“Engineers create that which has never been.” Albert Einstein

 Engineering is a well respected profession. It’s well paid and with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics in short supply, there are plenty of job opportunities on offer. The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma offered by St Columb’s College ensures students can enter appropriate degree courses.

Queen's University, Belfast (QUB) is one of the top twenty Universities in the United Kingdom and a member of the distinguished Russell Group. They accept the BTEC Engineering qualification for entrance onto their Bachelor of Engineering (B Eng) courses.

The final qualification is equivalent to one A-level and is accepted by QUB (grades permitting) in lieu of A-Level Physics* with an A-level in Mathematics and one other A-level. * Minimum grade C in Double Award Science at GCSE.

Specification: Edexcel..

Course Structure

The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma involves the delivery of six units over two academic years. Each unit is worth 10 credits – 60 credits in total.

Year One (13)

Unit 1 - Health and Safety in the Engineering Workplace

Unit 4 - Mathematics for the Engineering Technician

Unit 35 - Principles and Applications of Electronic Devices and Circuits 

Year Two (14)

Unit 10 - Mechanical Principles and Applications

Unit 5 - Properties and Applications of Engineering Materials

Unit 16 – Engineering Drawing for Technicians

Course Content

During the course, students will complete a range of unit assignment based task, each chosen to maximise their opportunities at higher and further education or in the workplace.

An important element of the teaching and learning experience is the provision of industrial visits. These visits will provide invaluable firsthand knowledge and experiences that will assist students in the research and completion of various assignment tasks.

In addition, guest speakers from a range of engineering disciplines will share relevant skills, knowledge and experience with students, focused on their needs.

Time Management

While some tasks in the assignments will be completed in class time, the majority of work needs to be completed by the student in their own time. This promotes independent research and working which are transferable skills and essential for students progressing to third level education.

Good time management is crucial and students will be encouraged to meet interim deadlines and report on progress.

Assessment Procedures

All assignments are designed to satisfy the assessment and grading criteria. Assessment tasks and activities should enable students to produce valid, sufficient and reliable evidence that relates directly to the specified criteria. Assignments will enable students to produce evidence in a variety of different forms, including written reports, graphs and posters, along with projects, performance observation and time-constrained assessments.

Teachers emphasise the practical application of the assessment and grading criteria, providing a realistic engineering scenario for students to adopt, and making maximum use of practical activities and work experience. 

Work is INTERNALLY assessed and final grades are processed by Edexcel.

Each unit within the qualification has specified assessment and grading criteria which are to be used for grading purposes. A summative unit grade can be awarded at pass, merit or distinction:

  • to achieve a ‘pass’ a learner must have satisfied all the pass assessment criteria;
  • to achieve a ‘merit’ a learner must additionally have satisfied all the merit grading criteria; 
  • to achieve a ‘distinction’ a learner must additionally have satisfied all the distinction grading criteria.

Students who complete the unit but who do not meet all the pass criteria are graded ‘unclassified’.

Entry Requirements

Entry to the subject requires appropriate academic ability and an enthusiasm and aptitude for engineering. Students will require a recommendation from their GCSE teachers. This recommendation will be based on the student’s likelihood of success, their ability to work independently, commitment at GCSE, and particularly their ability to manage time and complete coursework tasks to the required level.

Students must have as a minimum, grade B at GCSE Mathematics to cope with the mathematical content of the course.

Careers Opportunities

Most pupils who choose to do an Engineering course will seek career opportunities in a related field. There are many disciplines open to those with suitable Engineering qualifications and experience. For example, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical &  Electronic Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Project and Business Management.   

Further engineering careers information is available from the Subject Leader and the Schools Careers Department.