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    Hi everyone,

    I've just finished a foundation year in engineering and physical sciences and I'm now looking to choose my actual degree course for September. The plan was always to do Chemical Engineering, which I originally chose because i enjoyed maths and chemistry at A-level. I have now found out that very little actual chemistry is studied in Chemical Engineering, and that enjoying chemistry is a wrong reason to choose the course.

    Nevertheless, I have found that I have really enjoyed the Maths component of the foundation year, and having done some brief reading ahead of some engineering science textbooks (topics such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics etc.) I think I really would enjoy a course with this sort of content in it. This prompted me to look at the other engineering courses on offer and I have found that Mechanical Engineering also covers the same maths and engineering science content that I think I would enjoy. My only gripe with Mechanical Engineering is the rather large amount of practical group design project work which increases over the years - while I would enjoy project work, I'm unsure at to whether I am a particularly hands-on type of person and thus don't know if the course would suit me. I'm aware that Chemical Engineering also has similar group project work but I am unsure as to whether it is as hands-on in nature compared to Mechanical projects?

    Secondly, I have been advised by a course tutor that there are less Chemical Engineering graduates than Mechanical Engineering graduates, making Chemical a more "exclusive" field to be qualified in.

    Overall, what I really want is the course that suits me the most and I really don't know how to choose between the two. I know I want a course with lots of mathematical content but I also would prefer one with less group project work, which having done it as part of my foundation year, is something of a chore. Ideally, I also want a broad degree that leaves a wide variety of career options open! Really sorry for the essay here, but I just don't know how to choose between the two and I really don't know what I want to do! Any opinions/which choice to make and why would be very appreciated!

    TL;DR - Trying to decide whether to do ChemEng or MechEng. Really like mathsy work, don't think I'd enjoy hands on group work, want a broad degree to leave as many options open as possible. Don't know which to choose, help!
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    Hi everyone,

    I've just finished a foundation year in engineering and physical sciences and I'm now looking to choose my actual degree course for September. The plan was always to do Chemical Engineering, which I originally chose because i enjoyed maths and chemistry at A-level. I have now found out that very little actual chemistry is studied in Chemical Engineering, and that enjoying chemistry is a wrong reason to choose the course.

    Nevertheless, I have found that I have really enjoyed the Maths component of the foundation year, and having done some brief reading ahead of some engineering science textbooks (topics such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics etc.) I think I really would enjoy a course with this sort of content in it. This prompted me to look at the other engineering courses on offer and I have found that Mechanical Engineering also covers the same maths and engineering science content that I think I would enjoy. My only gripe with Mechanical Engineering is the rather large amount of practical group design project work which increases over the years - while I would enjoy project work, I'm unsure at to whether I am a particularly hands-on type of person and thus don't know if the course would suit me. I'm aware that Chemical Engineering also has similar group project work but I am unsure as to whether it is as hands-on in nature compared to Mechanical projects?

    Secondly, I have been advised by a course tutor that there are less Chemical Engineering graduates than Mechanical Engineering graduates, making Chemical a more "exclusive" field to be qualified in.

    Overall, what I really want is the course that suits me the most and I really don't know how to choose between the two. I know I want a course with lots of mathematical content but I also would prefer one with less group project work, which having done it as part of my foundation year, is something of a chore. Ideally, I also want a broad degree that leaves a wide variety of career options open! Really sorry for the essay here, but I just don't know how to choose between the two and I really don't know what I want to do! Any opinions/which choice to make and why would be very appreciated!

    TL;DR - Trying to decide whether to do ChemEng or MechEng. Really like mathsy work, don't think I'd enjoy hands on group work, want a broad degree to leave as many options open as possible. Don't know which to choose, help!
    Mechanical engineering doesn't typically contain much hands-on group work (although the option for more may be there depending on what projects are available/you want to take).

    In mechanical engineering, you cover a wide range of subjects, such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, controls, dynamics and solid mechanics, which leaves a wide range of options career wise.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Mechanical engineering doesn't typically contain much hands-on group work (although the option for more may be there depending on what projects are available/you want to take).

    In mechanical engineering, you cover a wide range of subjects, such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, controls, dynamics and solid mechanics, which leaves a wide range of options career wise.
    Yep, I've heard mechanical is a very broad field of engineering if not the broadest. Do you know if chemical covers these same engineering sciences to the same depth? And which is the more mathsy of the two?
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    Yep, I've heard mechanical is a very broad field of engineering if not the broadest. Do you know if chemical covers these same engineering sciences to the same depth? And which is the more mathsy of the two?
    I didn't study chemical engineering but I suspect that it wouldn't cover things like dynamics or solid mechanics.

