Course Title BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Engineering/Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Engineering
Level: 3
Code Y381

Overview of the Course

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Engineering is a specialist qualification for those who wish to pursue a career in Engineering. The course is designed to provide you with a good knowledge and understanding of Engineering whilst developing the skills required to prepare you for employment or progression into further study within the engineering sector. The qualification can allow you to progress from year 1 to year 2 and study English and maths alongside it. On completion of the Extended Certificate there is the opportunity to study for the Level 3 BTEC Diploma in year two, this is equivalent to two A Levels.

What are the career opportunities?

Engineering plays a vital role in the UK’s economic and social wellbeing, providing high value employment opportunities on a large scale, many of which are focused on supplying products and services for export. The UK Engineering base has a world-leading position in a range of the knowledge-intensive industrial sub-sectors, responding to global and technological research and innovation challenges, for example the graphene research and development centre in Manchester. Nearly 5.7 million employees work in engineering enterprises in the UK, representing just over 10% of total UK employment. The sector contributed £486 billion to UK GDP in 2015 – around 26% of the total and is growing year on year. The number of engineering enterprises in the UK is currently around 650,000, with the majority (52%) employing 100 or more people. Engineering career opportunities increasingly focus on working with innovative technology and are exceptionally diverse. Roles exist in research, design, simulation, testing and production and there are many sectors to choose from, including aerospace, renewables, automotive, mechanical and space.

What are the entry requirements?

Five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C (9-4) including maths and Core Science, and English at grade A*-D (9-3). This is also a suitable progression route for students who have achieved their Level 2 Engineering qualification but need to continue studying English and/or maths.

How long is the course and when can I start?

A full-time one-year course starting in September with the opportunity to complete a second year of study to achieve a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering equivalent to two A Levels.

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

In year one, you will complete a combination of mandatory and optional units, all assessed by coursework assignments. These include: Health and Safety in the Engineering Workplace, Mechanical Principles and Applications, Mathematics for Engineering Technicians, Properties and Applications of Engineering Materials, Setting and Proving Secondary Processing Machines, Fabrication Processes and Technology. In year two, you will complete the Level 3 Diploma in Engineering units which include: Communications for Engineering Technicians, Engineering Project, Electrical and Electronic Principles, Engineering Drawing for Technicians, Engineering Secondary and Finishing Techniques.

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

Engineers solve problems and design products using their knowledge of science, maths and technology. To be successful in engineering you need to have a curiosity and want to discover about the world around you and be creative with a desire to innovate and invent things. The engineering design process requires a lot of determination as new ideas are tested with many failing, so resilience and optimism are key personal attributes. It is essential for engineers to have a sound understanding of theory and how principles can be applied to the real world. Engineers usually work within multi-disciplinary teams and effective collaboration will drive projects forwards, so knowing how to listen to others and share ideas are key employability skills. English and communication skills are particularly important to engineers so they can present project proposals, updates and evaluations effectively. Technical reports will require clarity, integration of figures and statistical analysis so being able to write concisely and coherently to convey information to customers or colleagues is essential. Engineers also need to be able to communicate with colleagues at all levels in a professional manner, make presentations in meetings and respond appropriately to questions and feedback. Reading and interpreting technical reports and data is an everyday activity for many engineers and they must be able to identify, interpret and synthesise information and ideas. Calculations and problem solving are central to the engineering design process to ensure products are safe and are made from the most suitable materials; this involves working to high levels of accuracy with very fine tolerances and using complex formulas. Projects will be planned using data analysis to ensure successful outcomes, design will be optimised with computer-aided design (CAD) software and surveying equipment will be used to measure distances and height. To carry out all these calculations a good understanding of key mathematical concepts including algebra, statistics, probability, geometry and measure is required.

Work experience

Work experience is an essential element of your Study Programme and you will be supported to secure a five day work experience placement during term three. This will allow you to gain first hand exposure to the sector you wish to work in, start to develop key employability skills, make contacts and most importantly confirm your career goals. You will undertake placements with companies of all sizes, both local and regional. Recently successful work experience placements have taken place with the following employers: BAE Systems, Stagecoach, JST Fabrications, Kellogg’s, William Hare and DAS Engineering Services.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

Your Study Programme will support personal development to ensure you make excellent progress and acquire the skills required for successful transition and progression to study a Level 3 Diploma in Engineering, employment or an apprenticeship. You will also have the opportunity to take part in fundraising events, sport and fitness activities, course-related study visits, and careers events.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

Personal Protective Equipment will need to be purchased at enrolment at a cost of £27 and you will also need to purchase a pair of steel toe-capped safety boots. Lockers are available to hire for the year by paying a refundable deposit of £10 at enrolment. There will also be study visits that you are required to contribute to.


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