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Student Diary | A day in the life of a Mechanical Engineering student

Student Diary | A day in the life of a Mechanical Engineering student

by Reuben

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

Hi everyone!

My name is Reuben, I am a relatively new student here at Newcastle University. I am currently in my first-year studying Mechanical Engineering.

Newcastle was not my first choice university, however I am already really enjoying my time here. Going to a university within a great city like Newcastle has many benefits. To name a few: all the shops being nearby, lots of great places to eat and visit as well as the famous nightlife!

I love football, and with St James’ park being right in the middle of the city and tickets for Premier League matches being very reasonable for students, I certainly have that on the list of one of many great attractions in Newcastle I look forward to exploring.

Newcastle is a very friendly city, and with Newcastle University being in a city there is always a lot to do.

There are a lot of great student offers so there are always fun things to do (like watching the football) for very reasonable prices (when you become a student you will soon realise budgeting is very important!).

On to my course, mechanical engineering. Compared to other courses we do have more contact hours, however it is certainly manageable, and it is a great way to learn time-management which is an essential professional skill! 

On a typical university day, I go in to do lectures or tutorials. Labs are less common and I have labs once or twice a week. Some days last from 9am-5pm, so during my breaks I go to have lunch with friends or go to the engineering common room to have a chat with my course mates.

You also get put into engineering teams, so sometimes my team and I use the break to do some studying or discuss our practical work. It is nice to be in an engineering team as it means you also can make a good group of friends on your course.

In terms of lectures we get lectures for each module and one tutorial each week which is really useful to consolidate our learning. I enjoy engineering mathematics as I enjoy solving maths problems and the Design and Manufacturing module is also one I enjoy as it takes us out of our usual lecture theatre environment, and we get to do something a little different.

After university, I often go shopping or go to have something to eat occasionally with friends. Normally, I go home after a long day and just relax, watch a bit of Netflix or play video games.

Mechanical Engineering is certainly a broad degree. A lot people believe engineering is just a lot of maths (which it can be!) BUT you do also get to learn loads of other important skills.

We have a professional skills module where we learn computer skills and also undertake creative group projects relating to different topics. If you enjoy maths, then I think you will enjoy that aspect of the course. It is a lot of maths and it can be difficult, but I personally enjoy the challenge. I think one of the main challenges in first year is the transition from being a pupil to being a student. You have a lot more control over how you learn, which can take some getting used to, but you pick up a lot of important skills along the way.

In the second semester I will learn about aspects of electrical engineering which I believe will be important in industry in the future as we will be working with engineers from other disciplines, not just mechanical engineers.

Overall, mechanical engineering is a challenge, but one that I am certainly enjoying! Don’t worry, you definitely do have time to do things outside university. I play football on Wednesdays and tend to go out during the weekends, and I am also a student ambassador. I also have had the time to join a few societies which allows me to meet new people and do fun things outside of my course.

I hope this has helped you with any potential decisions you are currently making. I am very happy to be here studying mechanical engineering at Newcastle University and I am sure, if you join us you will too!



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.