Mechanical Engineering vs Aerospace Engineering?

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    I'm deciding my options this week for university and cannot decide between Mechanical engineering or Aerospace engineering.

    I'm hoping to go to university as a plan B if my application with either the RAF / Navy doesn't work out for the role of pilot, to follow through with and go into further education.

    That's why I'm looking into taking an engineering degree and I've narrowed down both ME and Aerospace as I believe it would be a worthwhile degree to do. Naturally, Aerospace engineering interests me as I have a passion for aviation and its my favoured career path. However, the idea of it being dominated by looking at how many forces act on different types of wings and lots of physics related force content puts me off slightly. That's mainly why I'm also considering mechanical, as it seems as if it is more Mathematically based and practical in comparison, as well as how it seems how mechanical engineers can go into a wide range of different careers as opposed to Aerospace in some circumstances?

    I suppose my main questions are that although each course seems to feature some physics related content, how dominated are they by it, and does it dominate of most of the course? I would much prefer a course where you learn about the theory and then put this into practice yourself by testing or building, instead of just learning (i.e about forces) and then doing lots of questions on them.I'm currently taking Maths, Biology and Physics which I got B,B,C in last year at AS.
    Thanks for any help!
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    (Original post by Will487)
    I'm deciding my options this week for university and cannot decide between Mechanical engineering or Aerospace engineering.

    I'm hoping to go to university as a plan B if my application with either the RAF / Navy doesn't work out for the role of pilot, to follow through with and go into further education.

    That's why I'm looking into taking an engineering degree and I've narrowed down both ME and Aerospace as I believe it would be a worthwhile degree to do. Naturally, Aerospace engineering interests me as I have a passion for aviation and its my favoured career path. However, the idea of it being dominated by looking at how many forces act on different types of wings and lots of physics related force content puts me off slightly. That's mainly why I'm also considering mechanical, as it seems as if it is more Mathematically based and practical in comparison, as well as how it seems how mechanical engineers can go into a wide range of different careers as opposed to Aerospace in some circumstances?

    I suppose my main questions are that although each course seems to feature some physics related content, how dominated are they by it, and does it dominate of most of the course? I would much prefer a course where you learn about the theory and then put this into practice yourself by testing or building, instead of just learning (i.e about forces) and then doing lots of questions on them.I'm currently taking Maths, Biology and Physics which I got B,B,C in last year at AS.
    Thanks for any help!
    I'm not sure what you mean by one being more physics based and one more mathematically based. Physics essentially is maths, and both disciplines contain lots of maths, as engineering degrees are essentially applied physics, which is basically maths. For all intents and purposes here, physics and maths are the same thing. Learning about forces (for example) is theory, and a cornerstone of both disciplines, because you must learn about forces as the loading on a component/structure is a key input to its design. You then apply this theory to help your design projects, for example, in the later years.
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    I'd say they're equally practical, if not aerospace having the advantage as you learn stuff directly related to work in the aerospace industry such as safety requirements and certification, flight testing, etc.

    In terms of variety of careers available it's complicated, I would say if you're open to doing a masters after your initial aerospace degree then your employments prospects will be much wider than what you could do with any mechanical degree as you would be able to do anything that a mech grad could do plus quite a few areas within electrical while getting priority for aerospace related jobs and likely academia too due to the more multidisciplinary background you would have. Otherwise yes your mechanical degree will give you a few more options, notably energy and manufacturing.
 
 
 
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