So you’ve decided you want to study engineering at Oxbridge. But how do you decide between two of the world’s best universities? To help you with the Oxford vs Cambridge decision, we’ve summarised the Engineering courses in one handy table.
|Prerequisites: Maths, with Further Maths highly recommended. You must also sit the PAT (the Physics Aptitude Test).||Prerequisites: Maths, with Further Maths recommended. There is, however, some discrepancy between colleges; a few state Further Maths as a compulsory prerequisite. Cambridge have their own admissions test for Engineering, the ENGAA. Some colleges require other at-interview tests when you arrive, which are normally short and maths-based.|
|Offer: The typical offer is A*A*A, with an A* in Maths and a second A* in either Further Maths or Physics.||Offer: The typical offer at Cambridge is A*A*A, with an A* in Maths.|
|Statistics: Of those who apply, 48% are interviewed, and 18% are successful. This means just under 1 in 5 candidates who apply are offered a place.||Statistics: Of those who apply, 1 in 7 candidates are successful, meaning they are both offered a place and achieve the required grades.|
|First Year Studies: In your first year at Oxford you will study mathematics, electrical and information engineering, structures and mechanics, energy and the environment, and practical work.||First Year Studies: In your first year at Cambridge the content studied is divided into five sections: mechanical engineering, structures and materials, electrical engineering, mathematical methods, and coursework and labs.|
|Final Honour Schools: At Oxford, in your second year you continue with compulsory courses developing upon the teaching of the first year. In the third year you then get lots of options, of which you choose to specialise in five, as well as some compulsory modules such as engineering in society and a group design project. Then in your 4th year you must complete a major research project and also six specialist subjects, from many options including biomedical engineering and information engineering.||Final Honour Schools: At Cambridge Part I is completed in the second year, and is completely mapped out for you, following on from Part IA (1st year.) Then Part II (years 3 and 4), allows you to specialise hugely, with a wide variety of subjects offered, including aerospace engineering, bioengineering, civil engineering, structural engineering, electronics, information engineering, and energy, sustainability and the environment· In 4th year, like at Oxford, you are also expected to complete a major research project.The form of the degree taken by both Oxford and Cambridge is fairly similar, and the content mainly overlapping.|
|Style of Teaching: Following on from lectures, you will complete problem sheets on the content covered. You will then go through the content in tutorials held in college. These are typically 2 or 3 students with a tutor, going through the solutions and correcting any problems. In the first year you will have approximately 10 lectures a week and 2 tutorials. Lectures are held university wide at the department, and tutorials are held within your college. You will also have up to 5 hours of practical work a week, held in department laboratories.||Style of teaching: The teaching you receive studying engineering at Cambridge is very similar to that at Oxford. You have 2-5 supervisions a week, going over the problem sheets from the lectures, of which there are 12 a week in first year. You also have lab hours, that vary between 4-21 hours per week: 4 hours on usual lecture weeks, and up to 21 hours when the lectures are finished and you are doing assessed practical work.|
Oxford vs Cambridge Conclusion
At the end of the day, the Oxford vs Cambridge debate is very subjective because engineering courses at Oxford and Cambridge are both outstanding, and you’ll have an amazing time at either university. So visit each city, speak to some current students and tutors if you can, work out which course suits you best, and take your pick!
If you’re interested in an Engineering degree, why not take a look at our reading recommendations for Oxbridge Engineering?