BTEC Level 1 Diploma

Type of study
Examination board


This course is ideal if you are passionate about engineering. You will find out about the different jobs within the industry and gain introductory skills across a broad range of engineering tasks. This course blends theory with practical assignments.

You will study multiple units on this course. These include safety in the workplace, technical drawing, the use of hand tools, electronic assembly, wiring circuits, drilling, machinery and more.

You will be taught in small groups in the classroom and in our workshops.

Successful completion of this course, along with 4 other areas of achievement, will mean that you can apply to advance onto the BTEC Level 2 Engineering.

Availability & Details

Engineering, BTEC Level 1 Diploma HSDC-SD-TN2PE

HSDC South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2017-18 (1 year)
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You must have four GCSEs at grade E, including Maths and English Language and Science. You will be interviewed by an engineering lecturer to gauge your interest in Engineering.

The course is divided into the following nine units:

  • Starting work in Engineering – You will research various different occupations, working hours, salaries and conditions to help you  make realistic decisions regarding your future
  • Interpreting and using engineering information – This is a Level 2 Unit where it is possible to achieve Merits and Distinctions. You will learn how to draw in 5 different formats using paper and pencil to ultimately create a set of working engineering drawings
  • Working safely in an engineering environment – You will carry out risk assessments and have a thorough understanding of safety in the workplace
  • Developing skills in making engineering components using hand tools – You will learn the skills of making items from engineering drawings through marking out and use of hand tools
  • Developing skills in electronic assembly – There are two electronic units to be built and evaluated
  • Developing skills in wiring electrical circuits – One circuit to be built with lights and buzzers
  • Developing skills in using a bench/pedestal drill – Consists of manufacturing components to tolerance from engineering drawings, the skills will be in drilling
  • Developing skills in planning and making a machined product – Consists of manufacturing components to tolerance from engineering drawings, the skills will be in turning and milling
  • Marking out – This is a Level 2 unit where merits and distinctions could be achieved

All students will have to re-take GCSE English or/and maths alongside your main engineering course.

These units will give you a good introduction into engineering and help you to gain new skills, such as using traditional workshop machinery.

Students are expected to complete five hours of homework per week.

You will be taught by engineering lecturers in a group no bigger than 18. These lessons will either be in the classroom completing written work or in the workshop where you will make and machine components. The workshop activities involve hand fitting skills, such as sheet metal work, using lathes and milling machines. You will also build basic electronic circuit boards.

You will be assessed on a constant basis throughout the course. You will build up a portfolio of evidence which your lecturer will check and guide you through. The evidence you need to produce will be either written work, drawings or practical work.

Boots and overalls must be purchased before work commences in the workshop, this can be purchased through the college on enrolment or through your own supplier. Approximately £25 for both.

Contact us

I overcame a couple of barriers by working really hard to get the top grades. My experience was really good, with the course and the lecturers, the residentials and activities, together it was all really good. I had really great teaching support, I could always go to the lecturers and speak to them if I needed to.

David Stenning, Public Services student

I got into both of the Universities I wanted to. It happens so fast and it’s an amazing feeling when you think that all of the work you’ve done has paid off in the best way possible.

Anton Sukhorukov, A Level student

My experience at South Downs was enjoyable and productive, with thoroughly helpful people surrounding you, an excellent experience. I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was, with the work shop time and experience I had, it was a great two years preparing me for the next stage.

Edward Smith, BTEC student


Successful students may advance to a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Engineering, or to a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering at Level 2. Progression to Level 2 will depend on your attendance, Level 1 results, no discipline issues and GCSE grade.
Alternative courses are available within the college if you decide that Engineering is not for you after the first year.


CNC operator
CNC programmer
Maintenance Engineer
Production Engineer
Project Engineer
General fitter and turner
Electrical technician
Electrical Engineer

What to do next

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