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Start Date
End Date
Full Time
Target audience 

Engineers make the world and Hartlepool College of Further Education's School of Engineering makes engineers. Do you want to be the next aircraft engineer, aircraft maintenance technician or military aircraft technician? This programme is aimed at school leavers who wish to take their first steps on a path to a career in aeronautical engineering, and at learners who have completed the Level 2 Engineering programme and wish to progress to the next level of study within the aeronautical engineering strand.

Entry requirements 

Prospective learners typically have, at minimum, 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, including Maths and English or a Pearson BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in Engineering.

Alternative entry qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

Course content 

The Level 3 Aeronautical programme consists of one or two years of study.

Alongside a mandatory tutorial session, first year learners will complete a Pearson BTEC Level 3 Award in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering and a HCFE Engineering Practical Skills enrichment course.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Award in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering has been designed to develop understanding in a broad range of topics, drawn from both of the traditional sectors  of mechanical and electrical/electronic engineering, as well as transferable knowledge and skills used in all areas of engineering.  It aims to prepares learners for entry-level roles in employment, entry into apprenticeships, further study and progression to higher education.  Learners will complete units covering:

  • mechanical science
  • electrical & electronic science
  • applied engineering mathematics
  • engineering drawing
  • health and safety
  • engineering communications
  • flight principles & practice
  • aircraft mechanical systems

Alongside the Award, learners will complete workshop sessions as part of our practical skills enrichment course; each learner will develop skills in  four different areas:

  • bench fitting
  • machining
  • aircraft workshop practice
  • computer-aided-design

Learners without a GCSE Grade 4 (or equivalent) in English and/or Maths will be required to complete a suitable qualification in these areas alongside their engineering course.

The mandatory tutorial session will allow learners to interact with their assigned tutor for progress and development, as well as engage with the Hartlepool College of Further Education tutorial programme.

Upon successful completion of the first year with an overall Merit grade in the Level 3 Award and a positive endorsement from the course team, learners can progress to the second year of the programme and top-up their qualification to a Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Aerospace Engineering Pathway).  Learners will complete units covering the production of a student-led project, application of calculus, further mechanical and electrical science, aircraft propulsion systems, aircraft gas turbine engines, aircraft electrical & instrument systems, avionics, aircraft workshop practice & first line maintenance.

Teaching & Learning 

A variety of teaching strategies will be employed in delivering this qualification, dependant upon the unit content. This may include lectures, seminars, practical work, simulated work environments and group activities.

Teaching and learning activities will take place in a range of specialist facilities, laboratories and classrooms.

The programme is delivered on a full-time basis, classes will be taught Monday to Friday.

Assessment criteria 

Assessment  is at unit level and may consist of a variety of assessment instruments, including assignment work, practical work, presentations and time-constrained tests.  All assessments are criterion referenced and students are informed of the grading critieria in advance.  Each assessment component is graded either Pass, Merit or Distinction.

The overall qualification will be graded between a P (pass) and D* (distinction star), based on the combination of the individual unit outcomes.

Assessed work must be submitted by a strict deadline.  Learners will be assessed on their practical skills by workshop instructors and issued with a certificate of completion.


Upon successful completion of this programme of study, learners will hold qualifications that are recognised nationally by further and higher education establishments, as well as employers and other stakeholders.  This will enable them to progress to employment, higher apprenticeships and further study.

The Level 3 Extended Diploma carries UCAS points which, dependant on final grading, could enable learners to progess to higher education courses such as Higher National and undergraduate degree programmes.

Suitable progression opportunities within the School of Engineering include:

  • Level 4 HNC in Aeronautical Engineering (Full Time)
  • Level 5 HND in Aeronautical Engineering (Full Time)
  • BEng (Hons.) in Aerospace Engineering (Full Time-Teesside University Partnership)
  • MEng (Hons.) in Aerospace Engineering (Full-Time-Teesside University Partnership)

The Level 3 qualifications in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering are an important component for many apprenticeship programmes in the engineering sector.


Other information 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to learners for use in the workshop.


Whatever course you choose, you'll get the highest level of training from specialist tutors, benefiting from their knowledge and experience of working not just in education but also in industry.

Application & Enrolment

You are able to apply online for all courses, however to complete your course enrolment fully, you will need to have an interview and then be accepted onto a course. The only courses available to enrol online are Full Cost courses, if you wish to enrol on any other course please call into Student Services or call 01429 295000.

Full Cost course fees are inclusive of VAT.

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