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Aero Engineering Degrees / University pilot courses (Merged)

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Aero Engineering Degrees / University pilot courses (Merged)

Old 5th Oct 2010, 13:41
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Sorry for taking it the wrong way. But if you don't mind I will leave the reply anyway so any one thinking of doing Aero because its sounds cool but they want to be a pilot in the long run might have second thoughts.

Personally I don't see why Uni's should pick up the pieces of a crap secondary education system. And why should they take resources from the core undergrad courses to give remedial tutorials.

If the output is that bad, start setting entrance exams if you can't trust the points system. And personally I would also start discounting certian subjects from the grades lists. And if required run summer schools which the little cherubs have to pay for pre entry exam.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 14:48
  #22 (permalink)  
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A lot of universities now offer Foundations of Engineering years for students with the wrong, but okay A-levels (or the right A-levels, but not quite good enough grades), doing basically a year of maths, physics and engineering science with a minimum pass (50% I think normally) to then gain entrance into the first year of engineering degrees.

I wonder if we continue to go down the road we have, with "basketweaving" A-levels like "Critical Thinking", and many maths A-level syllabi now having dropped calculus (which I personally find incredible to the point of criminality) that a majority of new engineering students will need the foundations year, as well as the final MEng year for those shooting for CEng.

The problem is that will then mean 5 years out of school before they ever start being trained by an industry grown-up. This is arguably much too long.


I actually think that Jock's last point is spot on - the Universities (or maybe ECUK or the RAeS) should start setting their own degree entry examination - do away with A-levels, or make it an "as well" as Oxford do. The kids are no more stupid than we were, and if there is a target to educate to, the schools will start teaching to it.

G
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 22:04
  #23 (permalink)  
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There's no doubt that the standard of A levels is getting poorer... I'll be the first to admit that. Not only are A levels getting easier, so too are GCSE's and now its a situation where what used to me 'GCSE' Maths decades ago involved quite a bit of work from the first module of AS level Maths. And today's 'Further Maths' was in fact part of the normal Maths A level.

In short the standard of education has dropped by a year, if that makes sense? But I've been taking Further Maths in the hope that the step up will be that bit easier.

And if I choose to get sponsored by the Army in uni I'll be eligible to a bursary of 4k/year. Now seen as the government grant will cover for tuition fees, my only debt will be whatever money i need on top of the 4k for accommodation. Maybe another 3k a year? That'll amount to a debt of 12- 15k over the course length of 4 years.

On graduating I'll get paid 24.5k for a year of training at Sandhurst. After the training is complete I will be on pay of at least 29.5K/year for a minimum period of 3 years. Well that's according to the army careers website anyway.

And sorry Genghis for taking your comment the way I did.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 22:22
  #24 (permalink)  
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Groundloop - you are right, we do need to change. It has been suggested that we (i) have multi-choice examinations in first year; (ii) don't have any first year exams, examine in second year; (iii) assess by coursework rather than exam. The target is 85% retention after 4 years. Compounding, that means a chop rate of 5% per annum. Yes, maybe.

But the education system is another thread in its own right. Dis, you should try to get flying if that's what you want to do. If you want a degree go to uni. However.....

....if I may badly paraphrase Lord Trenchard; 'gentlemen you can fly or you can f$%k - but you cannot f$%k and fly'
 
Old 6th Oct 2010, 01:08
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Unfortunatley it does make sense Dis. the standard dropping by a year.

And don't worry about being a prat been there done it myself many a time.

PPRuNe is a funny old beast. There was a young lad came on once and asked a question on vortex shedding on supersonic deltas for an aged 14 school project. Within 2 pages we had John Farley (test pilot for harrier), the test pilot for the CAA and the fleet Captain of concorde discussing aerodynamics of it all. Bit over my head (and i would hope the 14 year old as well but you never know) but bloody interesting. On the rotary side of things Nick Lappos test pilot used to again spend his time educating the masses.

You have access here to people/knowledge you wouldn't even dream of normally getting access to.
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 10:44
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Dis.I.Like,

glad you seem to have changed your attitude. You'll get an awful lot more from PPRuNe when you come across as being good chap with enthusiasm.

I'd start to really look at the many ways of getting what is known as a 'frozen ATPL' because it will probably take you a while to get a feel for the system and choose what is right for you. For this, the search function on PPRuNe will keep you busy for weeks. It's all here.

On the subject of your uni plan, I still say its is a silly way of funding training. If you really want to go to uni, can afford it, and are seriously considering another (degree related) career then go for it. However, look at this very realistic comparison;

If you finish A levels and get (for example) an apprentiship with an engineering comapny you could well be earning a graduate salary by the age of 21/22. You could save 10k over the previous 3/4 years. Compare that with a graduate who is on similar money but 20k of debt. You are roughly 30k better off by 22 years old. Thats a CPL right there.

