Topics studied

  • Maths: with an engineering based context
  • Science: with an engineering and manufacturing relevance.
  • Materials: including destructive and non-destructive testing and experimentation.
  • Engineering sectors and technologies
  • Graphics and CAD, including learning industrial software packages, such as Solidworks and Fusion 360.
  • Electronics, mechatronics and control systems.
  • Industry work practices, including health and safety, quality control, business and finance, continuous improvement and project management. Carried out though small projects and case studies, where possible.

Course delivery

Whilst the first year has two formal exams, we ensure that up to half the content has a practical, investigative or experimental content.

Some subjects, such as CAD, electronics or CNC, also involve learning specialist software to a level that many apprentices within a company may also experience.

There are around 21 lessons a week, studied on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being a day to seek employment, complete independent work on site, for example, making use of the workshop facilities for practical projects, or to be used for work experience opportunities.

In the second year, the exposure to the workshop and practical-based learning increases due to the nature of the specialism, and these are carried out though various mini projects.

The provision for the Engineering department is first-class. Much of the equipment was purchased with employer involvement, to ensure it is of industry standard, and we are fortunate enough to have staff who have the experience to ensure students will be able to access the full range of resources we have to offer, such as metal laser cutters, plasma cutters, 4 axis CNC mills, hydraulic notchers and a large range of specialist machining and fabrication equipment, which includes various types of welding equipment.

We have a large Engineering teaching body, with a wide range of background in Engineering specialisms, including specific industry experience. We also have at least 2 specialists in almost every topic area, which allow greater flexibility in timetabling. We have staff who have specialist backgrounds in Machining, CNC, Fabrication, Electronics, Graphics, Architecture and Industrial Design. Across the team, staff average over 15 years of experience in each topic. Some staff have individually had over 10 years experience in the industry, such as in Fabrication, CNC and Manufacturing.

Placement Overview

This course requires a minimum of 45 days of work experience, including:

  • up to 5 days of work readiness – including virtual work experience
  • 2 placements, of a minimum of 20 days each, after the Core 1 and 2 exams in the first year
  • 20 days of work experience taken at a bespoke stage during the second year

Placements are assessed via:

  • 3 meetings across the placement, with the company and teacher
  • a minimum of 2 on-site visits
  • a project set via consultation between the company and school

You will not just ‘work shadow’ during your placement, you will also have the chance to work on a live or ‘real’ project in the company, whilst working together with other members of staff. You may even have the opportunity to prove yourself further, through an apprenticeship training program.

We already have many strong partnerships between The Leigh UTC and local digital companies, so we have a vast experience of our students entering into employment via these companies. Having this current relationship with so many of the potential placements allows us to create a more bespoke and worthwhile placement than an unknown relationship may offer.  

Many of the companies we work with already employ several of our ex-students, and other, newer companies, have expressed how they may be looking to employ after successful placements, so this is an ideal opportunity to not just gain hands-on experience, but also gain potential employment at one of our placement companies.


The first year is assessed through 3 components:

  • 2 Core exams, worth 35% each.
    These cover a wide range of Engineering principles and consist of multiple choice, short, and long answer questions. These take place during module 6.
  • The final component is the employer-set project worth 30% of the course.
    This is a research and design controlled assessment, which includes CAD and an oral presentation of the design process. This takes place in module 4.

All assessments are externally assessed.

In the second year, the assessments take place through a series of ‘project’ tasks, that demonstrate knowledge, understanding and practical skills, developed through the specialism. The assessment takes place within a window that may begin from module 4 onwards.

Over the 2 years, a minimum of 45 days of work experience must be completed, in order to complete the course. 

Students will have the opportunity to retake Core 1 and 2 combined, the employer-set project, or both, in a module 2 or module 6 window of Y13.

Year 1 Core 1 

  • Unit 4 Maths
  • Unit 5 Science
  • Unit 7 Mechanical Science
  • Unit 6 Materials
  • Unit 8 Electronics
  • Unit 9 Mechatronics

    Year 1 Core 2 

  • Unit 1 1 Working within the engineering and manufacturing sectors
  • Unit 2 Engineering and manufacturing past, present, and future
  • Unit 3 Engineering representations
  • Unit 10 Engineering and manufacturing control systems
  • Unit 11 Quality management
  • Unit 12 Health and safety principles and coverage
  • Unit 13 Business, commercial and financial awareness
  • Unit 14 Professional responsibilities, attitudes, and behaviours
  • Unit 15 Stock and asset management
  • Unit 16 Continuous improvement
  • Unit 17 Project and programme management

Employer-Set Project

A 15.5 hour assessment through the following activities based on a given brief: Research, Report, Design and Presentation

Specialism – Machining and Toolmaking

Underpinning knowledge outcomes 

On completion of this specialism, learners will understand: 

  • Machining and toolmaking technologies knowledge criteria. 

