Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer Degree Apprenticeship

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A Levels
    Three A Levels (or equivalent)
  • Further requirements
    A minimum of five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including Mathematics, English and a science, technology or engineering related subject
  • Employment
    You'll need to be in a full time paid role that is relevant to the apprenticeship. This could be an existing job role you are in or a new degree apprenticeship position you are applying for.
More information

Key dates

  • Programme start dates
    January and October
  • Open Days
    Our next Postgraduate Open Day is taking place on:
    Wednesday 4th March

The programme has been designed to meet the Engineering Council’s requirements for apprentices to register as an Incorporated Engineer

Apprentices are supported by academic and professional supervisors with extensive industry experience

The programme is taught through work based learning that relates directly to the apprentice’s role

Aston University has been ranked 15th in a Top 50 list of the UK's best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards 2019)

Course summary

The Science Industry Process/Plant Engineer Degree Apprenticeship will help to develop aspiring engineers looking to specialise in the process design and manufacture of chemical, biological or science based technology industrial or consumer products.

You will gain the essential knowledge, skills, and behaviour required 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.

Key information and entry requirements

Qualification

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. 

Duration of the programme

The taught element of the programme takes four-and-a-half years to complete. Learners will then spend a further six months working towards the end point assessment, making the apprenticeship a total of five years.

Start dates

There are two entry points: January and October

Tuition fees

You will not have to pay tuition fees as a degree apprentices, 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.

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.

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.
Course outline

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.

Programme content

The apprenticeship is taught at undergraduate level (Levels 4-6) over five years, 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 over 16 months and includes:

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

Stage two

The second stage is taught at Level 5 over 16 months 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 over 24 months and includes:

  • Professional Development Audit
  • Project Management
  • Control Systems and Instrumentation
  • Work Based Project.

You will also select three elective modules from the following:

  • Offshore Oil and Gas
  • Engineering Systems Design
  • Health and Safety Management
  • Engineering Design Applications
  • Quality Engineering
  • Environmental Systems
  • Tribology.
Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

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 degree part-time.

This programme is taught through blended distance learning. Formal teaching takes place using our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, where you will take part in bi-monthly webinars. 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 to online learning, you will be supported by an academic and professional supervisor. The supervisors will meet with you once per module plus regular online contact to provide advice and help bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Assessment

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 your role in their organisation adding immediate value for you and your employer.

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

Professional accreditation

The programme has been designed to meet the Engineering Council’s requirements for apprentices to register as an Incorporated Engineer.

Programme Director

Dr Goudarz Poursharif

I obtained my Doctorate from the University of Sheffield in 2018. My PhD research project was on “Investigating the ability of smart electricity meters to provide accurate LV network information to the DNOs in the UK” and it was funded by the EPSRC and Northern Powergrid. Prior to this, I completed an MSc in Water and Environmental Engineering (2008) at the University of Surrey. I also hold an MSc in Sustainable Development and Corporate Environmental Management (2006) from the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environmental Strategy. I completed my BSc degree in Natural Resources Engineering in my hometown of Iran in 2005.

During my time in higher education, I have maintained close ties with industrial partners such as SSE, Thames Water, Northern Powergrid as well as Governmental bodies and NGOs such as BEIS, MSF, and EWB.

My main interests are in paving the way towards the decarbonisation of the grid in the UK and training future engineers that can enable the transition to greener power generation and distribution in the UK. 

How to apply

I am not employed in the industry

The first step in joining our Degree Apprenticeship programme is to find and apply for a relevant job vacancy. All our current degree apprenticeship vacancies are listed below and are updated frequently. Please check back regularly for new vacancies.

Find out more about applying for degree apprenticeships

I am already employed in the industry

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.

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Information for employers

If you are an employer or you want to send information about this degree apprenticeship to your manager, take a look at the course page dedicated to employers

Register your interest