York College

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Engineering technicians

Up to £37,000

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Civil engineers

Up to £40,000

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Design and development engineers

Up to £29,000

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About the course

This course is designed to be a direct replacement for the Engineering A Level but is not suitable for vocational students. This course is the same size as one A Level and therefore is equivalent to one of your A Level choices. This course is ideal for young people thinking about a career in the engineering sector; whether an apprenticeship and/or university. The course develops a broad variety of skills and knowledge, involving the application of scientific principles and practical knowledge to transform ideas and materials into engineered products. You will study engineering principles and mathematics, health and safety, interpreting and creating 2D/3D models in computer-aided design, design and manufacture of products.

Entry requirements

As with any 4 A Level programme you will be required to have achieved a minimum of 6 GCSEs at C or above, including Grade 5 in GCSE Maths and English.


Two years.

What will I study?

This course covers a range of engineering disciplines; engineering materials and processes in the first year, with a focus on electronics and control in the second year, with design and CAD throughout both years. You will be able to apply your understanding of engineering theory through “design and make” based tasks which include a portable barbeque and in the second year, a programmable electronic vehicle prototype. Employer involvement is fundamental to the course with a study of a practising engineer and an engineering environment.

Good course combinations

Ideally combined with GCE A Level in Mathematics and/or Physics, which allows you to progress to higher education to study engineering or other STEM-related programmes.

How will I be assessed?

Year 1:

Unit 1 : Engineering Principles, Assessment: External Exam
Modern life depends on engineers to develop, support and control the products and systems that are all around us. There is an increasing demand for ‘multi-skilled’ engineers who can apply principles from several engineering disciplines to develop solutions. This unit will develop your mathematical and physical scientific knowledge and understanding to enable you to solve problems set in an engineering context. You will explore and apply the algebraic and trigonometric mathematical methods required to solve engineering problems. The mechanical problems you will encounter cover static, dynamic, fluids and thermodynamic systems. The electrical and electronic problems you will encounter cover static and direct current (DC) electricity, DC circuit theory and networks, magnetism, and single-phase alternating current theory.

Unit 10 : Computer Aided Design In Engineering,Assessment: Assignments
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) spans most areas of engineering, as well as aspects of other disciplines such as construction, manufacturing and media. Engineering is a multi-disciplinary subject that uses CAD as part of other processes to develop (design and manufacture), improve and maintain cutting edge products and systems. In this unit you will develop the skills to use CAD software and hardware to produce 2D and 3D drawings, using AutoCAD and SolidWorks (both industry standard). You will acquire the skills to produce models of products, editing and modifying these, and exploring materials and their properties. You will produce a portfolio of 2D and 3D drawings which will be useful for interviews for university or apprenticeships

Year 2:

Unit 3 : Engineering Product Design and Manufacture, Assessment: Externally set project brief
Engineering products are part of our daily lives, from aircraft to the smallest electronic circuits found in medical devices. Products are designed as a result of the identification of a need or opportunity, and then engineers using creative skills and technical knowledge to devise and deliver a new design or improvements to an existing design.

In this unit, you will examine what triggers changes in the design of engineering products and the typical challenges that engineers face, such as designing out safety risks. You will learn how material properties and manufacturing processes impact on the design of an engineering product. Finally, you will develop a design for an engineering product by interpreting an externally set brief, producing initial ideas and then communicating and justifying your suggested solution. It is important that engineers use creative and technical knowledge, understanding and skills to transform ideas into viable products, and that they understand the critical importance of this activity in ensuring that products are both safe and effective.

Unit 2 : Delivery of Engineering Processes Safely As a Team Assessment : Assignments
Thousands of engineering processes are used in the manufacture and service of manufactured products and engineered components. To ensure that these engineering processes can be planned and carried out safely and effectively, engineers must be able to work together to get the job done. It is for this reason that so many engineering companies focus time and effort on understanding engineering processes and developing teamwork. In this unit, you will examine common engineering processes, including health and safety legislation, regulations that apply to these processes and how individual and team performance can be affected by human factors. You will also learn the principles of engineering drawing, and develop two-dimensional (2D) computer-aided drawing skills. Finally, you will work as a team member and team leader to apply a range of practical engineering processes to manufacture a batch of an engineered product or to safely deliver an engineering service. It is important that engineers understand how engineering processes are used to safely transform ideas and materials into products and services, and how critical it is to be able to work as a valuable member of an effective team or as a team leader.


Please be aware that you will need to provide your own steel toe capped footwear and overall for use in the workshop, engineering drawing equipment and the cost of the materials for the product you manufacture. We can source all of the above at cost price for you and will contact you after enrolment regarding this. Please note you will not be allowed into the workshops without appropriate footwear and overalls.

What could it lead to?

Progression from this qualification could lead to:

  • A larger size qualification at Level 3 (e.g. BTEC National Extended Diploma in Engineering)
  • If completed alongside A Levels to higher education HND/BEng (Hons) Degrees in Engineering
  • An advanced engineering apprenticeship, or work in the engineering sector.

Note : Students should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes in Engineering as many universities will require A Level Maths.

Unit 1 : Engineering Principles                                                                  Assessment : External Exam

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