Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer Degree Apprenticeship

BEng (Hons)

This Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship provides the practical and theoretical training for aspiring process/plant engineers. 


Course type
Work-based degree
Entry requirements

4 Years

Start date

Course overview

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.

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'll be prepared with advanced professional skills required for the evolving environmental and political landscape.  

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



"One of the greatest benefits is how you can apply the teachings directly within your workplace. The course is structured in a way that means you have to learn academic knowledge, apply them to the workplace, then reflect on what the impact was and how you have and will develop as a result. I feel that this leads to a deeper learning and therefore greater impact within your role and organisation."

Jack Miller
Degree Apprentice

Why choose Aston University?

Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Triple Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
A comprehensive support structure
Apprentices are supported by a professional skills coach, an academic, and a professional supervisor
Degree with experience
Gain a full honours degree as well as 4 years’ relevant work experience and no tuition fees to pay
Become an Incorporated Engineer
The programme has been designed to meet the Engineering Council’s requirements for apprentices to register as an Incorporated Engineer (I.Eng)

Course description

Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer Degree Apprenticeship BEng

You will gain the essential knowledge and skills needed to excel in the fast-paced manufacturing environment.

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What will we provide 
You will recieve mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals, enhancing their practical knowledge. 

By successfully completing this programme, we will award you with:
•    BEng in Professional Engineering (Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer)
•    Apprenticeship certificate


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What will you provide
As an apprentice, you will be required to balance academic work, full-time employment, and on-the-job training. You will be expected to engage with teaching materials, online lectures, and in-person sessions. You will need to submit coursework and other assessments in a timely manner.

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What skills will we teach
Throughout the apprenticeship, you’ll likely to develop a diverse range of skills including risk management, safety management and project management. It also fosters planning, prioritisation of work, creative thinking, problem-solving, written, and oral communication.

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Career prospects 
The Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer BEng Degree Apprenticeship provides apprentices with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the fast-paced manufacturing environment. Apprentices will be involved in process design and manufacture of chemical, biological or science products, and will undertake a range of compliance assessment activities, including auditing a wide range of industrial sites.

How you will learn

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 regular tutorials. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, academic journals, databases and much more. Online learning gives you the flexibility to study from any location without the need to frequently travel to the Aston University campus.

In addition, you will be supported by a professional skills coach, an academic, and professional supervisor. The coaches and supervisors will meet with you regularly, 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 you with your application for professional registration after successful completion of their degrees.

What you will learn

In the Science and Industry Process Plant Engineer BEng Degree Apprenticeship at Aston University, you will learn to apply engineering principles, develop problem-solving skills, and gain industry-specific knowledge to design, maintain, and optimise processes and equipment in the science and industrial sectors.


At Aston University, apprentices enjoy full access to all the facilities available to regular students. This inclusive approach ensures that apprentices can take advantage of the university's library, labs, study spaces, cafes and more. By providing equal access to these facilities, Aston University supports apprentices in their educational journey, enabling them to thrive in both academic and practical aspects of their chosen fields.

Course objectives

  1. Meet all the vocational skills, academic knowledge, and occupational behaviours, requirements of the Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer Degree Apprenticeship Standard. 
  2. Enable graduates from the Programme can apply to register as Incorporated Engineers with the relevant Professional Engineering Institutes such as IMechE and IET. The programme has been designed in line with the Degree Apprenticeship standard to meet the Engineering Council requirement for IEng Registration.
  3. Widen participation to professional registration for working engineers from a range of backgrounds, experiences, disciplines, and industry sectors by providing a flexible, work-based Programme of study that can be adapted to suit individual needs.
  4. Create 21st century engineers with the advanced intellectual and professional skills set required by Degree Apprenticeship standard to meet the engineering demands arising from the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN.
  5. Utilise advanced information and communications technology to maximise the “valued added” student learning experience through the adoption of a student centred, personalised, employer driven learning pedagogy. 

Modules and learning outcomes

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

Stage 1 modules

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

Module titleCredits
Professional engineering practice15
Digital engineering15
Engineering mathematics30
Introduction to science industry process/plant engineering30
Work based project: engineering improvement.30

Stage 1 outcomes 

  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of a Professional Engineer within their specific employment context and be able to justify their choices of action arising from engineering ethical dilemmas, in accordance with those roles and responsibilities. 
  • Explain how the business, technical and social aspects of professional engineering practice interact with each other and explain and ensure compliance with the essential elements of health and safety management relevant to their employment role and its associated responsibilities. 
  • Design simple logic circuits relevant to their specific employment context and use Arduino boards to monitor and control a simple system and use a graphical programming language to monitor and control and analyse a simple system.
  • Demonstrate appreciation of foundation of maths and science required for engineers, apply mathematical concepts within science and engineering and solve more complex engineering mathematics problems.
  • Review and differentiate advantages and disadvantages of different continuous improvement techniques (e.g. lean manufacturing, six sigma, or theory of constraints. etc.), procedures and methods.
  • Apply continuous improvement techniques to existing underperforming engineering processes to drive efficiency and describe the planning and evaluation of continuous improvement plans in a context of an industrial project.
  • Successfully communicate the methodical approach and technical elements of the project undertaken to industrial and academic audiences.

