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Engineering Degree. UCD or TCD

  • 06-06-2012 6:28pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭✭ milic


    My son is revising CAO choices and is considering Engineering.

    Any views on which is better choice. Engineering in UCD or Trinity


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,909 ✭✭✭ Neeson


    UCD. I don't really know why though. But that's what they say.


  • Registered Users Posts: 922 ✭✭✭ IrishKnight


    Which is better in term of what? Course content? Lecturers? College life?

    Ultimately, no matter what university, your son will learn the same things in the course. His college life will be somewhat different but non the less, if he puts himself out there and gets involved, he'll have a great time regardless of uni.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭✭ milic


    Like Neeson says, Engineering in UCD seems to be generally better thought of.

    Just wondered why this should be so, when generally TCD has a better reputation and TCD is higher than UCD in world rankings


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,025 muboop1


    UCD is general is considered the better degree (I'm a graduate and I have heard this from some employers etc), however realistically it all comes down to the student!

    The reason given that there was a preference for UCD is that in Trinity they had 2 years common, whereas UCD had only one meaning they were more specialized in their chosen denomination.

    That said, for Biomedical Engineering specifically, TCD is far ahead and has more industry contacts etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 922 ✭✭✭ IrishKnight


    Key word is generally. Overall TCD can be called as a better uni than UCD, but when you look at specific subjects, it muddies the waters. UCD would have better engineering and law than TCD for example, but TCD would be better at the Arts than UCD. Or at least in my experiences.

    If it a case of what order to put them in on the CAO form. Take into account the university life too. The club and societies and so on. UCD would be better in terms of sports and the new student centre with 50m pool and new gym is about to open.

    Once you know what course you want to do, start looking at the university as a whole.

    Also keep in mind that UCD is probably the harshest in terms of marking exams among all the universities. At least that is my experience re science


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,428 Powerhouse


    Key word is generally. Overall TCD can be called as a better uni than UCD, but when you look at specific subjects, it muddies the waters. UCD would have better engineering and law than TCD for example, but TCD would be better at the Arts than UCD. Or at least in my experiences.

    If it a case of what order to put them in on the CAO form. Take into account the university life too. The club and societies and so on. UCD would be better in terms of sports and the new student centre with 50m pool and new gym is about to open.

    Once you know what course you want to do, start looking at the university as a whole.

    Also keep in mind that UCD is probably the harshest in terms of marking exams among all the universities. At least that is my experience re science


    Fair play. You must have an extraordinary breadth of experience in the two universitites to be able to compare Law, Engineering, Arts and Science between the two. I wouldn't be able to compare them even in the area I studied!


  • Registered Users Posts: 655 ✭✭✭ L


    Having studied at both, they're both better at different Engineering fields (if someone tells you one is strictly better than the other for all kinds of Engineering, they haven't done their research).

    UCD used to have a much stronger Eng reputation (funding related I think but I'm not quite sure) but that's a decade gone at this point - both are solid Eng colleges nowadays (the latest TCD Provost is even an Engineer with a solid international reputation - so Eng is unlikely to get worse there running forward).

    If your son is interested in Chem Eng or Power systems/Electric and probably electronics, suggest UCD. Biomech is definitely TCD, Comp eng is probably TCD again, Bioelec is probably UCD though the current Bioeng research head in TCD has a fair reputation in the field as well (not sure if he's lecturing in it though). Vanilla Civil or Mech is a tossup.

    It's worth mentioning that both Eng setups are slightly different - UCD aims to produce well trained specialists (who are fairly ignorant of other Eng fields - IIRC, the general year that's been introduced was because they were having some trouble with applicant numbers for some less popular Eng degrees) while TCD aims to produce generalists who know all the basics for any Eng course and then specialize (but not quite as heavily as the UCD degrees). It's worth mentioning this means that the third year for TCD tends to be extremely tough as the course intensity goes a little crazy as they try to spin people up to par in their specialization in a year (with final year generally consumed by more specialized courses and projects).

