BTEC Level 3 National Foundation/National Extended Diploma

Course Level

Level 3


2 years FT


60 hours




View Fees

Department of Engineering
Discover more at our next open day

Saturday 19 October 2024

Join an open day

Gain real-life experience on work placement to support your future career progression

Get a widely recognised BTEC qualification equivalent to A-levels

Engineering and manufacturing are essential to the function of modern society, with constant demand for qualified workers in these areas. If you dream of a career in this crucial industry, our Level 3 Engineering course will enable you to gain the key skills and knowledge for future employment or higher education in this field.

You will learn the core skills needed for entry into a range of engineering, manufacturing, process and control occupations and develop an understanding of many issues affecting the sector. Areas you will study include essential mathematics, manufacturing systems and processes, materials and commercial principles, as well as the latest industry-relevant topics such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Our engineering college course will give you a widely-recognised BTEC Level 3 qualification – you will enrol on the National Foundation Diploma (equivalent to 1.5 A-levels) in year 1 before having the opportunity to progress onto the National Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A-levels) in year 2. On completion, you will be ready to pursue a career in the engineering industry or study an engineering-related subject at degree level.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Study a range of up-to-date topics including computer-aided manufacturing, AI, robotics, microcontrollers and more
  • RECOGNISED QUALIFICATION – Our BTEC Level 3 engineering course gives you a recognised work-related qualification to enable progress onto higher education and professional careers
  • GET CAREER-READY – From maintenance and installation to repair for engineering and manufacturing, this course will open the doors to a range of career opportunities
There are lots of reasons why we think you should study with us, but here are our top 5. View video.

Our facilities

Students on our construction and engineering courses will learn in brand new real-world training environments under development at University College Birmingham. Our Centre for Sustainable Construction at the iconic James Cond building will offer state-of-the-art facilities specifically designed to develop skills that support employers and their supply chains, along with further new facilities at Camden House. These will include:

• Training rigs
• Production line technology
• Industry 4.0 rigs
• Process manufacturing training equipment
• Hydraulics
• Pneumatics
• Renewable energy simulators
• Control engineering rigs
• Cyber physical system
• Mechatronics automation
• PLCs
• Fluid dynamics software
• MATLAB design software
• Enhanced IT facilities

James Cond

Formerly a print works, this historic art deco building is the home of our Centre for Sustainable Construction.

Camden House

Our refurbishment of Camden House will create a bespoke STEM education and training facility.

Course breakdown

Topics you will study:

  • Working within the engineering and manufacturing sectors
  • Essential mathematics for engineering and manufacturing
  • Materials and their properties
  • Business, commercial and financial awareness
  • Computer-aided manufacturing
  • Modern manufacturing systems
  • Microcontrollers
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Robotics

Please note: Units/topics of study are subject to change

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Entry requirements

Our engineering lecturers are looking for students who are enthusiastic and passionate about a career in manufacturing and engineering, together with a keen determination to succeed in the industry, so please contact Admissions if you do not have the specific requirements outlined below. 

If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please call 0121 214 2919, email or use our live chat.

Academic requirements

  • 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) including English (Language or Literature), or equivalent. 
  • GCSE Maths at grade 5. 

English and maths

As applicants are required to achieve English and Maths at grade 5 or above prior to entering this course, University College Birmingham will not offer English or maths alongside this course. 

Supporting documents required

  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham. 
  • If you are a school leaver (over 19), you will be required to provide a reference from a previous education provider or employer in support of your application.

Guaranteed progression

We are continuing to develop and enhance our portfolio of engineering and construction courses with the aim of delivering undergraduate courses in the next two years. This will provide an opportunity for students who successfully complete a Level 3 qualification in these subjects to progress here at University College Birmingham. Students will be guaranteed progression to one of our relevant degree-level courses.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will have three days per week in college as well as time spent on industry placement. Around 4-6 hours of homework per week is also advised.

Staff will monitor your progress and have one-to-one meetings with you with targets set. You will also have progress reviews during your work experience, both from our staff and your employer.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career or enhance your UCAS application for higher education. Our Hired team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Attending a work/industry placement is a critical element of our Level 3 course in engineering. This will usually consist of one day per week for a number of weeks, totalling around 60 hours.

Career opportunities

The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Mechanical engineer

Average Salary: £32,000

Electrical/electronics engineer

Average Salary: £32,000

Process manufacturing engineer

Average Salary: £35,000

Product designer

Average Salary: £45,000

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our Electromechanical Engineering BEng course.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more

Precious's Story

Precious joined University College Birmingham with a specific goal: to learn the skills she would need to become an air technician with the Royal Navy.

Find out more

Take the next step...


Back to top