The Student Room Group

Help! Struggling with Mech Eng course

Hi all, i know this isn’t the first time things like this have been posted but I’m hoping someone can give me some relevant advice.

I’m finishing my first year, after already doing a foundation year, on a mechanical engineering course. I don’t mind the course overall but when I’m there, I don’t really find much of it interesting. Most of the modules, I’m okay with. Anything to do with physics and anything practical, I’m scoring 70% - 90% which is good. However, the maths and computing modules, I’m lucky to get 40%. I’m already resitting maths and idk about computing yet. I just feel completely lost with it all.

Then when i look at what jobs i could get after my degree, none of them seem appealing. I’d personally rather a job going to different sites or working outdoors more. Maybe i should have done civil engineering? I sometimes wonder if i should have just done a trade instead lol.

Ik this is probably a load of hard to read waffle but I’m just fed up with it all.

Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated!
Original post by Skiing_is_life
Hi all, i know this isn’t the first time things like this have been posted but I’m hoping someone can give me some relevant advice.
I’m finishing my first year, after already doing a foundation year, on a mechanical engineering course. I don’t mind the course overall but when I’m there, I don’t really find much of it interesting. Most of the modules, I’m okay with. Anything to do with physics and anything practical, I’m scoring 70% - 90% which is good. However, the maths and computing modules, I’m lucky to get 40%. I’m already resitting maths and idk about computing yet. I just feel completely lost with it all.
Then when i look at what jobs i could get after my degree, none of them seem appealing. I’d personally rather a job going to different sites or working outdoors more. Maybe i should have done civil engineering? I sometimes wonder if i should have just done a trade instead lol.
Ik this is probably a load of hard to read waffle but I’m just fed up with it all.
Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated!

There are physical analysis roles in mechanical engineering although far more is being moved to digitalization, and a mechanical degree will focus on the science first so the next 3-5 years will be very much pen & paper driven.

I do believe there will always be a need for physical analysis & lab based experimental R&D but most professional engineers don’t spend most of there life in the lab (and even when they do a lot is with the support of technicians who did apprenticeships getting better training on the skills required for this type of work).

You have a few options:

if you still enjoy engineering but want to be more hands on day-to-day, perhaps look at engineering degree apprenticeships (as an example I recommend looking at companies like BP, Rolls-Royce aerospace, JLR, GSK...) this can introduce you to opportunities in a variety of industries (consider manufacturing/quality/prototype development)

I think jobs in construction industry (an area in civil engineering) like quantity surveyor have more hands on opportunities but you’ll have to do the research

You’ve already identified trades: electricians etc. there will always be jobs for skilled tradesmen. They are vital to the infrastructure we all enjoy. Never somewhere ive worked but from my mates who are tradies I think finding a good company where you can be mentored & developing good skills is important at the start of your career

Reply 2
Original post by Skiing_is_life
Hi all, i know this isn’t the first time things like this have been posted but I’m hoping someone can give me some relevant advice.
I’m finishing my first year, after already doing a foundation year, on a mechanical engineering course. I don’t mind the course overall but when I’m there, I don’t really find much of it interesting. Most of the modules, I’m okay with. Anything to do with physics and anything practical, I’m scoring 70% - 90% which is good. However, the maths and computing modules, I’m lucky to get 40%. I’m already resitting maths and idk about computing yet. I just feel completely lost with it all.
Then when i look at what jobs i could get after my degree, none of them seem appealing. I’d personally rather a job going to different sites or working outdoors more. Maybe i should have done civil engineering? I sometimes wonder if i should have just done a trade instead lol.
Ik this is probably a load of hard to read waffle but I’m just fed up with it all.
Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated!

What uni do you go?
There are physical analysis roles in mechanical engineering although far more is being moved to digitalization, and a mechanical degree will focus on the science first so the next 3-5 years will be very much pen & paper driven.
I do believe there will always be a need for physical analysis & lab based experimental R&D but most professional engineers don’t spend most of there life in the lab (and even when they do a lot is with the support of technicians who did apprenticeships getting better training on the skills required for this type of work).
You have a few options:

if you still enjoy engineering but want to be more hands on day-to-day, perhaps look at engineering degree apprenticeships (as an example I recommend looking at companies like BP, Rolls-Royce aerospace, JLR, GSK...) this can introduce you to opportunities in a variety of industries (consider manufacturing/quality/prototype development)

I think jobs in construction industry (an area in civil engineering) like quantity surveyor have more hands on opportunities but you’ll have to do the research

You’ve already identified trades: electricians etc. there will always be jobs for skilled tradesmen. They are vital to the infrastructure we all enjoy. Never somewhere ive worked but from my mates who are tradies I think finding a good company where you can be mentored & developing good skills is important at the start of your career


Thanks for taking the time to reply. Some useful advice and things to look into there. Thank you
Original post by Skiing_is_life
Hi all, i know this isn’t the first time things like this have been posted but I’m hoping someone can give me some relevant advice.
I’m finishing my first year, after already doing a foundation year, on a mechanical engineering course. I don’t mind the course overall but when I’m there, I don’t really find much of it interesting. Most of the modules, I’m okay with. Anything to do with physics and anything practical, I’m scoring 70% - 90% which is good. However, the maths and computing modules, I’m lucky to get 40%. I’m already resitting maths and idk about computing yet. I just feel completely lost with it all.
Then when i look at what jobs i could get after my degree, none of them seem appealing. I’d personally rather a job going to different sites or working outdoors more. Maybe i should have done civil engineering? I sometimes wonder if i should have just done a trade instead lol.
Ik this is probably a load of hard to read waffle but I’m just fed up with it all.
Any advice anyone can give would be greatly appreciated!

Khan academy for math. Got me through my mech Eng degree with a strong 2:1 with no A levels. Alternatively, K.A Stroud (any edition) is my book of choice.

You can do any civil engineering job with mech eng. Aerospace, civil, automotive, and all that stuff is just mech eng tailored by the university.

Tailor your degree yourself to your interests where you can. I did both my dissertations and optionals on bio and medical eng topics. Now work for a healthcare company in skeletal reconstruction.

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