Undeclared Engineering application at University?

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amberidescence
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I am an IB student from Hong Kong studying HL Physics, Computer Science, and Geography, and SL Mathematics Analysis and Approaches, English A Language and Literature, and Chinese B. I'm expecting a final score of 42/45 points.

Are there any universities in the UK that allow students to apply to the school/department/faculty of Engineering without declaring a speciality (such as civil, aeronautical, etc.)?

Do my qualifications allow me to apply? Note that I do not study HL Maths.

Thank you.
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mnot
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(Original post by amberidescence)
I am an IB student from Hong Kong studying HL Physics, Computer Science, and Geography, and SL Mathematics Analysis and Approaches, English A Language and Literature, and Chinese B. I'm expecting a final score of 42/45 points.

Are there any universities in the UK that allow students to apply to the school/department/faculty of Engineering without declaring a speciality (such as civil, aeronautical, etc.)?

Do my qualifications allow me to apply? Note that I do not study HL Maths.

Thank you.
Yes.

general engineering is offered at quite a few unis.
Too many to list off in one go, but google is your friend here. With an IB score that high you can probably look at almost any uni that offers this course.
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amberidescence
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(Original post by mnot)
Yes.

general engineering is offered at quite a few unis.
Too many to list off in one go, but google is your friend here. With an IB score that high you can probably look at almost any uni that offers this course.
Thanks for your quick reply, mnot. Could you please list the universities that offer this option? I've done quite a bit of research but didn't get very far.
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mnot
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(Original post by amberidescence)
Thanks for your quick reply, mnot. Could you please list the universities that offer this option? I've done quite a bit of research but didn't get very far.
Durham
Warwick
Sheffield
Oxford
Cambridge
Lancaster

TBH these are just the ones i know of, im sure there will be more.
Also a lot of engineering degrees run similar programs alongside each other for example mechanical and aero or mechanical and manufacturing might have identical first years giving you a year to decide before specialising.
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artful_lounger
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Yes, however you will be extremely limited by the fact you haven't done HL Maths. Few, if any, UK universities accept applicants to engineering with just SL Maths - you will probably need to apply to engineering with foundation year courses (which normally allow you to change which specialism you are continuing to while you are on the foundation year).
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amberidescence
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Yes, however you will be extremely limited by the fact you haven't done HL Maths. Few, if any, UK universities accept applicants to engineering with just SL Maths - you will probably need to apply to engineering with foundation year courses (which normally allow you to change which specialism you are continuing to while you are on the foundation year).
Thanks so much for your response. Which competitive universities (top 100 in the world, maybe?) offer the option to take a foundation year for Engineering?
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mnot
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(Original post by amberidescence)
Thanks so much for your response. Which competitive universities (top 100 in the world, maybe?) offer the option to take a foundation year for Engineering?
I wouldnt worry about the top 100, those rankings arent particularly great for ranking undergrad engineering unis.
But lots (probably the majority) of engineering unis have a foundation option.
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Chris2892
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Mechanical and electrical engineering courses are very general. I chose medical/biomech projects to link with my employer for my modules in mechanical engineering. First year typically involves broad modules so you can change degree in your second year if you want to.

Overall, U.K. universities have good international student teams who’s specific job it is to ensure you get the experience you’re looking for.
Perhaps you may benefit from contacting the universities directly.
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Chris2892
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(Original post by mnot)
I wouldnt worry about the top 100, those rankings arent particularly great for ranking undergrad engineering unis.
But lots (probably the majority) of engineering unis have a foundation option.
I agree.

Unless you’re looking to network and progress to MEng and/or PhD, where specific lecturer specialities and available funding/equipment might play a role in your decision.
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mnot
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(Original post by Chris2892)
I agree.

Unless you’re looking to network and progress to MEng and/or PhD, where specific lecturer specialities and available funding/equipment might play a role in your decision.
It doesnt make an real difference for MEng either.

