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Which of these unis will be better for engineering?

Hi there,

I am deciding on which engineering degrees should I put as firm and insurance choice. Here are my choices:

-MEng Mechanical Engineering at University of Manchester
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at University of Leeds
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University
-MEng General Engineering at University of Sheffield

Here's the situation:

Initially, I had thought that Manchester was the best out of them. However, I have visited the uni twice and after speaking to students and staff of the MechEng department, I notice how the degree appears to limit your options. Say, if I want to do something that is more Mechatronic or Aerospace, it is highly likely that I shall have to ask to transfer to the respective degrees. Furthermore, Year 3 and 4 modules, according to the course details on there website, do not really allow you to do much system/control/automation/mechatronics, which I see as a clear drawback for me, who wants to specialise in those specifically. Finally, If I am not wrong, the degree in Manchester is more theory-based and not as practical as the other unis mentions. If possible, can anyone clarify my views on Manchester?

Regarding Sheffield, I specifically applied for General Engineering, because it will provide more time and a broader range of choices. Plus, the uni's links to industry make it an ever-so-slightly calmer journey. Loughborough also stands strong in MechEng, and it has some modules in Year 3 and 4 that I am interested in doing. However, if I want to get into the systems/automation/contol/mechatronics/design and computation side of engineering, as well as materials and structures, which one of the two would you suggest to go for?

My main point is that the sudden change of expectation for Manchester has made it slightly more difficult to choose, and if I am right, what would you reckon for the other unis?

Thanks in advance for responding.
(edited 1 month ago)

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Reply 1
sheffield is very reputable for engineering and biological sciences not sure about the rest but also go through the module options and see what you like best
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 2
Which course do you prefer - look at the optional units for all years of each course, and start thinking about which you would actually choose if you went there, and why.

Do any of these courses offer 'work experience'?
This makes a huge difference to your graduate CV.

Have you been to Open Day or Offer Holder Days?
Which Uni environment felt 'right' - where are you going to feel happiest?

How important is sport to you - Loughborough excels.
Reply 3
Original post by McGinger
Which course do you prefer - look at the optional units for all years of each course, and start thinking about which you would actually choose if you went there, and why.
Do any of these courses offer 'work experience'?
This makes a huge difference to your graduate CV.
Have you been to Open Day or Offer Holder Days?
Which Uni environment felt 'right' - where are you going to feel happiest?
How important is sport to you - Loughborough excels.

For course:
(1) Sheffield
(2) Loughborough
(3) Manchester & Leeds ( Year 1 and 2 in Manchester look more interesting, but Year 3 and 4 modules in Leeds lean closer to my interest, so it is a tie, unless someone can clarify my claim: "If I am not wrong, the degree in Manchester is more theory-based and not as practical as the other unis mentioned.")

For work experience, all provide this and have great links to industry, so this comparison will not be significant for me.

I've been to all of them twice, except Loughborough once recently for my interview. So, for environment:
(1) Manchester (I live in Manchester, and staying here would be great if only I could get clarification about the MechEng degree here πŸ™)
(2) Sheffield (Near Manchester and facilities are great, so will still feel home)
(3) Loughborough & Leeds (another tie. While Loughborough's campus is great, the centre is not as great as the others, although Leicester and Nottingham are not far away. Meanwhile, I prefer the city campus of Leeds, but not as much as Manchester and Sheffield).

Don't really mind the sports side at the moment, but if Loughborough is the best choice, then that will be a unwanted bonus.
Reply 4
Original post by Aqil Azhar
For course:
(1) Sheffield
(2) Loughborough
(3) Manchester & Leeds ( Year 1 and 2 in Manchester look more interesting, but Year 3 and 4 modules in Leeds lean closer to my interest, so it is a tie, unless someone can clarify my claim: "If I am not wrong, the degree in Manchester is more theory-based and not as practical as the other unis mentioned.")
For work experience, all provide this and have great links to industry, so this comparison will not be significant for me.
I've been to all of them twice, except Loughborough once recently for my interview. So, for environment:
(1) Manchester (I live in Manchester, and staying here would be great if only I could get clarification about the MechEng degree here πŸ™)
(2) Sheffield (Near Manchester and facilities are great, so will still feel home)
(3) Loughborough & Leeds (another tie. While Loughborough's campus is great, the centre is not as great as the others, although Leicester and Nottingham are not far away. Meanwhile, I prefer the city campus of Leeds, but not as much as Manchester and Sheffield).
Don't really mind the sports side at the moment, but if Loughborough is the best choice, then that will be a unwanted bonus.

