Getting round pegs into round holes: getting students onto the right engineering programme

M.D. Peters*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


    Aston University offers a Foundation year in Engineering and Applied Science. The purpose of this programme is to prepare people with the necessary skills and knowledge required to enrol on an undergraduate programme in Engineering and Applied Science. It is acknowledged there are many misconceptions as to what engineering is. This is further compounded by the lack of knowledge of the different engineering disciplines both by pre-university students and careers teachers [1]. In order to ameliorate this lack of knowledge, Aston University offers a unique programme where students are given the opportunity to have a ?taste? of four Engineering Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Computer Science. Alongside these ?taster? sessions, the students study a Professional Skills module where they are expected to keep a portfolio of skills. In their portfolios they comment on their strengths and weakness in relation to six skill areas: independent enquirer, self-manager, effective participator, creative thinker, reflective learner and team worker. The portfolio gives them the opportunity to perform a self-skills audit and identify areas where they have strengths and areas which require work to improve to become a competent professional engineer. They also have talks from engineers who discuss with them their careers and the different aspects of engineering. The purpose of the ?taster? sessions, portfolio and the talks are to encourage the students to critically examine their career aspirations and choose an engineering undergraduate programme which best suits their ambitions and potential skills. The feedback from students has been very positive. The ?taster? sessions have enabled them to make an informed choice as to the undergraduate programme they would like to study. The programme has given them the technical skills and knowledge to enrol on an undergraduate programme and also the skills and knowledge to be a successful learner.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd SEFI Annual Conference 2015 - diversity in engineering education
    Subtitle of host publicationan opportunity to face the new trends of engineering, SEFI 2015
    PublisherSociété Eropéenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs
    ISBN (Print)978-2-87352-012-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event43rd SEFI Annual Conference 2015 - Orleans, France
    Duration: 29 Jun 20152 Jul 2015


    Conference43rd SEFI Annual Conference 2015
    Abbreviated titleSEFI 2015


    • peer assessment
    • portfolio
    • reflection


    Dive into the research topics of 'Getting round pegs into round holes: getting students onto the right engineering programme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • 43rd SEFI Annual Conference 2015

      Michael Peters (Speaker)

      29 Jun 20154 Jul 2015

      Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Cite this