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Engineering Progression Routes, Advanced Pre-Apprenticeship & Pathway to University

Engineering Degrees, HNCs & HNDs


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  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering HNC
  • Mechanical Engineering HND
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering HNC Full Time
  • Mechanical Engineering HNC
  • Mechanical Engineering HNC Full Time
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering HND
  • Engineering BEng (Hons)
  • Mechanical Engineering HND Full Time

Engineering Apprenticeships

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The UK is once again one of the global leads for Engineering and Manufacture. Our innovation and high quality, together with efficient timescales of delivery make us stand out. The East of England is a powerhouse for the UK economy much of which comes from the outstanding engineering companies in the region.

At West Suffolk College we offer organisations and learners the chance to learn and develop the skills required to ensure engineering remains prominent in the local area. We offer Level 2 to Level 6 and work with employers across many different pathways such as Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic, Maintenance, Welding, Tool Making, Design, Installation etc. Our excellent facilities allow for learning to be conducted in a very supportive environment and our work based team helps to embed that classroom knowledge fully in the workplace.

Engineering Courses for School Leavers

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Engineering at West Suffolk College provides a practical and theoretical introduction to mechanical and electronic engineering, computer aided drawing and microprocessing. You’ll get the skills to help solve the problems of tomorrow – from how aircraft work to the electronics in your mobile phone.

The Level 3 course could earn you enough UCAS points to study engineering at any UK university or take an advanced apprenticeship, working with an engineering firm and career off to an early start.

Not sure? No problem

Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-19 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

In a fast pace and constantly developing world there is always high demand for Engineers. It is a well reported fact that there is currently a shortage of engineers within all industries across various countries around the world. Engineers are extremely employable, in the UK alone, the manufacturing sector employs 2.7 million people at an average wage of £34,538. Generally, within the engineering sector the wages are 13% higher than the rest of the economy. A career in engineering provides successful students with a defined career path that provides many opportunities (Source: Make UK 2020).


This is an ideal course for learners wanting to develop their engineering skills and explore their opportunities within this innovation-led industry.  It is equivalent to three A levels over two years and is an excellent choice for those wanting a career in Engineering and who prefer a vocational alternative to A levels. The course covers all the core aspects of engineering which provides a comprehensive background, that will lead into year two of the Extended Diploma in Engineering.

Entry requirements

Entry is by interview. Either a minimum of four GCSEs Grade 4 (C) or above, including English and Maths at Grade 4 (C) or above, or an EdExcel level 2 Diploma with appropriate grades in relevant units; GNVQ Intermediate Award containing relevant units. 


The course you will be studying is the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering.

What you'll learn (core modules)

In year 1 you will learn the underpinning skills required to be a competent engineer across all industries. This covers subjects such as Mechanical Principles, Materials, Electronics, Computer Aided Design, Hydraulics and Pneumatics to include practical and theory based learning. 


On successful completion of year 1, students' progress onto year 2 and specialise in Engineering. Year 2 has exciting modules allowing students to develop specific skills and express your creativity and interests within your chosen project.   Specialist subjects such as PLCs, Analogue Electronics, Design and CAM along with other core engineering modules.


Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE 9 to 4  or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.




Benefits, skills and character strengths

This A level equivalent (level 3) Engineering course equips students with the foundation and specialist knowledge which allows you to progress onto employment, apprenticeship or further study at University. These next steps could include industries such as Aerospace, Biomedical, Armed Forces, Manufacturing, Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, Automotive and Rail sectors.

Where will the course take me?

The course is suitable for those who want to complete a degree in engineering at West Suffolk College or University, or for those who want to become Higher Technicians or Advanced Apprentices in this sector. Possible career opportunities would be Maintenance Engineer, Technician Engineer, Design/Development Engineer, Systems Engineer or Software/Robotics Engineer.

Careers & Coffee: Life as an apprentice in Engineering - YouTube 

Will I need any materials or equipment?

A course book can be purchased for approximately £20.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Apply now to secure your place on the course.

Days & times

Starting September 2021

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If there is anything more you would like to know about this course, please message us here.

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