I would suggest Sheffield or Loughborough - the latter has a great year in industry scheme.
Reply 5
Original post by Muttley79
I would suggest Sheffield or Loughborough - the latter has a great year in industry scheme.

I would have though that Sheffield was better. It's true that Loughborough encourage students to go for a year in industry between years 2 and 3, unlike Sheffield and Manchester, which do between Years 3 and 4 for MEng. However, I was thinking of doing industrial placements in the automotive industry, or even Formula 1. Would I be right in saying that Sheffield has the best links to such industry sectors, out of the four courses?
Reply 6
Original post by Aqil Azhar
I would have though that Sheffield was better. It's true that Loughborough encourage students to go for a year in industry between years 2 and 3, unlike Sheffield and Manchester, which do between Years 3 and 4 for MEng. However, I was thinking of doing industrial placements in the automotive industry, or even Formula 1. Would I be right in saying that Sheffield has the best links to such industry sectors, out of the four courses?

No - Loughborough would have better links.
Reply 7
Does anyone know how Leeds compares to Sheffield and Loughborough?
Reply 8
Original post by Aqil Azhar
Hi there,
I am deciding on which engineering degrees should I put as firm and insurance choice. Here are my choices:
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at University of Manchester
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at University of Leeds
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University
-MEng General Engineering at University of Sheffield
Here's the situation:
Initially, I had thought that Manchester was the best out of them. However, I have visited the uni twice and after speaking to students and staff of the MechEng department, I notice how the degree appears to limit your options. Say, if I want to do something that is more Mechatronic or Aerospace, it is highly likely that I shall have to ask to transfer to the respective degrees. Furthermore, Year 3 and 4 modules, according to the course details on there website, do not really allow you to do much system/control/automation/mechatronics, which I see as a clear drawback for me, who wants to specialise in those specifically. Finally, If I am not wrong, the degree in Manchester is more theory-based and not as practical as the other unis mentions. If possible, can anyone clarify my views on Manchester?
Regarding Sheffield, I specifically applied for General Engineering, because it will provide more time and a broader range of choices. Plus, the uni's links to industry make it an ever-so-slightly calmer journey. Loughborough also stands strong in MechEng, and it has some modules in Year 3 and 4 that I am interested in doing. However, if I want to get into the systems/automation/contol/mechatronics/design and computation side of engineering, as well as materials and structures, which one of the two would you suggest to go for?
My main point is that the sudden change of expectation for Manchester has made it slightly more difficult to choose, and if I am right, what would you reckon for the other unis?
Thanks in advance for responding.

Personally, I would go for Sheffield or Manchester. Sheffield is AMAZING for Engineering and comparatively offers the best of all worlds based off the places you have applied to.

I went to a summer school at Loughborough in Year 11 (it was an opportunity from school) where we stayed there for two weeks and we were there for gaining experience with the Engineering department there. The staff were amazing but the accommodation we were staying in was shocking! I can't remember the name of the place we stayed but there are definitely better places to stay imo but obviously, there are loads of other places you can stay and we only saw that one accommodation. It was the worst place I've stayed, which I understand can mean two possible interpretations: I've stayed in nice places all my life (which is not the case), or it was just that bad but I'll leave you to be the judge of that.

I'm from Leeds, and yes, the Engineering dept is good but I would say that it's definitely geared more towards engineering where you will be building (Civil) and materials so maybe as an insurance choice?

So for me, it would probably be Sheffield firm and Manchester or Leeds insurance, depending on what the grade reqs are whether you think you can meet them.