Stage 2 modules

The second stage is taught at Level 5 and includes:

Module titleCredits
Mathematical methods in engineering15
Computer aided design15
Thermo-fluid sciences15
Engineering management15
Science industry process/plant engineering30
Work based project: technical problem solving30

Stage 2 outcomes

  • Analyse first and second order systems using appropriate mathematical methods and apply mathematical techniques, including Laplace Transforms and Newton Raphson to resolve engineering problems. 
  • Use statistical methods to analyse experimental datasets and Evaluate, apply, and communicate findings from mathematical and statistical analysis to specialist audiences. 
  • Successfully use the basic features offered by a commercial 2D and 3D CAD software package and be familiar with the user interface of a typical 3D software suite. 
  • Be able to use reference geometry and editing features to modify drawing shapes, features, dimensions etc.  
  • Use the fundamental theories of thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics processes to solve a range of thermodynamic, heat transfer and fluid mechanics problems. 
  • Explain how these fundamental theories are applied in equipment and systems associated within the science industry and process/plant sector.
  • Select and apply business and management methods to resolve organisational challenges associated with their specific employment context and in accordance with their professional responsibilities. 
  • Evaluate and apply the tools and techniques associated with quality management and analyse the various aspects of the business environment in which their organisation operates. 
  • Analyse and develop theoretical underpinning knowledge and understanding to plan for and perform a process or plant engineering project using appropriate techniques, procedures and methods.
  • Work autonomously to analyse, interpret and evaluate engineering data, presenting the results and problem-solving.
  • Demonstrate professional compliance with a safety and quality approach that ensures strict compliance, and a disciplined responsible attitude to mitigate and manage risk. 

Stage 3 modules

The final stage of the Degree Apprenticeship is taught at Level 6 and includes:

Module titleCredits
Professional development audit15
Project management15
Sustainable engineering15
Work based project30


Stage 3 outcomes 

  • You will have a comprehensive understanding of what is required of a professionally registered engineer with specific reference to their engineering discipline.
  • You will have evaluated their own engineering abilities and as a result will have developed a comprehensive learning and development programme that will, after successful completion, enable them to develop and demonstrates their professional competences and underpinning engineering knowledge and understanding sufficiently to achieve registration as a Chartered Engineer.
  • Have understanding of engineering project management theory, methods and techniques, as applicable to the selected engineering domain and can select and apply appropriate management and business practices, including evaluation of risk, within a project management role. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key conceptual and theoretical values and principles of sustainability and SD to engineering practice. 
  • Evaluate and apply the principles and metrics used to measure and monitor environmental aspects and impacts of an engineering business operation.
  • Apply the concepts and practices of sustainable engineering and SD, including the ethical and societal impacts to real-life case studies and present holistic solutions to mitigate the SD issues. 
  • Critically evaluate an SD issue(s) within the context of their professional role/employing organisation or respective engineering field of expertise, and then devise and communicate mitigating sustainable development engineering solutions.
  • Conduct independent research using a range of theoretical skills, knowledge and understanding acquired during their BEng Programme to synthesise a high quality technical final project report.
  • Evaluate the project topic and relevant technical literature and technical documents and develop an appropriate methodology for data collection and analysis.
  • Investigate and analyse the technical and non-technical aspects and implications of proposed engineering solutions/processes/systems.
  • Apply interpersonal skills within a technical and commercial leadership role to plan, carry out, and communicate a substantial work-based project.

You will also select three elective modules from the following:

Module title Credits 
Gas transmission and distribution15
Systems engineering15
Health and safety management15
Engineering design applications15
Quality engineering15
Environmental management systems15
Engineering materials and manufacturing15
Electrical machines, construction, and performance15
Control systems and instrumentation15
Dynamics of rotating machines15


Entry requirements

Start date is in October.

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.

Indicative entry requirements are given below, but please note that each employer may set their own criteria. 


Three A Levels at CCC or above including a Mathematics based subject and a STEM subject, or equivalent BTECs.

*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.

Have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including Mathematics, English and a science, technology or engineering related subject.

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. 

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.

Course fees

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.


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. After the EPA, the assessors will consider what grade should be awarded for the apprenticeship – fail, pass, merit, or distinction.

Career prospects

The Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer BEng Degree Apprenticeship provides apprentices with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the fast-paced manufacturing environment. Apprentices will be involved in process design and manufacture of chemical, biological or science products, and will undertake a range of compliance assessment activities, including auditing a wide range of industrial sites. 


Frequently asked questions

Why study a Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer – Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship at Aston University?

Aston University has 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 partner with Aston University for a Degree Apprenticeship?

 At Aston University, 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. We also have a history of providing our apprentices with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as maintain good working relationships with employers.

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