personally I'd say the carer prospects are good. The construction industry is one that can fluctuate a lot and I'm sure you are aware that it was hit badly by the recession. My guess would be that if you came out of uni and we were in a recession then you may have to compromise on your job but job prospectus in general for civil engineers are good.

I expect you've already googled starting pay for a newly qualified civil engineer (I certainly did before I applied!). You will probably see that civil engineers generally get paid marginally less than many other branches on engineering but I wouldn't worry about this too much. It's still a good rate and it's more about what you enjoy than worrying about the odd bit of extra money here and there!

I hope that has been of some assistance.

Feel free to ask away!

Rob
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Hi guys!

It's nearly Easter, so it's coming to the end of the second semester at Bath. Wont be long now until the final exams of the year and then summer ball!

I am currently looking at summer placements so if you have any questions on this, then feel free to ask.

For those of you looking at accommodation then try and get in early for the best chance of getting what you want. My best suggestion is to look at this 360 tour of each accommodation. There are a lot of posts at the moment on accommodation but if you have any specific questions then feel free to ask!

Happy Easter!

Rob
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LucentDoughnut98
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Hi guys!

It's nearly Easter, so it's coming to the end of the second semester at Bath. Wont be long now until the final exams of the year and then summer ball!

I am currently looking at summer placements so if you have any questions on this, then feel free to ask.

For those of you looking at accommodation then try and get in early for the best chance of getting what you want. My best suggestion is to look at this 360 tour of each accommodation. There are a lot of posts at the moment on accommodation but if you have any specific questions then feel free to ask!

Happy Easter!

Rob

Hi!

How are you finding your course at the moment? Is it very challenging or is it okay? Whats your favourite topic and why?
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(Original post by LucentDoughnut98)
Hi!

How are you finding your course at the moment? Is it very challenging or is it okay? Whats your favourite topic and why?

Hi!

There are certainly some challenging aspects, but on the whole I'm finding it OK. Currently my modules are: Maths, computer applications, structures, materials science and surveying.

This semester I have got quite a lot of project work and course work, and not that much raw content to learn (which has pros and cons!). For me, maths isn't too bad as I did further maths for ALevel. Computer application involves learning AutoCAD and python which I'm not finding too bad as I'm pretty good with computers. I'm currently doing a project on each which is a little tedious but not too bad. The good thing about those projects is that we are able to make it as challenging or as easy as we like. Surveying is also all course work which isn't too bad - we are surveying part of campus and drawing a plan (just a little tedious at times to measure everything!). Materials science has some tricky aspects, but the general principles are actually very straight forward. Structures seems to have loads of proof and really I just need to do lots of practice questions now.

Overall it's not going too badly! But maybe I won't be saying that in a months time when exams are just around the corner!!

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Rob
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Hi!

This is probably going to be one of my last posts on this thread as a first year civil engineer!

If you have any more questions about Bath, civil engineering or first year life, then feel free to ask.

I know lots of you are currently applying for accommodation and firming universities. If you need any advice on this then feel free to ask. If not, best of luck!

Rob
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Hey Rob,
I'm applying for Electrical and Electronic Engineering and I have a conditional for bath but also for some other unis, I am having a hard time choosing and was just wondering what bath is like to live in and the engineering departments as a general ? I'm a little worried the campus doesn't have enough things to do in an evening , are there many bars/ clubs on campus or in the town ? I really like bath so I am basically trying to find a tiny factor to help bath win it in my head

Many thanks
Ciara
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Hey Rob,
I'm applying for Electrical and Electronic Engineering and I have a conditional for bath but also for some other unis, I am having a hard time choosing and was just wondering what bath is like to live in and the engineering departments as a general ? I'm a little worried the campus doesn't have enough things to do in an evening , are there many bars/ clubs on campus or in the town ? I really like bath so I am basically trying to find a tiny factor to help bath win it in my head

Many thanks
Ciara
Hi Ciara!

Thanks for the message.

Bath is a lovely place to live. It is very safe, pretty and historic. Some of the architecture is fantastic and Bath city as a whole is very quaint.

In terms of what there is to do, there is a student union on campus which has a bar. Throughout the week there are quizzes, games nights, open mick nights in the SU. If you're into going out then the SU also holds club nights twice a week and you can get the bus into town to go to clubs.

There is also sports and societies that you can take part in. Varying from football to wine tasting to Chinese! Personally I have never found myself to be bored in the evenings, even if I'm just doing work or watching a film with friends!

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Rob
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