As said previously, the idea behind a graduate scheme is that you will be better off eventually, but the 'break even' point is many years down the line. Possibly decades. It is not a way to make short term cash.

I went to uni and got a 'top' graduate job. Soon after I met a good friend from school who left at 16 to become a joiner. He was earning nearly twice what I was. And I had 22k of debt.

Given the chance again, I'd definately NOT go to uni, despite the fun i had.

Just out of interest,

Ghengis said

many maths A-level syllabi now having dropped calculus
Is this true?!

EK
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 10:50
  #27 (permalink)  
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I checked this out - and yes.

Most A-level syllabi now are divided into modules with the schools have a choice over which they deliver. In some, calculus is a module that schools can choose not to deliver.

So, the universities now are starting to have to check which modules students have done in A level maths, not just the grade.

More common is schools who have dropped the mechanics module, which would be equally serious except that thankfully this material is still covered in A level physics. Usually - some schools are starting to drop that for some of the less useful but more fashionable options such as nuclear physics.

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Old 6th Oct 2010, 15:39
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if I choose to get sponsored by the Army
I think it's the Army who will do the choosing!

You've set yourself some very high targets: Imperial Aero, RMAS, pro pilot. Good luck. I can say with the benefit of experience that it will be a long and tough journey - I followed almost exactly that path albeit with a blue uniform. You will have to work harder than you ever have before, and there will be setbacks along the way, but if you make it (and that is not a given) you will rightly feel a great sense of achievement. There are quicker and easier routes to the flight deck but I'm glad I did it my way.

A few top tips that I strongly believe in:

Spelling and grammar isn't just for special occasions. Most people of professional calibre knock out the Queen's English by default, all the time, without it being any particular effort. Txt spk and lazy English is generally very negatively received in the institutions you are targetting.

Sometimes you just have to wind your neck in and play the game. You may think that the person assessing, interviewing, instructing or examining you is an out of touch old fool with an attitude problem and the wrong way of doing things. If you want to be successful you'll need to play be his rules. If you expect them to adapt to yours you'll be in for a disappointment.

First impressions count more than you would believe - even those that you think are informal, unassessed and off the record. Those that make a bad impression don't get an interview / callback / offer.

Don't take these as specific criticisms of you - they are just a few thoughts that will increase your chances of getting what you want (but are often not appreciated by people in your age group).
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 16:23
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the person assessing, interviewing, instructing or examining you is an out of touch old fool with an attitude problem and the wrong way of doing things
We often are, but we're still in charge!

G
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 22:04
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Got to agree with the posters above. Im at uni myself, got a year to go. Aim to graduate in the summer and start ATPL's as soon as possible. For this to be possible I need a LOT more hours and a LOT more money (to fund CPL after GS). I would say if all you want to do is fly for a living, get good A Levels/Highers then get a job to earn some money for a few years. If your working in a crappy job with the aim of flying commercially, there's your motivation to be sensible with it, to save up,and to resist drinking it all away

A degree does look good on your CV but it does have an effect on your finances if you need money to fly commercially. Just my thoughts

monkey
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 19:03
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I'm studying Aeronautical at Glasgow University, and it's a big challenge to say the least. Completed my 1st year with a GPA of 14.17 which was deemed as a 'good solid year' by my advisor of studies. Going into 2nd year there are a few topics that I have studied in my final years of secondary school which help but the maths is a big step up from the 1st year level maths we got taught.

I applied to Glasgow and got made an offer within a week or so. There were no interviews as such.

Taking a subject such as Aeronautical Engineering at university is a very big challenge but I like a challenge and I like push myself and this I believe drives me forward to revise and knuckle down. I felt school had got me to an appropriate level to begin my degree and coupled with good lecturers in 1st year I felt I did a pretty solid job.
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Old 9th Oct 2010, 13:20
  #32 (permalink)  
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I applied to Glasgow and got made an offer within a week or so. There were no interviews as such.
In an ideal world, all universities would interview all applicants. The reality is that staff nowadays are so busy that applications are mostly assessed on the UCAS form alone, and even the personal statement isnt universally used in the process.

Which does mean it's important that any prospective student should make sure that they find out as much about the university they're applying to themselves - particularly take any opportunity to visit and meet staff and existing students.

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Old 9th Oct 2010, 14:14
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I was interviewed - by Dr Arthur Babister no less.

