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    Hi,

    I have applied for Mechanical Engineering, and have conditional offers from Birmingham, Southampton, Surrey and UCL.

    I have been looking at league tables and rankings for both UCL and Southampton, UCL seems to be the better University as a whole according to rankings, but Southampton is better for Mechincal Engineering. The one thing that has been constantly recurring is the low student satisfaction and poor management at UCL, something that has apparently been improving. The main concern is that UCL may not be as enjoyable as Southampton with night life and campus feel etc.

    Can anyone please help me out with this Uni choice pleaaaaaaaaase.
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    (Original post by GTezgel)
    Hi,

    I have applied for Mechanical Engineering, and have conditional offers from Birmingham, Southampton, Surrey and UCL.

    I have been looking at league tables and rankings for both UCL and Southampton, UCL seems to be the better University as a whole according to rankings, but Southampton is better for Mechincal Engineering. The one thing that has been constantly recurring is the low student satisfaction and poor management at UCL, something that has apparently been improving. The main concern is that UCL may not be as enjoyable as Southampton with night life and campus feel etc.

    Can anyone please help me out with this Uni choice pleaaaaaaaaase.
    Hi,

    Please don't post the same think multiple times as it is against our rules. I've removed your other thread. Rankings mean little. Focus on the course content.
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    What's the problem? It sounds like you prefer the idea of going to uni in Southampton, it is better for your course and has better student satisfaction so this seems like a no-brainer.
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    Southampton's Engineering department(s) are among their best, so you're certainly not in a bad position there. I've heard some...mixed...opinions on UCLs Engineering department(s) so...might be something to consider.

    Going into the engineering sector, I don't think either is going to disadvantage you; however if you want to go into banking or something UCL may be slightly better. However if you prefer Southampton then go with that, as it's better than potentially being miserable at UCL and thinking "what if". Worst case scenario you seem more likely that you'll be enjoying the course at Southampton and thinking "what if" which is a better situation by far

    However, while nightlife should really be the last reason to be deciding between universities, it seems a bit naive to think Southampton will have better nightlife than London. However no-one seemed to really have an issue there, other than shared moaning about Jesters...
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    What's the problem? It sounds like you prefer the idea of going to uni in Southampton, it is better for your course and has better student satisfaction so this seems like a no-brainer.
    Thanks for the reply, the thing is I am not planning on being an engineer after uni, I am more hoping to get into the financial sector and enjoy the greater salary as a result. I do prefer the idea of Southampton for the whole experience aspect of uni, but I don't know if it will be as good as the name of UCL on my CV.
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    (Original post by GTezgel)
    Thanks for the reply, the thing is I am not planning on being an engineer after uni, I am more hoping to get into the financial sector and enjoy the greater salary as a result. I do prefer the idea of Southampton for the whole experience aspect of uni, but I don't know if it will be as good as the name of UCL on my CV.
    Why do engineering if you're planning on going into finance? It's harder and less relevant than something like eco/business & finance etc.

    For engineering, your uni won't matter much at all however I'm not sure about finance employers.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Southampton's Engineering department(s) are among their best, so you're certainly not in a bad position there. I've heard some...mixed...opinions on UCLs Engineering department(s) so...might be something to consider.

    Going into the engineering sector, I don't think either is going to disadvantage you; however if you want to go into banking or something UCL may be slightly better. However if you prefer Southampton then go with that, as it's better than potentially being miserable at UCL and thinking "what if". Worst case scenario you seem more likely that you'll be enjoying the course at Southampton and thinking "what if" which is a better situation by far

    However, while nightlife should really be the last reason to be deciding between universities, it seems a bit naive to think Southampton will have better nightlife than London. However no-one seemed to really have an issue there, other than shared moaning about Jesters...
    Thank you so much for your response.

    What opinions have you heard about UCL's Engineering department, and how recent is this information?

    Also, as you have guessed I am not too enticed by the engineering sector as such and would prefere to go into the financial sector. Do you think the advantage gained from UCL will be significant over Southampton??

    Again, it wasn't really the nightlife I was worried about, maybe I messed up on wording, but was more meant for emphasis on the campus life vs non-campus. My teachers have said that the friends I would make at a campus uni will be "much better" than a non-campus uni. Mainly because everyone would "be in the same boat of having to move out" or some bs. Like, I will still move out for at least the first year at UCL, do you think there will be much of a difference?

    Finally, the poor student satisfaction, do you think it will actually make me "miserable"? Most of it was based on teacher feedback and access to computers etc. Something they say they have improved on (http://mecheng.ucl.ac.uk/mesh/help-a...u-said-we-did/)
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    Why do engineering if you're planning on going into finance? It's harder and less relevant than something like eco/business & finance etc.

    For engineering, your uni won't matter much at all however I'm not sure about finance employers.
    I wanted a degree that could open doors for me, and still keep engineering as an option in case there was a possibility I did not enjoy/achieve in the financial sector
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    (Original post by GTezgel)
    Thank you so much for your response.

    What opinions have you heard about UCL's Engineering department, and how recent is this information?

    Also, as you have guessed I am not too enticed by the engineering sector as such and would prefere to go into the financial sector. Do you think the advantage gained from UCL will be significant over Southampton??

    Again, it wasn't really the nightlife I was worried about, maybe I messed up on wording, but was more meant for emphasis on the campus life vs non-campus. My teachers have said that the friends I would make at a campus uni will be "much better" than a non-campus uni. Mainly because everyone would "be in the same boat of having to move out" or some bs. Like, I will still move out for at least the first year at UCL, do you think there will be much of a difference?