    Hope that's a bit helpful - though fair warning, asking in the UCD forum isn't going to give you many balanced answers. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,909 ✭✭✭ Neeson


    L wrote: »
    though fair warning, asking in the UCD forum isn't going to give you many balanced answers. ;)

    Ah now it might. I mean a lot of people that go to UCD think it's a sh!thole. Unlike those at Trinity who believe they attend a finer institute!


  • Registered Users Posts: 614 beardedmaster


    Plenty of people who go to Trinity aren't too fond of their place either, just as here. Don't be fooled by the vocal minorities that whinge incessantly about UCD!


  • Registered Users Posts: 200 ✭✭ bbuzz


    When I was picking engineering 4 years ago I was told by some Computer Science lecturers I talked to in Trinity not to do Engineering there (this is just what they told me).

    I ended up in UCD anyway, and when applying for jobs UCD is very well regarded in business, especially in Engineering companies. But I'm sure it's much of a muchness in that regard.

    One thing I will say though is that UCD has much better links with other universities for exchanges, they have more places and more universities, and about 40 engineers are going on exchange next year. This was a great experience for me and looks brilliant on the CV.

    The other thing is that Engineers Ireland want a masters degree for accreditation from next year. UCD started this program for mechanical engineering already and are rolling out the rest of the degrees next year. From what I've heard from EI, Trinity are trying to resist this and probably won't be ready for next year.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,787 ✭✭✭✭ Dónal


    bbuzz wrote: »
    From what I've heard from EI, Trinity are trying to resist this and probably won't be ready for next year.

    Best to not spread misinformation:

    http://www.tcd.ie/courses/undergraduate/az/course.php?id=68
    5th Year Options
    Students graduating after 2012 will require a Masters degree to be directly eligible for Chartered status. Therefore the School offers several options for a 5th year leading to a Masters degree (M.A.I.).

    Double qualification with INSA de Lyon
    Suitably qualified students may, at the end of their second year, apply for transfer to the double qualification programme, run jointly with the INSA de Lyon, the largest Engineering School in France. Instruction at INSA de Lyon is through French and students will be required to have a high standard of language competence before participating on the programme. At the end of a five-year double qualification programme TCD students may receive, in addition to the B.A.I., the Diplôme de l’INSA, which confers full professional accreditation in France.

    MAI (Domestic)
    This entails spending the 4th and 5th year in Trinity College, undertaking additional modules in the specialisation as well as a group project in 4th year and a significant individual project in 5th year.

    MAI (International - Option 1)
    This is offered in collaboration with the European CLUSTER Programme, a consortium of 12 universities. The student spends their 4th year abroad and returns to complete their 5th year at TCD. The other partner universities are:

    Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona; Technische Universität Darmstadt; Technische Universiteit Eindhoven; Institut polytechnique de Grenoble; Instituto Superior Técnico Lisbon; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Université Catholique de Louvain; Helsinki University of Technology; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; Politecnico di Torino; KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm.

    MAI (International - Option 2)
    This is offered in collaboration with the UNITECH Programme, a consortium of 9 universities and 15 multinational corporate partners. Students will spend one semester in a partner university followed by a six month internship with one of the corporate partners.

    Partner universities: Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg; ETH Zurich; Loughborough University; Politecnico di Milano; RWTH Aachen University; Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona.

    OP, as others have said it depends on what area your son is looking at. I wouldn't bother looking at the university rankings as it would imply that only TCD/UCD/UCC/DCU would be worth going to, which is a silly attitude - DIT for example offers an excellent engineering course by all reports.

    Let your son go to whatever college open day, ask questions himself, as it is him who will end up going to the college.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭✭ milic


    Thanks to all for replies. Some very good food for thought there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 519 ✭✭✭ Equium


    I have just finished engineering (civil) in Trinity, but entered the course in third year having undertaken studies at an IT. Many of my former classmates gained advanced entry other institutions, including UCD, NUIG and DIT. We have regularly compared curricula at the colleges and it is clear that most courses cover a very similar set of topics. There will, of course, be minor variations in the programmes, but in general the course content should not be of primary concern when making a choice. Unless a college offers a certain branch of engineering that others do not, that is.

