UCL vs Southampton vs Bristol Mechanical Engineering.

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D7E
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Hi this is mainly directed to those currently at UCL or thinking of going there, but I love other opinions too.

Basically I have offers for mechanical engineering for all of them except technically Bristol is (Mechanical & Electrical).

I couldnt make it to Bristol's open days so thats that.

I made it to Southampton's open day and I found it very good, especially the option to specialize in aerospace engineering. The facilities were nice and course looked good. It's also my lowest offer.

I got my highest offer from UCL and I will be going to an open day on wednesday, although they say it is only a lecture so it might not be as detailed as other open days.

Right, let's get to the willy-nilly. I want to do engineering firstly, for self-interest but also having graduate prospects. I want to be able to travel around the globe as a professional engineer and kinda have a good pay at the same time.

Anyways, looking at just facts, apparenly UCL has probably one of the best graduate prospects for engineering next to oxbridge/imperial and maybe a few more. I wonder if that's because people go into finance/live in london(which I don't want to) or it's reputation worldwide (which I hope it is). However UCL is often ranked 10th ish on the engineering league tables.

Bristol is ranked 1 in engineering in some league tables and in top 5s in others. Again, I want to go there if they gave me the right course but they didn't so it kinda put me off, but they said I might be able to switch to pure Mechanical engineering if I get good grades in the first year (risky don't you think?) also I didn't go to open days so I have no idea how its really like to live there.

Southampton is mainly at about rank 5 in Mechanical Engineering, so still pretty good.

Anyways, what i'm getting at is, just HOW good is UCL Mechanical engineering? Is it worth it to go there just for my goals? What would you pick out of the lot?
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Kabr
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Hi man I just wanted to say I can’t believe I’ve also found someone else in the same predicament as me.
Im currently wrestling between Bristol and UCL for my firm and i was pretty deadset on UCL till I heard about all the stuff people say about it (granted that a lot of it is quite old). I reckon it’s improved a fair bit considering that it’s moved up in it’s rankings recently but I’m wondering how much it’s improved by.
I’ve applied for pretty much the same things as you and I was wondering about the possible transfer from mech eng with electrical to just pure mech eng at bristol and how easy is it to do that?
Also how did your open day at UCL go? I actually quite liked mine and I’d love to hear what u thought and if the department gave you any reassurance and answered any questions.
(Original post by D7E)
Hi this is mainly directed to those currently at UCL or thinking of going there, but I love other opinions too.

Basically I have offers for mechanical engineering for all of them except technically Bristol is (Mechanical & Electrical).

I couldnt make it to Bristol's open days so thats that.

I made it to Southampton's open day and I found it very good, especially the option to specialize in aerospace engineering. The facilities were nice and course looked good. It's also my lowest offer.

I got my highest offer from UCL and I will be going to an open day on wednesday, although they say it is only a lecture so it might not be as detailed as other open days.

Right, let's get to the willy-nilly. I want to do engineering firstly, for self-interest but also having graduate prospects. I want to be able to travel around the globe as a professional engineer and kinda have a good pay at the same time.

Anyways, looking at just facts, apparenly UCL has probably one of the best graduate prospects for engineering next to oxbridge/imperial and maybe a few more. I wonder if that's because people go into finance/live in london(which I don't want to) or it's reputation worldwide (which I hope it is). However UCL is often ranked 10th ish on the engineering league tables.

Bristol is ranked 1 in engineering in some league tables and in top 5s in others. Again, I want to go there if they gave me the right course but they didn't so it kinda put me off, but they said I might be able to switch to pure Mechanical engineering if I get good grades in the first year (risky don't you think?) also I didn't go to open days so I have no idea how its really like to live there.

Southampton is mainly at about rank 5 in Mechanical Engineering, so still pretty good.

