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Mechanical Engineering BTEC Level 3

Engineering is the wide-ranging profession of applying scientific principles to the design and construction of various industrial and domestic products to benefit society and the environment. This is a theoretical and practical, work related course which continues on from the BTEC Level 2 qualification in Engineering.


You learn by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. If you would like to acquire a greater understanding of the principles that help engineers and technicians to solve practical problems then this course will introduce you to the knowledge and skills required.


This course attracts the same UCAS points for university entrance as 3 A Levels which means when you have finished the course you can choose whether to get a job straight away, start an Apprenticeship or go on to higher education.


At Richmond upon Thames College we offer the perfect progression option for those that would like to study at a higher level without going to university. Students can progress from the Level 3 to our Level 4 HNC in Mechanical Engineering. Alternatively, our strong links to the industry mean that you may be able to start on an Apprenticeship, find out more about Apprenticeships and browse current vacancies here


All students (16-18 year olds and 19+) on level 3 vocational and technical programmes will study two qualifications over the duration of their two-year course. An example of this is BTEC students will study for a 90 credit qualification in the 1st year. Upon successful completion, they will be able to progress to the 2nd year and study a diploma/extended diploma qualification.


Exam Board: Pearson



Search your university and career options if you study Mechanical Engineering Level 3
  • What will I study and learn?

    The first year of this course is called BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Engineering and it combines both mechanical and electrical engineering. You will learn about electrical/electronic, manufacturing and mechanical engineering, gaining both practical and theoretical skills in a wide range of subjects, from engineering drawing, electronic devices and circuits to engineering product design and manufacture.

    In the second year, you will study more specialised units such as fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. You will use a CAD system for your drawing work and make engineering products using workshop equipment. In the project unit you will be required to develop an idea from initial stages to the final solution.

    The course is made up of 15 units (7 mandatory units, 8 optional units, 3 externally tested units:

    Mandatory units

    • Engineering Principles
    • Delivery of Engineering Processes Safety as a Team
    • Engineering Product Design and Manufacture
    • Applied Commercial and Quality Principles in Engineering
    • Microcontroller Systems for Engineers
    • A specialist Engineering Project
    • Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems

    You will work both as an individual and as part of a group in workshops, laboratories and in theory classes. You will develop your understanding through a combination of theoretical and practical studies using machine tools, computers, electrical and mechanical measuring instruments.

  • How is the course assessed?

    The course is assessed through a combination of coursework activities, theoretical and practical assignments, assessment tests, case studies and external exams. All units are assessed and graded and an overall grade for the qualification is awarded.

    At the end of the first year you will have your progress reviewed to ascertain your suitability for completing the second year course of your choice.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    An interest in Electrical/Electronic or Mechanical Engineering and have the ability to solve problems using various techniques.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    This course requires a high level of problem-solving skills and therefore a sound scientific background is usually helpful. You should have an interest in technology.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum requirements - 5 GCSEs at grade A*- C/9-4 including English at grade 4 and Maths and Double Science at grade 5


    Level 2 Diploma at Distinction/Merit plus GCSE English at grade 4 and Maths at grade 5.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    The mechanical engineering course provides an entry route to engineering related degrees and HND/HNC diplomas such as in mechanical, manufacturing, mechatronics, product design and computer aided design. The electrical/electronic engineering course provides an entry route to engineering related degrees and HND/HNC diplomas such as in electrical, electronics, mechatronics, telecommunications, product design and computer aided design. This course provides an excellent basis for entry to a wide variety of employment opportunities in industry.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    Safety boots, clothing and materials will cost around £85. Drawing instruments and a scientific calculator will cost around £50. There are two books recommended which will cost approximately £25 each if you want to buy your own. However these are available in the library. There are also some day visits to industrial sites where you will need to pay your travel costs.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3. If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees.

    Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.

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