    For me, there were two main factors in making my choice - international reputation and location. I don't buy into the whole ranking of colleges idea, but friends who have left for Australia, and especially the States, have told me that Trinity has a better international reputation than UCD. Whether this is entirely true is open to question, but given the current state of the civil engineering industry here, it certainly had an influence on my decision. In Ireland the reputations of both courses are on a par.

    Location is obviously another important factor. For me, a daily commute to UCD just wasn't a viable option. Unless your son intends on moving out I'd suggest he goes to the nearest university. Travelling across the city can be exhausting and time consuming, especially in the latter years of the course. I would also suggest that he visits both places to get a feel for the campuses. The TCD campus just felt more like home to me. Other people will prefer UCD, but it is important to feel comfortable with the college that you will be spending the next couple of years in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,909 ✭✭✭ Neeson


    Equium wrote: »
    Location is obviously another important factor. For me, a daily commute to UCD just wasn't a viable option. Travelling across the city can be exhausting and time consuming, especially in the latter years of the course.

    You can live on campus in UCD too you know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭ KKBL


    L wrote: »
    Having studied at both, they're both better at different Engineering fields (if someone tells you one is strictly better than the other for all kinds of Engineering, they haven't done their research).

    UCD used to have a much stronger Eng reputation (funding related I think but I'm not quite sure) but that's a decade gone at this point - both are solid Eng colleges nowadays (the latest TCD Provost is even an Engineer with a solid international reputation - so Eng is unlikely to get worse there running forward).

    If your son is interested in Chem Eng or Power systems/Electric and probably electronics, suggest UCD. Biomech is definitely TCD, Comp eng is probably TCD again, Bioelec is probably UCD though the current Bioeng research head in TCD has a fair reputation in the field as well (not sure if he's lecturing in it though). Vanilla Civil or Mech is a tossup.

    It's worth mentioning that both Eng setups are slightly different - UCD aims to produce well trained specialists (who are fairly ignorant of other Eng fields - IIRC, the general year that's been introduced was because they were having some trouble with applicant numbers for some less popular Eng degrees) while TCD aims to produce generalists who know all the basics for any Eng course and then specialize (but not quite as heavily as the UCD degrees). It's worth mentioning this means that the third year for TCD tends to be extremely tough as the course intensity goes a little crazy as they try to spin people up to par in their specialization in a year (with final year generally consumed by more specialized courses and projects).

    Hope that's a bit helpful - though fair warning, asking in the UCD forum isn't going to give you many balanced answers. ;)

    As someone whos been to both, which do you think is the better university in other aspects? socially and atmospherically? I've heard that UCD lacks the community that other colleges have, that its very clique, almost like an extension of secondary school and another person told me that people don't mix. i.e engineers hang with other engineers, nurses with other nurses etc. I've also heard theres an elitist/ snobbish attitude present in both colleges that is not present in DCU.
    Oh god its such a difficult decision to make in the next weeks..


  • Registered Users Posts: 655 ✭✭✭ L


    KKBL wrote: »
    As someone whos been to both, which do you think is the better university in other aspects? socially and atmospherically? I've heard that UCD lacks the community that other colleges have, that its very clique, almost like an extension of secondary school and another person told me that people don't mix. i.e engineers hang with other engineers, nurses with other nurses etc. I've also heard theres an elitist/ snobbish attitude present in both colleges that is not present in DCU.
    Oh god its such a difficult decision to make in the next weeks..

    Honestly, I'd probably say TCD has the better atmosphere - there's a lot of advantages to being a small center of town campus compared to UCD's fairly isolated sprawled campus. That said, as I didn't do my undergrad at UCD, so one of those who did might have a better idea of what things are like here socially for undergrads.