Anyways, what i'm getting at is, just HOW good is UCL Mechanical engineering? Is it worth it to go there just for my goals? What would you pick out of the lot?
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SadToyCats
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(Original post by Kabr)
Hi man I just wanted to say I can’t believe I’ve also found someone else in the same predicament as me.
Im currently wrestling between Bristol and UCL for my firm and i was pretty deadset on UCL till I heard about all the stuff people say about it (granted that a lot of it is quite old). I reckon it’s improved a fair bit considering that it’s moved up in it’s rankings recently but I’m wondering how much it’s improved by.
I’ve applied for pretty much the same things as you and I was wondering about the possible transfer from mech eng with electrical to just pure mech eng at bristol and how easy is it to do that?
Also how did your open day at UCL go? I actually quite liked mine and I’d love to hear what u thought and if the department gave you any reassurance and answered any questions.
Bit late but here goes,

Course wise, it's great, at first I thought IEP sucked but then they explained how it works and I'm surprised other unis don't do joint work between the engineering branches as much as UCL does. Definitely a next level strategy and forward thinking course. They didn't say much about course specific projects NO mention of 3d printing jet engines

In terms of the Department, apparently mechanical eng is still not the most emphasized department at ucl, but they have invested into a new engineering building so thats cool I guess. Still seems like they pref biochem engineering students over all the other engineers still though...

My main cause of concern was the whole finding accommodation malarkey as someone that doesn't live in London. Apparently it's doable to live off of student loans BUT you will have to sacrifice a lot, like the same price you get a good ensuite 5min walk at southampton you have to pay MORE to get a NON ENSUITE that's ATLEAST 20mins away for UCL. That's BRUTAL.

Idk they gave us a tour around UCL but only quickly we got to glimpse the engineering building, and all we did was go down into the basement for a few minutes...

Overall, I got very mixed feeling about it. On one hand it's got prestige and "supposed research quality" (yet I'm still to see the high-tech wind tunnels, 3d printers and other machines) but on the other hand I fear that It just won't be what it's cracked up to be once I get there, and not only will i be stressed but I also prob won't enjoy it due to like I said, accommodation and lack of emphasis on the Department...

Got about 10 days to decide still haven't applied for accommodation yet and on top of that my parents are backing me up to go to southampton instead...

What about you? Any thoughts?
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pancakes28
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Hi, could I know how this story progressed haha! I can't decide if I shld proceed with mech eng at UCL later this year

SadToyCats
Last edited by pancakes28; 1 month ago
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SadToyCats
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(Original post by pancakes28)
Hi, could I know how this story progressed haha! I can't decide if I shld proceed with mech eng at UCL later this year

SadToyCats
Hey! I've just finished 2nd year of Aerospace Engineering at Southampton and I couldn't have been happier with the choice I made. Let me tell you this, I missed my physics Alevel grade by 1 to get into southampton, and had UCL as my backup (yes, I had a course with harder entry reqs as my second choice, what was I thinking?!?) anyways, Southampton must have seen this and given me benefit of the doubt by offering me Civil engineering instead as I missed the physics grade.

I did not sleep and lowkey had depression the month leading to uni, I didnt know where I was going or what course I was going to do for that matter.. I just knew I wanted to do mech/aero engineering, at one point i had clearing offers from the likes of Portsmouth uni for mechanical engineering and I was about to decline the civil engineering offer at soton to go to portsmouth instead, THANK GOD I DID NOT. I got my physics paper remarked and my score went up 3 marks giving me the grade needed for aerospace engineering at Southampton, they said it was oversubscribed and that the limit was reached, the next few weeks was me begging, clawing my way onto the course. Countless emails and visits to Southampton telling them how hard I worked and how 3 marks wasn't a representive of me as an individual, I had given up at this point, if I couldnt make the course I would do an apprenticeship somewhere else instead.

