I am a first year student at Imperial College studying mechanical engineering and since my arrival I have asked myself, ?Did I make the right choice?.? The work load here was immense for first year students in my opinion. My friends who are also studying mechanical engineering in other universities seems to be spending a lot of the time learning, partying hard, but I seem to be stuck in the cycle of coursework and at the same time the subjects I cover were more detailed. Every coursework I do seem to be industry related, the lab reports I write are 15-17 pages long and I have 1 week to complete it. The pressure here is immense the expectations of my department was pretty high and they have a low tolerance to failures. Approximately 30-25% of first years drop out in the mechanical engineering department, but I must inform you most of them drop out because they don?t like the course. Only 10% drop out due to failing their exams. In the department there is a picture board of all the undergraduates in the department from first years to final fourth years, there are approximately 114 people in the first years and there are 56 left in the fourth years. At the same time I really enjoy the course and I believe I made the right choice. The main quality that is required at studying in Imperial is motivation, because there was times when I felt there was just too much work to do, but what was required was to get my head down and study hard. The course is very up to date with modern technology and facilities are excellent. All the courses at Imperial are highly recognised world wide, which make graduates more employable. My recommendation would be, choose Imperial College carefully, because if you don?t like heavy work loads then I strongly suggest you reconsider. You have to like what you do for you to be motivated and therefore able to handle the work load.
If you are thinking of starting a medical degree, then, despite the fact that it is in London, give Imperial College some serious thought. Imperial College is the newest course in medicine in the country, which allows it to be unique in a number of ways. For starters, apart from the University of Nottingham, Imperial College is the only medical school that offers a compulsory intercalated BSc, so that medical students graduate withan MBBS and a BSc. I am a first year medical student at present and I have already met patients on numerous occasions. The beauty of this course is that we are introduced to patients very early on and taught to consider them in a holistic sense as opposed to a biological entity with a disease, which is what much of the traditional teaching focusses on. When submitting your UCAS form to Imperial College, make sure that you have loads of community based work on it, as the college places more emphasis on this than your academic grades- hence, Imperial is a very good place to apply if your predicted grades aren't great but you enjoy working with people aand are dedicated to a career in medicine. Imperial college integrates traditional-style learning (ie lectures) with Problem Based Learning and other teaching approaches and in all cases the lecturers endeavour to make all lectures clinically relevant, which is very important on such a long course.