    Cliquishness will'll happen no matter where you go. It's not intentional, or necessarily a bad thing - just if you spend a lot of hours a week in class with one group of people, you're likely to hang out with them outside of class as well. It's fairly easy to make friends from other courses through societies and sports clubs though.

    As far as elitism/snobbishness goes, I haven't seen that too much myself (a few of my college mates were ex-private school, some others were relying on grants - never saw any snobbery between them). Sounds a bit like something a DCU student might say to talk UCD or TCD down if I'm honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 614 beardedmaster


    KKBL wrote: »
    I've heard that UCD lacks the community that other colleges have, that its very clique, almost like an extension of secondary school and another person told me that people don't mix. i.e engineers hang with other engineers, nurses with other nurses etc.

    That, my friend, is a load of horseshit. I would say I've at least one friend in every degree programme they do, and I haven't been there 3 years.

    If someone only hangs around with people in their own course, how do they expect to meet anyone new?! If you can't meet people outside your course otherwise, join a club, or society, or even just start having the banter with someone at the bar or where-ever! You have to put at least some effort in with meeting people, and the rewards will be tenfold. Then you get the sense of "community" that your friends say UCD lacks, when you can't walk from building to the next without bumping into someone you've met in UCD.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,640 ✭✭✭ wanderer100


    I know this thread is old but I wanted to get some fresh advice..see if anything has changed through the years.

    1) I'm not certain on what type of engineering I want to do but I'm leaning towards the computer/software/electronic side of things.
    Would TCD be better than UCD specifically in this field??

    UCD doesn't seem to have a specific computer engineering course in year 2. So hence I was wondering does TCD focus more on this field than UCD.

    2)What puts me off TCD is the general two years?? In relation to UCDs 1 general year, what are people's thoughts on this?

    3) Lastly what's the situation with job prospects for these engineering graduates nowadays in Ireland and internationally? Are TCD or UCD students employed straight out of college after graduating? What engineering jobs are in greatest demand??

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,012 ✭✭✭ ironclaw


    Hi There,

    I was in the pilot 'Engineering Science' course that eventually became the 3+2 e.g. A 3 years BSc and an 2 Year Masters. This was offered in the same stream as the traditional 4 year course and most, if not all, swapped to it.

    1) I'm not certain on what type of engineering I want to do but I'm leaning towards the computer/software/electronic side of things.
    Would TCD be better than UCD specifically in this field??

    I studied and specialised in the Electronic & Computer side of things. You get a great taste of both in the course. If you want to do more hardware, no problem, if you want to write more code, there is expectional tie in with the Computer Sci faculty. I couldn't fault UCD on this aspect of the course.
    UCD doesn't seem to have a specific computer engineering course in year 2. So hence I was wondering does TCD focus more on this field than UCD.

    Depends what you mean by computer engineering. If you mean more coding, then you would be better off doing computer science. Engineering, in of itself, is a different disciple. Best I could describe it would be 'full stack' meaning you understand from the transitor level right through the architecture to the coding running it. UCD is a gradual specialisation, you spend the first 1.5 years repeating the leaving cert and setting the foundations for what stream you wish to enter. Now, you can do more of a certain stream but you also do core modules from others. For examples, I did a lot of coding / electronics but I also had to take applied dynamics (mechanical eng) and chemistry.
    2)What puts me off TCD is the general two years?? In relation to UCDs 1 general year, what are people's thoughts on this?

    UCD is 1 to 1.5 'general' years. They all do it and its of no disadvantage. Its to make sure everyone is at the same level as honestly, the LC doesn't prepare people equally. If you do well in the LC, you'll cruise the first 2 years as its pretty much a repeat and a deep dive in the core topics. I wouldn't let this sway you as either way, if you want to be a chartered Eng, you're going to be there for 5 years.
    3) Lastly what's the situation with job prospects for these engineering graduates nowadays in Ireland and internationally? Are TCD or UCD students employed straight out of college after graduating? What engineering jobs are in greatest demand??

