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UCL vs Edinburgh vs Durham vs Bristol Engineering

I can only apply to two out of these 4 unis and I can't decide which ones. I would apply for mechanical engineering at bristol and edinburgh, and general engineering at durham, and mechanical engineering with business finance at UCL. I want to apply to Bristol because it is probably the best one (according to the rankings) for mech eng. But I would love to go to Uni in Scotland and edinburgh is a beautiful uni, but It would be 2nd year entry so possibly harder to make friends. UCL has a really good course which combines mechanical engineering with finance so I would love to go there as I might want to go into finance after uni and that would best prepare me. Also UCL is a london uni and more prestigious, so banks may prefer to employ a UCL grad over the other unis. However Durham Uni has impressive buildings and I like how it is one of the oldest Uk Unis, and has the most impressive buildings. I would not mind doing general engineering and then mechanical in 3rd year at Durham. I want to go to the uni which would give me the most job opportunities and is most prestigious, but also a Uni which is historic picturesque like durham and edinburgh. Please help me pick 2 out of these 4 options.
Reply 1
Original post by Sirius17
I can only apply to two out of these 4 unis and I can't decide which ones. I would apply for mechanical engineering at bristol and edinburgh, and general engineering at durham, and mechanical engineering with business finance at UCL. I want to apply to Bristol because it is probably the best one (according to the rankings) for mech eng. But I would love to go to Uni in Scotland and edinburgh is a beautiful uni, but It would be 2nd year entry so possibly harder to make friends. UCL has a really good course which combines mechanical engineering with finance so I would love to go there as I might want to go into finance after uni and that would best prepare me. Also UCL is a london uni and more prestigious, so banks may prefer to employ a UCL grad over the other unis. However Durham Uni has impressive buildings and I like how it is one of the oldest Uk Unis, and has the most impressive buildings. I would not mind doing general engineering and then mechanical in 3rd year at Durham. I want to go to the uni which would give me the most job opportunities and is most prestigious, but also a Uni which is historic picturesque like durham and edinburgh. Please help me pick 2 out of these 4 options.

I wouldn't choose any of those for Mech Eng.

Ignore rankings - look at the course - does it have a year in indsutry? Is it accredited? Bath is better than Bristol for a start - they are successful in Formula Student
Durham and UCL sre not ones my students look at either ..
Reply 2
Original post by Muttley79
I wouldn't choose any of those for Mech Eng.

Ignore rankings - look at the course - does it have a year in indsutry? Is it accredited? Bath is better than Bristol for a start - they are successful in Formula Student
Durham and UCL sre not ones my students look at either ..

I want to work in IB after my engineering degree, so London Unis and Oxbridge are target Unis for IB. Also my first 3 choices are Cambridge, Imperial, Bath, so I need to choose 2 of those remaining 4. And why is Bath better than Bristol? I've heard that Bristol is a more targetted uni for IB than Bath and it is a Russell group, more prestigious worldwide
Reply 3
Original post by Sirius17
I want to work in IB after my engineering degree, so London Unis and Oxbridge are target Unis for IB. Also my first 3 choices are Cambridge, Imperial, Bath, so I need to choose 2 of those remaining 4. And why is Bath better than Bristol? I've heard that Bristol is a more targetted uni for IB than Bath and it is a Russell group, more prestigious worldwide

Don't do an Engineering degree then - you are taking a place from someone who does want to work in the industry. Do Economics or something more relevant ... I would be reluctant to write a UCAS reference for someone focusing on IB and doing an Engineering degree.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 4
"Prestige" is entirely relative and employment prospects are completely fickle metrics. I would always advise people not to factor these things into their decision when choosing between good universities - they're the kinds of things you might consider if you were trying to decide between Durham and Essex, but the universities you've chosen are all excellent to begin with. You'll stand just as much chance of getting a job after graduating from of any one of those. Employers really aren't going to say "well, they're an excellent candidate but they went to Bristol rather than UCL so we won't hire them". No one can offer you a cast iron guarantee that one university will get you a better job over the other three.

Instead, think about the way the course is structured and how they assess you, and whether this fits your preferences (eg, if they assess predominantly by exams, but you prefer coursework, the don't pick that uni). But also think about where you want to live, what kinds of amenities and lifestyle choices those unis offer, what accommodation options you want, how far you want to travel from your parents' house etc etc.
Reply 5
Original post by Muttley79
Don't do an Engineering degree then - you are taking a place from someone who does want to work in the industry. Do Economica or something more relevant ... I would be reluctant to write a UCAS reference for somone focusing on IB and doing an Engineering degree.

I'm doing an engineering degree because of how versatile it is. I could work in engineering or finance or a different sector with that degree. Also if I want to go into the more mathematical, quant side of finance engineering is way better than econ as it is a STEM degree
Reply 6
Original post by fedora34
"Prestige" is entirely relative and employment prospects are completely fickle metrics. I would always advise people not to factor these things into their decision when choosing between good universities - they're the kinds of things you might consider if you were trying to decide between Durham and Essex, but the universities you've chosen are all excellent to begin with. You'll stand just as much chance of getting a job after graduating from of any one of those. Employers really aren't going to say "well, they're an excellent candidate but they went to Bristol rather than UCL so we won't hire them". No one can offer you a cast iron guarantee that one university will get you a better job over the other three.

Instead, think about the way the course is structured and how they assess you, and whether this fits your preferences (eg, if they assess predominantly by exams, but you prefer coursework, the don't pick that uni). But also think about where you want to live, what kinds of amenities and lifestyle choices those unis offer, what accommodation options you want, how far you want to travel from your parents' house etc etc.

but is prestige more important if I want to work abroad, ie people have heard of UCL across the world and would respect a degree from there more than from bristol
Reply 7
Original post by Sirius17
I'm doing an engineering degree because of how versatile it is. I could work in engineering or finance or a different sector with that degree. Also if I want to go into the more mathematical, quant side of finance engineering is way better than econ as it is a STEM degree


I hope your school understand - mine wouldn't ... far better ways of accessing IB. How will you show passion for Engineering in your PS?
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 9
Original post by Sirius17
but is prestige more important if I want to work abroad, ie people have heard of UCL across the world and would respect a degree from there more than from bristol

It really depends what kinds of people you're talking about. The only British universities that you can be assured that most people in most countries will have heard of (and recognise as excellent universities) are Oxford and Cambridge.

But if you're talking about employers and recruiters, they will be familiar with hundreds of excellent universities around the world, and UCL, Bristol, Durham and Edinburgh would all be recognised by them. If you really want to go down that road, then probably UCL has the most international name recognition of the four, (and I say that as a UCL grad myself) but you would be still surprised how many people think it's an American uni.

And tbh I think the emphasis on university name recognition for employment prospects is massively overblown (mostly by the universities themselves who, since the entirety of British HE has been forced into a marketisation model, have had to lean into nebulous things like reputation and prestige to attract students... but that's another story). Out in the real world, employers are far more interested in what work experience you have, what skills you can bring to the table, rather than which university you went to. Yeah a handful of places like to stack their workforce with Oxbridge graduates, but even that is changing.

If you pick a university solely on the basis of employability, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. The factors that make you employable come far more from your own personal qualities and experience than the university printed on your degree certificate.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 10
Bath - https://www.bath.ac.uk/corporate-information/undergraduate-subjects-2024/
Southampton - https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate?keyword_filter=

And if you pick a course with a work placement you will have a head-start to a graduate job - in whatever field you choose.

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