Research universities tend to perform well in these rankings so they'll more likely then not be more PhDs at QS top 100 unis, but PhDs are so specialised you wouldn't look at any rankings anyway.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by amberidescence)
Thanks so much for your response. Which competitive universities (top 100 in the world, maybe?) offer the option to take a foundation year for Engineering?
As above, lots do; Southampton, Loughborough, and Manchester, off the top of my head, all offer such courses. If you are classified as an international student for fees purposes, you'll have an even wider range of options as a number of universities offer international foundation years for international students only (including some that don't have such options for domestic students).
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amberidescence
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
As above, lots do; Southampton, Loughborough, and Manchester, off the top of my head, all offer such courses. If you are classified as an international student for fees purposes, you'll have an even wider range of options as a number of universities offer international foundation years for international students only (including some that don't have such options for domestic students).
Thanks for your reply, artful_lounger. I've done a bit of searching but can't seem to find a general Engineering course at Southampton, for example. What is such a course generally called in the UK?

Also -- thanks for the info about international foundation years. Do these courses offer an opportunity to try out the various aspects of Engineering as a general course would do as above?
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harrysbar
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Most unis don't have a course called General Engineering but in reality the first year of all the engineering programmes will be the same (sometimes the first two years) and students move between the programmes depending on their interests. Warwick is unusual in that they do have a course called General Engineering.

https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/eng/un.../#course-tab-4
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by amberidescence)
Thanks for your reply, artful_lounger. I've done a bit of searching but can't seem to find a general Engineering course at Southampton, for example. What is such a course generally called in the UK?

Also -- thanks for the info about international foundation years. Do these courses offer an opportunity to try out the various aspects of Engineering as a general course would do as above?
Yes, Southampton doesn't offer general engineering, although the foundation year is common to all engineering courses so you can change your mind about which to go into during the foundation year. You may also be able to swap between certain courses during first year of some of their main degree programmes, and you can probably change freely between the advanced specialisms (e.g. Mechanical Engineering with Advanced Materials vs MechE with ...whatever) or each course up to the end of second year or so.

I would note that most universities which offer "general engineering" do require you specialise in one area or another by the end of the course. This is the case for Oxford, Cambridge, and Exeter, for example. Accreditation requirements are arranged by different engineering professional bodies for different engineering disciplines and there is no "general" form of that, so normally if you want an accredited degree you are going to at least specialise to the extent of choosing some major "track" within the general engineering format, if not swap into the named specialist degree programme. "General engineering" courses largely exist to allow you to defer your choice of specialisation for a year or two.

Degrees with foundation year are the same as the core degree programme, you just do a preliminary year 0 where you cover any necessary subject content you haven't before (and usually higher education study skills and optionally for international students that need it, English language teaching). After you finish the foundation year, subject to achieving specified progression criteria, you will move into the first year of the main degree programme and hence as any other student.
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amberidescence
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(Original post by Chris2892)
Mechanical and electrical engineering courses are very general. I chose medical/biomech projects to link with my employer for my modules in mechanical engineering. First year typically involves broad modules so you can change degree in your second year if you want to.

Overall, U.K. universities have good international student teams who’s specific job it is to ensure you get the experience you’re looking for.
Perhaps you may benefit from contacting the universities directly.
Thank you for your response, Chris. The opportunity to switch courses in the second year sounds great, but how common is this practice and how accommodating are universities? Would you be academically disadvantaged if you do change your course in your second year (e.g. Aero to Bioeng)?

Additionally, how does the modules system work? Is it like a major/minor system? In theory, could I take a range of modules whereby if I choose to switch my current course to a relatively unrelated course within Engineering (e.g. Computer to Aero) I wouldn't be too disadvantaged?
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amberidescence
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Most unis don't have a course called General Engineering but in reality the first year of all the engineering programmes will be the same (sometimes the first two years) and students move between the programmes depending on their interests. Warwick is unusual in that they do have a course called General Engineering.

https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/eng/un.../#course-tab-4
Thank you for your reply, Harry. How common is this practice and how accommodating are universities? Would you be academically disadvantaged if you do change your course in your second year (e.g. Aero to Bioeng)?

(Original post by artful_lounger)
Yes, Southampton doesn't offer general engineering, although the foundation year is common to all engineering courses so you can change your mind about which to go into during the foundation year. You may also be able to swap between certain courses during first year of some of their main degree programmes, and you can probably change freely between the advanced specialisms (e.g. Mechanical Engineering with Advanced Materials vs MechE with ...whatever) or each course up to the end of second year or so.