    Loaded question and depends on your outlook and your desires. Firstly, off the bat, I'd suggest you travel after you graduate and get a job abroad. It adds greatly to your experience and really helps you learn. No Uni course prepares you for a job fully, you'll have the foundations but not the full picture. Eng will get you a job in most of the multinationals but take heed, very few IT firms here really need Engineers in the truest sense. They'll employ you, but they'll put you to work in a support role, which will bore you beyond your wits. If you are a driven engineer, you'll need to get into the R&D departments of these firms and very few are based here (With the exception of chip development e.g. Intel) The strongest pipeline, and its opinion rather than fact, will probably be for structural and mechanical engineers given the economic upturn (It was the exact opposite when I started)

    To increase you job prospects, study outside the topics that you do in college e.g. Have an interest in Hadoop or Big Data? Do a personal project. Like iOS? Make and release an App. Your degree gets you an interview, these get you the job. Try get an internship in Year 3 but don't go back and work for that firm if you can. I know that seems counter intuative but you run the risk of dropping into a pattern of familiarity and never really growing.

    Any questions, feel free to post here or PM me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 921 ✭✭✭ daraghwal


    ironclaw wrote: »
    Hi There,

    I was in the pilot 'Engineering Science' course that eventually became the 3+2 e.g. A 3 years BSc and an 2 Year Masters. This was offered in the same stream as the traditional 4 year course and most, if not all, swapped to it.



    I studied and specialised in the Electronic & Computer side of things. You get a great taste of both in the course. If you want to do more hardware, no problem, if you want to write more code, there is expectional tie in with the Computer Sci faculty. I couldn't fault UCD on this aspect of the course.



    Depends what you mean by computer engineering. If you mean more coding, then you would be better off doing computer science. Engineering, in of itself, is a different disciple. Best I could describe it would be 'full stack' meaning you understand from the transitor level right through the architecture to the coding running it. UCD is a gradual specialisation, you spend the first 1.5 years repeating the leaving cert and setting the foundations for what stream you wish to enter. Now, you can do more of a certain stream but you also do core modules from others. For examples, I did a lot of coding / electronics but I also had to take applied dynamics (mechanical eng) and chemistry.



    UCD is 1 to 1.5 'general' years. They all do it and its of no disadvantage. Its to make sure everyone is at the same level as honestly, the LC doesn't prepare people equally. If you do well in the LC, you'll cruise the first 2 years as its pretty much a repeat and a deep dive in the core topics. I wouldn't let this sway you as either way, if you want to be a chartered Eng, you're going to be there for 5 years.



    Loaded question and depends on your outlook and your desires. Firstly, off the bat, I'd suggest you travel after you graduate and get a job abroad. It adds greatly to your experience and really helps you learn. No Uni course prepares you for a job fully, you'll have the foundations but not the full picture. Eng will get you a job in most of the multinationals but take heed, very few IT firms here really need Engineers in the truest sense. They'll employ you, but they'll put you to work in a support role, which will bore you beyond your wits. If you are a driven engineer, you'll need to get into the R&D departments of these firms and very few are based here (With the exception of chip development e.g. Intel) The strongest pipeline, and its opinion rather than fact, will probably be for structural and mechanical engineers given the economic upturn (It was the exact opposite when I started)

    To increase you job prospects, study outside the topics that you do in college e.g. Have an interest in Hadoop or Big Data? Do a personal project. Like iOS? Make and release an App. Your degree gets you an interview, these get you the job. Try get an internship in Year 3 but don't go back and work for that firm if you can. I know that seems counter intuative but you run the risk of dropping into a pattern of familiarity and never really growing.

    Any questions, feel free to post here or PM me.

