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    (Original post by sandeshisis)
    So do unis provide you with just basic components so you can build things in your spare time let's say i wanna create a small rc drone can i just go get components from the lab or how does the system work
    No - you might be able to do that as a third year project if it was approved.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Did you actually read that carefully? They do ONE bit each - ha ha! Not very impressive - and in Year 2. Groups of six are too big for real hands-on experience.

    Really, just stop trying to justify the Cambridge Engineering degree as making them industry ready - other unis are doing far more complex stuff in Year 1.

    You still haven't said when you last spoke to a Cambridge lecturer about their course ....
    No I haven't spoken to a lecturer about the weekly timetabling or specific details of what they do. I'm a parent, not a student.

    The IDP is one item in one term. As I said they have many hours of practical labs per week in addition. And a multi-disciplinary team project like the IDP strikes me as very relevant for real world engineering.

    An example of an IDP robot:


    It seems your definition of "completely theoretical" is shifting somewhat.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    No I haven't spoken to a lecturer about the weekly timetabling or specific details of what they do. I'm a parent, not a student.

    The IDP is one item in one term. As I said they have many hours of practical labs per week in addition. And a multi-disciplinary team project like the IDP strikes me as very relevant for real world engineering.

    It seems your definition of "completely theoretical" is shifting somewhat.
    Even some of the lecturers feel it is 'too theoretical' - it would be very easy to be in a group and do NO hands on stuff at all. Hence my definition of completely theoretical ..it will be for many.
    Compare that to unis where each student has to complete practical tasks in Year 1 and they need proper boots etc from day one.

    Surely you spoke to a lecturer at some point?!! So everything you know is second-hand?!

    If they really developed practical engineers then their Formula Student team might be better ...
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    (Original post by sandeshisis)
    So do unis provide you with just basic components so you can build things in your spare time let's say i wanna create a small rc drone can i just go get components from the lab or how does the system work
    It depends on the university, but I think it would be unlikely for you to be receive components from your university to build your own projects in your own time, although you might well be allowed to use (some of) the facilities.

    At university, labs can often involve experiments to test theory typically taught as part of the degree. What you are thinking of might be called a workshop at some universities. (Some universities also call computer rooms computer labs too.)
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Even some of the lecturers feel it is 'too theoretical' - it would be very easy to be in a group and do NO hands on stuff at all. Hence my definition of completely theoretical ..it will be for many.
    Compare that to unis where each student has to complete practical tasks in Year 1 and they need proper boots etc from day one.

    Surely you spoke to a lecturer at some point?!! So everything you know is second-hand?!

    If they really developed practical engineers then their Formula Student team might be better ...
    For goodness sake, I was just giving you one example. They start Week 1 of Year 1 with a practical task: The Lego Mindstorms challenge, and continue with practical work through all their years.

    Year 1 coursework - https://www.admissions.eng.cam.ac.uk/course/1styearcw

    Anyway, you've clearly made your mind up that Oxbridge isn't for your pupils, I get it. My son's insurance was Loughborough and he was very happy to have it as one of his choices, and would have enjoyed it there too (he already has friends there).

    But the fact is he's also really enjoyed his time so far at Cambridge - yes it's intensive and hard and theory-heavy (not theory-only) but, for example, he was able to land a good summer placement where he became a very valued team member with an open invitation for further work. Most students at Cambridge don't seem as worried as you are about their future career opportunities.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Depends on the uni - most 'new' unis have timetabled sessions where you do set tasks. When you get to do your finals project you have to order any specific components you need.
    At some RG unis the course is completely theoretical.
    (Original post by Muttley79)
    Just because labs are 'scheduled' doesn't mean you are hands-on making things or have access to new technology such as 3D printing. The skills are more than following someone's instructions to perform an experiment.

    You are very Oxbridge biased and I'd strongly advise any student to speak to their teachers for proper advice on Engineering. How recently have you actually visited Oxbridge or spoken to lecturers on the course?

    The unis you name have very limited access compared to newer unis - look at the costs you are expected to cover as well

    e.g. Cambridge
    Year 3
    • Constructionarium project: students taking this option are required to buy safety boots (£20) and contribute to the cost of the course - Estimated cost £270


    It also implies that safety boots aren't used before the third year so they can't be doing much.
    ... wat... if a RG uni were entirely theoretical for engineering then it would be a failure of a course.

    I'm in second year for civ eng at surrey and my practical tasks in the first include the following:

    Geology analysis lab
    Geology field trip
    Small scale card bridge construction
    Multiple surveying sessions and a test
    Integrated design project for a laboratory
    Intensive week design of a academic department building
    AutoCAD practice
    DAD (design, assemble, disassemble) project

    This year for practical tasks I know, I'll be having more practical labs in concrete mixing, a intensive week of surveying, another integrated design project and another design task.