Good luck!
Original post by Aqil Azhar
Hi there,
I am deciding on which engineering degrees should I put as firm and insurance choice. Here are my choices:
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at University of Manchester
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at University of Leeds
-MEng Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University
-MEng General Engineering at University of Sheffield
Here's the situation:
Initially, I had thought that Manchester was the best out of them. However, I have visited the uni twice and after speaking to students and staff of the MechEng department, I notice how the degree appears to limit your options. Say, if I want to do something that is more Mechatronic or Aerospace, it is highly likely that I shall have to ask to transfer to the respective degrees. Furthermore, Year 3 and 4 modules, according to the course details on there website, do not really allow you to do much system/control/automation/mechatronics, which I see as a clear drawback for me, who wants to specialise in those specifically. Finally, If I am not wrong, the degree in Manchester is more theory-based and not as practical as the other unis mentions. If possible, can anyone clarify my views on Manchester?
Regarding Sheffield, I specifically applied for General Engineering, because it will provide more time and a broader range of choices. Plus, the uni's links to industry make it an ever-so-slightly calmer journey. Loughborough also stands strong in MechEng, and it has some modules in Year 3 and 4 that I am interested in doing. However, if I want to get into the systems/automation/contol/mechatronics/design and computation side of engineering, as well as materials and structures, which one of the two would you suggest to go for?
My main point is that the sudden change of expectation for Manchester has made it slightly more difficult to choose, and if I am right, what would you reckon for the other unis?
Thanks in advance for responding.

Hi @Aqil Azhar ,

Great to hear you are considering Loughborough :smile:

Loughborough is a top 10 University (Complete University Guide). Information about our engineering department can be found here- you may find this page useful as it gives insight into engineering at Loughborough in general with all the facilities and opportunities you have within the engineering department.

I know you have mentioned before you have looked through the modules. This is something I found really helpful when I was looking for the right University for me which allowed me to see which course suited me best. I would definitely recommend looking at the breakdown of the course in detail and seeing how that compares to other Universities.

At Loughborough all our courses offer a placement year. The support you get in searching and securing a placement is really good- I found this really helpful. There is a lot of information on the course page about placement year or study abroad options and also the opportunity to take part in the UNITECH scheme.

I have been at Loughborough for 2 years now so can give you a bit of insight about Loughborough in general. Loughborough is very much a student town and as you are on a campus it has such a strong community feel- I really love this as and you tend to see a lot of people you know. It's hard to describe but there are just nice vibes on campus and everyone is so nice. The facilities at Loughborough are amazing- particularly for sport but also for academics and social aspects. During the week most social events happens on campus through the Student Union. For example, there tend to be 2 nights out in the week (Wednesday and Friday) and events during the day which differ week to week. Take a look at our student union website for more insight here. At the weekends more seems to happen off campus. In town (which is walking distance from campus) there are multiple pubs, bars, cafe's, restaurants and nightclubs which tend to be full of students at the weekend. You do need to bear in mind that Loughborough is a town so can't offer what big cities can. If we fancy a bigger city night out we tend to go to either Nottingham or Leicester on the train as they are both approximately 20 minutes away. The train station isn't far from campus and there is a campus shuttle which goes to the station.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions please do ask :smile:

Alex
Reply 10
Original post by vnayak
Personally, I would go for Sheffield or Manchester. Sheffield is AMAZING for Engineering and comparatively offers the best of all worlds based off the places you have applied to.
I went to a summer school at Loughborough in Year 11 (it was an opportunity from school) where we stayed there for two weeks and we were there for gaining experience with the Engineering department there. The staff were amazing but the accommodation we were staying in was shocking! I can't remember the name of the place we stayed but there are definitely better places to stay imo but obviously, there are loads of other places you can stay and we only saw that one accommodation. It was the worst place I've stayed, which I understand can mean two possible interpretations: I've stayed in nice places all my life (which is not the case), or it was just that bad but I'll leave you to be the judge of that.
I'm from Leeds, and yes, the Engineering dept is good but I would say that it's definitely geared more towards engineering where you will be building (Civil) and materials so maybe as an insurance choice?
So for me, it would probably be Sheffield firm and Manchester or Leeds insurance, depending on what the grade reqs are whether you think you can meet them.
Good luck!

