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    Hello everyone, I will be applying for Engineering at Cambridge which is a general course. However I am also applying to 4 other universities specifically for Mechanical Engineering.

    SO my question: If I say specifically that I want to study Mechanical Engineering in my personal statement will Cambridge have a problem with that since they are general for 2 years? so could they thin that I am not versatile enough and that I will be lacking other skills and knowledge like electronics for example?

    But then if I just mention Engineering wouldn't other universities like Imperial think that I am not specific enough and that I don't know what I want to do (even though I do)?

    It's just a bit of a dilemma. I honestly believe that mentioning Mechanical Engineering shouldn't be a problem and in fact shows that I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. But then, I have never applied to Cambridge before so I wouldn't know exactly what they want.

    N.B. Before you say anything I wouldn't like to go solely for what suits Cambridge the best since I haven't even decided yet where exactly I want to go. i.e. I don't want to hinder the chances of getting into other unis just to satisfy one of them.

    Thank you very much!
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    I don't think they'd be a problem -- English Literature students will not have read every book, Law students won't have every case memorised. One can't find every aspect of their subject interesting, or be equally good at all of it, and will naturally have a preferred sub field. I'm sure Cambridge will be able to guess your capabilities for the rest of the course based on your grades :-) Best of luck!
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Hello everyone, I will be applying for Engineering at Cambridge which is a general course. However I am also applying to 4 other universities specifically for Mechanical Engineering.

    SO my question: If I say specifically that I want to study Mechanical Engineering in my personal statement will Cambridge have a problem with that since they are general for 2 years? so could they thin that I am not versatile enough and that I will be lacking other skills and knowledge like electronics for example?

    But then if I just mention Engineering wouldn't other universities like Imperial think that I am not specific enough and that I don't know what I want to do (even though I do)?

    It's just a bit of a dilemma. I honestly believe that mentioning Mechanical Engineering shouldn't be a problem and in fact shows that I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. But then, I have never applied to Cambridge before so I wouldn't know exactly what they want.

    N.B. Before you say anything I wouldn't like to go solely for what suits Cambridge the best since I haven't even decided yet where exactly I want to go. i.e. I don't want to hinder the chances of getting into other unis just to satisfy one of them.

    Thank you very much!
    They Are well aware personal statements are read by other 4 universities you apply to. So write it in the way that tailored for the courses at other unis.
    If you want to write something specific for Cambridge, you'll have SAQ to do that.

    Also, Cambridge is not interested in what and how you do in extra-curricular that's not related to the course you're applying for, but other universities may be. So don't just write about academic stuff.
    80:20 = academic: non-academic is thought to be a good balance.
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    (Original post by Anna.Karenina)
    I don't think they'd be a problem -- English Literature students will not have read every book, Law students won't have every case memorised. One can't find every aspect of their subject interesting, or be equally good at all of it, and will naturally have a preferred sub field. I'm sure Cambridge will be able to guess your capabilities for the rest of the course based on your grades :-) Best of luck!
    Thank you very much! Yeah this is basically what I was thinking so hopefully that is the case. I do mention in my conclusion some pretty specific things about Mechanical Engineering so it might be an idea to make it a little more general but to be honest I think this is a good thing because, one day, we will have to specialise anyway. Thanks very much!

    (Original post by vincrows)
    They Are well aware personal statements are read by other 4 universities you apply to. So write it in the way that tailored for the courses at other unis.
    If you want to write something specific for Cambridge, you'll have SAQ to do that.

    Also, Cambridge is not interested in what and how you do in extra-curricular that's not related to the course you're applying for, but other universities may be. So don't just write about academic stuff.
    80:20 = academic: non-academic is thought to be a good balance.
    Thanks! I think that should be fine then, specially because Mechanical Engineering is very general anyway so even if I talk about topics which I like from that field they will still be applicable to all other types of engineering.

    On the topic of SAQ, I have read some guidance documents online and it looks pretty straight forward. But just how detailed and carefully should we fill it in? I mean, filling in the UCAS application has been a pretty detailed process where everything you say (including in your personal statement) has to be reviewed and checked just to make sure that it is perfect. Is the SAQ like that or is it more casual considering they only give 7 days to complete it? Also is the additional personal statement advisable?