    Does everyone do app development in the engineering degree or is that something you do completely outside of it, also, if it is part of the engineering degree what engineering choice would that be (UCD)? I am putting Engineering down as a no. 2 to veterinary. Why I don't know, it just appeals to be a bit more than Ag. I think it might be too general for me, really just not sure. I am repeating the leaving this year and was offered Ag last year but didn't take it. I don't want to put down computer science because I don't want to focus fully on coding etc. if I don't get vet but still would have a bit of interest in it. Thanks!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,012 ✭✭✭ ironclaw


    Does everyone do app development in the engineering degree or is that something you do completely outside of it

    I did it outside of Eng in my own time. There are coding elements and some modules may have it now as an optional or tag on.
    , also, if it is part of the engineering degree what engineering choice would that be (UCD)?

    Coding and computer-esque 'stuff' would fall mainly under the Electronic stream. But as you can mix and match with UCD Horizons, any Eng degree will have an element of computers to it.
    I am putting Engineering down as a no. 2 to veterinary. Why I don't know, it just appeals to be a bit more than Ag. I think it might be too general for me, really just not sure

    With respect, you should see a career guidance coach. Vet, Ag and Eng are miles apart. My brother did Ag and loved it, but it was Engineering focused. I think it was a pilot Ag Sci degree. Vet is another thread entirely. I can't see someone loving Vet and Eng to be honest, unless you sat in the middle with Bio Engineering.
    I don't want to put down computer science because I don't want to focus fully on coding etc.

    By in large, the Eng program for Electronic is pretty much computer science plus hardware. You focus a lot more on how things work at a lower level in Eng than you do in Comp Sci. Comp Sci is more the theory of computing and frankly some of the modules are mind numbing. Really depends what you are after.


  • Registered Users Posts: 921 ✭✭✭ daraghwal


    ironclaw wrote: »

    With respect, you should see a career guidance coach. Vet, Ag and Eng are miles apart. My brother did Ag and loved it, but it was Engineering focused. I think it was a pilot Ag Sci degree. Vet is another thread entirely. I can't see someone loving Vet and Eng to be honest, unless you sat in the middle with Bio Engineering

    Thanks for your response. I have and will be going to career guidance again but they can only do so much to guide me, I suppose I'm just here looking for different perspectives on it.

    I read somewhere that a large proportion of people doing veterinary graduate entry are coming from Engineering. Not sure why that is but aspects of both certainly appeal to me. Veterinary is first as I love working with animals (live on a farm), people and problem solving. When you think about it there are similarities with Engineering. I don't think veterinary as my first choice is going to change. It is the reason I am repeating the leaving cert as I didn't get the points for it last year. I suppose my real concern is my second choice. With veterinary you either become a vet or you don't whereas with engineering and ag science it's such a broad area to choose from. With my interest in agriculture as well as engineering I am debating whether to go into engineering or go do the agricultural systems technology section of ag science (formerly engineering technology).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 minecaster31


    I've been reading through all the 'TCD vs. UCD eng' threads and the argument always seems to be the same:

    TCD has the reputation but UCD has the better facilities/course.

    But since they're planning to build that new E3 institute and adding TCD electives (Don't forget changing the exam times), do you think this changes things a little?

    I know that I'll be aiming well over five hundred since the eng points are generally quite high.

    But honestly I might pick Trinity based on the fact that it's closer and smack in the middle of town. I still don't know what to pick in terms of eng stream so the two years general seems good for me. (Maybe mech/eng with a little bit of renewables? STAM/ materials engineering sounds interesting as well)

    However, I'm still open to UCD and opinions on this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Jameshay16


    Hi, a couple of years down the line made an account just to say i’m in a very similar situation as to what you were in. I was torn between veterinary medicine and engineering in UL all through the leaving cert. Have a farm at home and it helped me get an interest in both. I doubted I had enough points do be a vet and thought limerick would be much cheaper and closer, ended up with 613 points and no accommodation in limerick. I’m currently staying in a hotel. A week down and seriously thinking of pulling out for a year and rethinking the situation.

    What path did you end up doing in the end?



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