Level 3 National Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering (QCF)

The Level 3 National Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering forms part of our Advanced Apprenticeship Programme and looks to provide you with the core skills and knowledge required to work as an aircraft fitter or unlicensed engineer in the aviation industry. Equivalent to two A-Levels this programme gives you the fantastic opportunity to learn about various aircraft topics including aircraft systems, materials and hardware, hydraulics, propulsion to position you well for a successful career in aerospace.

Entry Requirements

This course is offered as part of our Apprenticeship programme and is open to Marshall Apprentices and trainees from other companies within the aerospace sector. The entry requirement is 5 GCSE grades A* to C which must include English Language, Mathematics (higher paper) and Science.  Enrolment on the course is subject to interview and assessment.

About the course

Accredited by BTEC this level 3 QCF qualification is an essential part of our apprenticeship framework.  It is designed to provide a highly specialised work related qualification in a vocational setting.

The BTEC National in Aeronautical Engineering has been developed in the engineering sector to:

  • give education and training for employees in the aeronautical engineering industries
  • give opportunities for employees in the aeronautical engineering sector to achieve a nationally recognised Level 3 vocationally-specific qualification
  • give full-time learners the opportunity to enter employment in the aeronautical engineering sector or to progress to vocational qualifications such as the Edexcel BTEC Higher Nationals in Aerospace Engineering
  • give learners the opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life

The course consists of units which have a credit value that when combined gives a total of 120 credits to achieve the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering.  Students will take mandatory, and pre-selected units and optional units that reflect the requirements of their future role within the industry.

Subjects Covered

Year 1 Avionic/Electrical Mechanical
Mathematics for Technicians Mandatory
Theory of Flight Mandatory
Principles and Applications of Aircraft Mechanical Science Mandatory
Electrical and Electronic Principles Required
Aircraft Materials and Hardware Required
Aircraft Computers and Electronic Systems Required N/A
Gas Turbine Engines N/A Required
Year 2 Avionic/Electrical Mechanical
Engineering Project Mandatory
Aircraft Maintenance Practices Required
Aircraft Hydraulic Systems N/A Required
Aircraft Propulsion Systems N/A Required
Airframe Systems N/A Required
Electrical Systems Required N/A
Instrument and Indicating Required N/A
Avionic Systems Required N/A


All units are assignment based and a strict set of grading criteria is used to give an overall summative unit grade of pass, merit or distinction.  BTEC rules apply.

Functional skills are practical skills in English, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Mathematics that allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in life. The Apprentice Training Manager will discuss the most appropriate Functional Skill for each student.


This qualification forms the underpinning knowledge element towards achievement of the Apprenticeship framework.

Course Info

Aeronautical Engineering
2 years
Part time (1 day per week)
AeroAcademy Cambridge (Green House Farm Campus)
Part of apprenticeship programme


If you are interested in this course, please press the 'Apply Now' button to send us your contact details.

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* Please note that pressing this button does not complete the application process.

It was great studying at a company which is well known in the industry for training and aircraft engineering. I enjoyed being in small classes and having access to industry on site.
Anna Davanzo, Design Engineer - Foundation Degree in Aerospace Engineering (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Foundation Degree?

Foundation Degrees are higher education qualifications which combine practical work-based learning with academic study.

Foundation Degrees are developed directly with employers. They provide the work skills relevant to a particular sector of industry or public service, and are an excellent way to combine critical thinking and academic skills with practical experience.

When you successfully complete your Foundation Degree you can use the letters FdEng for engineering courses.

How is Foundation Degree connected to an undergraduate degree?

A Foundation Degree is a higher education qualification in its own right. In addition, it is also equivalent to the first two years at university, and there is an option to extend the qualification into a full honours degree.

What qualifications do I need to take a Foundation Degree/Certificate?

Applicants to Foundation Degrees will be expected to have three passes at GCSE grade C or above (including Mathematics and English)and have a minimum of 1 x 6 unit award, including A Levels or vocational equivalents, such as AVCEs / GNVQs, or NVQ Level 3.Entry requirements will be listed within the relevant course information.

How long does it take to study for a Foundation Degree?

You will study for a Foundation Degree full-time, which takes two years to complete.

Where would I study the Foundation Degree?

You would be studying for your Foundation Degree at the AeroAcademy which is part of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group located at Cambridge International Airport.

How do I apply for a Foundation Degree?

To apply for a Foundation Degree you must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Applications for this course should be submitted via UCAS (Institution code K84, course codes H403 and H411).