Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer BEng Degree Apprenticeship

If you are an aspiring engineer looking to specialise in the process design and manufacture of chemical, biological or science-based technology industrial or consumer products, this degree apprenticeship is for you.

Start date: October

Course type
Work-based degree (Hons)

Course format

No placements


4 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline and modules

For students and employees

You will gain the essential knowledge and skills needed to excel in the fast-paced manufacturing environment. With a focus on planning for the future of the sector, you will be prepared with advanced professional skills required for the evolving environmental and political landscape.  

For employers

Apprentices will gain the essential knowledge and skills needed to excel in the fast-paced manufacturing environment. With a focus on planning for the future of the sector, learners will be prepared with advanced professional skills required for the evolving environmental and political landscape.

Who is this apprenticeship for?

This Level 6 degree apprenticeship will provide the practical and theoretical training for aspiring process/plant engineers who want to gain new skills and a formal degree qualification.  

This includes those early in their career and school leavers applying for degree apprenticeship roles in the sector. Process engineers will specialise in the design and operation of processes within the manufacturing industry, and plant engineers are responsible for the equipment and assets on site to ensure they are optimised for productivity and safety.  

Apprentices studying the programme at Aston will benefit from a close partnership with industry leaders as well as expert teaching staff who have held professional engineering positions.  



By completing this programme you will be awarded with:

  • BEng in Professional Engineering (Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer)
  • Apprenticeship certificate

Programme content 

The apprenticeship is taught at undergraduate level (Levels 4-6) over four years, but can be extended to five, covering the essentials of professional engineering including mathematics and science while specialising in process or plant engineering.

Stage one

The first stage of the apprenticeship is taught at Level 4 and includes:

  • Professional Engineering Practice
  • Digital Engineering
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Introduction to Science Industry Process/Plant Engineering
  • Work Based Project: Engineering Improvement.
Stage two

The second stage is taught at Level 5 and includes:

  • Mathematical Methods In Engineering
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Thermo-Fluid Sciences
  • Engineering Management
  • Science Industry Process/Plant Engineering
  • Work Based Project: Technical Problem Solving.
Stage three
The final stage of the degree apprenticeship is taught at Level 6 and includes:
  • Professional Development Audit
  • Project Management
  • Sustainable Engineering
  • Work Based Project
You will also select three elective modules from the following:
  • Gas Transmission and Distribution
  • Systems Engineering
  • Health and Safety Management
  • Engineering Design Applications
  • Quality Engineering
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Tribology
  • Engineering Materials and Manufacturing
  • Electrical Machines, Construction, and Performance
  • Control Systems and Instrumentation
  • Dynamics of Rotating Machines

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

Start dates October and January

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.

You will need:

  • Three A Levels at CCC or above including a Mathematics based subject and a STEM subject, or equivalent BTECs.*
  • Have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including Mathematics, English and a science, technology or engineering related subject.

*Please note:

  • Employers may specify their own entry criteria that can exceed this.
  • Candidates who do not have three A Levels at CCC may be considered on a case by case basis with aptitude and experience taken into consideration.

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.

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

Learning and teaching

This programme is taught through block based or blended distance learning in the first two stages and through blended distance learning in the final stage. Formal teaching takes place using on campus lectures and our virtual learning environment, Blackboard if the block based delivery is selected for the first two stages. For blended distance learning, formal teaching takes place using our virtual learning environment, Blackboard where apprentices will work through the learning resources and take part in monthly tutorials. This platform allows apprentices to access a comprehensive range of study materials, academic journals, databases and much more. Online learning gives apprentices the flexibility to study from any location without the need to frequently travel to the Aston University campus.

In addition to online learning, all apprentices are supported by a professional skills coach, an academic, and professional supervisor. The coaches and supervisors will meet with apprentices once per module, either in person or online, to provide advice and help bridge the gap between theory and practice. The professional supervisors are all Chartered Engineers and they will help the apprentices with their professional registration after successful completion of their degrees.


By successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded a BEng in Professional Engineering (Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer). You will also achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction. 

The programme will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework projects, presentations and practical assessments. All projects and assignments are work-based, relating directly to the apprentice’s role in their organisation adding immediate value for both the apprentice and the employer.

End point assessment

The apprenticeship concludes with the end point assessment (EPA). The EPA gives the apprentices the opportunity to showcase their academic, personal and professional development achievements throughout the apprenticeship. Apprentices will take part in a professional discussion to demonstrate their competencies and how they have applied their learning in the workplace. They will also be required to give a presentation showing the impact of their final work based project on their organisation. After the EPA, the assessors will consider what grade should be awarded for the apprenticeship – fail, pass, merit, or distinction.


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 £24,000. 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 Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer – Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship at Aston? 

Aston’s great links with industry and experienced teaching staff will help you to develop the specialist professional skills alongside your practical work experience in order for you to excel your career.
You’ll benefit from our experienced teaching staff, facilities and experience in delivering apprenticeships. We will also develop your skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to excel in your career. 

Graduate with experience, a formal degree qualification and no-debt, whilst propelling your future career within the engineering sector with the basis for specialisation.  

Why Aston University for an apprenticeship?

Aston University has been ranked 13th in a Top 50 list of the UK’s best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards, 2022-2023). 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 13th in a top 50 list of the UK’s best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards, 2022-2023). 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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