I first suggested many years ago, and have on occassion since then, that we ought to re-introduce interviews. But apparently there are too many applicants; a number of us volunteered to do the interviewing, but still the answer was no.

You reap what you sow....hopefully it'll all be over for me soon and I won't have to bother any more
 
Old 9th Oct 2010, 21:26
  #34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 'India-Mike View Post
I was interviewed - by Dr Arthur Babister no less.

I first suggested many years ago, and have on occassion since then, that we ought to re-introduce interviews. But apparently there are too many applicants; a number of us volunteered to do the interviewing, but still the answer was no.

You reap what you sow....hopefully it'll all be over for me soon and I won't have to bother any more
Either this means you're hoping to do so well out of a certain project that it'll buy you out of teaching, or you're off to start island hopping for Loganair? (Either way, I hope you'll still be available to torture/examine the occasional PhD student for me ).


At a certain establishment, I succeeded in forcing through mandatory interviews for students doing the combined flying degree - partly on grounds of the extra fees they'd be paying, and partly on grounds of knowing how important it was to be sure that the students would be pretty darned dedicated on such a course.

I was certainly interviewed back when, I think by the good Prof Robin A East (now there's a set of initials to conjur with).

G
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Old 10th Oct 2010, 09:49
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At a certain establishment, I succeeded in forcing through mandatory interviews for students doing the combined flying degree
At another establishment they started interviews. And found that they had a greater uptake in offers.

The level of average quals also went up.

Seemed to work that the students belived that the more hoops you had to jump through the better the Uni and the course. Maybe an exam would have a similar effect.

The academics all saw it as a baw ache, because realistically nobody ever failed the interview. Although in one or 2 cases someone that had maybe a point or 2 low on the quals side of things got a look in where as they would not have before. Although it did stop one really weird bloke starting.

Also as well they started doing a day of team building exercises. Which apart from an oppertunity for the younger RA's to perv at the fresher girlies seemed to sort out alot of the intial reluctance in labs to work together.
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Old 10th Oct 2010, 11:45
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If you are determined to become a pilot any CV you produce should reflect that determination. I wish you luck doing AeroEng,to my mind it's a tough mathematical based course which is rather 'dry'. University should be fun so my own feeling would be that AeroEng is a bit over the top. Any science/eng based course would do. It might also be a good idea to do something at Uni that is useful if, horror of horrors,you failed in the flying game(have you had a class 1 medical yet, for example?) What you could consider adding whilst doing a degree is the University Air Squadron. That would show focus if seen on a CV..perhaps the RAF would sponsor you. RMAS,OTC and playing at being a pongo might look off target.(I haven't read all the posts so perhaps I've got hold of the wrong end of the stick)
It was a long time ago and things have changed,but I was promised a UAS slot dependant on medical before I got to my Uni..I had pestered the CO so much,he gave in (thanks Sqn Ldr Williamson).
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Old 10th Oct 2010, 16:41
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Aerospace Engineering

Hello!

Just doing my A Levels in the United Kingdom then after that I'd like to do a BEng - Aerospace Engineering.

Is it worth doing that for four years, I'd like to become a Pilot.
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Old 10th Oct 2010, 17:17
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See here, and various other places too.

http://www.pprune.org/professional-p...niversity.html

If you want to be a pilot, be a pilot - not an engineer. Me? I wanted to be an engineer and pilot, so I went out and got the lot. But it's not to everybody's taste or needs.
 
Old 10th Oct 2010, 17:32
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Exactly,

In aviation a degree is useless.

If you want to go into aviation, (and pilot in particular), only two things will help you get there.

Licences and Experience.

As above said, if you want to be a Pilot don't be an Engineer.
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Old 10th Oct 2010, 21:08
  #40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by mad_jock View Post
At another establishment they started interviews. And found that they had a greater uptake in offers.

The level of average quals also went up.

Seemed to work that the students belived that the more hoops you had to jump through the better the Uni and the course. Maybe an exam would have a similar effect.

The academics all saw it as a baw ache, because realistically nobody ever failed the interview. Although in one or 2 cases someone that had maybe a point or 2 low on the quals side of things got a look in where as they would not have before. Although it did stop one really weird bloke starting.

Also as well they started doing a day of team building exercises. Which apart from an oppertunity for the younger RA's to perv at the fresher girlies seemed to sort out alot of the intial reluctance in labs to work together.
I'm guessing that we were at different establishments, but that was almost exactly our experience - except that we did have the ability to weed out a few each year who looked great on their UCAS form but when you met them clearly had absolutely no interest in aviation, or in engineering - just thought it all sounded a bit glamorous, and we and they were better off kept separate.

G
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