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A-Level Choices (Aeronautical Engineering)

Hey,

I'm currently undecided on what to chose for Aeronautical Engineering. I'm achieving grade 5s in my subjects, but unable to do A-Levels (Originally planned to do maths, physics and engineering) as I'm on foundation. I'm just having trouble deciding what to do.

I was going to take a BTEC in Aeronautical Engineering alongside Maths due to an exception from the college, but was wondering if to just do an apprenticeship as that's what my cousin did with British Airways, or look for a college that accepts A-Levels?

Is anyone able to give advice?

Thank you.
Original post by iambenji
Hey,

I'm currently undecided on what to chose for Aeronautical Engineering. I'm achieving grade 5s in my subjects, but unable to do A-Levels (Originally planned to do maths, physics and engineering) as I'm on foundation. I'm just having trouble deciding what to do.

I was going to take a BTEC in Aeronautical Engineering alongside Maths due to an exception from the college, but was wondering if to just do an apprenticeship as that's what my cousin did with British Airways, or look for a college that accepts A-Levels?

Is anyone able to give advice?

Thank you.


Hey :smile:

When would you be looking to start A-levels? I only ask as it's probably worth going to as many open days as possible - for both colleges and apprenticeships to ask the question and see what might be possible.

If you're struggling to get onto A-level courses then I'd say either the apprenticeship or BTEC are viable options. You might not have narrowed your focus down this far - but did you have a specific aeronautical company in mind that you wanted to work for, either as an apprentice or after college?
It depends what you want to do, because engineering apprenticeships cater to a different set of roles to those that the degree will open up. Both work on aerospace related technologies but at different parts of the technological lifecycle.

For an engineering degree I typically recommend maths, further maths & physics for A-level (from what ive seen BTECs don’t provide a strong level of maths & physics and is not ideal preparation for a B/MEng.

Realistically I think moving from grade 5s in GCSE to doing well in maths & physics at A-level will be very tough - id probably recommend the apprenticeship on the basis that there is a significant jump from GCSEs to A-levels then another difficulty jump from A-level to degree level engineering.
Reply 3
Original post by mnot
It depends what you want to do, because engineering apprenticeships cater to a different set of roles to those that the degree will open up. Both work on aerospace related technologies but at different parts of the technological lifecycle.

For an engineering degree I typically recommend maths, further maths & physics for A-level (from what ive seen BTECs don’t provide a strong level of maths & physics and is not ideal preparation for a B/MEng.

Realistically I think moving from grade 5s in GCSE to doing well in maths & physics at A-level will be very tough - id probably recommend the apprenticeship on the basis that there is a significant jump from GCSEs to A-levels then another difficulty jump from A-level to degree level engineering.


This was my issue with the BTEC not providing a strong enough level of preparation fora B/MEng, but I'm unable to do A-Levels due to foundation. Although, they're letting me do the BTEC alongside A-Level Maths as an exception which I could take.
Original post by iambenji
This was my issue with the BTEC not providing a strong enough level of preparation fora B/MEng, but I'm unable to do A-Levels due to foundation. Although, they're letting me do the BTEC alongside A-Level Maths as an exception which I could take.


Ultimately it is up to you to decide what best suits your future goals.

but strong maths skills (beyond A-level standards) are considered bread & butter skills of professional engineers and are essential to completing a degree in engineering.
Reply 5
Original post by mnot
Ultimately it is up to you to decide what best suits your future goals.

but strong maths skills (beyond A-level standards) are considered bread & butter skills of professional engineers and are essential to completing a degree in engineering.


I suppose it'll be best to take the BTEC alongside Maths then rather than an apprenticeship?
Reply 6
Original post by brainzistheword
Hey :smile:

When would you be looking to start A-levels? I only ask as it's probably worth going to as many open days as possible - for both colleges and apprenticeships to ask the question and see what might be possible.

If you're struggling to get onto A-level courses then I'd say either the apprenticeship or BTEC are viable options. You might not have narrowed your focus down this far - but did you have a specific aeronautical company in mind that you wanted to work for, either as an apprentice or after college?

Hi, very soon. I've gone to lots of colleges already and had a look around. I could do British Airways for the specific aeronautical company, or I could do the BTEC alongside Maths. I'm not sure which will set me up better.
Original post by iambenji
I suppose it'll be best to take the BTEC alongside Maths then rather than an apprenticeship?

It depends what your goals are… apprenticeships are excellent ways to break in & work on technology, the opportunities are just different to a degree pathway.
Original post by iambenji
Hi, very soon. I've gone to lots of colleges already and had a look around. I could do British Airways for the specific aeronautical company, or I could do the BTEC alongside Maths. I'm not sure which will set me up better.

I agree with mnot - it depends on your goals. I was in a different situation to you, but I opted for an engineering apprenticeship after my GCSEs where I did my Level 3 qualifications as part of it. Just this year I've had funding approved to start a degree with the same company. This, of course, will depend on the employer and various other factors, but there are definitely ways to make either pathway work - it just depends on what you want to get out of it (and how quickly you feel you want to do it too).
Reply 9
Original post by brainzistheword
I agree with mnot - it depends on your goals. I was in a different situation to you, but I opted for an engineering apprenticeship after my GCSEs where I did my Level 3 qualifications as part of it. Just this year I've had funding approved to start a degree with the same company. This, of course, will depend on the employer and various other factors, but there are definitely ways to make either pathway work - it just depends on what you want to get out of it (and how quickly you feel you want to do it too).


I really want to go to university to study AE for the physical engineering side of things like helping to build, design and test aircraft.

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