The Student Room Group

which uni engineering UG course?

currently i am in Y12 doing A-Levels in maths, chemistry and spanish. i am struggling to choose an engineering course but have narrowed it down to 3: chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or materials engineering. my lack of decision-making skills has also made it difficult to start my personal statement.

career-wise i think the safest option is chem eng, but it means i can't go to imperial (i don't do further maths)
i would really like to do biomed eng as i have a genuine interest in it, but i dont know how to show it as i don't do biology/physics. also has programming which i enjoy
materials eng interests me because of nanotechnology + you get to learn coding so could do a postgrad in a comp sci related course?

any help from people currently on the courses mentioned or any engineers would be greatly appreciated - please help an incredibly indecisive person out - thanks!
Original post by deberoh
currently i am in Y12 doing A-Levels in maths, chemistry and spanish. i am struggling to choose an engineering course but have narrowed it down to 3: chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or materials engineering. my lack of decision-making skills has also made it difficult to start my personal statement.

career-wise i think the safest option is chem eng, but it means i can't go to imperial (i don't do further maths)
i would really like to do biomed eng as i have a genuine interest in it, but i dont know how to show it as i don't do biology/physics. also has programming which i enjoy
materials eng interests me because of nanotechnology + you get to learn coding so could do a postgrad in a comp sci related course?

any help from people currently on the courses mentioned or any engineers would be greatly appreciated - please help an incredibly indecisive person out - thanks!

All of the above courses will have some programming in them, but only a very minor amount. Is programming something you're keen to cover in a university degree?
Reply 2
Original post by Smack
All of the above courses will have some programming in them, but only a very minor amount. Is programming something you're keen to cover in a university degree?
Yes it is
Original post by deberoh
Yes it is

Why not consider computer science then? Apart from electrical engineering, there won't be much coding in an engineering degree. They mainly consist of solving maths/physics type problems. Coding (usually Matlab) is used to solve these problems.
(edited 3 weeks ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Smack
Why not consider computer science then? Apart from electrical engineering, there won't be much coding in an engineering degree. They mainly consist of solving maths/physics type problems. Coding (usually Matlab) is used to solve these problems.

I've already thought about that, but basically my interest in it came too late, and I've done little to no extra curriculars so my personal statement would be bad. Also maybe I can do a masters in it later.

I also want to do a degree involving science and maths, so I am settling for the courses I mentioned. Please help me choose one of them.
Original post by deberoh
I've already thought about that, but basically my interest in it came too late, and I've done little to no extra curriculars so my personal statement would be bad. Also maybe I can do a masters in it later.

I also want to do a degree involving science and maths, so I am settling for the courses I mentioned. Please help me choose one of them.

You don't have to go to university immediately after A levels if you don't have the right subjects to get into your ideal course. It's better to take the right subjects and then get into the right course. However, maths and a science should be sufficient for computer science. Personal statements aren't particularly important and you have plenty of time to learn a programming language between now and January when the application deadline is.

Nothing you've posted so far indicates an interest in engineering so I can't really advise which of the ones you've listed to choose. Do you like industrial plant, are you interested in different materials, would you like to design medical devices?
Reply 6
Original post by Smack
You don't have to go to university immediately after A levels if you don't have the right subjects to get into your ideal course. It's better to take the right subjects and then get into the right course. However, maths and a science should be sufficient for computer science. Personal statements aren't particularly important and you have plenty of time to learn a programming language between now and January when the application deadline is.
Nothing you've posted so far indicates an interest in engineering so I can't really advise which of the ones you've listed to choose. Do you like industrial plant, are you interested in different materials, would you like to design medical devices?

The trouble is, I've had a look at materials engineering and biomedical engineering, and am interested pretty equally in both courses. I think I wouldn't be happy studying chem eng, so I've discarded that option.

I like the digital healthcare aspect and prosthetics part of biomed, but am also very interested in nanomaterials and biomaterials.