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm sure that the accommodation will be better, but I will definitely check that carefully if I go Loughborough.
Reply 11
Original post by Loughborough Student Community
Hi @Aqil Azhar ,
Great to hear you are considering Loughborough :smile:
Loughborough is a top 10 University (Complete University Guide). Information about our engineering department can be found here- you may find this page useful as it gives insight into engineering at Loughborough in general with all the facilities and opportunities you have within the engineering department.
I know you have mentioned before you have looked through the modules. This is something I found really helpful when I was looking for the right University for me which allowed me to see which course suited me best. I would definitely recommend looking at the breakdown of the course in detail and seeing how that compares to other Universities.
At Loughborough all our courses offer a placement year. The support you get in searching and securing a placement is really good- I found this really helpful. There is a lot of information on the course page about placement year or study abroad options and also the opportunity to take part in the UNITECH scheme.
I have been at Loughborough for 2 years now so can give you a bit of insight about Loughborough in general. Loughborough is very much a student town and as you are on a campus it has such a strong community feel- I really love this as and you tend to see a lot of people you know. It's hard to describe but there are just nice vibes on campus and everyone is so nice. The facilities at Loughborough are amazing- particularly for sport but also for academics and social aspects. During the week most social events happens on campus through the Student Union. For example, there tend to be 2 nights out in the week (Wednesday and Friday) and events during the day which differ week to week. Take a look at our student union website for more insight here. At the weekends more seems to happen off campus. In town (which is walking distance from campus) there are multiple pubs, bars, cafe's, restaurants and nightclubs which tend to be full of students at the weekend. You do need to bear in mind that Loughborough is a town so can't offer what big cities can. If we fancy a bigger city night out we tend to go to either Nottingham or Leicester on the train as they are both approximately 20 minutes away. The train station isn't far from campus and there is a campus shuttle which goes to the station.
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions please do ask :smile:
Alex
@Loughborough Student Community
Hi Alex,
Thanks for the heads up. I was in Loughborough last Wednesday for my interview day with Wolfson School. My parents and I were impressed with the day's schedule: beyond other unis' offer-holders day!

Plus, my interview turned out to be very easy and the engineering facilities are great. However, I have two concerns, if you could get these answered:
(1) What do you learn in MechEng systems engineering modules?
(2) And what about in the MechEng mechatronics/robotics modules?

I hope those can be answered by anyone best concerned. Thanks in advance.

Aqil
They're all very good engineering departments so I don't think there's really a "wrong" choice here overall - just whether it might not be the right fit for you personally. So do consider factors like how you feel about the city (as you'd be living there for 3-4 years!), university facilities, course options, etc.

Note that all engineering degrees will involve lab/experimental work, but engineering is fundamentally an analytical degree where you're learning the science of engineering - so your day to day is going to be largely solving differential equations and doing experiments to validate the predicted outcomes you calculated. It isn't a "practical" degree in the sense of spending the time putting things together or building things with your hands - that's not what engineers do. Engineering is an office based vocation where they design engineered systems using that "theory" - then someone else actually builds and manufactures it.

So that might be something you need to manage your expectations around. All engineering degrees will have a lot of "theory" because that's what engineering is. The experimental work is to validate that and to gather empirical data to then go back and recalculate things as needed (through the iterative engineering design process).
Reply 13
Original post by artful_lounger
They're all very good engineering departments so I don't think there's really a "wrong" choice here overall - just whether it might not be the right fit for you personally. So do consider factors like how you feel about the city (as you'd be living there for 3-4 years!), university facilities, course options, etc.
Note that all engineering degrees will involve lab/experimental work, but engineering is fundamentally an analytical degree where you're learning the science of engineering - so your day to day is going to be largely solving differential equations and doing experiments to validate the predicted outcomes you calculated. It isn't a "practical" degree in the sense of spending the time putting things together or building things with your hands - that's not what engineers do. Engineering is an office based vocation where they design engineered systems using that "theory" - then someone else actually builds and manufactures it.
So that might be something you need to manage your expectations around. All engineering degrees will have a lot of "theory" because that's what engineering is. The experimental work is to validate that and to gather empirical data to then go back and recalculate things as needed (through the iterative engineering design process).

That will be useful, so thanks for that. Regarding practicality of engineering degrees, I understand that the theory is a must, otherwise I would better off being a carpenter or clay sculptor, not saying that it would be a terrible thing. However, being able to do modules as part of your degree is my priority, as it would not be useful for me to do modules (obviously the optional ones only, as I am sure that Year 1 and 2 are all similar, if not the exact same thing) that I am not interested in doing, and then learning them out of the degree, even out of the uni, hence wasting my credited options.

This is mainly why I am have started this conversation.

Currently, I am happy with Sheffield and Loughborough, so is there anyone that can be please give me some more detail on Manchester and Leeds?
Original post by Aqil Azhar
That will be useful, so thanks for that. Regarding practicality of engineering degrees, I understand that the theory is a must, otherwise I would better off being a carpenter or clay sculptor, not saying that it would be a terrible thing. However, being able to do modules as part of your degree is my priority, as it would not be useful for me to do modules (obviously the optional ones only, as I am sure that Year 1 and 2 are all similar, if not the exact same thing) that I am not interested in doing, and then learning them out of the degree, even out of the uni, hence wasting my credited options.