    I think that both disciplines would be as mathsy as each other. You'll probably share the same maths classes.
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    Hi everyone,

    I've just finished a foundation year in engineering and physical sciences and I'm now looking to choose my actual degree course for September. The plan was always to do Chemical Engineering, which I originally chose because i enjoyed maths and chemistry at A-level. I have now found out that very little actual chemistry is studied in Chemical Engineering, and that enjoying chemistry is a wrong reason to choose the course.

    Nevertheless, I have found that I have really enjoyed the Maths component of the foundation year, and having done some brief reading ahead of some engineering science textbooks (topics such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics etc.) I think I really would enjoy a course with this sort of content in it. This prompted me to look at the other engineering courses on offer and I have found that Mechanical Engineering also covers the same maths and engineering science content that I think I would enjoy. My only gripe with Mechanical Engineering is the rather large amount of practical group design project work which increases over the years - while I would enjoy project work, I'm unsure at to whether I am a particularly hands-on type of person and thus don't know if the course would suit me. I'm aware that Chemical Engineering also has similar group project work but I am unsure as to whether it is as hands-on in nature compared to Mechanical projects?

    Secondly, I have been advised by a course tutor that there are less Chemical Engineering graduates than Mechanical Engineering graduates, making Chemical a more "exclusive" field to be qualified in.

    Overall, what I really want is the course that suits me the most and I really don't know how to choose between the two. I know I want a course with lots of mathematical content but I also would prefer one with less group project work, which having done it as part of my foundation year, is something of a chore. Ideally, I also want a broad degree that leaves a wide variety of career options open! Really sorry for the essay here, but I just don't know how to choose between the two and I really don't know what I want to do! Any opinions/which choice to make and why would be very appreciated!

    TL;DR - Trying to decide whether to do ChemEng or MechEng. Really like mathsy work, don't think I'd enjoy hands on group work, want a broad degree to leave as many options open as possible. Don't know which to choose, help!
    A very large portion of ChemEng courses is engineering science (thermodynamics + fluid mechanics) and maths as well. Like Smack said there's not much hands-on stuff in either course. That said, group work is a must in ChemEng and from what I know from my flatmates it's equally incorporated into MechEng.*

    I enjoyed Chemistry at A level and would say it helps! It's more the concepts you learn in Chemistry. For example the idea of green chemistry and looking after the environment ect. Obviously mechanical engineering also works to optimise wherever possible and reduce emissions ect, but it's a different angle they approach it from.

    It's tricky because it sounds like you'd enjoy both. That said, I enjoyed chemistry at A level and don't think I'd like chemeng as much if I hadn't. It's just awesome looking at chemical reactions but on a big scale. How not accounting for stoichiometry could blow up a reactor/plant.

    I remember looking at these notes*http://umich.edu/~essen/html/byconce...res/frames.htm helped me make my decision.*
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    Hi OP,

    Congrats on passing your foundation year course. I'm going to give a totally biased opinion and say go for Mechanical. I'm currently in my 3rd year having started on a foundation year and it's the best decision I've made. All Mechanical courses that are accredited by IMechE will be very similar to ensure that all graduates are at the same level. Mechanical Engineering is very heavily maths based and you get to do fluid/thermodynamics every year (my favourite!). I have a friend which started on a Chemical Engineering course because they loved Chemistry, two years in they dropped out and started from scratch on a Chemistry degree. You're correct that Mechanical does have a lot of group based work which at times isn't the best but this is how you will work and plan projects when you get yourself a graduate job. Despite it being a bit of annoyance it's really beneficial in the long run as you'll be creating something from scratch and taking it through the design stage.

    From speaking to people who did Chemical Engineering when i was on my year placement, they felt like they had just missed the boat with Chemical Engineering and the job prospects weren't that great considering how hard they had worked. Doing mechanical lets you apply for anything Manufacturing, Automotive, Aerospace etc. Like i said my post is totally biased, whatever degree you choose i'm sure you'll enjoy it!
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    Hi everyone,

    I've just finished a foundation year in engineering and physical sciences and I'm now looking to choose my actual degree course for September. The plan was always to do Chemical Engineering, which I originally chose because i enjoyed maths and chemistry at A-level. I have now found out that very little actual chemistry is studied in Chemical Engineering, and that enjoying chemistry is a wrong reason to choose the course.

