Course Title BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Engineering/Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Level: 3
Code Y380

Overview of the Course

The BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma is a specialist qualification for students who wish to pursue a career or higher education route in Engineering with a focus on Electrical and Electronic 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 Higher Education within the engineering sector. On completion of the Level 3 Foundation Diploma there is the opportunity to study for the Level 3 Extended Diploma in year 2, this is equivalent to three 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. 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, electrical/electronic, robotics and space.

What are the entry requirements?

Five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C (9-4) including maths, English and Science. This is also a suitable progression route for students who have achieved their Level 2 Engineering qualification alongside GCSE Maths and English at grades A*-C (9-4).

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 Extended Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

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

In year one you will complete a combination of mandatory and optional units, assessed by teacher marked assignments, work-based tasks and written exams: Engineering Principles, Delivery of Engineering Processes Safely as a Team, Engineering Product Design and Manufacture, Applied Commercial and Quality Principles in Engineering, Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems, Electronic Devices and Circuits, Electronic Measurement and Testing of Circuits. Year two Level 3 Extended Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering units: Specialist Engineering Project, Microcontroller Systems for Engineers, Further Engineering Maths, Three Phase Electrical Systems, Electrical Machines, Digital and Analogue Electronic Systems, Programmable Logic Controllers, Work Experience in the Engineering Sector.

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. 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 electronic measurement and testing processes to ensure products and processes are safe; 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 and simulation software will be used in designing and testing circuits. 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. Students 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, 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 Extended Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, employment, an apprenticeship or Higher Education. You will have the opportunity to take part in competitions such as the GMCG Skills Competition, fundraising events, sport and fitness activities, course-related study visits, and careers events.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

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 make a contribution to.

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