lia.lsaff
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what is a civil engineering course like in uni? is it really drawing or maths based and what physics is involved, what are the applications etc.. im considering civ. eng but im just worried i wont like the actual course lectures and study
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Smack
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
what is a civil engineering course like in uni? is it really drawing or maths based and what physics is involved, what are the applications etc.. im considering civ. eng but im just worried i wont like the actual course lectures and study
Engineering degrees are mainly physics based, but as the physics is applied maths, it's also maths based too. There may be some drawing, but it will probably be mainly using CAD rather than "sketching" on paper.

The applications are the design and construction of infrastructure, from buildings to bridges, roads and highways, etc.
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artful_lounger
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It's more maths than physics as you know it. The mechanics topics of A-level Maths are fairly indicative of the nature of the course, although you will develop beyond these of course. You'll also do stuff on the construction side of things, in management and project planning, as well as aspects of geotechnical (e.g. soil mechanics) and environmental engineering.

There will be next to no drawing, beyond sketching graphs. You may do some CAD design but in CivE this is less of a feature than in e.g. MechE. If you want to draw buildings you need to be looking at Architecture, not Civil Engineering. Architects make pretty things, Civil Engineers figure out how to actually make their impossible designs stand up and have plumbing (among other things)
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
It's more maths than physics as you know it. The mechanics topics of A-level Maths are fairly indicative of the nature of the course, although you will develop beyond these of course. You'll also do stuff on the construction side of things, in management and project planning, as well as aspects of geotechnical (e.g. soil mechanics) and environmental engineering.

There will be next to no drawing, beyond sketching graphs. You may do some CAD design but in CivE this is less of a feature than in e.g. MechE. If you want to draw buildings you need to be looking at Architecture, not Civil Engineering. Architects make pretty things, Civil Engineers figure out how to actually make their impossible designs stand up and have plumbing (among other things)
The thing is I dont really have any interest in geotechnical things but im stumped on what to apply for. Architecture seems quite limiting and i dont have a portfolio, and for me it's more about the practical applications, i dont want to be drawing houses and roads.
For civil i would be more interested in the structural aspect, but i fear that the core modules of hydraulics and soil engineering may discourage me do you do civil eng??
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by Smack)
Engineering degrees are mainly physics based, but as the physics is applied maths, it's also maths based too. There may be some drawing, but it will probably be mainly using CAD rather than "sketching" on paper.

The applications are the design and construction of infrastructure, from buildings to bridges, roads and highways, etc.
is the maths/physics more about mechanics? or is the focus of application of fluids and materials more? Also, I got told knowing things about geography are useful but i havent done this subject since year 9 ahahah
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by bant_bus)
civil is trasshvil. Meche is king
thanks for your great input
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bant_bus
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
thanks for your great input
anytime dude (!)
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Smack
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
is the maths/physics more about mechanics? or is the focus of application of fluids and materials more? Also, I got told knowing things about geography are useful but i havent done this subject since year 9 ahahah
In civil you'll do structures, which builds upon the mechanics you have done. You'll do some fluids too, but I'm not sure how much of that you have already done. Materials, as in actual materials science/engineering, I'm not sure how much of that is in a civil degree, but probably not too much. Geography might be useful for some stuff, but maths and physics are the main subjects for preparation.
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Vikingninja
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
is the maths/physics more about mechanics? or is the focus of application of fluids and materials more? Also, I got told knowing things about geography are useful but i havent done this subject since year 9 ahahah
(Original post by Smack)
In civil you'll do structures, which builds upon the mechanics you have done. You'll do some fluids too, but I'm not sure how much of that you have already done. Materials, as in actual materials science/engineering, I'm not sure how much of that is in a civil degree, but probably not too much. Geography might be useful for some stuff, but maths and physics are the main subjects for preparation.
So far (2nd year) my modules have fitted into the following descriptions:
.
Sem 1 year 1: 1 maths, 1 materials/mechanics, 1 fluids, 1 surveying.
Sem 2 year 1: 1 mechanics (third was stress analysis, rest was code based structure design), 1 maths, 1 geology, 1 design.
Sem 1 year 2: 2 mechanics (one is theory and analysis, other is code based structure design), 1 fluids, 1 materials.

Next semester I know will have soil mechanics and a load of practical modules.

The fluids isn't entirely physics, half of first year was about flow rates and 2nd year fluids has been just flow rates up until this week (started learning about wind in it which involves forces). My first year geology content didn't teach us about physics, was just the basics of geology we need to know in the use of engineering, next years module will involve physics with it. There is a large emphasis on the mechanics since really if you go into civ eng you are going to do something involving a structure hence why there is a lot on it, same with materials. Materials is very important because you will be using a large variety of steel and concrete variations and you need to learn all about that since say in concrete design you need to specify a range of mixes which can be used. Also steel will not behave in the same way as concrete and wood which again is important to learn since in design you will be deciding what to use.

