mcdonh
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I have no idea how to choose between Engineering Physics or Maths for my uni course. Anyone have any info about their experience with the course, which one they find harder/easier/better? Anything helps, thank you!
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Smack
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(Original post by mcdonh)
I have no idea how to choose between Engineering Physics or Maths for my uni course. Anyone have any info about their experience with the course, which one they find harder/easier/better? Anything helps, thank you!
Which one(s) are you interested in the most? What are your career aspirations, if known at this time?
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mcdonh
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(Original post by Smack)
Which one(s) are you interested in the most? What are your career aspirations, if known at this time?
I have absolutely no idea about career aspirations, other than maybe a pipe dream to work for NASA or SpaceX. I know I'm quite good at physics, a little less so at maths, and i know nothing about engineering.
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Holmstock
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(Original post by mcdonh)
I have no idea how to choose between Engineering Physics or Maths for my uni course. Anyone have any info about their experience with the course, which one they find harder/easier/better? Anything helps, thank you!
I did Physics, which is probably the middle ground between the two. We were sent off to the maths department for the first couple of years, which made me thankful that I hadn't chosen maths - much of the pure was so obscure to me that it seemed pointless. I began to realise what others were saying about algebra when we were 15.

However, I was not good at the practicals, and was lucky to scrape through on those. I'd say that engineering is probably for those who want to understand how things work at a practical level rather than at a fundamental level - for instance, what goes on under the bonnet of a car rather than the best model of fusion within the sun - both can be equally complicated, but one or other might be more satisfying.
All three courses can take you to work on projects in industry - it is only if you want an academic career that you need to be very careful about a good match between your skill set and your university course.
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mcdonh
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(Original post by Holmstock)
I did Physics, which is probably the middle ground between the two. We were sent off to the maths department for the first couple of years, which made me thankful that I hadn't chosen maths - much of the pure was so obscure to me that it seemed pointless. I began to realise what others were saying about algebra when we were 15.

However, I was not good at the practicals, and was lucky to scrape through on those. I'd say that engineering is probably for those who want to understand how things work at a practical level rather than at a fundamental level - for instance, what goes on under the bonnet of a car rather than the best model of fusion within the sun - both can be equally complicated, but one or other might be more satisfying.
All three courses can take you to work on projects in industry - it is only if you want an academic career that you need to be very careful about a good match between your skill set and your university course.
can you tell me more about your course/where you went to uni/ what you liked about physics in particular? Of the three i'm pretty sure physics is my favorite (as in, up until this morning with a crisis of confidence, I was planning on applying for a master in Physics).
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Holmstock
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(Original post by mcdonh)
can you tell me more about your course/where you went to uni/ what you liked about physics in particular? Of the three i'm pretty sure physics is my favorite (as in, up until this morning with a crisis of confidence, I was planning on applying for a master in Physics).
It was ages ago - in the '80s in Leeds. I could take astrophysics options, which I enjoyed a lot - planetary physics, galactic modelling, etc. I found electronics terrifying because it was based on compiling circuits from components, and I didn't have the background to be familiar with the component attributes - the text books didn't help either, since they focussed on the internal workings of the components.

Physics was a reasonably good fit for me, and at the time, the degree tested understanding concepts rather than project management, essays, practicals or teamwork. I knew that it probably wouldn't be for me in the long term, and went into accoountancy, but I think most went into industry from there.

I've recently enjoyed reading Chris Hadfield's Life Lessons (about his time as an astronaut with NASA from 1995 to 2012). It's an excellent read, especially about how teams work together at NASA. He got into it via flying fighter planes, but NASA calls on lots of different talents - including seamstresses!
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Smack
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(Original post by mcdonh)
I have absolutely no idea about career aspirations, other than maybe a pipe dream to work for NASA or SpaceX. I know I'm quite good at physics, a little less so at maths, and i know nothing about engineering.
If you're good at physics and are interested in space careers, a physics degree might be a good shout. Engineering might, too, of course, and I would advise also looking into it to see if it's for you. In a nutshell, engineering in the space industry would probably be more focused on the design, operation, troubleshooting etc. of space craft and other man-made systems sent up to space. Maybe also look at engineering jobs in the space industry to see what they entail (I think all ESA jobs are on their website).
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