    Also I've had to provide my entire personal protection equipment which I used nearly weekly in my first semester and I've had to cover the cost of my geology field trip as well.

    I would be incredibly disappointed if I went to a university which didn't provide any practical tasks in engineering.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    For goodness sake, I was just giving you one example. They start Week 1 of Year 1 with a practical task: The Lego Mindstorms challenge, and continue with practical work through all their years.

    Year 1 coursework - https://www.admissions.eng.cam.ac.uk/course/1styearcw

    Anyway, you've clearly made your mind up that Oxbridge isn't for your pupils, I get it. My son's insurance was Loughborough and he was very happy to have it as one of his choices, and would have enjoyed it there too (he already has friends there).

    But the fact is he's also really enjoyed his time so far at Cambridge - yes it's intensive and hard and theory-heavy (not theory-only) but, for example, he was able to land a good summer placement where he became a very valued team member with an open invitation for further work. Most students at Cambridge don't seem as worried as you are about their future career opportunities.
    Loughborough woud have been a FAR better choice.
    I think you should stop promoting a course our own child is on without revealing this fact - it is very biased advice.
    If the unis own lecturers are saying the course needs to be nore practical then U think I'll listen to them rather than you.

    Anyway - how did their Fornula Student team do this year? I can't seem to find that on their website.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    I think you should stop promoting a course our own child is on without revealing this fact - it is very biased advice.
    I often mention it. It's not a secret. Tell you what I'll add it to my profile.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, I was not promoting Cambridge. You stated the course is "completely theoretical" at some RGs when it quite simply isn't. Perhaps it's *more* theoretical, but that is a completely different assertion which wouldn't have attracted my comment.

    If you continue to post myths about "some RGs" you should expect them to be questioned.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    I often mention it. It's not a secret. Tell you what I'll add it to my profile.

    And for the avoidance of doubt, I was not promoting Cambridge. You stated the course is "completely theoretical" at some RGs when it quite simply isn't. Perhaps it's *more* theoretical, but that is a completely different assertion which wouldn't have attracted my comment.

    If you continue to post myths about "some RGs" you should expect them to be questioned.
    There is no guarantee that someone at Cambridge HAS to touch any practical work at all - hence it can be totally theoretical.

    You seem to have a strange definition of 'theoretical' - only doing 'controlled practicals' is theooretical. That's what some courses are like -

    As I said if you want to work in industry DON'T go to Cambridge ...

    How did the Formula Student team do?
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    There is no guarantee that someone at Cambridge HAS to touch any practical work at all - hence it can be totally theoretical.

    You seem to have a strange definition of 'theoretical' - only doing 'controlled practicals' is theooretical. That's what some courses are like -

    As I said if you want to work in industry DON'T go to Cambridge ...

    How did the Formula Student team do?
    a) nobody except you cares that much about formula student, including the people I know who have competed in it

    b) at Cambridge all first and second year engineering students have required labs (approx 4 hours per week, which is more than a fair number of universities). 30% of third year marks are from experimental work. 43% of final year marks are from the project which may or may not be "experimental" depending on student interests. Computational projects are just as, if not more, relevant to industry as experimental ones. Final year students may additionally have some further lab based worked depending on options chosen.

    c) all engineering students are required to spend a minimum of 6 weeks in industry at Cambridge (something I didn't realise until recently) - few universities require this and a few aren't even able to offer it. Most I know at Exeter for example did not spend any time in industry.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    a) nobody except you cares that much about formula student, including the people I know who have competed in it

    b) at Cambridge all first and second year engineering students have required labs (approx 4 hours per week, which is more than a fair number of universities). 30% of third year marks are from experimental work. 43% of final year marks are from the project which may or may not be "experimental" depending on student interests. Computational projects are just as, if not more, relevant to industry as experimental ones. Final year students may additionally have some further lab based worked depending on options chosen.

    c) all engineering students are required to spend a minimum of 6 weeks in industry at Cambridge (something I didn't realise until recently) - few universities require this and a few aren't even able to offer it. Most I know at Exeter for example did not spend any time in industry.
    I always recommend a year in industry anyway - where does Exeter come into this? That's never been mentioned by me with regard to Engineering!

    Formula Student is a way of demonstrating how effective the practical work is ... clearly there is something to hide so I'll check out the results myself.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    There is no guarantee that someone at Cambridge HAS to touch any practical work at all - hence it can be totally theoretical.

    You seem to have a strange definition of 'theoretical' - only doing 'controlled practicals' is theooretical. That's what some courses are like -

    As I said if you want to work in industry DON'T go to Cambridge ...

    How did the Formula Student team do?
    These are adults. If they don't want to get actively involved that's up to them. Most certainly do. Everyone certainly has to pass the practical coursework.

    I have no knowledge of FS. I do know their Solar Car unfortunately crashed in Australia though. I don't think Brookes did that one though.

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