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Foundation Degree in Mechanical Design and Manufacture

Level 4-5
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
Full-time: Two years; Part-time: Three years

If you have a passion for all things mechanical and a drive to make things work, then our Foundation Degree in Mechanical Design and Manufacture is here to teach you the theoretical knowledge and technical skills that you’ll need, in order to take your career aspirations to the next level. Comprising a broad range of industry-specific learning modules; the content has been designed to meet the exacting requirements of the engineering sector of today. This course will help you to develop a host of essential skills, and expand your industry-specific knowledge, in areas as diverse as analytical methods and engineering materials, right through to advanced CAD techniques and engineering science. You’ll also be taught a range of transferrable skills to improve your future employability. And, when you combine that with our strong professional links with key engineering industry employers, we can provide you with the tools you need to create your ideal future. This advanced technical programme leads to a nationally-recognised FdSc qualification - highly respected in its own right – but can also open the door to Honours Degree-level study; or provide you with the precise skills and technical knowledge needed to progress directly to a fascinating and rewarding career.

Successful completion of this course could enable you to progress to the University of Plymouth’s BSc (Hons) Mechanical Design and Manufacture degree programme.


You’ll study a number of modules that are essential to the engineering sector. These can either be studied in two years for full-time students, or spread over three years for those studying part-time. The modules are designed to provide you with a firm base of understanding, to allow you to advance to Honours Degree-level study and qualifications, or progress directly to employment.

The course modules you’ll study include:

Analytical Methods: Focussing on the mathematical strategies and processes involved in solving a wide range of engineering problems, to enable you to:
- Develop an appreciation of the need for accurate analysis of engineering problems
- Improve your confidence and competence in the use of numerical and analytical techniques
- Be motivated to use mathematics software packages for engineering solutions

Engineering Science: Providing an introduction to solid mechanics and energy systems, to enable you to:
- Develop a sound understanding of the effects of forces and moments on the design of machine or structural elements
- Understand the fundamentals of stress, strain, and linear elasticity
- Analyse and evaluate the use of the prismatic bar as a structural element
- Gain knowledge of kinematics, dynamics and energy systems

Engineering Materials: An introduction to the properties, characteristics, uses, and types of materials used in engineering, to enable you to:
- Develop an appreciation of different types of materials
- Understand the effect the processing method will have on the properties and service life of a material
- Gain an understanding of the basic structure of materials and how this relates to mechanical properties
- Understand how the properties of a material can be measured and changed

Developing Graduate Skills: This module is designed to develop the qualities and transferable skills you’ll need for appropriate academic work and employment. This includes the exercising of responsibility and decision making, and displaying the ability to relate your professional practice to underlying theory and principles.

Organisational Behaviour: This module considers how organisational behaviour and attitudes influence the behaviour of individuals and groups at work. You’ll learn and utilise a range of theories and managerial approaches, to analyse and explain human behaviour at work. The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the theory behind how organisations manage employees, in order to achieve a range of managerial objectives.

Advanced CAD Techniques: Exploring both 2D and 3D modelling skills, and the use of computer simulation in support of engineering tasks, to enable you to:
- Evaluate the differences between 2D drawing, wire-frame, surface and solid modelling techniques, and their relationship to the manufacturing process
- Develop the skills necessary to produce models in the development of a design brief
- Develop the skills necessary to produce visualisations
- Investigate the use of simulation software
You’ll be assessed via a combination of assignments, in-course assessments, coursework, industry project work, and end-of-module formal examinations.
Four GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above

You’ll need four GCSEs (or equivalent qualifications) at grade C/4 or above, including Maths and English at a minimum of grade C/4.

You’ll also require 64 UCAS points for admission on to this course, this equates to the following:
Merit/Merit at National Diploma level
Merit/Merit/Pass at Extended Diploma level
A-Level equivalents in a related subject

Mature learners will be subject to an interview prior to entry; where any related experience will be taken into consideration.
Successfully completing this course could lead directly to a career in the engineering sector; or could even allow you to progress to the University of Plymouth’s BSc (Hons) Mechanical Design and Manufacture degree programme.
You will be based at Petroc’s state-of-the-art Institute of Technology; providing industry-standard facilities and equipment, for the study of both Digital Science and Engineering.

Our newly-developed South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT) has been created as part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) £170 million investment, to establish a network of technology institutes across the country.

In addition to our purpose-built facilities, our industrial partners have given us the benefit of their expertise, so that the specialist equipment we have installed is of the highest professional quality, and is at the cutting edge of current industry-standard specifications.

The Engineering facility will house clean room fabrication capabilities; electronics design, manufacture and testing laboratories; additive technologies (3D); and production robotics.

The Digital Science suite contains a bespoke area for developing virtual environments; a large space for drone experimentation; and the latest specification networking, software, and data engineering facilities.

Petroc’s dedicated SWIoT building also has a large, welcoming social space, in which you can work and relax, while enjoying excellent connectivity.
You’ll need a portable USB/memory stick for storing your work, and we also advise you to purchase a Casio 991ES Plus calculator.
You’re advised to check the course required-reading lists provided, prior to starting.
Please contact the HE Team on 01271 852335 for more information.