Mechanical Engineering - Imperial vs Bristol vs Bath

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Zhue Jie Tan
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#1
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#1
Hi I have recently obtained offers from these universities and was wondering if anyone had any experiences/opinions to share on which of the three you would pick.

Currently I'm leaning towards Imperial because of its prestige and whatnot but also because I've heard how good its mech eng course is. However, I've also heard that Bath and Bristol have pretty good mech eng courses as well so I just want to be really sure before firming.

Thank you!
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Shuei
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It depends on what you are hoping for at university! I am am LSE student, but I have a friend who goes to imperial. The workload at both places are insane even in the first year. Imperial, just like LSE, is a world leading specialist institution only teaching STEM subjects. In terms of prestige it is highly rated in terms of what it teaches - some subjects are comparable to Oxbridge. But social life might be worse than Bristol and Bath. I have a friend who studies maths at Bristol. He seems to go out a lot and have fun more than I do. The workload i get from LSE is a lot and my first year counts 10 percent of my final grade unlike other universities (idk about imperial). My friends and I go out WHEN OUR ESSAYS ARE DONE (which sometimes can be once 2 weeks or 3 weeks). We can go out to get dinner and lunch, but we don't get drunk because of the work we have to handle. However, being located in London and woth the uni brand name (same goes for Imperial) there are more career opportunities. There are many people striving for sort opportunities and so on.

Even though some people say that which university you go to doesn't matter - Imperial, LSE and of course, Oxbridge are the living evidence of why which uni you go to matter. Career prospects at Imperial is mad. But is social life is what you are looking for Bristol and Bath might be a realistic option.

Bristol vs Bath. In terms of prestige, Bristol is better both locally and globally but I don't think there is a big disparity. Social life, I would say bristol is better. Sometimes Bristol is called mini London. It has everything that London has. But in Bristol and Bath, social life is what you make of it.

To conclude, in terms of prestige, London unis (LSE ICl and UCL) are the greatest option but social life/fun life in the firat year especially, from what I know, at LSE and ICL can be harder to achieve than Bristol and Bath. Hope this helps.
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Zhue Jie Tan
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#3
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(Original post by Shuei)
It depends on what you are hoping for at university! I am am LSE student, but I have a friend who goes to imperial. The workload at both places are insane even in the first year. Imperial, just like LSE, is a world leading specialist institution only teaching STEM subjects. In terms of prestige it is highly rated in terms of what it teaches - some subjects are comparable to Oxbridge. But social life might be worse than Bristol and Bath. I have a friend who studies maths at Bristol. He seems to go out a lot and have fun more than I do. The workload i get from LSE is a lot and my first year counts 10 percent of my final grade unlike other universities (idk about imperial). My friends and I go out WHEN OUR ESSAYS ARE DONE (which sometimes can be once 2 weeks or 3 weeks). We can go out to get dinner and lunch, but we don't get drunk because of the work we have to handle. However, being located in London and woth the uni brand name (same goes for Imperial) there are more career opportunities. There are many people striving for sort opportunities and so on.

Even though some people say that which university you go to doesn't matter - Imperial, LSE and of course, Oxbridge are the living evidence of why which uni you go to matter. Career prospects at Imperial is mad. But is social life is what you are looking for Bristol and Bath might be a realistic option.

Bristol vs Bath. In terms of prestige, Bristol is better both locally and globally but I don't think there is a big disparity. Social life, I would say bristol is better. Sometimes Bristol is called mini London. It has everything that London has. But in Bristol and Bath, social life is what you make of it.

To conclude, in terms of prestige, London unis (LSE ICl and UCL) are the greatest option but social life/fun life in the firat year especially, from what I know, at LSE and ICL can be harder to achieve than Bristol and Bath. Hope this helps.
OH WOW! Thank you for such a comprehensive reply! It was really helpful and really gives me some clear insights into the whole thing and pretty much affirmed my choice of ICL. I think social life is important but it definitely can't beat academic benefits sooo. And besides, I'm sure that while struggling under the workload, you will tend to make friends who are struggling alongside you ahaha.

You mentioned that some subjects at ICL are comparable to that of Oxbridge standard - do you know if Mech Eng would be one of those subjects?

Also sorry for the late reply T_T Not sure why but I didn't get an email notification so I just thought that nobody replied :/

edit: also congrats on LSE! i have a friend trying to get in but I heard that it's really tough so good on you man.
Last edited by Zhue Jie Tan; 3 months ago
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Deloo
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#4
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(Original post by Zhue Jie Tan)
OH WOW! Thank you for such a comprehensive reply! It was really helpful and really gives me some clear insights into the whole thing and pretty much affirmed my choice of ICL. I think social life is important but it definitely can't beat academic benefits sooo. And besides, I'm sure that while struggling under the workload, you will tend to make friends who are struggling alongside you ahaha.

