Engineering BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate

Board: Pearson

Course Code: 601/7584/9

About the subject

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate is for students seeking an A-level standard engineering qualification who wish to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education or apprenticeships and ultimately employment in the engineering sector. Over 95% of universities (including Russell Group) and a wide range of employers highly value BTEC qualifications. The Extended Certificate in Engineering can support applications to a wide range degree level engineering courses* for example; Electrical/Electronic, Mechanical, Aeronautical, Automotive. *when combined with other appropriate level 3 courses.

Students will study a mixture of engineering concepts involving Maths, Physics, Mechanics, Electronics, Product Design, and Health & Safety.

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate comprises of two years of study and is equivalent to one A-level. Typically students would follow two other A-level subjects or their BTEC equivalent to compliment this course.

Learning Styles

The course is delivered via a range of practical activities and theory based sessions with an emphasis on the application of engineering principles to the real world. Students produce written reports and make presentations, analyse how real circuitry compares to computer simulations, use CAD to produce drawings and design improvements in case studies. Students are assessed: 33% by internal assessment of coursework, written work and presentations; and 67% by externally set and assessed written exam and case study (see units details below).

The course develops skills in understanding and problem-solving, as well as intrapersonals skills (teamwork, communication, negotiating and self-presentation) and interpersonal skills (resilience and adaptability, self-management, self-monitoring and development).

Subject Combinations and Progression

Students would be expected to choose two other level 3 courses (BTEC L3 or A-level). This may include Maths or Physics (depending on requirements for futher progression), but could be any other level 3 courses that are equivalent to two full A-levels. Students can progress directly into work, apprenticeships or a wide range of engineering based degree level courses.

The BTEC is comprised of four units studied over 2 years.

Note students only obtain a qualification after 2 years, there is no partial award after the 1st year.

Subject Modules and Assessment

Unit 1: Engineering Principles:  

  • A theory based unit covering key concepts in static, dynamic and fluid mechanics and electronic circuitry including DC, AC and magnetism.
  • 120 hours of study (80 marks).
  • Externally assessed: One 2 hour exam, short and long answer questions.

Unit 2: Delivery of Engineering Processes Safely as a Team:  

  • A practical based unit introducing students to material properties, manufacturing processes, 2D CAD, health & safety and wider design considerations (such as environmental, sustainability, economics, marketing).
  • 60 hours of study
  • Internally assessed via summative assignments

Unit 3: Engineering Product Design: 

  • A practical based unit covering the stages involved and skills needed in researching and analysing an engineering product, designing an improvement or modification and justifying the benefits of the new design. Knowledge from units 1 and 2 will need to be clearly demonstrated.
  • 120 hours of study (60 marks)
  • Externally assessed: supervised conditions to work on an externally set task which is to be completed within a fixed time period.

Unit 10: Computer Aided Design in Engineering

  • A computer based unit covering two industry standard computer aided design software packages. Fusion 360 (3D package) and AutoCad (2D package). Students will be shown  a variety of commands and skills across both pieces of software and then will be required to produce a portofilio of evidence to demonstrate the skills learnt while modelling set tasks.
  • 60 hours of study.
  • Internally assessed via coursework evidence.

Minimum Subject Entry Requirement

2 x grade 4’s from Single Award GCSE Sciences or Double award GCSE Science + grade 5 in Maths. Grade 5’s in GCSE Sciences are preferred. (Grade 4 in Design Technology if taken)