    Nevertheless, I have found that I have really enjoyed the Maths component of the foundation year, and having done some brief reading ahead of some engineering science textbooks (topics such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics etc.) I think I really would enjoy a course with this sort of content in it. This prompted me to look at the other engineering courses on offer and I have found that Mechanical Engineering also covers the same maths and engineering science content that I think I would enjoy. My only gripe with Mechanical Engineering is the rather large amount of practical group design project work which increases over the years - while I would enjoy project work, I'm unsure at to whether I am a particularly hands-on type of person and thus don't know if the course would suit me. I'm aware that Chemical Engineering also has similar group project work but I am unsure as to whether it is as hands-on in nature compared to Mechanical projects?

    Secondly, I have been advised by a course tutor that there are less Chemical Engineering graduates than Mechanical Engineering graduates, making Chemical a more "exclusive" field to be qualified in.

    Overall, what I really want is the course that suits me the most and I really don't know how to choose between the two. I know I want a course with lots of mathematical content but I also would prefer one with less group project work, which having done it as part of my foundation year, is something of a chore. Ideally, I also want a broad degree that leaves a wide variety of career options open! Really sorry for the essay here, but I just don't know how to choose between the two and I really don't know what I want to do! Any opinions/which choice to make and why would be very appreciated!

    TL;DR - Trying to decide whether to do ChemEng or MechEng. Really like mathsy work, don't think I'd enjoy hands on group work, want a broad degree to leave as many options open as possible. Don't know which to choose, help!
    How did you find the foundation year? Is it beneficial, i'm thinking of doing it for aeronautical engineering
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    (Original post by Glib)
    How did you find the foundation year? Is it beneficial, i'm thinking of doing it for aeronautical engineering
    I had done A-level Maths before so the maths contingent on my course which was the largest part I found quite straightforward. We also did MATLAB which can be tedious, and some mechanics and physics which was reasonably difficult but not too bad as long as you took the time to understand the concepts.

    As for being beneficial, yep I feel much more prepared for the first year of whichever course I go on to do, the foundation year is studied in the same way as a degree course - the structure and methods of assessment are the same. Go for it, good luck!
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    (Original post by 1c8e2)
    Hi OP,

    Congrats on passing your foundation year course. I'm going to give a totally biased opinion and say go for Mechanical. I'm currently in my 3rd year having started on a foundation year and it's the best decision I've made. All Mechanical courses that are accredited by IMechE will be very similar to ensure that all graduates are at the same level. Mechanical Engineering is very heavily maths based and you get to do fluid/thermodynamics every year (my favourite!). I have a friend which started on a Chemical Engineering course because they loved Chemistry, two years in they dropped out and started from scratch on a Chemistry degree. You're correct that Mechanical does have a lot of group based work which at times isn't the best but this is how you will work and plan projects when you get yourself a graduate job. Despite it being a bit of annoyance it's really beneficial in the long run as you'll be creating something from scratch and taking it through the design stage.

    From speaking to people who did Chemical Engineering when i was on my year placement, they felt like they had just missed the boat with Chemical Engineering and the job prospects weren't that great considering how hard they had worked. Doing mechanical lets you apply for anything Manufacturing, Automotive, Aerospace etc. Like i said my post is totally biased, whatever degree you choose i'm sure you'll enjoy it!
    Thanks for your response! What do you mean by missed the boat when you were referring to the ChemEngers that you know - is it not all it's touted to be in terms of finding work etc?
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    (Original post by adam132)
    A very large portion of ChemEng courses is engineering science (thermodynamics + fluid mechanics) and maths as well. Like Smack said there's not much hands-on stuff in either course. That said, group work is a must in ChemEng and from what I know from my flatmates it's equally incorporated into MechEng.*

    I enjoyed Chemistry at A level and would say it helps! It's more the concepts you learn in Chemistry. For example the idea of green chemistry and looking after the environment ect. Obviously mechanical engineering also works to optimise wherever possible and reduce emissions ect, but it's a different angle they approach it from.

    It's tricky because it sounds like you'd enjoy both. That said, I enjoyed chemistry at A level and don't think I'd like chemeng as much if I hadn't. It's just awesome looking at chemical reactions but on a big scale. How not accounting for stoichiometry could blow up a reactor/plant.

    I remember looking at these notes*http://umich.edu/~essen/html/byconce...res/frames.htm helped me make my decision.*
    Thanks for your response! Yep I'm pretty sure that I'd enjoy both, as they both include similar engineering sciences and of course the high maths content. I'm struggling to choose because Mechanical just seems "broader" but I'm unsure if the design and make projects that they do would suit me. I was told that enjoying chemistry would be the wrong reason to choose ChemEng but it's definitely worked out well for you! And yep Chemical does seem very interesting in terms of what is studied but it's definitely more specialized and focused on chemical processes.
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    I had done A-level Maths before so the maths contingent on my course which was the largest part I found quite straightforward. We also did MATLAB which can be tedious, and some mechanics and physics which was reasonably difficult but not too bad as long as you took the time to understand the concepts.

