UCL Engineering VS Durham Engineering? Watch

I ASK QUESTIONS
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Hey guys I have a big dilemma and can't make up my mind for which I want to apply for, here's how my mind's working atm:

Durham wants A*AA whereas UCL A*AB. Higher for Durham and I hear they are selective too.

Durham offers the General Engineering course (which I like the sound of) whereas UCL I will probably apply for Mechanical.

I want to either go into research/academia or go internationally and become a designer/engineer for companies like SpaceX, Nasa, or if that fails $$$ middle east.

I've seen stats that UCL invests one of the most into its engineering Students (10/10) whereas Durham spends (3/10) I don't want to go to a stingy university.

UCL is a huge (in population) university, 18.7 is the student to staff ratio, whereas Durham is 14.2. I feel like I will feel overwhelmed at UCL, as there'll be so many people, will there be any individual help/feedback time?

Distance: Durham is 5 hours away whereas London is 1 hour away, my family really wants me to be close by, i'm not fussed either way. Is Durham really in the middle of nowhere though?

Extra-curricular activities. I'm not talking about clubbing and nightlife, every town has that. Which is better for things like societies and sports, rowing at Durham really intrigues me, not sure what UCL offers, as it's in London.

If anyone is doing any Engineering course at Durham or UCL pls give me some thoughts and opinions on the course, it would be much appreciated.
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PQ
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(Original post by I ASK QUESTIONS)
Hey guys I have a big dilemma and can't make up my mind for which I want to apply for, here's how my mind's working atm:

Durham wants A*AA whereas UCL A*AB. Higher for Durham and I hear they are selective too.

Durham offers the General Engineering course (which I like the sound of) whereas UCL I will probably apply for Mechanical.

I want to either go into research/academia or go internationally and become a designer/engineer for companies like SpaceX, Nasa, or if that fails $$$ middle east.

I've seen stats that UCL invests one of the most into its engineering Students (10/10) whereas Durham spends (3/10) I don't want to go to a stingy university.

UCL is a huge (in population) university, 18.7 is the student to staff ratio, whereas Durham is 14.2. I feel like I will feel overwhelmed at UCL, as there'll be so many people, will there be any individual help/feedback time?

Distance: Durham is 5 hours away whereas London is 1 hour away, my family really wants me to be close by, i'm not fussed either way. Is Durham really in the middle of nowhere though?

Extra-curricular activities. I'm not talking about clubbing and nightlife, every town has that. Which is better for things like societies and sports, rowing at Durham really intrigues me, not sure what UCL offers, as it's in London.

If anyone is doing any Engineering course at Durham or UCL pls give me some thoughts and opinions on the course, it would be much appreciated.
You don’t have to choose now. Apply for both, go to visit days and see where you get offers and which feels like somewhere that you can do your best
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I ASK QUESTIONS
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(Original post by PQ)
You don’t have to choose now. Apply for both, go to visit days and see where you get offers and which feels like somewhere that you can do your best
I kinda have to as I think I have 4/5 of the choices already determined, so this will be the fight for the 5th spot you see. I'm mainly looking for people that have gone to either to give their opinions on the matter, but i'm also open for discussion.
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PQ
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(Original post by I ASK QUESTIONS)
I kinda have to as I think I have 4/5 of the choices already determined, so this will be the fight for the 5th spot you see. I'm mainly looking for people that have gone to either to give their opinions on the matter, but i'm also open for discussion.
You don’t have to choose now. You can apply to 4 choices and then decide and add on your 5th choice after Christmas - when you might already have an offer or two and have had more time to research and visit universities to decide what you would prefer.
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I ASK QUESTIONS
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(Original post by PQ)
You don’t have to choose now. You can apply to 4 choices and then decide and add on your 5th choice after Christmas - when you might already have an offer or two and have had more time to research and visit universities to decide what you would prefer.
But i'm sending off my application on Tuesday (Cambridge applications :/) does that make any difference?
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PQ
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(Original post by I ASK QUESTIONS)
But i'm sending off my application on Tuesday (Cambridge applications :/) does that make any difference?
Nope.

Apply on monday to the 4 choices that you’re sure about.

Once your application is processed and you can access Track then you can add your fifth choice on Track whenever you’re ready (as long as it’s before the January deadline then it will be given equal consideration)
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Doones
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(Original post by I ASK QUESTIONS)
But i'm sending off my application on Tuesday (Cambridge applications :/) does that make any difference?
You only have to apply to Cambridge by the 15th October. You can add the others at any stage later.

You can leave some of the choices until after you get your Cambridge decision in early January.

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Helloworld_95
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What are your other choices?

If you like the sound of General Engineering then I would advise you to go for that rather than specialise, if you haven't made your mind up yet then you might as well give yourself the extra couple years to decide if you can.

Don't think too much about your career destination yet. As a PhD student with an aerospace degree that's working with a research group with a lot of experience in the Middle East (basically the trifecta for your career destinations lol), you won't really know if academia is right for you until the late stages of your degree, some people won't even know until after they've started their PhD. Working for NASA as a non-US citizen requires an extremely good CV and knowing the right people (I think these kind of people would be around at UCL, I don't think so at Durham), working at SpaceX as a non-US citizen is impossible, ESA should be ok and there are a good deal of Satellite production companies in the UK, alongside universities that are involved in the Satellite industry. For working in the Middle East, it's not as great or easy as it sounds, they're rejecting a lot of visa applications now and the feuds between some of the countries is really impacting the opportunities. Money is good, but the bar for entry is increasing too.

