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    Hi,

    Could anyone tell me if they have or know of anyone who has done a BTEC ND Engineering and has then gone and done a foundation degree in engineering at uni, if so where at and with what grades.

    Any response would be great. Cheers.
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    Almost there, but I studied at an associate college of the University of Brighton (Northbrook College Sussex) which offered ND/and FdEng, previously HND/HNC in aero/auto subjects. and automotive/motor sport engineering. these courses have much lower entry requirements than typical University degrees and so the crowd represent, a wide group some very capable and interested, some looking for an easy way in.

    I did the FdEng along with ~13 other students, of which 1 left the course shortly after starting due to financial issues(foreign student), only 7 progressed to the second year(3 had <5% module results for maths and science - absolutely no academic grounding, i'm talking barely passing GCSE maths, but they had mechanic type "qualifications"), 1 re-took the year and later passed. of the 7 that did the second year, 2 distinctions, 1 merit(me, should have had a disctinction by anyones call, but some teachers were less professional than they would be at a proper university so "getting on their bad side" cost me). and 4 passes. Of this 7, 3 of us went on to University of Brighton to achieve a BSc Automotive engineering degree with honours. (all got a first, although the other two were bumped up from 69.05 and 69.55%), two of us won awards(me+1) for outstanding performance (best of all 3rd year engineering students, of around 80 students from mixed disciplines, mechanical, automotive, aeronautical, electrical etc.)

    of those that didn't continue to BSc:
    -A foreign student went back to Portugal to continue(he was already running beforehand) his business catering to the aftermarket tuning/ecu reprogramming market which he knew well, empowered with a little extra knowledge and experience.
    -two kinda bummed around for a year, with one currently being torn between developing a recent opportunity of a decent job at a gas/hydraulic/fluid flow type business and a place on his dream course, motorsport engineering at oxford brookes (his dream is to be an F1 race engineer, and i believe he probably will do {...eventually}), the others finally starting to apply for proper jobs and give it a go(hes pretty demon on CAD/FEA stuff)
    -One worked initially voluntarily, then part-time paid, and then full-time with a local engineering firm that deals with a wide range of engineering issues, primarily related to building engines, mixed between rare classic luxury and race engines (Bugattis, alfas, DFV cosworths etc.), powerboat/offshore race engines and some consultancy work with Ricardo's/MOD projects designing and making a fancy compact engine. He recently succesfully applied for and landed a job with McLaren building MP4-12C engines for production.

    Of us that continued, we've all done bloody well. two of us are a little more driven and experience (actually been working with useful part-time and voluntary work while in education, from mechanics, pit crew, test engineer etc.) (me and the other award winner).
    He applied for a job through a recruitment agency, Jonathan Lee recruitment and succesfully got a temp 6 month contract(first interview) (likely to be renewed of which hes currently about 3/7ths through (started like 10 days after finishing degree - before actually graduating) - as a test engineer for Castrol(BP) testing lubricants on various engines, light and heavy duty, gasoline and diesel.

    I've applied for hundreds of jobs in a variety of areas/industries from F1 teams (some positions don't require direct experience so are worth a shot), McLaren, BP, Rolls Royce, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Parker-hannifin, Aero Engine Controls(AEC-joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Goodrich). over a variety of role levels from technician/assembly type jobs, to graduate schemes, to test/analysis engineers, data analyst etc. with salary expectations between 17 and 35k. had about 8 interviews (two at a Ford). Recieved two job offers and a was progressing through the Parker application process but had to decline to not lose out on other offers.
    had to chose between:
    23k pa starting permanent employment with AEC as a graduate mechanical engineer based in the design analysis department, with typical graduate scheme levels of HR support and opportunities for department switches If I/we feel the need (Birmingham)
    33K pa contract temp 9 month initial contract as a development engineer for Ford Powertrain performance and efficiency department(Dunton, Essex).

    I chose AEC (didn't help that the Ford offer came back the weekend I was moving to Birmingham), but with the level of work done in stress analysis of Aero engine components I think i'm in a good place. started last Monday, and think i'll be here a few years. They strongly encourage professional registration and certification as CEng, which normally requires a MSc/MEng, but due to the highly technical and wide reaching effects of design/stress analysis an individual assessment might get me accredited based on work here, if not they offer a part-time MSc in gas-turbine technology (or controls or something, 4 year course) while working with them, funded of course (provided you don't leave straight after) so odds are i'll end up chartered in <5 years.

    the other, who was by far the worst student, but got it together in the last few months to scrape (with some bumping up) a first. but who generally is so less skilled/knowledgable w.r.t engineering, industry etc. and objectively I would not have employed him if he was against two of the better FdEng candidates. Has nonetheless managed to land a pretty sweet gig, working for Jaguar in a test engineer/design engineer type crossover function of some sort (no-one even he knows yet) although again on a temp 6 month contract, which honestly knowing him is a mountain load of work to even jest at getting that renewed/extended)

    Also, at the college we studied there were a fair few ND students that had their head together, I believe two of them got onto the second year of a motorsport engineering course at Hertfordshire Uni, may have only been first year but either way, they've managed to rack up some useful experience as mechanics/technicians/race engineer type roles within motor sport and will likely end up at Le Mans/F1/WRC eventually. (perhaps even one of the ones without a BSc or FdEng (getting a lot of experience, step-by-step, generally voluntarily or lowly paid).

    So basically. with an ND, FdEng or foundation course getting you onto a serious degree(or not) you'll be alright. you'll likely manage straight entry to a full on BSc/BEng (or perhaps MEng if so inclined/achieing well in your first year) with just the ND sans FdEng if so inclined. but an FdEng and some hard work is a good route to take, as if you don't feel the full academic route is for you after two years you walk away with something useful, and get the option of moving around for the BSc/BEng optins after two years if you want to. Personally the University of Brighton I went to, despite the typical much larger class/lecture sizes and generally less personal tuition was managed and taught much better/more organised and more enjoyable.

    However be warned, in engineering at above ND level(any degree level) you need to be good with/capable of getting your head around the Maths and Science. one of the good BSc guys that went the whole way was by his own admission absolutely useless at the beginning w.r.t. to maths and science, but got busy with self-teaching and another had an occasional personal-tutor give them additional help at home. Personally and 2 of the other FdEng crew had completed AS/A2 level maths (I had A2, the others AS) so the maths was fairly simple, it doesn't get substantially more difficult than A-level maths, just different and more complex applications of parts of the theory. and don't worry eventually you won't be doing much maths on paper, it'll be Excel, MathCAD or matlab type stuff which means you just need to understand and apply the theory and let the computer smooth things over telling you when you've used the wrong context lol.

    good luck
 
 
 
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