This is mainly why I am have started this conversation.

Currently, I am happy with Sheffield and Loughborough, so is there anyone that can be please give me some more detail on Manchester and Leeds?

I really don't know that much specifically about them other than my understanding is they have similarly good engineering departments. If you were looking to work outside of the engineering sector then for some things like management consulting/investment banking the "brand name" of Manchester may have some influence. Obviously though life would be very different in a bigger city like Manchester!
Reply 15
Also, according to the NSS for 2023 (engineering specifically), Manchester seems to do very poorly, while Sheffield and Loughborough are among the top. Is that accurate enough to give me an insight into the unis' courses?
Original post by Aqil Azhar
Also, according to the NSS for 2023 (engineering specifically), Manchester seems to do very poorly, while Sheffield and Loughborough are among the top. Is that accurate enough to give me an insight into the unis' courses?

Student Satisfactions surveys are not a reliable source of information - and certainly no way to make your Firm or Insurance choice. Student responses are notoriously fickle and easily swayed by minor issues that have no real bearing on the course and its 'quality', however you think you can measure that.
Original post by Aqil Azhar
Also, according to the NSS for 2023 (engineering specifically), Manchester seems to do very poorly, while Sheffield and Loughborough are among the top. Is that accurate enough to give me an insight into the unis' courses?

You are trying to rely on totally unreliable sources. Take student satisfaction rates. This is probably the most unreliable source you will find This is based on student surveys and what happens in practice is that small amounts of dissatisfied students have a disproportionate effect. Students who might be unhappy because the grades they finally got werent what they were hoping for then class themselves as unhappy students. It is particularly the case for subjects where the numbers are very small.

You need to base your judgement on where the course is right for you and in a town or city that you will be comfortable. League tables wont tell you this.
Reply 18
Original post by McGinger
Student Satisfactions surveys are not a reliable source of information - and certainly no way to make your Firm or Insurance choice. Student responses are notoriously fickle and easily swayed by minor issues that have no real bearing on the course and its 'quality', however you think you can measure that.
Original post by swanseajack1
You are trying to rely on totally unreliable sources. Take student satisfaction rates. This is probably the most unreliable source you will find This is based on student surveys and what happens in practice is that small amounts of dissatisfied students have a disproportionate effect. Students who might be unhappy because the grades they finally got werent what they were hoping for then class themselves as unhappy students. It is particularly the case for subjects where the numbers are very small.
You need to base your judgement on where the course is right for you and in a town or city that you will be comfortable. League tables wont tell you this.
That's certain as it is very odd to see smaller, lower-tier unis be higher up than some Russell group unis.

Regarding environment, as I mentioned:

Original post by Aqil Azhar
For course:
(1) Sheffield
(2) Loughborough
(3) Manchester & Leeds ( Year 1 and 2 in Manchester look more interesting, but Year 3 and 4 modules in Leeds lean closer to my interest, so it is a tie, unless someone can clarify my claim: "If I am not wrong, the degree in Manchester is more theory-based and not as practical as the other unis mentioned.")
For work experience, all provide this and have great links to industry, so this comparison will not be significant for me.
I've been to all of them twice, except Loughborough once recently for my interview. So, for environment:
(1) Manchester (I live in Manchester, and staying here would be great if only I could get clarification about the MechEng degree here πŸ™)
(2) Sheffield (Near Manchester and facilities are great, so will still feel home)
(3) Loughborough & Leeds (another tie. While Loughborough's campus is great, the centre is not as great as the others, although Leicester and Nottingham are not far away. Meanwhile, I prefer the city campus of Leeds, but not as much as Manchester and Sheffield).
Don't really mind the sports side at the moment, but if Loughborough is the best choice, then that will be a unwanted bonus.
Original post by Aqil Azhar
That's certain as it is very odd to see smaller, lower-tier unis be higher up than some Russell group unis.
Regarding environment, as I mentioned:

RG is totally irrelevant for Engineering - you need to have hands-on experience as well as theoretical. Please don't believe that Engineers just do theory - they don't.

Oxford Brookes is very succesful [as is Bath] at Formula Student - you actually have to design and build a car.
https://imeche.org/events/formula-student/previous-events

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