I wouldn't worry too much about the spend per student, looking quickly at the guardian mech eng tables, Swansea that has very up to date facilities is rated 4/10.

Can't speak about the population thing.

5 hours away is pretty far, not just from a "pop home every few weekends" point of view, but also generally. I wouldn't say Durham is in the middle of nowhere, but it's pretty far out the way.
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I ASK QUESTIONS
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
What are your other choices?

If you like the sound of General Engineering then I would advise you to go for that rather than specialise, if you haven't made your mind up yet then you might as well give yourself the extra couple years to decide if you can.

Don't think too much about your career destination yet. As a PhD student with an aerospace degree that's working with a research group with a lot of experience in the Middle East (basically the trifecta for your career destinations lol), you won't really know if academia is right for you until the late stages of your degree, some people won't even know until after they've started their PhD. Working for NASA as a non-US citizen requires an extremely good CV and knowing the right people (I think these kind of people would be around at UCL, I don't think so at Durham), working at SpaceX as a non-US citizen is impossible, ESA should be ok and there are a good deal of Satellite production companies in the UK, alongside universities that are involved in the Satellite industry. For working in the Middle East, it's not as great or easy as it sounds, they're rejecting a lot of visa applications now and the feuds between some of the countries is really impacting the opportunities. Money is good, but the bar for entry is increasing too.

I wouldn't worry too much about the spend per student, looking quickly at the guardian mech eng tables, Swansea that has very up to date facilities is rated 4/10.

Can't speak about the population thing.

5 hours away is pretty far, not just from a "pop home every few weekends" point of view, but also generally. I wouldn't say Durham is in the middle of nowhere, but it's pretty far out the way.
Thanks for the reply man, you have cleared a lot of doubt.

My other choices as it stands right now is Bristol Uni for Mech Eng, Warwick Uni for General, Southampton for either Mechanical OR (Aeronautics and Astronautics course) only because their aero/astro course is pretty much Mech Eng but instead of mechanical systems modules it's space/aircraft module.

You see me and you are very familiar it seems, only reason i'm not applying for Aerospace degree is because I acknowledge (like you have said) going into the space/aircraft industry is very hard and it seems like a hit or miss, so I would rather go with Mechanical/General Engineering and keep a wider range of opportunities to fall back on, e.g. Materials/structural. By the looks of it, you have first hand experience in what i'm about to go through so I'de like to know what your thoughts and opinions are on this.

I'm leaning more towards UCL now I have had some time to think about it, besides i'm not garanteed to get an offer from either of these places...

I want to keep it as general as possible and then specialise in Mechanical, I know many universities don't offer this pathway. That being said, i'm getting the stigma that mechanical engineers are into engines/F1 racing and other automobiles, which to be honest doesn't really interest me I always have it in the back of my mind that if I could have a dream job, it would be something in the space/aero industry, but not to the point where I will condense my career prospects. Do you know any Mechanical Engineers working alongside you or that do make it into the space/aero industry? Or are you not considered unless its first or an aerospace degree?

Again, cheers!
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by I ASK QUESTIONS)
Thanks for the reply man, you have cleared a lot of doubt.

My other choices as it stands right now is Bristol Uni for Mech Eng, Warwick Uni for General, Southampton for either Mechanical OR (Aeronautics and Astronautics course) only because their aero/astro course is pretty much Mech Eng but instead of mechanical systems modules it's space/aircraft module.

You see me and you are very familiar it seems, only reason i'm not applying for Aerospace degree is because I acknowledge (like you have said) going into the space/aircraft industry is very hard and it seems like a hit or miss, so I would rather go with Mechanical/General Engineering and keep a wider range of opportunities to fall back on, e.g. Materials/structural. By the looks of it, you have first hand experience in what i'm about to go through so I'de like to know what your thoughts and opinions are on this.

I'm leaning more towards UCL now I have had some time to think about it, besides i'm not garanteed to get an offer from either of these places...

I want to keep it as general as possible and then specialise in Mechanical, I know many universities don't offer this pathway. That being said, i'm getting the stigma that mechanical engineers are into engines/F1 racing and other automobiles, which to be honest doesn't really interest me I always have it in the back of my mind that if I could have a dream job, it would be something in the space/aero industry, but not to the point where I will condense my career prospects. Do you know any Mechanical Engineers working alongside you or that do make it into the space/aero industry? Or are you not considered unless its first or an aerospace degree?

Again, cheers!
How about Sheffield as your 5th choice then? They have a general engineering course which while new is looking to be pretty good from what I've seen of it, with quite a lot of options with where you can specialise in.

The Southampton AeroAstro course is nothing like a MechEng course, I'm not quite sure where you got that idea from.

I'd say that doing an Aero degree definitely doesn't limit you to Aerospace, and I would disagree that the aerospace industry is difficult to get into. A lot of graduates for my cohort went into the automotive industry or consultancy also, then others went into manufacturing, energy, finance alongside plenty of other industries.

Unfortunately I'm on the Mechanical Engineering, Energy side of things now, the opposite direction, so I can't really comment directly. But yes, there are plenty of mechanical engineers working in the aero industry.
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