    As for being beneficial, yep I feel much more prepared for the first year of whichever course I go on to do, the foundation year is studied in the same way as a degree course - the structure and methods of assessment are the same. Go for it, good luck!
    Thank you for the decisive and helpful advice, i would give you more reps if i could
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    Thanks for your response! What do you mean by missed the boat when you were referring to the ChemEngers that you know - is it not all it's touted to be in terms of finding work etc?
    Pretty much. Natural progression for a chemical engineer is either within oil and gas or pharmaceuticals and the former is like gold dust nowadays. Im not saying there's no jobs, just compared to a mechanical engineer you have a lot less to choose from. The place i did my internship was purely mechanical based but theyve recently started accepting chemeng. Its up to you where you decide to work in in the future, i personally had no idea so purposely picked a broader subject.
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    (Original post by 1c8e2)
    The place i did my internship was purely mechanical based but theyve recently started accepting chemeng.
    Which sector was that, if you don't mind me asking?
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    (Original post by Glib)
    Thank you for the decisive and helpful advice, i would give you more reps if i could
    No worries mate, sure its 9 grand plus living costs but it's a much better way imo to get onto the degree course. I'm not sure what it is about learning in university but I definitely prefer it to A-levels - at a foundation year level at least you develop the same knowledge in terms of A-level maths and science without having to jump through the hoops of "interpretation" questions if you know what I mean, and there is also a focus on developing the knowledge that you'll need to enter the degree. You also get used to university life and how to live and work there on the way. Definitely worth it!
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    (Original post by 1c8e2)
    Pretty much. Natural progression for a chemical engineer is either within oil and gas or pharmaceuticals and the former is like gold dust nowadays. Im not saying there's no jobs, just compared to a mechanical engineer you have a lot less to choose from. The place i did my internship was purely mechanical based but theyve recently started accepting chemeng. Its up to you where you decide to work in in the future, i personally had no idea so purposely picked a broader subject.
    This is one of the main reasons for me considering Mechanical - there are more sectors you can enter afterwards due to the sheer broadness of the degree. However, one could also say that there are many more MechEng graduates than ChemEng graduates every year - does this has an impact on job hunting have you found? This is a point that one of my foundation lecturers seemed to stress (funnily enough she said the exact same thing as you about chemical).
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    However, one could also say that there are many more MechEng graduates than ChemEng graduates every year
    Yes and there are more jobs for mechanical engineers too.


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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    This is one of the main reasons for me considering Mechanical - there are more sectors you can enter afterwards due to the sheer broadness of the degree. However, one could also say that there are many more MechEng graduates than ChemEng graduates every year - does this has an impact on job hunting have you found? This is a point that one of my foundation lecturers seemed to stress (funnily enough she said the exact same thing as you about chemical).
    Chemical Engineering is a niche section of engineering so it's expected that there's less graduates and jobs than in Mechanical Engineering. However, I would say both get paid equally and there's still a lot of career paths avaliable for graduates of either course.

    Personally, I decided I wanted to pursue Chemical Engineering as I don't find Mechanical Engineering or other forms of Engineering particularly interesting. It's mainly down to your interests which course you pick. Remember you'll have to enjoy the next 3/4 years of your degree!
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    (Original post by LordSidious)
    This is one of the main reasons for me considering Mechanical - there are more sectors you can enter afterwards due to the sheer broadness of the degree. However, one could also say that there are many more MechEng graduates than ChemEng graduates every year - does this has an impact on job hunting have you found? This is a point that one of my foundation lecturers seemed to stress (funnily enough she said the exact same thing as you about chemical).
    Ive been told since college how there's a lack of engineers within the UK and i find this really hard to believe. When you go to interviews theres lots of people doing assessment days with you so youve really got to make yourself stand out. If you get a 2:1/1, have work experience or got involved in extra ciricular stuff at uni (languages, sports, programming, IMechE) then you'll have no problem finding a job. I think that's the same for all professions though, places are really competitive so you've got to stretch yourself and have something unique.

    Overall, engineering job prospects are good - it just depends what sector you want to work in and where in the country you want to work as that makes a big difference.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Which sector was that, if you don't mind me asking?
    Turbomachinery
 
 
 
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