jontypickles
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Hi, I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics and General Studies (compulsory at my school) in year 12 at a State High School in Suffolk.

My dream is to go to Cambridge and I have a real passion for the sciences, both academically and practically. However, having looked at both the Natural Sciences and Engineering course, I am torn between the two! I have recently been on two masterclass courses, one for engineering, one for natural sciences (chemistry) in which I enjoy both greatly, I find the lecture topics so interesting! If I am being totally honest, I think I enjoyed the chemistry masterclass just slightly more than the engineering masterclass whether that is down to the broadness of the engineering topics they lectured, or the engineering itself I don't know. I am prodominently an academic, with not very much experience in design and technology having not taken it for GCSE (In hindsight, I wish I had) but I love the theory around machines, understanding how they work and the science behind it. I think my favourite topic is Quantum Physics, as I find the some of the theories around quantum fascinating and I love the links I continue to find between quantum and other areas of science. Although I talk about the love of academics, I also enjoy the practical side of science, and more specifically computer science. I really enjoy programming and problem solving, using computers as a medium for ingenuity.

Both the Natural Sciences and Engineering course look great, and I'm sure I will be enthused and inspired by whichever course I decide to go for, regardless of if I am studying at Cambridge or any other university. I think the Natural Sciences course appeals to my strengths more, being good at the academic side of science. I like the idea of not having to specialise until my third year. I think the career prospectives look much better catered to me for the Engineering Course, as I don't particularly want to go into research, which is what natural sciences appears to me to be setting you up for. I want to go into industry, preferably the defence industry, and I think the Engineering course sets me up better for that scheme of work.

Overall, I think I'd enjoy the Natural Sciences course slightly more than the Engineering course. I think it is slightly better tailored to me and I'd be quite good at it. This is not to say I don't think I would find the engineering course fun and I would be bad at it. However, I think the Engineering course is much better for the line of work I want to go into and future jobs compared to the Natural Sciences course.

My questions are in my position, what would you choose, Natural Sciences or Engineering (preferably at Cambridge)? What are career options after a Natural Sciences degree from Cambridge which don't involve a PhD then research? Is the Cambridge Engineering course too theoretical for potential employers? And what are you experiences of either course at any university?

My GCSEs grades are: 10A*s and 2As.
My predicted grades for ASs are 5As.
I have just received my Mock Results which were straight As with over 93% UMS average.

I am also going to attend an EDT Headstart Course at Bristol in July and am I applying for the Senior Physics Challenge residential at Cambridge which my teacher has nominated me for, so these things may give me a bit more of an insight into the role of the Engineer and Natural Scientist and what the specific courses entail.
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(Original post by jontypickles)
Hi, I am currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics and General Studies (compulsory at my school) in year 12 at a State High School in Suffolk.

My dream is to go to Cambridge and I have a real passion for the sciences, both academically and practically. However, having looked at both the Natural Sciences and Engineering course, I am torn between the two! I have recently been on two masterclass courses, one for engineering, one for natural sciences (chemistry) in which I enjoy both greatly, I find the lecture topics so interesting! If I am being totally honest, I think I enjoyed the chemistry masterclass just slightly more than the engineering masterclass whether that is down to the broadness of the engineering topics they lectured, or the engineering itself I don't know. I am prodominently an academic, with not very much experience in design and technology having not taken it for GCSE (In hindsight, I wish I had) but I love the theory around machines, understanding how they work and the science behind it. I think my favourite topic is Quantum Physics, as I find the some of the theories around quantum fascinating and I love the links I continue to find between quantum and other areas of science. Although I talk about the love of academics, I also enjoy the practical side of science, and more specifically computer science. I really enjoy programming and problem solving, using computers as a medium for ingenuity.

Both the Natural Sciences and Engineering course look great, and I'm sure I will be enthused and inspired by whichever course I decide to go for, regardless of if I am studying at Cambridge or any other university. I think the Natural Sciences course appeals to my strengths more, being good at the academic side of science. I like the idea of not having to specialise until my third year. I think the career prospectives look much better catered to me for the Engineering Course, as I don't particularly want to go into research, which is what natural sciences appears to me to be setting you up for. I want to go into industry, preferably the defence industry, and I think the Engineering course sets me up better for that scheme of work.

Overall, I think I'd enjoy the Natural Sciences course slightly more than the Engineering course. I think it is slightly better tailored to me and I'd be quite good at it. This is not to say I don't think I would find the engineering course fun and I would be bad at it. However, I think the Engineering course is much better for the line of work I want to go into and future jobs compared to the Natural Sciences course.

My questions are in my position, what would you choose, Natural Sciences or Engineering (preferably at Cambridge)? What are career options after a Natural Sciences degree from Cambridge which don't involve a PhD then research? Is the Cambridge Engineering course too theoretical for potential employers? And what are you experiences of either course at any university?

My GCSEs grades are: 10A*s and 2As.
My predicted grades for ASs are 5As.
I have just received my Mock Results which were straight As with over 93% UMS average.

I am also going to attend an EDT Headstart Course at Bristol in July and am I applying for the Senior Physics Challenge residential at Cambridge which my teacher has nominated me for, so these things may give me a bit more of an insight into the role of the Engineer and Natural Scientist and what the specific courses entail.
From skim reading your post I would say that you sound a bit more like a natural sciences type, so I would probably advise you towards that.
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jontypickles
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Thanks for the reply. Is there anything about what I said which made you suggest NatSci?

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