What does an engineering degree at Warwick look like? – OurWarwick

What does an engineering degree at Warwick look like?

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Harriet Waldron | Mechanical Engineering Contact Harriet
Anything about anything! Feel free to ask me any questions…
Find out more about me Contact Harriet

So what’s it really like to study engineering? I’m in my third year studying Mechanical Engineering at Warwick, so here’s a little about what I know.

What’s the deal with starting on general engineering?

The degree starts off as general engineering – that means that the material learned during first year and for the first term of second year accommodates engineering across all the different disciplines (from electrical to civil, mechanical and systems).

“Why not pick your favourite engineering stream straight away?” you ask. Well, I wondered that too, at the beginning. But little did I realise that although each stream is different, aspects from all of them pop up in each stream from time to time. In fact, all the time. In group work, laboratory work, group projects – even (and actually, especially so) my third year project. Over the years I’ve come to realise that engineering requires you to have an understanding of (at the very least) the basics in all of the important streams. And I’ve found this invaluable during applied engineering opportunities and an internship!

Of course, first year being general also means that you can gauge a bit more of an understanding about each stream before picking it. If you initially picked Civil but realise by the end of first year that you can’t stand the sight of another strain gauge, then good news – you can choose something else!

Different streams can assess in slightly different ways, too. I know somebody who deliberately picked mechanical & manufacturing because (at the time of choosing) it contained more coursework and project based assessments than, say, purely mechanical. I’m sort of the opposite – I prefer exams to coursework, so that was one of the (many) reasons I picked my stream.

What’s the course structure like, then?

In my experience, first year had about four modules on the go per term. Second year was much the same, although by term 2 we had all specialised into our chosen courses (so the cohort size decreased as it split up into the different streams). Generally, it seems that the three main streams are the most popular (in my year, mechanical and electronics seem to contain about the same number of people, and civil I think has almost as many), with streams like biomedical or mechanical & manufacturing having slightly lower numbers (although there are still a lot of people per stream in these – don’t worry!).

Third year always contains a third year project – a large project that is worth 25% of that year. If you do MEng, more projects will be on the way – woohoo!

Labs and lectures and seminars are all in high quantity – of course, with the pandemic, less labs and more online lectures have been fundamental, but at the moment we are seeing seminars and group work take place in person again, which is great! In first year, before the pandemic, I remember having two to four labs a week (each ranging from about two to four hours long). Lots of lecture material, too (for your own sanity, I recommend not getting behind.. 🙂 ).

How flexible is the degree (MEng vs BEng vs placements??)?

Ah, now this is the great thing. I applied for the BEng course – but I’ve met the requirements to swap to an MEng (average of 2:1 or higher is currently the requirement to study MEng).

What’s an MEng? It’s an integrated masters – an extra academic year (not an extra entire year like a separate masters) that forms part of your degree.

As it currently stands, it’s is possible to get a placement between years 2 and 3, or between years 3 and 4 (although not the latter if you remain on a 3 year BEng). And then, after securing a placement, you essentially tell the university, and take a year out to do the placement.

What’s the weighting of each year?

Currently, first year is nil for BEng and MEng.

On a BEng degree, I believe it’s 30% second year, and 70% third year.

For MEng, I believe it’s 20% second year, and 40% for each of third and fourth year. This is from my knowledge of mechanical, although disclaimer I am not 100% sure if it is the same across all disciplines!

How busy is term time?

Rather intense, it has to be said. There’s a lot to do – but don’t worry – everyone gets used to it and finds what works for them! I’ll definitely say work efficiency has increased tenfold for me. And I’ve found that practising this over time has cemented high efficiency and practical work allocations in how I work, now.

Hope this article was useful – please feel free to ask any questions 🙂

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Harriet Waldron | Mechanical Engineering Contact Harriet
Anything about anything! Feel free to ask me any questions…
Find out more about me Contact Harriet

Leave a comment

   or Log in?

Ask a