Published: 07 October 2022

A week in the life of a mechanical engineering undergraduate

From lectures to laboratory-based practicals and personal tutorials, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BEng or MEng mechanical engineering student at Surrey.

How will I be taught?

Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of seminars, tutorials, lectures, group work, laboratory-based practicals and online learning. You’ll receive approximately 15-20 contact hours each week.

You’ll be given coursework to help consolidate what you’ve learnt, and you’ll be expected to carry out independent study and reading. We have a wide range of study spaces available, including our library, open 24/7, and more relaxed spaces like the new Hillside Coffee café.

What will I be taught?

In Semester 1, lectures and tutorials will typically cover the following modules: Materials and Statistics; Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics; Design and Component Production; and Mathematics.

Read about the modules you will take in Semester 2 here.

Will a typical week differ to other engineering courses?

In general, the subjects taught in first year will vary slightly from one engineering discipline to another; however, the four streams of engineering that run within our School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences – mechanical, aerospace, biomedical and automotive – have a common first year. This provides an excellent foundation and allows for flexibility if you want to change to a different stream in Year 2.

Read more about our undergraduate mechanical engineering sciences courses here.

What about other interests? Will I have time for those during the week?

Although you’ll have free time on other days, on Wednesdays you have most of the day to focus on sporting, society or employability events. Students have access to more than 180 student clubs and societies, with interests ranging from mixed martial arts to mah jong, and poker to politics. There is a mechanical engineering society, MechSoc, which puts on a range of social and academic-related events throughout the year.

Nearby Surrey Sports Park is a £36m facility, offering state-of-the-art training facilities such as a climbing wall and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

What’s life like outside lectures?

We’re a campus university so everything you need is within a five-minute walk, including the Students’ Union building, grocery shopping, wellbeing and support services, the launderette and the medical centre.

Guildford’s picturesque cobbled high street boasts a wide range of shops and restaurants, plus an excellent range of pubs and a busy nightlife. The town is also only a 35-minute train journey to London.

Expect more

Find out why you should expect more at Surrey and when our next undergraduate open days will be.

Disclaimer: The modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.

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