Postgraduate Engineer Postgraduate Diploma (Executive Apprenticeship)

Learn to overcome engineering problems in your organisation using technology, innovation and creativity through work-integrated projects. If you want to progress your career in engineering, this degree apprenticeship is for you.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Work-based degree

Course format

No placements

Duration

Up to two and a half years and apprentices will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma. This qualification can then be topped up to an MSc in Professional Engineering bringing the total course length to up to a maximum of five years.

UCAS code(s)

n/a

Start date

Course outline and modules

For employees

This degree apprenticeship will give you the practical skills and the knowledge needed to progress your engineering career.  
 
You’ll develop your knowledge in your chosen specialism and learn to overcome engineering problems using technology, innovation and creativity. This apprenticeship is tailored to your role and all learning is specifically focused on the work that you do for your employer.  

For employers

An apprenticeship to transform engineers into future leaders. Tailored to each individual and focused on your organisational needs, this course gives an immediate return on investment and equips staff to overcome engineering problems using technology innovation and creativity.


Who is this apprenticeship for?

For employees

This course is suitable for engineers who want to accelerate and develop their knowledge and competences while maintaining a full-time job. It is intended for both new and existing employees at organisations of all sizes and sectors. The apprenticeship will give individuals the skills and theory needed to progress in the organisation as well as a formal postgraduate qualification.  

Course content 

Course content is taught at postgraduate level and is split into two phases. The first phase is designed to provide a foundation of knowledge required to progress into the second phase. The development phase is tailored to your personal skills and knowledge gaps and the needs of the organisation. 

The foundation phase is delivered online through fortnightly webinars and individual study and covers four main areas: 

  • Project Management 
  • Engineering Management 
  • Sustainability 
  • Professional Development Audit. 


The development phase provides an opportunity to choose between two routes: 

  • Employer-led route: The content is developed based on your employer's requirements specified in an occupational brief and must include a set of work-integrated learning modules. 
  • Standard route : This covers a range of professional engineering modules that have been developed by Aston University. 

Topics on offer include: 

  • Design Methodologies 
  • Emerging Technologies 
  • Current Technologies 
  • Sustainability 
  • Product Delivery 
  • Engineering Analysis 
  • Scientific Foundations. 

For employers

Postgraduate engineer apprentices will develop their knowledge in their chosen specialism and learn to overcome engineering problems using technology, innovation and creativity. The apprenticeship is tailored to the individual's role and all learning is specifically focused on the work the apprentice does in your organisation.

Course content

Course content is taught at postgraduate level and is split into two phases. The first phase is designed to provide a foundation of knowledge required to progress into the second phase. The development phase is tailored to each apprentice’s skills and knowledge gaps and the needs of the organisation. The foundation phase is delivered online through fortnightly webinars and individual study and covers four main areas:

  • Project Management
  • Engineering Management
  • Sustainability
  • Professional Development Audit.


The development phase provides an opportunity to choose between two routes:

  • Employer-led route: The content is developed based on the employer’s requirements specified in an occupational brief and must include a set of work-integrated learning modules.
     
  • Standard route: This covers a range of professional engineering modules that have been developed by Aston University.


Topics on offer include:

  • Design Methodologies
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Current Technologies
  • Sustainability
  • Product Delivery
  • Engineering Analysis
  • Scientific Foundations.


Real-world learning  

You will spend most of your time doing a full-time job as well as studying for your degree part-time through a combination of online seminars outside of office hours and occasional sessions on campus. Everything is structured to fit around your job and is designed in partnership with employers.  

Entry requirements

You will need to apply for a degree apprenticeship role or already be employed in a job in England with responsibilities aligned with the degree content. Please see the how to apply section below for more information.

Entry requirements are set by the hiring business and not Aston University so they vary between organisations. Apprentices are selected based on their applications, an interview and an assessment process which is tailored to your apprenticeship position.

Employers typically require:

  • A professionally recognised bachelors degree or equivalent in a STEM subject
  • At least grade 4 or C GCSE Maths and English

*Please note:

  • Employers may specify their own entry criteria that can exceed this.

You will also need to meet the government's eligibility criteria:

  • Have been a UK/EU/EAA resident for the past three years or more prior to starting the course.
  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship you are applying for is due to start.
  • Be aged at least 16 years old to meet government funding criteria.

Your place will be subject to an interview.

How to apply

If you are already employed in this industry, you should discuss with your manager if your organisation is working in partnership with Aston University. If they are, you will make an application through your employer. 

If your employer is not yet an Aston partner, they can get in touch with our Apprenticeships Team to find out more information about working with us.
 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Apprenticeships are structured differently to a traditional degree. You'll spend the majority of your time in the workplace doing a real full-time job as well as studying for your qualification part-time.

Study time is structured to fit around your job. Your apprenticeship is designed in partnership with your employer, so you don't need to worry about your work and study commitments clashing. They work hand in hand.

This apprenticeship is delivered entirely through blended learning. You will take part in online seminars and implement your knowledge and skills through work integrated learning projects. You'll be supported with your projects by regular visits from your Aston University supervisor who will help you to tailor your projects to your organisation without the need to travel to campus.

Assessment

By successfully completing this programme, you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma with the option to top up to a full MSc in Professional Engineering.

You will also achieve a Level 7 apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction. You will be assessed throughout the apprenticeship via project reports and a portfolio directly related to your industry and organisation. The apprenticeship also includes an End Point Assessment interview with representatives from Aston University, your employer, and an independent assessor.

Fees and scholarships

You will not have to pay tuition fees as a degree apprentice as the costs are met by the UK government and your employer*. In addition to your fees being paid, you will also earn a salary while you study, so there is no need to apply for Student Finance.

The funding band for this degree apprenticeship is £27,000. This is the full cost of your apprenticeship which will be paid for using your employer's apprenticeship levy.

*Employers may require students to pay the fees for resits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study a Postgraduate Engineer Degree Apprenticeship at Aston? 

Aston’s great links with industry and experienced teaching staff will help you to develop your career pathway on this course and equip you for a role as a leader within the engineering sector.
 
You can tailor your course through a choice of elective modules to best suit your preferences and career direction and the whole degree apprenticeship is tailored to your skills and the needs of your employer.   
You’ll graduate with a postgraduate level qualification and a breadth of experience and knowledge to help support your future career path.  

Why Aston University for an apprenticeship? 

Aston University has been ranked 15th in a Top 50 list of the UK’s best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards, 2019). We also have a history of providing our students with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as really value our network of employer links which inform and shape our courses and teaching.  

Why partner with Aston University for a degree apprenticeship?

At Aston we work really closely with our employer network, not only to ensure courses fit around the roles that apprentices have, but also to ensure the skills and knowledge they develop fit the needs of their organisation and add value to their business. 

Aston University has been ranked 15th in a top 50 list of the UK’s best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards, 2019). We also have a history of providing our students with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as maintain good working relationships with employers.

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