Covid 19 ~ Latest updates and important information >>> click here

Main menu


You are here


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 mechatronics engineer, engineering project manager or design engineer?  Are you looking to progress to university to complete undergraduate studies in an engineering-related subject?

This programme is aimed at school leavers progressing from their GCSE studies with high attainment in mathematics and science who specifically wish to progress directly to university to study an engineering-related subject after completion of their Level 3 studies.  The programme combines the skills and behaviours gained from a vocational qualification with the mathematical knowledge gained from an academic qualification.

This programme is a co-venture between Hartlepool College of Further Education and English Martyrs Sixth Form College.

Entry requirements 

Prospective learners should have, at minimum, six GCSEs at Grade 6 or above, including a Grade 8 or 9 in GCSE Mathematics.

Students must also pass an engineering comprehension test and successfully complete an interview.

Course content 

The Level 3 mecanical/electrical engineering (university progression route) programme consists of two years of study.  It combines an engineering qualification form Pearson BTEC suite together with an A-Level in Mathematics.  This combination of qualifications is desirable to university engineering departments.

Alongside a mandatory tutorial session, first year learners will complete a Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Engineering, and HCFE Engineering Practical Skills enrichment course and the first half of the A-Level in Mathematics.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Engineering has been designed to provide a broad basis of study for the engineering setor and aims to prepare 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 processes, product design and manufacture, computer-aided design and material properties.

Alongside the Extended Certificate, learners will complete workshop sessions as part of our practical skills enrichment course; each learner will develop skills in four different areas, which could include bench fitting, machining, mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance and electrical installation.

The A-Level in Mathematics not only develops mathematical knowledge but also improves complex problem solving and logical thinking skills; making it highly desirable to those learners who are preparing themselves for undergraduate courses in engineering.  In the first year, learners will complete units in pure mathematics, statistics and mechanics, covering topics from algebra, graphs, trigonometry, calculus, geometry, data interpretation, data-modelling, equations of motion and vectors.

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 Extended Certificate 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 National Extended Diploma in Engineering and complete their A-Level in Mathematics.

In the second year of the engineering component, learners will complete units covering the production of a student-led project, microcontrollers, application of calculus, commercial & quality principles, together with five specialist units in the areas of mechanical and/or electrical & electronic engineering.  In mathematics, learners will continue to develop skills in calculus, use of trigonometric equations, hypothesis testing, use of distributions, and the modelling of practial solutions in mechanics.

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.  The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma is taught at Hartlepool College of Further Education and the A-Level in Mathematics is taught at English Martyrs Sixth Form College.

Assessment criteria 

Assessment of the Level 3 Extended Certificate/Diploma is at unit-level and is a combination of coursework and examinations.  In the first year, Engineering Principles (covering mechanical science, electrical & electronic science and applied engineeering maths) is assessed by a terminal written exam.  Engineering Product Design and Manufacture is assessed by an 8-hour synoptic task completed under controlled conditions.  All other units are assessed using coursework assignments, which are criterion-referenced.  In the second year, Microcontroller Systems for Engineers is assessed by a 10-hour synoptic task completed under controlled conditions.  All other units are assessed using coursework assignments, which are criterion-referenced.  Units are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Overall, the Level 3 Extended Diploma is graded between PPP (triple pass) and D*D*D* (triple distinction star), based on the combination of the individual unit outcomes across the two years.

Assessment of the A-Level in Mathematics takes place at the end of the two years and is 100% examination.  During the course, students will sit regular, internal assessments (at least 1 per half term) as well as completing regular, weekly homework.

Learners will be assessed on their practical skills by workshop instructors and issed with a certificate of completion.

Assessed work must be submitted by a strict deadline.


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 education and further study.

Both the Level 3 Extended Diploma and A-Level carry UCAS points which, dependant on final grading, could enable learners to progress to higher education courses such as undergraduate degree programmes.  These could include:

  • BEng (Hons.) in Engineering (or related subjects)
  • MEng (Hons.) in Engineering (or related subjects)

Related subjects commonly taught at universities include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Mechatronics, Manufacturing, Instrumentation & Control Engineering, Communication  Engineering and Automotive Engineering.

Alternatively, suitable progression opportunities within the School of Engineering at Hartlepool College of Further Education include:

  • Level 4 HNC in Mechanical Engineering (Part Time or Full Time)
  • Level 4 HNC in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Part Time or Full Time)
  • Level 4 HNC in Manufacturing Engineering (Part Time)
  • Level 4 in Mechatronics (Part Time)
  • Level 4 in Instrumentation & Control Engineering (Part Time)
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.

Will I have to pay for fees?