    Finally, the poor student satisfaction, do you think it will actually make me "miserable"? Most of it was based on teacher feedback and access to computers etc. Something they say they have improved on (http://mecheng.ucl.ac.uk/mesh/help-a...u-said-we-did/)
    I'd suggest having a look around on here for threads about UCL engineering - there have been various less than favourable comments made even in the last few weeks, so...

    Realistically yes, UCL is a massive difference from Southampton as far as banking goes. For more general grad schemes in business/accounting etc, it's probably more marginal difference between the two.

    There are inevitably going to be a lot of people who have moved out and into halls at UCL, so I think that's a non-issue. You may find you end up making connections more within your course than across the breadth of the university at UCL, but even this depends a lot on what you yourself end up doing.

    The misery comments were less to do with student satisfaction ratings and more with what you yourself have said. If you personally prefer one, it is better to go with that gut instinct. Chasing prestige is a fools errand

    However if you aren't actually interested in engineering, you may be better served by applying to another, more relevant course to your interests - at UCL or elsewhere. Perceptions of departments at UCL (and in most universities honestly) seem to vary quite a lot, and some others may both be reportedly better from others and the course may be better for you. Engineering isn't an easy course anywhere and if you aren't actually invested in the subject it just makes it that much harder...I can tell you that much from personal experience (albeit at neither of those universities)
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    I'd suggest having a look around on here for threads about UCL engineering - there have been various less than favourable comments made even in the last few weeks, so...

    Realistically yes, UCL is a massive difference from Southampton as far as banking goes. For more general grad schemes in business/accounting etc, it's probably more marginal difference between the two.

    There are inevitably going to be a lot of people who have moved out and into halls at UCL, so I think that's a non-issue. You may find you end up making connections more within your course than across the breadth of the university at UCL, but even this depends a lot on what you yourself end up doing.

    The misery comments were less to do with student satisfaction ratings and more with what you yourself have said. If you personally prefer one, it is better to go with that gut instinct. Chasing prestige is a fools errand

    However if you aren't actually interested in engineering, you may be better served by applying to another, more relevant course to your interests - at UCL or elsewhere. Perceptions of departments at UCL (and in most universities honestly) seem to vary quite a lot, and some others may both be reportedly better from others and the course may be better for you. Engineering isn't an easy course anywhere and if you aren't actually invested in the subject it just makes it that much harder...I can tell you that much from personal experience (albeit at neither of those universities)
    I'd like to explain a couple things, I do actually have an interest in mechanical engineering, and have done literally as a little kid. Not some cliche argument but I enjoy it more than others on the applicant visit days it seems. What I don't enjoy is the low pay, and gradual increases at that. I do also have an interest in economics and I am still doing Maths, Physics and Business at A-Level.

    I have a few questions...

    Where did you study? And what did you get a degree in? How long ago did you graduate?

    What did you mean by "The misery comments were less to do with student satisfaction ratings and more with what you yourself have said"?

    Will UCL actually make the difference with getting into investment banking and professional services in general?

    What would you personally reccommend?

    Thank you again
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    (Original post by GTezgel)
    I'd like to explain a couple things, I do actually have an interest in mechanical engineering, and have done literally as a little kid. Not some cliche argument but I enjoy it more than others on the applicant visit days it seems. What I don't enjoy is the low pay, and gradual increases at that. I do also have an interest in economics and I am still doing Maths, Physics and Business at A-Level.

    I have a few questions...

    Where did you study? And what did you get a degree in? How long ago did you graduate?

    What did you mean by "The misery comments were less to do with student satisfaction ratings and more with what you yourself have said"?

    Will UCL actually make the difference with getting into investment banking and professional services in general?

    What would you personally reccommend?

    Thank you again
    Roughly in order;

    If you think engineers are paid poorly then I think you are going to be very disappointed no matter where or what you study or do as a job frankly.

    Engineers earn a comfortable living and moreover it's a very stable one at that, with as you noted consistent pay rises and increases as they continue in the sector - and beyond what you've stated typically fairly standard working schedules that you can build a life around. Finance/banking and to a lesser extent business generally is considerably more volatile and you could well end up earning considerably less than you think if you don't achieve bonus targets, or fail to get into a "preferable "position immediately. You're also a great deal more replaceable in business and finance generally. Finally, considering the amount of additional hours worked, normally for no pay/overtime, many desirable positions (particularly in the US) have been calculated to have a much lower effective hourly rate than you may believe ( as I recall several of the top banks in the US, when accounting for the 2am finishes and 6am starts, were worked out as approximately McDonald's pay rate or worse. Also McDs pays a lot less in the US than here to boot, so...).

    I was studying engineering at Exeter for a while. I withdrew due to health problems.

    Your initial post seemed to suggest you personally preferred the Southampton course. Studying a course you don't like at a university/location you don't like is inevitably going to reflect somewhat on your exam results, so it behooves you to go where you will be happiest. Maslow's hierarchy and all that...

    For Investment Banking yes, as far as I understand UCL is a "target" university and Southampton is not (semi-target maybe). Since investment banking could be done by a trained monkey, but they get every idiot and their mother applying, they can apply arbitrary metrics as this to filter the huge number of applications considerably before even reading them. For other professional services such as accountancy, it is my understanding that it's a lot less important. An exception would probably be made for quant roles, since you'll likely need to get a PhD after your first degree for that, and a) there are not as many PhDs running around as generic undergrads (although there are also fewer quant positions available these days I hear) and b) the quality of your preparation for such work via your PhD depends a lot more on the individual supervisor/research group/department over the university.

    I would personally recommend you go to the one you would feel happiest spending three years of your life at, which sounds like a blithe response but from my experiences certainly is what I wished I had done. However, you are not me and vice versa, so your mileage may vary on that front...I would also recommend however that you spend some time seriously researching the nature of working in investment banking specifically, and perhaps the finance and professional service industries generally.
 
 
 
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