    Thank you and sorry for so many questions!
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Thank you very much! Yeah this is basically what I was thinking so hopefully that is the case. I do mention in my conclusion some pretty specific things about Mechanical Engineering so it might be an idea to make it a little more general but to be honest I think this is a good thing because, one day, we will have to specialise anyway. Thanks very much!



    Thanks! I think that should be fine then, specially because Mechanical Engineering is very general anyway so even if I talk about topics which I like from that field they will still be applicable to all other types of engineering.

    On the topic of SAQ, I have read some guidance documents online and it looks pretty straight forward. But just how detailed and carefully should we fill it in? I mean, filling in the UCAS application has been a pretty detailed process where everything you say (including in your personal statement) has to be reviewed and checked just to make sure that it is perfect. Is the SAQ like that or is it more casual considering they only give 7 days to complete it? Also is the additional personal statement advisable?

    Thank you and sorry for so many questions!
    The additional personal statement is entirely optional. But your situation is exactly when you should be using it... you are applying for MechEng elsewhere so you can talk about "general" Engineering in the SAQ. That's what it's for

    And you don't have "only" 7 days to complete it. They usually send you a link to the SAQ pretty much the day after they receive your UCAS application.

    Edit to add: an Engineering DoS told me that many people change their mind about their originally intended specialisation during the Cambridge course.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    The additional personal statement is entirely optional. But your situation is exactly when you should be using it... you are applying for MechEng elsewhere so you can talk about "general" Engineering in the SAQ. That's what it's for

    And you don't have "only" 7 days to complete it. They usually send you a link to the SAQ pretty much the day after they receive your UCAS application.

    Edit to add: an Engineering DoS told me that many people change their mind about their originally intended specialisation during the Cambridge course.

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    Thanks very much! I think I will definitely write the additional ps. Something like: ME is my preferred choice but it being a general course gives me flexibility etc.
    In that case I think that my personal statement is good as it is then!

    Thanks again!
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Thanks very much! I think I will definitely write the additional ps. Something like: ME is my preferred choice but it being a general course gives me flexibility etc.
    In that case I think that my personal statement is good as it is then!

    Thanks again!
    In the SAQ I personally wouldn't write ME is your *preferred* course... you aren't applying for ME.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    In the SAQ I personally wouldn't write ME is your *preferred* course... you aren't applying for ME.
    Right hahaha thanks for this!
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Hello everyone, I will be applying for Engineering at Cambridge which is a general course. However I am also applying to 4 other universities specifically for Mechanical Engineering.

    SO my question: If I say specifically that I want to study Mechanical Engineering in my personal statement will Cambridge have a problem with that since they are general for 2 years? so could they thin that I am not versatile enough and that I will be lacking other skills and knowledge like electronics for example?

    But then if I just mention Engineering wouldn't other universities like Imperial think that I am not specific enough and that I don't know what I want to do (even though I do)?

    It's just a bit of a dilemma. I honestly believe that mentioning Mechanical Engineering shouldn't be a problem and in fact shows that I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. But then, I have never applied to Cambridge before so I wouldn't know exactly what they want.

    N.B. Before you say anything I wouldn't like to go solely for what suits Cambridge the best since I haven't even decided yet where exactly I want to go. i.e. I don't want to hinder the chances of getting into other unis just to satisfy one of them.

    Thank you very much!
    Just wanted to add that I was in a similar position last year but with Civil Engineering - I used the SAQ to explain why I thought Cambridge's course would benefit me and left my personal statement specific to Civil.

    It worked and I'm starting next October after doing a year in industry!

    Good luck with everything else
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    (Original post by ab66)
    Just wanted to add that I was in a similar position last year but with Civil Engineering - I used the SAQ to explain why I thought Cambridge's course would benefit me and left my personal statement specific to Civil.

    It worked and I'm starting next October after doing a year in industry!

    Good luck with everything else
    Thank you very much for this! I have decided I will leave it as it is (specific to ME) and then talk about the benefits of a general course on the SAQ like you did.

