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Student Diary | A day in the life of a Electrical & Electronic Engineering student

Student Diary | A day in the life of a Electrical & Electronic Engineering student

by Nic

Curious to find out what a typical day would be for an engineering student? Find out why Nic chose to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and what he thinks of the reality of student life...


Hey there! My name is Nic Tan and I’m currently a second year BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering student. I have lived in Newcastle for nearly 2 and half years and here’s what I’d like to share with you about the course and city.

First off, it’s mentioned a lot that Engineering at uni is heavy on contact hours, and whilst that’s true, it’s important to remember that modules vary a lot in what they entail and keeps your learning experience interesting.

In first year, you’ll be studying all sorts: basics in Engineering Mathematics, Signals and Communications all the way to Communication Skills and Innovation (a particularly interesting module; focused on a main MBed project as well as being a professional in the working world).

Communication Skills and Innovation was the most fun in first year I’d say, as the MBed project is a set task but it’s taught in a way that lets you run free with your imagination. My personal favourite projects - the ones that really blew my mind - were a guitar amplifier which my mate actually plugged his own guitar into and you could even programme in guitar effects to alter its sound! The other was a jacket which heated itself up. It had 3 heating settings which were all controlled by the wearer and even gave them an option to change the heating intensity to save energy, an LCD screen showing what setting was chosen and even a charging port for your phone – AND it was machine washable!

Your first year really lets you experience all sides of the course. You learn to write lab reports professionally with all the proper standards from our discipline, along with the basics of C programme and some old school (but still used) stuff like Assembly code.

The course can really be challenging at times, but your course mates, demonstrators and lecturers are always on hand and are almost always free to give you guidance on whatever you’re struggling with. A super useful means of getting help, for me, was the course group on messenger. It made it super easy to just post a question and whoever was free at the time would just ping back with help.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard lots about the nightlife at Newcastle. We must have the best nightlife in the country, its class. I’m a pretty quiet “night in” kinda bloke most of the time, but when I do go out it’s always “canny good craic.” We have Tynemouth beach a metro ride away, a golf course nearby (plus ghetto golf, which lots of people enjoy), Inflate Space and of course Newcastle United games (Sunderland AFC is only a metro trip too).

There’s really so much to do. What I love about Newcastle is that for such a small city, it has everything you’d expect of a big one. We have a bustling centre, and in Jesmond we have a huge outside space which is lovely for a relaxing walk or for a fun running route. I honestly couldn’t imagine studying in any other city.

Unsurprisingly, you might not always have huge amounts of free time when your assignment deadlines are closely packed, but if you try to manage your time well you’ll have time to do what you enjoy. I find time to play 5-aside football with some mates in a student league and play badminton at least once a week.

I hope you enjoy your time in Newcastle as much as I do!


Interested in finding out more about Engineering at Newcastle University? Discover the practicalities of our different Engineering degrees, career prospects, and opportunities to study abroad in our Engineering subject page.