I would note that most universities which offer "general engineering" do require you specialise in one area or another by the end of the course. This is the case for Oxford, Cambridge, and Exeter, for example. Accreditation requirements are arranged by different engineering professional bodies for different engineering disciplines and there is no "general" form of that, so normally if you want an accredited degree you are going to at least specialise to the extent of choosing some major "track" within the general engineering format, if not swap into the named specialist degree programme. "General engineering" courses largely exist to allow you to defer your choice of specialisation for a year or two.

Degrees with foundation year are the same as the core degree programme, you just do a preliminary year 0 where you cover any necessary subject content you haven't before (and usually higher education study skills and optionally for international students that need it, English language teaching). After you finish the foundation year, subject to achieving specified progression criteria, you will move into the first year of the main degree programme and hence as any other student.


Aside from allowing students to improve their prerequisite skills (e.g. Maths for Engineering), do foundation year / year 0 courses offer the opportunity to try out the various disciplines of Engineering, as in "general Engineering"? As you say, I'm looking to get a taste of each specialty to inform my decision as I enter my second year, so I may get accreditation upon my graduation.

If so, are you referring to the "general" aspect of the general engineering course as a "core degree programme"?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by amberidescence)
Aside from allowing students to improve their prerequisite skills (e.g. Maths for Engineering), do foundation year / year 0 courses offer the opportunity to try out the various disciplines of Engineering, as in "general Engineering"? As you say, I'm looking to get a taste of each specialty to inform my decision as I enter my second year, so I may get accreditation upon my graduation.

If so, are you referring to the "general" aspect of the general engineering course as a "core degree programme"?
No, I am referring to the main degree programme i.e. MEng Mechanical Engineering or whatever - the part that comes after the foundation year.Do note that you do not go into the second year of a degree e.g. MEng Mechanical Engineering after completing the foundation year. You go into the first year of that degree.

Although it's quite possible you'll have talks or presentations on the different disciplines you aren't going to do anything more than what you might experience on an open day typically, because you won't have covered the necessary maths to do anything non-trivial in those areas yet. However you will be a student of the university so you may have better access to academics from the various departments with whom you could discuss the options.

I would also note it would likely be impossible to change from aerospace engineering to bioengineering without repeating the first year. You almost certainly won't have studied any of the biology or chemistry needed for the later years of that degree in the first year of an aerospace engineering degree.
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Chris2892
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(Original post by amberidescence)
Thank you for your response, Chris. The opportunity to switch courses in the second year sounds great, but how common is this practice and how accommodating are universities? Would you be academically disadvantaged if you do change your course in your second year (e.g. Aero to Bioeng)?

Additionally, how does the modules system work? Is it like a major/minor system? In theory, could I take a range of modules whereby if I choose to switch my current course to a relatively unrelated course within Engineering (e.g. Computer to Aero) I wouldn't be too disadvantaged?
For first year, it seemed like all the electrical, aerospace, and mechanical engineers were given the same modules.

You have compulsory modules, and then a few options for chosen modules after first year. However, you’re best approaching the universities directly to gauge what modules they offer.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by amberidescence)
I am an IB student from Hong Kong studying HL Physics, Computer Science, and Geography, and SL Mathematics Analysis and Approaches, English A Language and Literature, and Chinese B. I'm expecting a final score of 42/45 points.

Are there any universities in the UK that allow students to apply to the school/department/faculty of Engineering without declaring a speciality (such as civil, aeronautical, etc.)?

Do my qualifications allow me to apply? Note that I do not study HL Maths.

Thank you.
I would look for a uni where SL Maths was enough and choose a year in industry option. If you take a Foundation year then a MEng that's 5 years - very expensive and no experience! Going straight into a MEng with a year out is 5 years but you'll have a much better job prospects.
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amberidescence
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(Original post by Chris2892)
For first year, it seemed like all the electrical, aerospace, and mechanical engineers were given the same modules.

You have compulsory modules, and then a few options for chosen modules after first year. However, you’re best approaching the universities directly to gauge what modules they offer.
I see. Would you mind letting me know which university you studied in / are referring to?

Additionally, I'd like to ask whether, in your opinion, you think companies hiring in related industries prefer BEng graduates who have studied General Engineering with specialization or broad-based study in the first year versus those who graduate with a three-year degree in a specific discipline?
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