Course Directory > Foundation Degrees > Foundation Degree in Engineering

Foundation Degree in Engineering

Qualification type: 
Higher Education
Subject area: 
Foundation Degrees
Advanced Learning Loans Eligible: 

What is the Foundation Degree in Engineering?

Delivered in our new state of the art Sonardyne building this is a three year course, leading to a Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Engineering awarded by the University of Portsmouth. Upon completion of the Foundation Degree you will have the opportunity to continue, via distance learning, to a full degree awarded by the University of Portsmouth.

The course is suitable for staff employed in engineering or related industries and takes place one day per week. Applications are encouraged from both newly employed individuals through to those with many years of service who wish to increase their level of qualification. 

You should have a level 3 qualification either  A Levels  (A-C Maths and Physics plus A-D in one other subject)  or a BTEC Extended Diploma in Engineering at DMM including Distinction grades in both Maths and Further Maths. GCSE grades C or above (or equivalent) in English and Maths are also required.  Applications from those with suitable industry experience will be welcomed in place of the above entry requirements.

An interview is required before you can enrol on this course.

Course topics

Topics covered will include

  • Mechanical principles
  • Electrical and electronic principles
  • Engineering mathematics
  • Engineering fabrication
  • Engineering science
  • Computer numerical control

Students will cover a broad base of subjects to include mechanical, digital/analogue electronics and control systems. Students will also be required to undertake their own project with supervision from the college.

Teaching and learning

The course is part time and students attend Alton College one day per week. Work based learning is encouraged in order to take advantage of industry placements. Other forms of teaching include formal lectures, group work individual projects and workshop tasks in our new Sonardyne Centre. 

Assessment details

Assessment is a combination of coursework and exams. You will need to complete four units each year equivalent to 80 credits per year. The coursework assessment takes a variety of different forms including case studies, reflective reports, essays, presentations and group work.


Students who complete this Foundation Degree could progress to a full Degree in Electronic Engineering or Mechanical Engineering through distance learning at the University of Portsmouth.

Course costs

Fees for new students starting in 2016-17 are £3,600 per year.


The External Examiner's report on Alton College's teaching of this course states:

“I felt that the student performance was generally very impressive, but it is clear that effective grading is taking place. Examples of student work were of a good standard, appropriately graded and helpful feedback had been given to the students. I felt that the physical model-pieces offered by the students from the CADCAM module were particularly impressive. I was also very pleased, if a little surprised to see that all student work had been double marked, a QA protocol which considerably exceeds the normal sampled moderation.” 

Students are entitled to view the whole report on request. 

For more information about the course, please visit the unistats website.

Unless your tutor informs you otherwise, classes will not be held on College closure days. Details regarding these dates can be found in the Adult Student Handbook or on the General Information page.