Undergraduate

h300 - Mechanical Engineering BEng

Photograph of student that studied this course

Meet Megan from United Kingdom

About me

Choosing Newcastle

I chose Newcastle University because of the University’s reputation and the fact it offers a combination of modules that most other universities don’t offer. For example, we study Electrical Engineering modules in first and second year which are incredibly helpful in understanding many aspects of Mechanical Engineering and leaving us more rounded engineers. There’s also the option to study Bioengineering in the third year which is one of the reasons I chose Newcastle University to study. This module is incredibly interesting as the School of Engineering at Newcastle is home to lots of cutting edge research in this subject and the lecturers are passionate about the subject, so the teaching is to a high standard.

Studying at Newcastle

The quality of teaching on the course is very good with some particularly excellent lecturers. Most lecturers are very helpful and are always willing to help when you have questions or don’t quite understand something. Lectures sometimes contain interactive sections to help consolidate learning. There’s a lot of support available within the course, first year students are assigned a tutor, a tutor group of five or six students and a student mentor. This helps students with the transition into university and helps them settle in. The student mentor is particularly helpful to assist with queries and problems that may arise in the first few weeks and help students feel at ease.

Studying Mechanical Engineering

I enjoy how varied my course is, it’s a mix of lectures, coursework and hands on experience. My favourite module has probably been Stage 1 Design and Manufacturing where we designed and built fully functioning Wind Turbines as part of the group project. We then went on to test these designs in the wind tunnel. In this module during first year, you are also given the opportunity to attend industrial trips to places like Caterpillar and engage in activities such as turning and welding.

Recommending Newcastle

Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle is quite a full on, but an incredibly rewarding, degree. Prepare for hard work during your university career, but after graduation the feeling of achievement is vast and all the hard work is completely worth it. Studying at Newcastle, you will become incredibly employable and most students have job offers before ending the course, companies want to employ Newcastle Mechanical Engineering students. The industry links the University has with the region are an important part of that employability. Students are encouraged to consider undertaking summer and yearlong internships to help them experience the world of work before graduation. There is a lot of support available for everyone at University so no matter what is going on, there’s always someone to help.

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle is a fantastic city to live in. It’s got some of the best shopping experiences in the country with the Eldon Square in the city and the Metro Centre only a bus ride away. If shopping doesn’t take your fancy, the city boasts an incredible nightlife and social scene. In the city centre, theatres, cinemas, bowling, a number of gyms and many food outlets so there’s definitely something for everyone! It’s also only a 25 minute Metro journey to the coast so it’s easy to take a day trip to the beach and experience the North East coastline. The city itself is a nice size, big enough to contain everything you would need but also most things are within a reasonable walking distance. Being on the East Coast mainline, it’s pretty easy to get to and from by train and it has an international airport so flying is accessible as well.

Being social

There are so many options for clubs and societies at Newcastle. There’s definitely something for all interests. Everyone is very friendly and the sports and societies fair at the start of each semester is a great way to try new sports and activities. I’m currently secretary of the Polo Club, a sport I hadn’t played before attending university. It has helped me get involved with a sport I wouldn’t have had access to before and helped me make amazing friendships and memories. Having a committee role has helped me improve skills that I will use within the world of work, such as time management and organisation.

Student Accommodation

During my first year, I lived at home as I am a local student. I didn’t feel this disadvantaged me at all because the University offers many incentives to get students who live at home involved and help them to make friends. During Fresher’s week the University offers specific meeting points for local students to help meet others in the same position and even offers transport home after for students living locally. Joining sports clubs and societies is another great way to make friends outside of your course and make the most of your university experience.

Managing your money

The one thing I would say is to apply for student finance as early as possible. It’s easy to make changes to the application at a later date but don’t leave the initial application until the last minute to ensure you get the money on time at the start of the semester. Shop around when looking at student bank accounts as most banks offer things to students who open them. I would recommend budgeting, working out how much you have left over after paying for your accommodation and trying to stick to a weekly budget. It’s definitely not fun when you’ve spent all of your money and can’t afford to do anything in the last few weeks of term.

Future plans

After finishing the course, I am hoping to find an engineering based job. The University’s Careers Service is very helpful. They advertise vacancies for graduate jobs and placements on their website so it’s much easier to find something that appeals to you. They also offer workshops on how to conduct yourself at interviews and assessment centres which are very helpful so that you know what to expect and feel more at ease. I’ve also attended the CV drop in service in which an advisor went through my CV and covering letter and gave me tips on how to improve it to appeal to employers more.

Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle has a lot of links with industry in the region. In second year as part of the Mechanical Engineering Professional Skills module, all students undertake a mock application process in which you have to produce a CV applying for a given job and then attend an interview. I found this an incredibly valuable process as getting feedback on my interview technique will help me succeed in future interviews. The careers advisors within the School are very helpful and helped me to find a last minute summer placement when the one I had secured fell through. I actually ended up with five offers for summer placements after using their industrial contacts to get in touch with companies. The University offers so many opportunities to improve your CV and employability; from volunteers to the Ncl+ scheme.