You mentioned that some subjects at ICL are comparable to that of Oxbridge standard - do you know if Mech Eng would be one of those subjects?

Also sorry for the late reply T_T Not sure why but I didn't get an email notification so I just thought that nobody replied :/

edit: also congrats on LSE! i have a friend trying to get in but I heard that it's really tough so good on you man.
First, thanks for congratulating me on getting into LSE!! Also I like your saying that you will make friends who are struggling alongside you academically. Cuz thats me right now - struggle together and having fun together ^^. They will be able to support you throughout your academic journey - they are super clever.

I do not know which course at ICL would be comparable to Oxbridge. But whether it is comparable or not, courses at ICL/LSE would be at least second best academically in the UK. I had a similar dilemma: whether to firm Bristol or LSE. But I just thought it would be best for me to go for the more academic and prestigious one! Also the location (london) - internship opportunities as well as amazing night life (if you get your work done)!!!!!!!!!!!

But social life is what you make out of it^^ Studying was the primary reason for me to go to the university and meet world leading professors in the field. But alongside that,you will have friends if you try to make one ^^

Good luck with the application.
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University of Bath
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Zhue Jie Tan)
Hi I have recently obtained offers from these universities and was wondering if anyone had any experiences/opinions to share on which of the three you would pick.

Currently I'm leaning towards Imperial because of its prestige and whatnot but also because I've heard how good its mech eng course is. However, I've also heard that Bath and Bristol have pretty good mech eng courses as well so I just want to be really sure before firming.

Thank you!
Hi there - I'm Leah and I am a final year chemical engineering student at the University of Bath.

Firstly, congrats on your offers and I can totally relate to struggling to choose a University - it is a difficult and very big decision!

When choosing a University, the most important thing is to see if the course aligns with your interests: What modules do you study and how do they differ between Universities? How many optional modules are available and do the options interest you? How much flexibility and choice do you get in research and design projects? Is a year in industry available? Are there any opportunities to study abroad? Second to the course, I would recommend having a think about what you want from your University experience: City or campus? Small or big? Big city or small city? How many students are in the city? What is the nightlife like? How are the transport connections and what is nearby? All of these factors are personal to you and ultimately which University you choose has a big impact on your experience.

Ultimately, if you want to enter industry and work as a mechanical engineer, the reputation difference between Bristol, Bath and Imperial will not make much difference to your employment prospects - although I cannot really speak for Imperial or Bristol personally. The biggest thing for employers is not which University you went to but your experience and skills developed from work experience, volunteering / societies and on your degree. So long as your degree is accredited by the relevant body, it is much more about you and your experiences which make the difference. A big thing here is to gain work experience as this really helps with graduate prospects - particularly for engineering.

A little bit of information about Bath which hopefully will help with your decision making:
Bath is a campus University, with the campus being situated about 10 min bus journey out of the city centre. Unlike a city University, all of the University buildings are located on campus (with the exception of few accommodation buildings and a study space in the city centre). This makes for a campus ‘bubble’ as I would call it. Everything you need is on campus, including shops and excellent sports facilities. There is such a lovely community feel on campus which I fell in love with when I went to visit. The Student’s Union is also very good – there are so many societies, sports and volunteering opportunities to get involved with. I would highly recommend getting involved when you start as it’s a great way to meet new people.

Bath is a fairly small city - it is fairly lively but ultimately small compared to the likes of Bristol, Manchester and London (it is definitely more like a town than a city). Some people find that Bath can be quite quiet – particularly if you are used to living in a big city. I am not a big city person so Bath was a perfect size for me and I felt really at home when I went to visit. There is plenty going on – a busy high-street with lots of shops, pubs and bars, nightclubs and lots of cultural activities. However, the clubs are fairly small. While a night out in Bath is fun, it is not huge and it is very student heavy. Many students will go to Bristol for a night out, where you can find much bigger clubs. Bristol is about 10/15 minutes away by train and is great to explore. As I am sure you are aware, Bath is very popular tourist attraction – it is very pretty and I love living there. Ultimately I would recommend visiting all 3 Universities and cities to get a feel for yourself if you can!

The big thing that makes Bath stand out is its placement scheme and was a big factor for me personally in choosing Bath. Over two-thirds of students do a work placement or study abroad (compared to other universities where this is around 10-15%). The department of engineering have a really supportive placement team who’s role is dedicated to helping students find placements and supporting whilst they are on placement. This help is invaluable in allowing students to secure placements. We have an online database where all the placement vacancies are posted, which means it is easy to see what you want to apply for. Some of these are open to all students but some are Bath specific, which makes securing a placement much more likely. The team also help with CV and application checking and interview preparation. After you have secured a placement, the team ensure your contact is in place and keep in contact with you whilst you are working to ensure everything is going well.

Hope this helps - do let me know if you have anymore questions!

Leah
Final Year Chemical Engineering
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