23 Jul 2024


Course will top up HNCs/HNDs to a manufacturing degree

The manufacturing systems top-up degree is intended to be a shot-in-the-arm for upskilling in the sctor

Siemens has teamed up with Liverpool’s John Moores University to launch a top-up degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, aimed at engineering professionals who want to upgrade their existing HNC/HND certificates or diplomas to gain new skills and experience, and to study to a degree level.

“With this partnership, we are extending our reach to those who may have missed out on the full-time university experience,” explains Dr Rob Darlington, programme leader at the University. “At the end of the one year, the cohort of students will have the same degree as any other student.

“The course will give the students an opportunity to put perspective on what they know practically, but with a much better understanding and knowledge of theory,” he adds.

Many apprentices and technical employees in UK SMEs and larger manufacturers want to upskill. The year-long top-up course could lead to them being awarded a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) honours degree. The flexible programme is intended to meet industry’s needs and to minimise the amount of time that the candidates need to take off from work.

The course’s two modules will focus on manufacturing systems and industrial management, with 20 credits for each. These modules will be combined with Siemens-approved PLC programmer certification. Siemens has developed content for the course which will be delivered through its Sitrain digital industry academy, which it set up to meet the skills needs of the manufacturing sector.

Jason Phin, Siemens Digital Industries’ training solutions business manager, points out that “there is a need to revitalise the [manufacturing] workforce with digital and updated technology skill-set. The pandemic threw a curve ball where [the sector] experienced a huge shortage and the need to upskill existing employees was heightened. The programme is open to anyone with a relevant HNC/HND and we will also take into account recognition of prior learning (RPL) or accreditation of prior learning (APL).”

The degree, which has been created according to requirements of UK-Spec, will accept applications from its first candidates in July. They will start their course in October 2022.

In 2017, Siemens launched a programme with University of Salford offering a degree in Control and Automation. To date, 79 students have graduated from this programme.

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