York College

Industry Insights

Engineering technicians

Up to £28,000

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Civil engineers

Up to £38,000

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Design and development engineers

Up to £29,000

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This course is the same size as one A Level (assuming you complete 4 units across 2 years) 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, creative skills and practical knowledge to transform ideas into successful engineering designs. You will study engineering science and mathematics, 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD), engineering processes and their applications, health & safety and engineering design, and will work as a team to manufacture a batch of engineered products.

Entry requirements

Please see our Entry Requirements page for general A Level guidance. Students should also have a grade 5 in Maths and ideally Sciences, and a grade 4 or above in English Language.


Two years.

What will I study?

Year One: Certificate in Engineering (2 units)

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 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.

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. It is important that engineers understand how engineering processes are used to safely transform ideas and materials into products with minimal risk to the environment, and how critical it is to be able to work as a valuable member of an effective team or as a team leader.

Year Two: Extended Certificate in Engineering (additional 2 units)

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.

Engineering Product Design and Manufacture (Externally Set & Controlled Assessment)
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 use 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. You will carry out a controlled assessment where you will interpret an externally set brief, research this brief, plan your approach, produce initial concept ideas, develop a final design, communicate this in engineering drawings and justify/evaluate your proposed solution. It is important that as young engineers you learn to use creative and technical knowledge, understanding and skills to transform ideas into viable and environmentally sound, safe and effective products.

Good course combinations

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


Please be aware that we would advise you to provide your own engineering drawing equipment. Steel toe capped footwear and overalls are available in a ‘sharing’ capacity for use in the workshop, but should you wish, you could provide your own.

What could it lead to?

Progression from this qualification could lead to:

  • A larger size qualification at Level 3 (e.g. BTEC Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing)
  • If completed alongside A Levels to higher education, HND/BEng (Hons) degrees in Engineering and other related degrees
  • An advanced or higher 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 and/or Physics.

Need some help?

If you have any further questions about this course, or would like us to help you with your application, please contact the Schools Liaison team on 01904 770239 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.

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