1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How much of the mechanical engineering entails maths?

  1. Sep 3, 2015 #1
    I am currently in a gap year, as i wanted to be 100% sure on what UNI course i was going to go for in 2016. Ive been looking into mechanical engineering as a possible option, but my main worry was regarding the extent to which 'maths' is used during the course, and during your actual career. I didnt take maths or physics for A-level, i did history, pe, psychology and achieved BBB. im still not 100% if im able to even apply for the course due to the a-levels ive done! Ive said to my parents that im willing to self teach/get a tutor during my gap year so im more up to scratch with my maths, but what precautions would you advise me to take? Any opinions welcome. peace Daniel
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    I never understood the concept of a gap year, especially if you are considering a STEM path. Maybe if you want to study something like philosophy or history or art theory or something. Those are topics that one usually associates with "breadth of experience" and such phrases. But to be an engineer? Well... If you are not sure that engineering is what you want, maybe you should not be trying to "self teach." Maybe you should be thinking about something that you do enjoy enough to work on.

    I have noticed many students who are in university because they are expected to be. They don't really care about the subject they are studying. Mommy and Daddy think they need to be a professional. But they are not fired up about the subject. They have no sense that what they are studying is interesting or important. So they get just enough to pass, and party the rest of the time. They finish with barely passing marks, with the bare minimum to get a diploma. Then it's off to be a second junior assistant to the second junior assistant in some government office. Seems like a waste.

    I think you would be happier, and probably achieve more, if you could find something that did cause you to want to study it. What interests you? What causes you to "miss your bus stop" or the equivalent because you are busy reading about it instead of watching the road? What holds your interest enough to neglect other interests and activities? That's what you should be thinking about going to university to study.

    To get admitted to a mech engineering class a university is likely to want you to demonstrate you have some good likelihood of completing it. Usually that's school study in math and science. You might get a university to accept you if you can demonstrate it some other way. The best thing for you is likely to contact some candidate universities and find out what their ideas on the subject might be. Maybe you can Google up some possible schools and find their admissions departments. That is also what you should do if you decide to go for something other than mech eng.
  4. Sep 3, 2015 #3
    Unfortunately, your A-levels aren't remotely related to engineering. To get in to study it at degree level, you'd either need to do the appropriate A-levels or go into a foundation year.
  5. Sep 3, 2015 #4
    Some people just want a break from studying. I think a gap year is a preferable option to burning out, or choosing the wrong subject. Especially if you can get some relevant work experience during it.
  6. Sep 3, 2015 #5
    Thanks for both of your input guys, the thing is my parents are the complete opposite, i dont or havent ever chosen my career path based on their expectations. Mechanical engineering is something ive been looking to and am very interested in, despite having little knowledge around it. Like you said, i should be going Uni to study something im GENUINELY interested in, not something im forced into, and mechanical engineering is something that crosses my mind as a course i would enjoy, my only worry was that i may struggle alot more than others because my lack of relevant A-levels. @Shaun so your saying its possible i can take a foundation degree without the maths or physics alevel?
  7. Sep 4, 2015 #6
    Possibly, it's worth looking into.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook