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The first year of this course is Level 3 and awarded by the college. The idea is that this year prepares students to work at Level 4. The second year of the programme is awarded as a Pearson BTEC Level 4/Higher National Certificate in Engineering with the following pathways of study available:

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering [EEE]
  • Mechanical Engineering [ME]
  • Manufacturing Engineering [ManE]
  • General Engineering [GE

The course focusses on developing the core engineering skills required by the industry, along with those specific skills within the individual sectors.

In addition to the engineering knowledge you’ll gain and skills you’ll hone, the course will develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals who are able to meet the demands of employers in the rapidly evolving engineering sector adapting to a constantly changing world.

Holders of a BTEC Higher National in Engineering meet the academic requirements for the Engineering Council Engineering Technician Standard (EngTech).

The course will also develop knowledge, skills and techniques for a future in engineering. Depending on your chosen pathway, you could find yourself learning a multitude of topics from the latest developments and applications of electronics to techniques in advanced/high-end manufacture and processing.

Course description

Learning and Teaching The philosophy behind every engineering course at the college is that you can’t just learn the theory and be a good engineer, you have to put theory into practice! You will focus on applying the knowledge and theory learnt in the classroom in our brand-new laboratories and manufacturing facility. A variety of learning and teaching opportunities will be available on your course. Your learning will include lectures, tutorials and classroom-based learning supplemented by practical activities to reinforce your understanding. Studying will include individual and group working; you’ll learn how to become an effective team member, developing your leadership, communication and project management skills throughout the course.

Higher education courses also require students to undertake independent study and so approximately 60% of your studies will be through independent learning, research, reading and completing assessments.

Assessment The course is continuously assessed through a number of assignments set within the individual units. The assessment methods are wide and varied. You could find yourself writing a technical report, delivering a presentation or undertaking a viva-voce. The assessment methods are chosen with a view to developing the skills demanded of industry.

Units Over the two-year programme, you will develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the engineering sector through the study of transition units along with eight units with a total credit value of 120 credits.

The overall qualification will be graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction depending on unit achievements.

What areas will I study?

Year 1 (Level 3/4) Units common to all pathways:

General Engineering Principles Regardless of your chosen pathway, an understanding of the fundamental principles which underlie modern Engineering will stand you in good stead for your future career. In this unit you will learn about Mathematics which is one of the fundamental underpinning topics of engineering. This bridging unit will assess your current level of mathematics knowledge and develop this, so you’re fully prepared for the course ahead. The unit will cover topics including advanced graphical techniques, the application of algebraic techniques, the manipulation of trigonometric expressions and their applications, and an introduction to Calculus.

You will also learn about Engineering Science. Engineering is a discipline that uses scientific theory to design, develop or maintain structures, machines, systems, and processes. Engineers are therefore required to have a broad knowledge of the science that is applicable to the industry around them.

This unit introduces students to the fundamental laws and applications of the physical sciences within engineering and how to apply this knowledge to find solutions to a variety of engineering problems.

Engineering Design Project Design turns an idea into a useful artefact, the problem into a solution, or something ugly and inefficient into an elegant, desirable and cost-effective everyday object. The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the methodical steps that engineers use in creating functional products and processes; from a design brief to the work, and the stages involved in identifying and justifying a solution to a given engineering need. The responsibilities of the engineer go far beyond completing the task in hand. Reflecting on their role in a wider ethical, environmental and sustainability context starts the process of becoming a professional engineer – a vial requirement for career progression.

Very often as an engineer you will find yourself working as part of a team, frequently multidisciplinary. In the modern world engineers are often involved fully, or in part, with identifying problems and finding suitable solutions. These engineering problems may range from a very large project, such as designing and building a hydroelectric power station, to smaller projects, such as designing and producing a paper clip to keep notes secure. No matter how large or small, these problems need to be project managed in order to find engineered solutions.

As team you will not only be responsible for the technical elements of the project, but you will also need to ensure your project is delivered on-time, within budget, and to specification.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) for Engineering CAD is the use of computer technology in engineering industries, enabling the exploration of design ideas, the visualising of concepts and to simulate how a design will look and perform in the real world prior to production. This unit aims to provide students with opportunities to develop their understanding and knowledge of CAD software applications used in engineering, and the practical skills to utilise the technology within their own creative work.

Study skills You will undertake academic study skills throughout the programme to enable you to develop not only your academic writing and reading but also your research skills. These sessions will include how to Harvard reference, how to research, how to critically analyse as well as other important skills that you will need in order to prepare you for level 4 and level 5 university level courses.

Year two units include: Pathways specific units [pathway in brackets]

Machining and Processing of Engineering Materials [GE] Practical articles that we see and use every day such as automobiles, aircraft, trains, and even the cans we use to store our food, came from the ideas and visions of engineers and designers. The production of these articles is based on well-established production processes, machines and materials.

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the application of a variety of material forming processes involved in the production of components and articles for everyday use.

Mechanical Workshop Practices [GE, ME] The complex and sophisticated engineering manufacturing processes used to mass produce the products we see and use daily has its roots in the hand-operated lathes and milling machines still used in small engineering companies.

This unit introduces students to the effective use of textual, numeric and graphical information, how best to extract and interpret information from engineering drawings, and the practices of workshop-based turning and milling machining.

Mechanical Principles [ME] Mechanical principles have been crucial for engineers to convert the energy produced by burning oil and gas into systems to propel, steer and stop our automobiles, aircraft and ships, amongst thousands of other applications. The knowledge and application of these mechanical principles is still the essential underpinning science of all machines in use today or being developed into the latest technology.

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the essential mechanical principles associated with engineering applications.

Engineering Management [EEE, GE, ManE] Managing engineering projects is one of the most complex tasks in engineering. Consider the mass production of millions of cars, sending a man or women into space or extracting oil or gas from deep below the surface of the earth. Bringing the materials and skills together in a cost effective, safe and timely way is what engineering management is all about.

This unit introduces students to engineering management principles and practices, and their strategic implementation.

Fundamentals of Thermodynamics and Heat Engines [ME] Thermodynamics is one of the most common applications of science in our lives, and it is so much a part of our daily life that it is often taken for granted. For example, when driving your car, you know that the fuel you put into the tank is converted into energy to propel the vehicle, and the heat produced by burning gas when cooking will produce steam which can lift the lid of the pan. These are examples of thermodynamics, which is the study of the dynamics and behaviour of energy and its manifestations.

This unit introduces students to the principles and concepts of thermodynamics and its application in modern engineering.

Production Engineering for Manufacture [ManE] All of the manufactured products we use in our daily lives, from processed food to clothing and cars, are the result of production engineering. Production engineers need to have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all the possible production technologies available, their advantages and disadvantages, the requirements of the production system operation and the interaction between the various components of the production system.

This unit introduces students to the production process for key material types; the various types of machinery used to manufacture products and the different ways of organising production systems to optimise the production process.

Quality and Process Improvement [ManE] Quality has always been the key to business success and survivability, but it requires organisations to allocate a lot of effort and resources to achieve it. The key to providing quality services and designing top quality products lies in the strength and effectiveness of the processes used in their development; processes which must be constantly reviewed to ensure they operate as efficiently, economically and as safely as possible.

This unit introduces students to the importance of quality assurance processes in a manufacturing or service environment and the principles and theories that underpin them.

Electrical and Electronic Principles [EEE] Electrical engineering is mainly concerned with the movement of energy and power in electrical form, and its generation and consumption. Electronics is mainly concerned with the manipulation of information, which may be acquired, stored, processed or transmitted in electrical form. Both depend on the same set of physical principles, though their applications differ widely. A study of electrical or electronic engineering depends very much on these underlying principles; these form the foundation for any qualification in the field and are the basis of this unit.

Electronic Circuits and Devices [EEE] Electronics is all around us today: in our homes, the workplace, cars and even on or in our bodies. It’s hard to believe that it was only in 1947 that the transistor was developed by American physicists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley. The invention of the transistor paved the way for cheaper radios, calculators and computers.

This unit introduces students to the use of electronics manufacturers’ data to analyse the performance of circuits and devices, the operational characteristics of amplifier circuits, the types and effects of feedback on a circuit performance, and the operation and application of oscillators. They will also be introduced to the application of testing procedures to electronic devices and circuits and use the findings of the tests to evaluate their operation.

Course options

Age range Start Fees Duration Further Information
- September 2022, Duration: 2 Academic years £6165.00 (Per Academic Year) 2 Academic years -

UCAS Application Information

Institution Name: South & City College Birmingham
UCAS Code: C163
Click here to apply for this course on UCAS website.

Age range Start Fees Duration Further Information
- September 2022, Duration: 2 Academic years £6165.00 (Per Academic Year) 2 Academic years -

UCAS Application Information

Institution Name: South & City College Birmingham
UCAS Code: C163
Click here to apply for this course on UCAS website.