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NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering

Since starting two years ago the Engineering course is now the most popular KS4 option choice at Trinity! The course offers a perfect balance of practical skills and theoretical knowledge.

This course is designed for learners who want an introduction to engineering that includes a vocational and project-based element. The qualification will appeal to learners who wish to pursue a career in the engineering sector or progress to further study.

The NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering complements GCSE qualifications. It is aimed at 14–16 year olds studying Key Stage 4 curriculum who are interested in the engineering industry. This qualification is designed to match the rigour and challenge of GCSE study. The qualification is graded Level 1 Pass/Merit/Distinction/Distinction* and Level 2 Pass/Merit/Distinction/Distinction* (equivalent to GCSE grades 8.5–1).

The VCERT qualification has been designed to sit alongside the requirements of core GCSE subjects and is appropriate for learners who are motivated and challenged by learning through hands-on experiences and through content which is concrete and directly related to those experiences.

The study of engineering is the application of maths and science to solve real world problems. This involves an understanding of the different disciplines of engineering and how they have shaped the products and projects of the modern world. Learners will be able to read technical drawings, select appropriate materials along with tools and machinery, and know how to carry out a practical task, working in a safe manner in line with current health and safety legislation.

The qualification focuses on an applied study of the engineering sector and learners will gain a broad understanding and knowledge of working in the sector.

What will the learner study as part of this qualification?

This qualification shows learners how to:

  • understand engineering disciplines
  • understand how science and maths are applied in engineering
  • understand how to read engineering drawings
  • understand properties and characteristics of engineering materials and know why specific materials are selected for engineering applications
  • understand engineering tools, equipment and machines
  • produce hand-drawn engineering drawings
  • produce Computer Aided Design (CADD) engineering drawings
  • demonstrate production planning techniques
  • demonstrate processing skills and techniques applied to materials for a manufacturing task
  • understand how to create, present and review art and design work


Qualification Structure

Qualification Number (QN)



Combined Level 1/2

Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

120 plus 1 hour 30 minutes’ external assessment

Unit 01

48 GLH

40% Weighting

Externally assessed:

written examination

(externally marked)

Unit grades: NYA, L1P, L1M, L1D, L2P, L2M, L2D

Unit 02

72 GLH

60% Weighting

Internally assessed:

synoptic project

(externally quality assured)

Unit grades: NYA, L1P, L1M, L1D, L2P, L2M, L2D


120 GLH


Overall qualification grades:

NYA, L1P, L1M, L1D, L1D*, L2P, L2M, L2D, L2D*


To achieve the NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Engineering, learners must successfully demonstrate their achievement across the assessment objectives of the units as detailed in this qualification specification. Learners must achieve a minimum of a Level 1 Pass in the internal and external assessment to achieve the overall qualification.

There are many reasons to study engineering!

Engineers are Prestigious

Being an engineer is an admired job title; those who don’t study the subject will be impressed when they hear it. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to qualify as an engineer, so respect from others tends to come naturally.

You’ll Achieve Professional Success

Even if you don’t enter a career in engineering, a qualification in the subject will set you up for professional success. Engineers have logical thinking, critical analysis and decision-making skills that are sought after by many professional careers.

Problem-Solving is a Skill

As an engineer, you’ll be able to count problem-solving as skill. Your training would have allowed you to acquire the skills and confidence needed to deal with all kinds of problems. In fact, you’ll probably start to view them as a challenge!

Financially Secure

As we mentioned, those with qualifications in engineering are likely to find professional success, whether they stay in the industry or not. Engineers are some of the highest-paid workers, with an average starting salary of around £26,000.

Contribute to Society

Engineers contribute to society and the world around them in their everyday lives. Ask your employers or teachers about their previous engineering work, you’re bound to notice the sheer pride they are feeling.