With just DAYS to go before freshers week southampton messages back saying I can get onto the Aerospace course, finally, a sigh of relief. I applied to halls thinking I would need to go for private accommodation and they managed to find a place. The friends I made in my flat were literally perfect, to this day I rent out a house with 3 of them. Due to covid first year was a free pass which was a massive blessing in disguise as it gave me time to grow mentally, I went from not being sure if I was going to pass first year to getting a first in second year, the friends I have made along the way are invaluable and I also managed to get a scholarship in first year just to add the cherry on top. It couldn't have worked out better for me, and I am SO glad that I stuck to my guns.

In hindsight, I took a massive gamble, who knows what position i'd be in now if I had done something different? One thing I will say to you is this though, no matter what, LET THE DECISION BE YOURS AND YOURS ONLY. There was so many family members and teachers telling me to go to another uni but I made a decision on my own terms, if it didn't work out atleast it was my fault and I couldn't blame anyone else, what i'm trying to say is, there is no wrong choice in your situation, there is only a choice that you pick and through the actions and consequences you can prove to everyone else why it was the right choice.
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pancakes28
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(Original post by SadToyCats)
Hey! I've just finished 2nd year of Aerospace Engineering at Southampton and I couldn't have been happier with the choice I made. Let me tell you this, I missed my physics Alevel grade by 1 to get into southampton, and had UCL as my backup (yes, I had a course with harder entry reqs as my second choice, what was I thinking?!?) anyways, Southampton must have seen this and given me benefit of the doubt by offering me Civil engineering instead as I missed the physics grade.

I did not sleep and lowkey had depression the month leading to uni, I didnt know where I was going or what course I was going to do for that matter.. I just knew I wanted to do mech/aero engineering, at one point i had clearing offers from the likes of Portsmouth uni for mechanical engineering and I was about to decline the civil engineering offer at soton to go to portsmouth instead, THANK GOD I DID NOT. I got my physics paper remarked and my score went up 3 marks giving me the grade needed for aerospace engineering at Southampton, they said it was oversubscribed and that the limit was reached, the next few weeks was me begging, clawing my way onto the course. Countless emails and visits to Southampton telling them how hard I worked and how 3 marks wasn't a representive of me as an individual, I had given up at this point, if I couldnt make the course I would do an apprenticeship somewhere else instead.

With just DAYS to go before freshers week southampton messages back saying I can get onto the Aerospace course, finally, a sigh of relief. I applied to halls thinking I would need to go for private accommodation and they managed to find a place. The friends I made in my flat were literally perfect, to this day I rent out a house with 3 of them. Due to covid first year was a free pass which was a massive blessing in disguise as it gave me time to grow mentally, I went from not being sure if I was going to pass first year to getting a first in second year, the friends I have made along the way are invaluable and I also managed to get a scholarship in first year just to add the cherry on top. It couldn't have worked out better for me, and I am SO glad that I stuck to my guns.

In hindsight, I took a massive gamble, who knows what position i'd be in now if I had done something different? One thing I will say to you is this though, no matter what, LET THE DECISION BE YOURS AND YOURS ONLY. There was so many family members and teachers telling me to go to another uni but I made a decision on my own terms, if it didn't work out atleast it was my fault and I couldn't blame anyone else, what i'm trying to say is, there is no wrong choice in your situation, there is only a choice that you pick and through the actions and consequences you can prove to everyone else why it was the right choice.
Thanks for the reply and wow, I'm really glad things worked out well for you because it seems like it was one hell of a roller coaster ride!

Personally, I've always wanted to do mech eng in the UK because it's long been a dream of mine to work in F1. I'm now deciding between an offer from UCL and another from NUS (a local Singapore uni). While I couldn't agree more with your last line on proving your choice to be the right one with your own actions, I'm just concerned that if I proceed with UCL and the UK covid situation gets worse, I might be regretting not having taken the safe and far cheaper option of NUS. In that case, there's also not much I could do about the covid situation so I'm struggling to make my decision. Also, not having visited UCL or the UK before this, I'm not sure if it's worth taking the huge financial and personal risk to try and pursue my dream because the online comments on UCL mech eng are so diverse as well...
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