Performance outcomes 

On completion of this specialism, learners will be able to: 

  • Analyse and interpret engineering and manufacturing requirements, systems, processes, technical drawings and specifications. 
  • Plan and prepare the relevant processes, tools, equipment, and resources, needed to produce relevant products and produce appropriate outcomes. 
  • Produce relevant products and outcomes, considering the specified requirements, context and materials, using the relevant machining and toolmaking technologies, methods and processes. 
  • Support the delivery (and management) of relevant projects and activities, helping to evaluate and review processes and outcomes, and to improve practices. 
  • Communicate production information, proposals and solutions, producing, recording and explaining relevant technical information, representations, processes and outcomes. 

Completion of this specialism will give learners the opportunity to develop their maths, English and digital skills

UCAS Grade Equivalents

  • Distinction* (A* in core / distinction in occupational specialism) – 168 UCAS / AAA* A Level
  • Distinction – 144 UCAS / AAA A Level
  • Merit – 120 UCAS / BBB A Level
  • Pass (C or above in core) – 96 UCAS / CCC A Level
  • Pass (D / E in core) – 72 UCAS / DDD A Level

Grading information

Year 1 includes Core 1 and 2 exams, which are assessed through written application of knowledge. This is through a range of multiple choice questions and short and long answer questions. The employer-set project focuses on research and report writing skills, along with designing, through hand drawn graphics and CAD skills.

Year 2 is assessed through a range of project-based tasks, which assess a wide range of practical-oriented skills and relevant knowledge.

Year one is assessed as a Grade A* to E.

Year two is assessed as a Grade Distinction to Pass.

Then, the following matrix is applied, to determine the overall grade.

Brief overview of grading system

Core Grade

Occupational Specialism Grade

Paper 1, 2 and ESP




























Revised grades in bold.

Key Information

Students studying the Engineering T Level will not just learn the theoretical knowledge of a range of Engineering principles, but will also develop a hands-on understanding of a wide range of topics. Our chosen specialism of machining and tool-making will allow students to have a specific focus in the development of skills in machining, such as:

  • turning, milling and drilling techniques
  • fabrication
  • CAD
  • electronics
  • CNC machining (including programming in G Codes for turning and milling)
  • use of specialist equipment such as plasma cutters and metal laser cutters
  • interpreting design drawings
  • designing jigs and fixtures
  • solving design and manufacturing problems
  • hand fitting methods of toolmaking

The specialist chosen, and the topics studied, have been specifically selected as they suit many of our local partners, and the context of the industry around us. The skillset learned on the course can be directly transferable to many other specialist fields of engineering, meaning that students do not only need to move into the field of manufacturing or engineering, but can also head into lots of other sectors, including construction or electronics.

Careers and progression

T level progression is suited to direct routes to employment, apprenticeships (included to our own internal program, in partnership with local employers) and university, including degree apprenticeships.

We are very fortunate to work with a wide range of companies who regularly employ directly from the Leigh UTC, including Coca Cola, SEM, Kenard, Texcel Technology, and a range of other business, who each have wider engineering sectors and are now beginning to offer careers routes through the introduction of the T levels, such as Conway and Thames Lower Crossing.

Due to the diversity of the Core content of the T level, and range of partner companies offering work experience, students could enter into pathways within various engineering sectors, such as:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Modern Technology
  • Water Systems and Plumbing
  • Energy Production and Supply

The T level Engineering course was designed with employers, therefore, the content has been specifically set to ensure students are fully prepared for entering the workplace. In year 1, students will have covered aspects of all of the engineering sectors, to help them make informed choices about their career progression. The employer-set project has been developed to ensure students have the skills needed to solve real industry problems that they may come across during future employment.

Working closely with our partners, we have also ensured that the content focus helps students to have not just a theoretical understanding of industry, but to have the skills to jump straight into active employment. Particular and regular feedback we get from employers is that our students are able to problem-solve, collaborate, present ideas competently, pick up and develop new skills, and that they have already arrived with a high level of understanding in skills within industry standard CAD, Machining and CNC manufacture, which are very uncommon from schools.

The placements that students undertake also directly develop their skills. They do not simply ‘work shadow’, but are made to feel like part of the employed staff team. This means they receive training, or have ‘real life’ projects that they work on, and the business and the UTC work closely to ensure that they develop both professionally, and learn the relevant skills for industry.

Students who complete a T level are ready for the workplace, and preparing students for their future is our focus.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at a minimum level of 5 including English and Maths. Students need not have studied Engineering before, but should have achieved a minimum of a level 5 in Science, or a related DT course, if not.

The specialism is very hands-on, and so students will be expected to have a very keen interest in developing practical skills, and a desire to work to a very high level of accuracy. There is sizable content in Electronics, CAD and CNC programming, and so students should be prepared to develop skills using various types of software.

This course is highly technical, across a wide range of Engineering topics, and so students will need a good standard of Maths and Science knowledge, in order to apply this across Core elements. A fair range of technical terminology is used, and so a good standard of English and report-writing skills are also essential.