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Physics and Engineering Undergraduate workload.

  1. Sep 25, 2015 #1
    Can anyone give a comparison of the workload's in terms of hours your likely to have as a Physics undergrad compared to an Engineering (EEE specifically) one? (UK university's incase it's country dependent)

    I'm trying to decide which course to take and although I'm more interested in Physics, I'm leaning towards Engineering due to the employability prospects. (I want to work in finance but Engineering would be a secondary career if finance doesn't work out)

    I think the deciding factor will be made upon knowing which course has the highest workload. As I know a lot of people overlook extra curriculars and I'd like to have a little time to play some sports etc. I've heard some people say that Physics contains harder material (more hours spent revising notes), but Engineering has all the labs, lab reports, group and individual projects which take up a lot of time and so it total's to a lot more work. Other people have said that Physics students also get all the other 'stuff' and have to work just as long as the Engineers.

    So what's the truth, specifically in terms of bare-minimum hours of work (not including re-reading notes or the 2 extra hours you're meant to spend per hour of lecture time), just pure work, who has the harsher workload?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2015 #2
    That's almost impossible to answer, really. Physics students sometimes have just as many labs, and engineering work can be just as (if not more) conceptually difficult.

    It depends on what your skill set is (you can only measure work load in terms of how fast you can work). It is true that, in general, you'd have more design-oriented projects in engineering, and those can be time-consuming.
  4. Sep 27, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the reply, I understand what you mean. Though I know there's a fair amount of maths in both and topics like mechanics/circuit theory which will be around in both engineering and physics, so I'd imagine a lot of the skills are transferable. I enjoy working more on my own and doing calculation based work over researching existing products and writing reports which I know a lot of engineering is. Judging by the module summaries, I can already say which ones I'm looking forward too (maths, circuit theory) and which I'm going to hate (Product design, Electronics in Industry).
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