Thanks for your help so far.
Original post by deberoh
currently i am in Y12 doing A-Levels in maths, chemistry and spanish. i am struggling to choose an engineering course but have narrowed it down to 3: chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or materials engineering. my lack of decision-making skills has also made it difficult to start my personal statement.
career-wise i think the safest option is chem eng, but it means i can't go to imperial (i don't do further maths)
i would really like to do biomed eng as i have a genuine interest in it, but i dont know how to show it as i don't do biology/physics. also has programming which i enjoy
materials eng interests me because of nanotechnology + you get to learn coding so could do a postgrad in a comp sci related course?
any help from people currently on the courses mentioned or any engineers would be greatly appreciated - please help an incredibly indecisive person out - thanks!

Hey deberoh! No worries, choosing an engineering course is tough. Here's a breakdown to help:

ChemE is awesome - great jobs! But if Imperial is your dream school, no Further Maths might be a hurdle. Look at other top unis with programs that fit your qualifications. Within ChemE, sustainable production, process engineering, or materials science could be cool if you like problem-solving.

BiomedE sounds perfect for your biology interest (even without the A-Level!). Highlight projects, online courses, or research you've done to show your passion. Look into biomaterials, prosthetics, medical devices, or tissue engineering. Many unis offer foundation years or courses to catch you up on biology and physics.

MaterialsE with nanotech is fascinating, and the coding fits your skills! Research biomaterials, nanorobotics, or electronic materials to show your interest. Look for unis with strong materials programs in nanotech. After MaterialsE, a postgraduate course in computer science would be awesome!

In the end, pick the course you're most excited about. Research programs, talk to engineers, and don't worry about not having biology/physics - focus on your passion in your personal statement! Good luck!
Original post by deberoh
The trouble is, I've had a look at materials engineering and biomedical engineering, and am interested pretty equally in both courses. I think I wouldn't be happy studying chem eng, so I've discarded that option.

I like the digital healthcare aspect and prosthetics part of biomed, but am also very interested in nanomaterials and biomaterials.

Thanks for your help so far.

I think biomedical is a bit too niche at undergrad level. A great many jobs in that sector are essentially mechanical, electronics, or software roles, and taking any of the aforementioned degrees will give you opportunities in the sector, as well as other sectors (from aerospace to energy). You can do a masters in biomedical after a bachelors in one of the main disciplines if you want to maximise your prospects.

Materials is also pretty niche. Companies will typically not have many materials engineers compared to other disciplines, and may not always maintain a steady flow of graduates. However, unlike biomedical, materials is an actual discipline of engineering rather than an industry or area of research, so it's far less likely to get a materials job with another discipline (though I've seen it happen).
Original post by deberoh
currently i am in Y12 doing A-Levels in maths, chemistry and spanish. i am struggling to choose an engineering course but have narrowed it down to 3: chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or materials engineering. my lack of decision-making skills has also made it difficult to start my personal statement.
career-wise i think the safest option is chem eng, but it means i can't go to imperial (i don't do further maths)
i would really like to do biomed eng as i have a genuine interest in it, but i dont know how to show it as i don't do biology/physics. also has programming which i enjoy
materials eng interests me because of nanotechnology + you get to learn coding so could do a postgrad in a comp sci related course?
any help from people currently on the courses mentioned or any engineers would be greatly appreciated - please help an incredibly indecisive person out - thanks!

Hi! Having no further maths for chem eng is fine at Imperial - they dont even reccommend it for that course, but they do for some others such as aerospace and electronic engineering 🙂 Good luck
Original post by deberoh
currently i am in Y12 doing A-Levels in maths, chemistry and spanish. i am struggling to choose an engineering course but have narrowed it down to 3: chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or materials engineering. my lack of decision-making skills has also made it difficult to start my personal statement.
career-wise i think the safest option is chem eng, but it means i can't go to imperial (i don't do further maths)
i would really like to do biomed eng as i have a genuine interest in it, but i dont know how to show it as i don't do biology/physics. also has programming which i enjoy
materials eng interests me because of nanotechnology + you get to learn coding so could do a postgrad in a comp sci related course?
any help from people currently on the courses mentioned or any engineers would be greatly appreciated - please help an incredibly indecisive person out - thanks!

