theangrytripmunk
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I was looking at some engineering undergrad courses from different unis and I found them giving quite different courses. So for instance, Oxford offers an engineering degree and over the course you can choose to look more closely at certain branches. Whereas, Imperial offers courses which are quite specialised from the start. So I'm unsure which I should consider and what are the pros and cons of each ? And which are generally more competitive and have higher entry requirements?
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Smack
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(Original post by theangrytripmunk)
I was looking at some engineering undergrad courses from different unis and I found them giving quite different courses. So for instance, Oxford offers an engineering degree and over the course you can choose to look more closely at certain branches. Whereas, Imperial offers courses which are quite specialised from the start. So I'm unsure which I should consider and what are the pros and cons of each ? And which are generally more competitive and have higher entry requirements?
As someone who has worked as an engineer, I think that people should not be too quick to overlook more general degrees as opposed to ones that specialise right from the start.

General degrees have the advantage of exposing you to a broad range of material, allowing you to decide later on what branch you want to enter. Specialised degrees teach you more material from a specific branch, as logic would dictate, but to be honest, on the job, you probably won't be using too much of the material taught on your degree anyway, so I'm not really sure if four years of specialist, say, mechanical engineering content is specifically that much of an advantage. (And mechanical is quite broad too, covering everything from thermofluids to controls to stress & strain.)

One of the pros of a specialist degree is that you will only really cover material from that discipline. So if you know you want to be, say, an electronics engineer, you don't have to spend time covering beam bending.
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theangrytripmunk
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(Original post by Smack)
As someone who has worked as an engineer, I think that people should not be too quick to overlook more general degrees as opposed to ones that specialise right from the start.

General degrees have the advantage of exposing you to a broad range of material, allowing you to decide later on what branch you want to enter. Specialised degrees teach you more material from a specific branch, as logic would dictate, but to be honest, on the job, you probably won't be using too much of the material taught on your degree anyway, so I'm not really sure if four years of specialist, say, mechanical engineering content is specifically that much of an advantage. (And mechanical is quite broad too, covering everything from thermofluids to controls to stress & strain.)

One of the pros of a specialist degree is that you will only really cover material from that discipline. So if you know you want to be, say, an electronics engineer, you don't have to spend time covering beam bending.
Thanks for replying. I think because there are several different quite different branches of engineering that I've researched so far which have struck an interest, I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a general engineering course, although generally from what I've seen the entry requirements are significantly higher?

Thanks again, and have a good day!
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Peroxidation
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It depends on whether you've found your niche or not. If you have, do a course on that particular area of engineering, if not do a broader one to help you find your niche then specialize later. For instance, I applied for a chemical physics degree because my niche is the interface fields of the two disciplines, but a friend of mine applied for a standard chemistry degree and another applied for a standard physics degree.
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bigboateng_
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(Original post by theangrytripmunk)
Thanks for replying. I think because there are several different quite different branches of engineering that I've researched so far which have struck an interest, I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a general engineering course, although generally from what I've seen the entry requirements are significantly higher?

Thanks again, and have a good day!
'general engineering' is the same as mechanical engineering. I looked at the course contents for the Oxford course it doesn't look different from other mech courses out there. Also one thing is by doing a 'general degree' you are easily dismissing fields such as chemical, petroluem and aerospace (although you probably aren't interested in them). So rather thinking you're gonna have more options in the end you're probably limiting yourself imo. but then again a general engineering is like mechanical so you still have a lot of jobs to get into like robotics, automotive, and whole lot of other stuff.
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Smack
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(Original post by bigboateng_)
'general engineering' is the same as mechanical engineering.
It's not. General engineering degrees usually include core engineering content such as mechanics, electrical, fluids, dynamics etc. which allows those taking it to progress into a range of engineering disciplines.
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bigboateng_
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(Original post by Smack)
It's not. General engineering degrees usually include core engineering content such as mechanics, electrical, fluids, dynamics etc. which allows those taking it to progress into a range of engineering disciplines.
but you do all of those topics in mechanical engineering as well, what do you mean by core?
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Doones
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(Original post by theangrytripmunk)
I was looking at some engineering undergrad courses from different unis and I found them giving quite different courses. So for instance, Oxford offers an engineering degree and over the course you can choose to look more closely at certain branches. Whereas, Imperial offers courses which are quite specialised from the start. So I'm unsure which I should consider and what are the pros and cons of each ? And which are generally more competitive and have higher entry requirements?
Many people start a "general" engineering degree with an idea of what they want to specialise in, and then change their mind to specialise in something else. That's a key benefit of the general course, you get to experience the wide range of engineering fields, before making your specialisation decision.

After all, few people will have studied engineering in any detail prior to uni, so they don't really know what to expect...

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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by theangrytripmunk)
Thanks for replying. I think because there are several different quite different branches of engineering that I've researched so far which have struck an interest, I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a general engineering course, although generally from what I've seen the entry requirements are significantly higher?

Thanks again, and have a good day!
The entry requirements are higher because they usually require a bit of catching up, e.g. in third year a mechanical student and a general student might be doing the same module and the mech student will have done the prerequisite second year module while a general student might not have studied that since first year. Or more likely you might not have studied it at all and they'll power through all the relevant first and second year content in 2 or 3 lectures.

So yeah if you're highly motivated and ok with occasionally pushing through content you don't like go for a more general degree, otherwise try and figure out your niche.
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Smack
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(Original post by bigboateng_)
but you do all of those topics in mechanical engineering as well,
Yes but they're not all covered to the same depth as other disciplines.

what do you mean by core?
Just like the basis - basic circuits, stress/strain analysis, heat transfer etc.
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