The Student Room Group

Choosing between two courses

Should I apply to university for mechanical engineering or electrical engineering?

I am currently studying A Level maths, geography and chemistry. I'm not sure which one to study because I'm equally interested in both branches but my a level choices are more suited to mechanical than electrical. However I have done more extra reading for electrical (I have a few ideas of things I would want to say in an electrical engineering personal statement) so it'll be a bit harder to write my personal statement for mechanical.

Can people also recommend any supercurricular activities for mechanical please?
(edited 1 year ago)
Lack of physics is going to heavily limit you in either case, as you will most likely primarily need to look at courses with a foundation year as most reputable mechanical or electrical/electronic engineering courses require physics. Note there are a few joint honours courses in both, either explicitly called mechanical and electronic/electrical engineering, or more euphemistically called things like electromechanical or mechatronics engineering (which technically mechatronics is sort of a different area but for undergrad it ends up functionally being a joint honours between the two). Also aerospace engineering courses tend to cover some of both areas.

Otherwise you need to think about which you're more interested in as they're quite different courses. Without having done A-level Physics it might be hard for you to gauge interest in EE as you won't have had much exposure to either practical electronics (unless you're a hobbyist and like making transistor radios and such - which might be a good indicator!) or circuit analysis which are fairly central concepts, likewise more general electricity and magnetism content. Mechanical engineering you can probably gauge your interest in more based on your experience of mechanics in A-level Maths (which is more similar in style to the kind of stuff you do in a mechanical engineering degree than a lot of A-level Physics anyway).
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
Lack of physics is going to heavily limit you in either case, as you will most likely primarily need to look at courses with a foundation year as most reputable mechanical or electrical/electronic engineering courses require physics. Note there are a few joint honours courses in both, either explicitly called mechanical and electronic/electrical engineering, or more euphemistically called things like electromechanical or mechatronics engineering (which technically mechatronics is sort of a different area but for undergrad it ends up functionally being a joint honours between the two). Also aerospace engineering courses tend to cover some of both areas.

Otherwise you need to think about which you're more interested in as they're quite different courses. Without having done A-level Physics it might be hard for you to gauge interest in EE as you won't have had much exposure to either practical electronics (unless you're a hobbyist and like making transistor radios and such - which might be a good indicator!) or circuit analysis which are fairly central concepts, likewise more general electricity and magnetism content. Mechanical engineering you can probably gauge your interest in more based on your experience of mechanics in A-level Maths (which is more similar in style to the kind of stuff you do in a mechanical engineering degree than a lot of A-level Physics anyway).


Thanks for the helpful reply.

I have found some universities that don’t ask for physics. I’m sort of leaning towards meche now.

What did you study and what influenced you to make that choice?
Original post by Anonysus
Should I apply to university for mechanical engineering or electrical engineering?

I am currently studying A Level maths, geography and chemistry. I'm not sure which one to study because I'm equally interested in both branches but my a level choices are more suited to mechanical than electrical. However I have done more extra reading for electrical (I have a few ideas of things I would want to say in an electrical engineering personal statement) so it'll be a bit harder to write my personal statement for mechanical.

Can people also recommend any supercurricular activities for mechanical please?

Not really sure why you think your A-levels are more suited to mechanical, you have maths which is suitable to both, and the lack of physics is again a hole which will restrict you in either field.

Their is of course mechanical & electrical engineering courses (although they are quite limited and your lack of physics may well mean you need a foundation year). I tend to find mechatronics is more like robototics so id try to look for the courses which explicitly are called mechanical & electrical or vice versa.

Tbh you don’t need extracurricular activities but further maths a-level/matlab/python would be things i would familiise yourself with (these will be useful for the course but being able to use matlab script or python is also very attractive skills for a cv).
(edited 1 year ago)

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