Cranfield University has partnered with BAE Systems to boost Britain’s engineering skills through a postgraduate engineering apprenticeship programme, following the recent publication of the Postgraduate Engineer Apprenticeship Standard, which will provide learners with a valuable master's-level qualification in addition to valuable hands-on work experience.

After joining the level 7 postgraduate apprenticeship in September 2017, a cohort of 76 engineers from BAE Systems will begin the academic element of the apprenticeship programme this month, undertaking modules including design-driven innovation, operations management and cost engineering. Modules will be carried out alongside the Graduate Engineers’ day-to-day roles within the business.

Teaching of the modules will be delivered entirely online, through a combination of interactive video sessions with Cranfield’s academics and remote online learning platforms, to provide the graduate engineers with the flexibility to study and acquire a masters-level qualification without taking time out from work. On successful completion, the apprentices will obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Competence - a milestone in their route to reaching Chartered Engineering (CEng) accreditation.

Professor Rajkumar Roy, Director of Manufacturing at Cranfield University, said: “This innovative programme further strengthens Cranfield’s master's-level apprenticeship offering. Through online delivery, engineers will be able to study through both live interactive and ‘on-demand’ sessions. Working in partnership with BAE Systems allows us to tailor our educational programme to meet the needs of engineers and industry.”

Richard Hamer, Director of Education and Skills at BAE Systems, said: “We’re very excited to be the trailblazer for this new qualification and we’re delighted that our graduate engineers are able to partner with such a prestigious institution as Cranfield. As part of our ongoing commitment to nurture talent and high-end skills, the postgraduate diploma in engineering competence will allow our graduate engineers to apply their learning in a work-based context, with the assessment focused on competency rather than academic ability.”

Cranfield University is one of only five UK universities to have a strategic partnership with BAE Systems and is the first university in England to deliver Masters level apprenticeships.

Rebecca Jaggon, 22, and Christian Balan, 24, are among the first students to start the level 7 postgraduate apprenticeship at BAE Systems.

Rebecca Jaggon, Graduate Systems Engineer in Electronic Systems at BAE Systems, said: “I had just finished a graduate scheme within Electronic Systems when I heard about the postgraduate opportunity with Cranfield University and was thrilled, as I was interested in completing another qualification but didn’t want to take time out of work to study. The new programme offers the best of both, as the virtual learning programmes and lectures offer the flexibility to study outside of working hours, while also enabling me to directly apply that knowledge to my day-to-day role within Electronic Systems at BAE Systems.”

Christian Balan, Aircraft Maintenance and Support graduate in Military Air and Information (MA&I) at BAE Systems, said: “Having already completed a master's in engineering at Imperial University in London, I was looking for something that would further develop and hone my skills and acquire a CEng accreditation. The postgraduate apprenticeship scheme with BAE Systems and Cranfield immediately felt like the right fit for me, offering a wider variety of modules and learning opportunities, while still allowing me to carry out my current role within MA&I. The modules available to me will also help bring me closer to my ultimate goal of securing a chief engineering qualification with the Royal Aeronautical Society, for which you need to demonstrate a broad range of skills and knowledge – not just technical, but soft skills too – and this will help me tick a lot of these boxes.”

Visit the Postgraduate Engineer Apprenticeship course page to find out more – next intake is March 2018 (open to all organisations).

Visit our Cranfield Masterships® pages for details of all our master’s level apprenticeship opportunities, including how to apply.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Manufacturing at Cranfield

We provide world-class and niche research, education, training and consultancy in manufacturing and play a key role in ensuring that the UK remains at the cutting edge of manufacturing research.

We are unique in our multi-disciplinary approach by bringing together design, technology and management insight. We are a driving force for both the rapid growth of established areas of manufacturing expertise and the development of new research areas.

Research partnerships are undertaken with more than 500 organisations of all sizes and disciplines and industry advisory panels ensure our graduates move seamlessly from the academic world into the world of work and provide skills the sector needs.

Our world-class facilities include the Ultra Precision Machining Laboratory, which houses a range of ultra-precision diamond turning machines and is the UK's national facility for large x-ray optics manufacture.