hairyhobo1
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Hi
I am currently in my first year of university studying mechanical engineering. How difficult/easy would it be for an engineer to do a masters in physics? Reasons for this is because I am very interested in the theoretical aspect of physics such as quantum mechanics and would love to learn it albeit that it does not relate to a mechanical engineering degree. I have read that one could go from physics to engineering relatively easy but what about the other way around?
Thanks
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artful_lounger
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Generally it's much harder to go from engineering to physics, because of the breadth of topics that aren't covered in an engineering course that are covered in a physics course. The only usual areas of engineering you may be able to go into physics with are electrical/electronic engineering (UCL and Imperial both accept these sometimes for their MSc Physics courses) or materials engineering perhaps. Both those subjects have a greater overlap with the topics physicists cover in undergrad (e.g. EM, solid state/condensed matter physics, semiconductor physics, some elements of QM relating to the two prior areas, etc). I also really doubt a former EE/materials scientist would be able to go into theoretical physics; much more likely some aspect of experimental or applied physics.

If you know you want to do physics I would suggest speaking with your uni about switching into their undergrad physics course from year 1 (if they have one) or reapplying to a physics degree elsewhere. Bear in mind this will mean you will have used up your "gift" year of SFE funding so you won't have funding if you have to repeat a year for any reason in the new physics course.
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hairyhobo1
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Generally it's much harder to go from engineering to physics, because of the breadth of topics that aren't covered in an engineering course that are covered in a physics course. The only usual areas of engineering you may be able to go into physics with are electrical/electronic engineering (UCL and Imperial both accept these sometimes for their MSc Physics courses) or materials engineering perhaps. Both those subjects have a greater overlap with the topics physicists cover in undergrad (e.g. EM, solid state/condensed matter physics, semiconductor physics, some elements of QM relating to the two prior areas, etc). I also really doubt a former EE/materials scientist would be able to go into theoretical physics; much more likely some aspect of experimental or applied physics.

If you know you want to do physics I would suggest speaking with your uni about switching into their undergrad physics course from year 1 (if they have one) or reapplying to a physics degree elsewhere. Bear in mind this will mean you will have used up your "gift" year of SFE funding so you won't have funding if you have to repeat a year for any reason in the new physics course.
I chose to do engineering bachelors as in the future i would like to work in the engineering sector. However, I was told that if i chose physics undergrad and did a msc in say aerospace, that it will be very difficult to apply to engineering positions due to the engineering sector becoming more competitive, which ultimately discouraged me to study it in the first place. I will probably just stick to my current degree as the plan was to do 3 years mechanical engineering and then a masters in aerospace.
Thanks for the answer
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by hairyhobo1)
I chose to do engineering bachelors as in the future i would like to work in the engineering sector. However, I was told that if i chose physics undergrad and did a msc in say aerospace, that it will be very difficult to apply to engineering positions due to the engineering sector becoming more competitive, which ultimately discouraged me to study it in the first place. I will probably just stick to my current degree as the plan was to do 3 years mechanical engineering and then a masters in aerospace.
Thanks for the answer
If you are planning to work in the engineering sector then doing an engineering degree is probably the most straightforward option. You may be able to take one or two physics modules as options in your course - speak with your personal tutor/director of studies about this possibility.
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hairyhobo1
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
If you are planning to work in the engineering sector then doing an engineering degree is probably the most straightforward option. You may be able to take one or two physics modules as options in your course - speak with your personal tutor/director of studies about this possibility.
I did consider doing a 'engineering physics' course, but there was a lack of universities that did offer the course as well as not being accredited.
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Smack
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(Original post by hairyhobo1)
Hi
I am currently in my first year of university studying mechanical engineering. How difficult/easy would it be for an engineer to do a masters in physics? Reasons for this is because I am very interested in the theoretical aspect of physics such as quantum mechanics and would love to learn it albeit that it does not relate to a mechanical engineering degree. I have read that one could go from physics to engineering relatively easy but what about the other way around?
Thanks
Those fields don't tend to feature in mechanical engineering so if a course assumes some prior knowledge in them then it might be quite difficult. The best thing to do would be to check entry requirements for MSc courses you'd be interested in studying to see what they say; you could also contact admissions tutors too.
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