    Thanks and good luck to you too! Might see you there soon ;P
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    I'm facing the same problem but a bit different, I feel like most of what I'm saying is quite general to engineering and not specific to mech eng. I guess this is ok for cambridge but will other unis mind? (bearing in mind I'm gonna try to pick courses which are fairly broad at least in the first year)
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    (Original post by abirch)
    I'm facing the same problem but a bit different, I feel like most of what I'm saying is quite general to engineering and not specific to mech eng. I guess this is ok for cambridge but will other unis mind? (bearing in mind I'm gonna try to pick courses which are fairly broad at least in the first year)
    Make your PS relevant to the other universities and their courses, not Cambridge. As explained above, Cambridge uses the SAQ so you can provide them with an alternative PS.

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    (Original post by abirch)
    I'm facing the same problem but a bit different, I feel like most of what I'm saying is quite general to engineering and not specific to mech eng. I guess this is ok for cambridge but will other unis mind? (bearing in mind I'm gonna try to pick courses which are fairly broad at least in the first year)
    Hey it's been nearly a year since I asked about this here and since then I finished writing my personal statement (obviously hahaha) and got into uni. It was pretty difficult but I'll tell you what I did because it seemed to work. I got offers from Bath, Bristol, Queens and interviews at Imperial and Cambridge. Unfortunately I did not get an offer from Cambridge after my interview but I am sure my personal statement was at least good enough to get me the interview.

    Before sending off my personal statement I kinda knew that Imperial was going to be my more realistic chance between it and Cambridge so I tried to focus on things that they would like, while still making it fairly general for Cambridge. So I wrote about things I had done that were kinda relevant to all areas of engineering, or wrote about different things each of which were relevant to different branches so that the Cambridge tutors would see that I kinda knew about the different areas. But then I finished almost all the points I mentioned with things more relevant to Mechanical Engineering just to be sure that the other unis wouldn't think it was too general.
    Like for example I did a couple weeks one summer at Bombardier at their wing manufacturing plant where I live. In reality we did a lot of aerospace related activities and experiments but the way I phrased it in the personal statement made it sound like what really interested me was the different manufacturing processes, or the use of composites, or other more mechanical engineering related topics. Or another example was that I took a programming class in school but then I went on to say that I was looking forward to exploring the applications of programming in mechanical engineering or something like that.

    So as you can see I mentioned different areas that interested me which are not strictly speaking Mechanical Engineering (to try and gear it more towards Cambridgeadmissions tutors) but I then tried to always add in that bit extra that showed that really, the mechanical branch was what I really liked most (to gear it more towards the other unis especially Imperial).

    Like they mentioned above, Cambridge will give you more space to write an additional mini personal statement if you want on their SAQ to try and mention more specifically for example why their broad course suits you or whatever else you want to say which you didn't say in the actual personal statement so don't worry too much about the actual thing sounding too geared towards one branch (even my conclusion said why I specifically wanted to study Mechanical Engineering and I still got the interview.... nevermind what happened after hahaha).

    Hopefully that helps you, it is just what worked for me so hopefully it works for you but ultimately write whatever you feel happy with and are passionate about because you want that passion to show through the statement and you can only do that if you truly believe what you are writing describes how you feel about the subject. Now given that your personal statement already sounds more general that is not necessarily bad it is just different and if all the courses are fairly general they will not mind but I would personally do something like in between the general comments mention something more specific. Something kind of like I said above where while you say something more general you try to end it with a phrase that's more specific to one area. I just think that doing this will help to show that you are being general because you like all areas but that you still researched and have learned a bit about it (what I'm saying is that some people will be general because they don't know anything about what they're writing about and you don't want to be perceived that way so by writing a couple things more specific then you show that you still genuinely enjoy learning about the different areas).

    Anything else that could be helpful just ask!
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    (Original post by clfm10)
    Anything else that could be helpful just ask!
    Thank you that was really useful, I just finished up my first draft quite under the character limit so I can add in more of these details
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    (Original post by abirch)
    Thank you that was really useful, I just finished up my first draft quite under the character limit so I can add in more of these details
    Just be aware... you are usually more likely to hit the lines limit before the character limit.

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