Foundation Apprenticeship
Mechanical Engineering SCQF Level 6

Combining work-based and classroom-based learning in Engineering.


Why take this course?

Engineering is a challenging, exciting and rewarding career that presents a wealth of opportunities for Scotland’s young people to enter a diverse and often unique field of work including research, design and development and manufacturing.The sector continues to expand and grow and the Scottish Government recognises the sector as one of the key economic priority areas for investment. Sectors include: 

  • Aerospace & Avionics Engineering, Design Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Health & Safety Engineering
  • Instrumentation & Control Systems Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Petroleum
  • Oil & Gas Engineering
  • Power Engineering
  • Production Engineering
  • Project Management Engineering
  • Quality Engineering
  • Research & Development Engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Telecoms
  • Digital Comms & Networks Engineering
  • Test Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering. 

Find out more about this course from Skills Development Scotland

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What you will experience

The Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering will commence at the start of S5 and continue through to the end of S6. Opportunities to engage with industry partners will be made available during the course. In S5 you will attend a College delivered course, either in College or school for the equivalent of one day per week and work towards gaining units for a National Certificate at SCQF Level 6 in Mechanical Engineering and participate in work related learning within the SVQ Performing Engineering Operations Level 2 (PEO 2). In S6 you will attend for the equivalent of two days per week and complete the National Certificate SCQF Level 6 in Mechanical Engineering.

Some of the units you will study include:

  • Engineering — Applying Information Technology
  • CAD for Engineers
  • Pneumatics and Hydraulics
  • Engineering Dynamics an Introduction
  • Engineering Dynamics
  • Statistics
  • CAD
  • Preparing and Using Lathes for Turning Operations

You will also complete five units within the SVQ Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) at SCQF Level 5 framework. In addition, during year 2 of the programme you will also undertake work–based learning, where you will particpate in work based learning with an industry partner. During that time you will develop essential skills for the workplace.

female behind engineering equipment

Key facts

Subject area

Entry requirements

This course is suited to school pupils who expect to continue at school until the end of S6 and who are on track to achieve passes in related National 5 awards in S4. Applicants should be expecting to achieve an A or B pass in National 5 Maths and will be expected to work towards Higher Maths in S5 or S6. Pupils would benefit from studying Higher Physics during S5 or S6, although this is not essential.

All applicants will be invited to an interview.

What you will need

You will be required to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) clothing including a boiler suit, safety glasses and safety footwear, such as boots or shoes with steel toe caps. This will be provided to Foundation Apprentices by the College.

For all construction and engineering courses it is necessary to wear PPE. You are not allowed into the workshops without PPE and will be returned to school and marked absent if you arrive without it.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to:

  • Be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Eating and drinking are not permitted in classrooms or workshops. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

At University

This course will prepare you to access a range of university degrees.


Successful completion of the Foundation Apprenticeship will prepare you for advanced entry to an associated Modern Apprenticeship.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.