Hi Deberoh,

This is Christian, I am currently studying Civil Engineering at Swansea University.

Looking at the A-Levels you have taken I would say that the best option would be Chemical Engineering, I wouldn't say to worry too much about what engineering course you are going to take at the moment as in most universities you can change from one engineering course to another in the first year (even in second year depending on the engineering courses and unis).

Finally, I would like to mention that most engineering degrees do have a coding module, so don't worry too much about that, plus I think that doing a masters in computer science could be a good idea if you see that you really like coding while doing your undergraduate engineering course.

Please let me know if you have any more questions I will be happy to answer them for you.

Hope this helps Christian 🙂 (Swansea University Rep)
Reply 11
Original post by Smack
I think biomedical is a bit too niche at undergrad level. A great many jobs in that sector are essentially mechanical, electronics, or software roles, and taking any of the aforementioned degrees will give you opportunities in the sector, as well as other sectors (from aerospace to energy). You can do a masters in biomedical after a bachelors in one of the main disciplines if you want to maximise your prospects.
Materials is also pretty niche. Companies will typically not have many materials engineers compared to other disciplines, and may not always maintain a steady flow of graduates. However, unlike biomedical, materials is an actual discipline of engineering rather than an industry or area of research, so it's far less likely to get a materials job with another discipline (though I've seen it happen).

I agree that they may be niche, but I think I will genuinely enjoy materials, so I will probably apply for that. However could I still apply to other unis for ChemE as it has better job prospects, and they're related? But is it a bad idea? My personal statement would focus on both.

I have another question about further maths - I still have the option to do it, but only to AS - is this still useful or worth it? As entry requirements don't make it very clear
Original post by deberoh
I agree that they may be niche, but I think I will genuinely enjoy materials, so I will probably apply for that. However could I still apply to other unis for ChemE as it has better job prospects, and they're related? But is it a bad idea? My personal statement would focus on both.

I have another question about further maths - I still have the option to do it, but only to AS - is this still useful or worth it? As entry requirements don't make it very clear

Chemical and materials engineering aren't really related. But at the same time, personal statements are of far less significance in engineering compared to some other subjects, and admissions tutors understand that not everyone knows exactly what they want to do at 17/18, so mentioning more than one discipline on your PS is unlikely to be an issue.

I can't advise about further maths as I studied in Scotland where we don't do A-levels, but I will say that engineering courses are heavily maths based, so more maths is always useful, via formal or informal study.
Reply 13
Original post by Smack
Chemical and materials engineering aren't really related. But at the same time, personal statements are of far less significance in engineering compared to some other subjects, and admissions tutors understand that not everyone knows exactly what they want to do at 17/18, so mentioning more than one discipline on your PS is unlikely to be an issue.
I can't advise about further maths as I studied in Scotland where we don't do A-levels, but I will say that engineering courses are heavily maths based, so more maths is always useful, via formal or informal study.

ik its not 100% related but I've received an offer from Manchester for materials science and engineering and am wondering about the entry requirements only being two of chem, physics, or maths. Im currently switching from my current course, one of the reasons being that it is not challenging me. Do u think this course not requiring maths make it any less credible as i know maths is very improtant in engineering. Thank you for any assistance.
Original post by helpm
ik its not 100% related but I've received an offer from Manchester for materials science and engineering and am wondering about the entry requirements only being two of chem, physics, or maths. Im currently switching from my current course, one of the reasons being that it is not challenging me. Do u think this course not requiring maths make it any less credible as i know maths is very improtant in engineering. Thank you for any assistance.

Some other courses - e.g. civil engineering at UCL - also don't require A-level maths and they are not viewed as less credible because of it. I'm assuming that the course requires strong grades in science and applicants are aware that it will also be quite mathematical, so only those who are mathematically capable (even if they haven't studied A-level maths) will be applying.

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