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Best unis for engineering?

I am deciding which UK unis to apply to at the moment, and was wondering if anybody could help me out. I am trying to pick the BEST unis in the UK that do a mechanical engineering course (except for Cambridge that does the general course). This seems to vary from table to table, and was wondering if anybody had any other opinion. Cheers
Imperial, Southampton, Loughborough, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge all worth considering.

I'd note that while Cambridge is a "general engineering" course, you do functionally have to specialise from third year onwards in one particular area (particularly if seeking accreditation for your degree - as they do offer specialisms with the associated accreditation as a "single subject" engineering degree elsewhere has) and the "general" courses taken in the first two years more or less mirror the other areas of engineering you'd often have to study in a mechanical engineering degree elsewhere anyway. Same for Oxford.
Reply 2
Original post by joshspullen
I am deciding which UK unis to apply to at the moment, and was wondering if anybody could help me out. I am trying to pick the BEST unis in the UK that do a mechanical engineering course (except for Cambridge that does the general course). This seems to vary from table to table, and was wondering if anybody had any other opinion. Cheers


Avoid Oxbridge - they don't offer a year in Industry.

Bath, Loughborough, Oxford Brookes - this is if you actually want to work as an Engineer. To get a job you do need work experience at university and a course that is modern and not just theory.

Many of my students go on to study Engineering and all have found work - often getting jobs above Oxbridge people because they can talk knowledgeably about current ideas.

Some universiites take part in Formula Student which is a good competition and it tends to be non-RG unis that do well.
Imperial undoubtedly has the strongest reputation. There are a lot of very reputable unis just behind: Loughborough/Southampton/Bristol/bath/notts/Birmingham/leeds/Strathclyde/glasgow

The Oxbridge courses are not mechanical engineering but as pointed out above they do include mechanical engineering options as they cover all areas

Overall it depends what you want to do, if you do want to pursue something like working in the energy sector/technical consultancy/IP you are probably better off targeting Imperial & Oxbridge (these companies are very competitive mainly due to high salary, global opportunities & faster salary progression) although if you are pursuing a role in most industries it’s less important exactly where you look to, and not going to these unis won’t prevent you working in the sectors but if you look at recruitment numbers they do outperform basically every other university.
(edited 9 months ago)
Original post by joshspullen
I am deciding which UK unis to apply to at the moment, and was wondering if anybody could help me out. I am trying to pick the BEST unis in the UK that do a mechanical engineering course (except for Cambridge that does the general course). This seems to vary from table to table, and was wondering if anybody had any other opinion. Cheers

Best in terms of what? What are your criteria?
Original post by joshspullen
Thank you for all of your help! I am looking for a place that has a good course with a good reputation. Since I'm not sure whether I want to pursue engineeing or go into consultancy just yet, I'm mostly interested in the future prospects side of things. My choices so far are the following:
General Eng at Cambridge
MEng at Imperial
MEng at UCL
MEng at Bath
MEng at Edinburgh
Does anyone have any suggestion/recommendation on courses that offer better future prospects?


If you want to pursue engineering all these unis should be fine for industry, for consultancy you have management or technical consultancy both of which recruit engineers although technical consulting is obviously technically minded and has greater variation in what is offered.

The only university I would reconsider is UCL, probably very strong for management consultancy (management consultancy particularly the most prestigious firms are very hard to break into from non-target) but for technical consultancy I have never met a UCL grad in this area (and I have quite a bit of exposure to this area), in my experience the boutique technical consultants which probably have the highest pay (but are also more demanding work wise) seem to have very high numbers of Imperial grads (followed by Oxbridge/Bristol/bath... (same unis i listed earlier)). The larger technical consultancies Mott macondald/Newton/Atkins tend to recruit more broadly and dont really target a specific university but have a fairly developed recruitment method involving online tests/interviews/assessment centre exercises (they larger companies also tend to have very good cultures, good work-life balance, with very high staff retention even if total salary is slightly less then the boutiques, and they tend to still pay above average relative to industry). Not sure why Ive never come across UCL grads, perhaps they tend to stay in London.

There is also a whole area of technical consultants for specialised industries although these companies are harder to give generalised summaries on.
Original post by joshspullen
This was very helpful, thank you very much for your help.
In that case, which uni would you recommend instead of UCL?
Also, since you seem to have some knowledge on the matter, what would the differences be in terms of work between working in a management consultancy (McKinsey, BCG) or in a technical consultancy as you listed above?


Well consultancy is always orientated to the clients but management consultancy solves very different problems to technical consultancy.

Management consultancy is generally asking how a company change change/develop/re-strategise focusing on the commercial outcome, and often they come in to businesses that are in a negative position i.e. decreasing market share/revenue stagnation/no longer profitable... and they will come in and advise very difficult decisions.

technical consultants tend to do a variety of stuff which can either be purely technical advisory/strategic/commercial advise with a general focus or depth of understanding of the technical issues, they sometimes work on really long term stuff (for example understanding what the stepping stones are so that you can be competitive in X number of years if Y technology becomes available) or they can advise on urgent technical scenarios which need an answer in 30 or 60 days, there is very wide scope.

Management consultancy tends to involve more travel i.e. you will regularly be at clients sites 4 days per week and you will be flying/travelling constantly. Technical consultancy travel varies, sometimes you could be seconded to a client for a couple months and other times you can work from home/office for long periods of time. Id say technical consultancy probably has more "normal" days but being flexible is part of the nature of consulting.

As for alternative universities to UCL, id highlight my previously listed unis. Id note if you do wish to target MBB careers id probably go with prestigious unis perhaps, Bristol. MBB is very competitive (less then 1% of applicants receive an offer at McKinsey, bain & BCG are about 2% - and lots of people who do enter these companies don't make it in as graduates but either after an MBA or applying with 2,3,4 years experience).
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 7
Original post by joshspullen
This was very helpful, thank you very much for your help.
In that case, which uni would you recommend instead of UCL?
Also, since you seem to have some knowledge on the matter, what would the differences be in terms of work between working in a management consultancy (McKinsey, BCG) or in a technical consultancy as you listed above?


Avoid Imperial it's toxic - what is the point of studying Engineering if you want to work in Consultancy?
Reply 8
Original post by artful_lounger
Imperial, Southampton, Loughborough, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge all worth considering.

I'd note that while Cambridge is a "general engineering" course, you do functionally have to specialise from third year onwards in one particular area (particularly if seeking accreditation for your degree - as they do offer specialisms with the associated accreditation as a "single subject" engineering degree elsewhere has) and the "general" courses taken in the first two years more or less mirror the other areas of engineering you'd often have to study in a mechanical engineering degree elsewhere anyway. Same for Oxford.


I thought UCL would be in that list. Any reason for that?
Original post by joshspullen
I am deciding which UK unis to apply to at the moment, and was wondering if anybody could help me out. I am trying to pick the BEST unis in the UK that do a mechanical engineering course (except for Cambridge that does the general course). This seems to vary from table to table, and was wondering if anybody had any other opinion. Cheers

leeds and bristol are also very good and have loads of industry links. bristol has links with lots of engine manufacturers such as rolls royce and leeds is in the top 5 universities in terms of students being offered internships or placement years.
Original post by Noctua
I thought UCL would be in that list. Any reason for that?


Tends to have pretty poor reviews by students in the department, you see UCL engineering students complaining about it quite a bit on TSR. While obviously sometimes it may be individuals have a bad experience and/or need to manage their expectations about uni life in general, there is a general sense of "where there is smoke, there's fire" I think...it does seem pretty consistent that students say they have issues while there, and I don't think it's any better known or regarded than any of the others within the engineering sector.

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