Hi there! I am a final year chemical engineering student at the University of Bath.
While I cannot comment on mechanical engineering specifically or Imperail College, I am happy to provide some insight into the University of Bath
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? How practical is the course? Is a year in industry available? Are there any opportunities to study abroad? The course is what you will be studying for 3/4 years so important to make sure it is right for you.
Once you have assessed the course, the second biggest thing is to 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? Can you get involved in what your interested in 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. At the end of the day, your picking where you are going to be living, socialising and doing hobbies for the next 3/4 years, so it's important that you feel happy and comfortable in the city my best advice would be to, if you can, visit both Universities and see which you prefer. That's when you will really find out what feels right.
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.
A big thing that makes Bath stand out is its placement scheme and this 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%) - while that is a testament to the support Bath provide for placements, it also means that a large portion of your year group go on placement, meaning you typically can stick with the same group of people throughout the year. 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!
Final Year Chemical Engineering