Geography is important because it teaches you about the real world applications and impacts of the engineering. Its not all about equations and physics, currently we are doing posters in groups on a dam project and one of the things we need to find is the impacts that it has resulted in such as displacement, that is where geography helps a lot. As well there's the importance of real world processes such as earthquakes and erosion which you learn about in geography.
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Smack
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
So far (2nd year) my modules have fitted into the following descriptions:
.
Sem 1 year 1: 1 maths, 1 materials/mechanics, 1 fluids, 1 surveying.
Sem 2 year 1: 1 mechanics (third was stress analysis, rest was code based structure design), 1 maths, 1 geology, 1 design.
Sem 1 year 2: 2 mechanics (one is theory and analysis, other is code based structure design), 1 fluids, 1 materials.

Next semester I know will have soil mechanics and a load of practical modules.

The fluids isn't entirely physics, half of first year was about flow rates and 2nd year fluids has been just flow rates up until this week (started learning about wind in it which involves forces). My first year geology content didn't teach us about physics, was just the basics of geology we need to know in the use of engineering, next years module will involve physics with it. There is a large emphasis on the mechanics since really if you go into civ eng you are going to do something involving a structure hence why there is a lot on it, same with materials. Materials is very important because you will be using a large variety of steel and concrete variations and you need to learn all about that since say in concrete design you need to specify a range of mixes which can be used. Also steel will not behave in the same way as concrete and wood which again is important to learn since in design you will be deciding what to use.

Geography is important because it teaches you about the real world applications and impacts of the engineering. Its not all about equations and physics, currently we are doing posters in groups on a dam project and one of the things we need to find is the impacts that it has resulted in such as displacement, that is where geography helps a lot. As well there's the importance of real world processes such as earthquakes and erosion which you learn about in geography.
When you say materials, do you mean actual materials science, like metallurgy, going into different chemical properties of materials, steel making, corrosion, etc., or are you referring to mechanics/structural analysis?
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Vikingninja
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(Original post by Smack)
When you say materials, do you mean actual materials science, like metallurgy, going into different chemical properties of materials, steel making, corrosion, etc., or are you referring to mechanics/structural analysis?
Both really. We obviously learned the basics of mechanics such as hooke's law but then also failure methods such as creep. We have content on steel processing, concrete mixing and corrosion. A lot of the properties we learn about tend to be physical, last year in timber we learned about the change in strength due to moisture content and its anisotropy.

It doesn't contain loads of material science since we are only concerned with what we need to know when designing a structure so it is mostly physical properties, concrete we need to know contents such as free water/cement ratio as it can affect its strength.
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
Both really. We obviously learned the basics of mechanics such as hooke's law but then also failure methods such as creep. We have content on steel processing, concrete mixing and corrosion. A lot of the properties we learn about tend to be physical, last year in timber we learned about the change in strength due to moisture content and its anisotropy.

It doesn't contain loads of material science since we are only concerned with what we need to know when designing a structure so it is mostly physical properties, concrete we need to know contents such as free water/cement ratio as it can affect its strength.
Thanks for your answers i really appreciate it. I'm quite apprehensive just because i dont think i have any keen interest in geology or geography or materials (which in a level is things like density, stress/strain etc) I do physics and maths, and i really enjoy physics (except magnetism ) and i dont mind maths so long as it isnt deriving 300000 equations- which is why i backed out from a physics degree. What would you say an ideal student would be in terms of their interests and stuff, do you think the degree could still be suited for me? working out what to apply for is so terrible
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jedygety
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it's boring af
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by jedygety)
it's boring af
can you explain why
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jedygety
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
can you explain why
Nothing you learn is actually related to the career. so much out of context structural and soil mechanics and nothing actually relevant
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by jedygety)
Nothing you learn is actually related to the career. so much out of context structural and soil mechanics and nothing actually relevant
How does the career compare to the study then, would it depend on where you up? Did you do civil?
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jedygety
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
How does the career compare to the study then, would it depend on where you up? Did you do civil?
I spent a year in industry as well as 2 summer placements working for a very large and well known contractor. I graduate next year and wont be pursuing a career in civil engineering. the hours are ridiculous and you feel like a slave.
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lia.lsaff
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(Original post by jedygety)
I spent a year in industry as well as 2 summer placements working for a very large and well known contractor. I graduate next year and wont be pursuing a career in civil engineering. the hours are ridiculous and you feel like a slave.
Is that only for working on the field tho? My interest does lie more in design and structure as opposed to the actual constructing. If you aren’t going to go into the field, where else will your degree take you? I was thinking of doing a GDL after so I could work more in a field of law but idk
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jedygety
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(Original post by lia.lsaff)
Is that only for working on the field tho? My interest does lie more in design and structure as opposed to the actual constructing. If you aren’t going to go into the field, where else will your degree take you? I was thinking of doing a GDL after so I could work more in a field of law but idk
yeah I guess I only have experience in contracting. design modules have never interested me but you do get a bit of experience of it in your degree. consultancies also tend to treat you less like a slave and you work more reasonable hours from what ive seen.
I'm going to do a pgce next year and hopefully become a maths teacher
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