Preparing to study Engineering at University

The Ashbourne Engineering Programme (AEP) is designed to give students the best possible chance of gaining a place at a UK university to study Engineering.


The Programme has three primary aims: 

  1. To develop relevant skills that students can use at university, through group work, presentations, seminars, research and practical activities.
  2. To stimulate an interest in engineering and help students decide on which stream of engineering is most suitable for them.
  3. To enable students to build a strong application for university.

Students who wish to pursue a degree in Engineering at Ashbourne are automatically enrolled on to the programme at no extra cost. Undoubtedly, Engineering programmes at top universities are extremely competitive and require the ability to transform learned concepts into practical applications. The AEP is an avenue for students to hone their skills necessary to approach Engineering from both theoretical and practical perspectives. 

The AEP is run by George Kontos, one of our Computer Science teachers at Ashbourne. George gained a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Surrey and then a Master’s of Research in Computers from Sussex University. He went on to work in the computing industry for many years prior to becoming a teacher at Ashbourne.

AEP group projects

The students all undertake one large group project, the theme of which is negotiable and discussed with their tutor. The idea is to learn to work as a team, and take individual and collective responsibility for the project, just like in industry.

This year we have many options to choose from for a project. Some of these include bridge building, developing and designing medical emergency equipment, designing protection gear such as helmets and building incubators. However, the best projects arise  when students come up with their own suggestions and ideas for what they are passionate about. At Ashbourne we are keen on individuality and aiding students to reach their own full creative potential. 

Last  year, the AEP focused on a computer simulation of a satellite launch, a project which was suggested by one of the students. We built two different models for this on computer programs that produced launch and orbit graphics. We calculated many different launch trajectories and then tested these calculations on our simulators.

 Some other titles developed in our AEP include:

  • How the induction coil in electric cars works
  • The future of 3D printing
  • Alternative sources of energy
  • The engineering behind the fastest car in the world

We also encourage innovative thinking that keeps abreast with the latest advances in the field of science and technology.

Why study an Engineering Degree?

UK universities offer a huge variety of Engineering degree courses whose graduates are highly sought after both domestically and overseas. 

Engineering degrees allow students exposure to various technical subjects and transferable skills such as problem solving, decision-making, innovation, project management, team working, communication and written and presentation skills.

The starting salaries in engineering are among the best across all industry sectors. The demand for skilled graduates outstrips supply and businesses are struggling to find recruits for vacancies. Many graduate engineers also enter other competitive sectors like finance.

How to apply

Ashbourne’s A level courses, taken in conjunction with the AEP, offer outstanding opportunities for ambitious and hardworking students who will benefit from the individual support and choice we offer to help our students reach the highest grades.

For further information or to apply for a place on Ashbourne’s Engineering Programme please contact the college on 020 7937 3858 or email our Admissions team.

Why Choose Ashbourne College?
My time at Ashbourne was a fun and exciting experience. It had a very relaxed atmosphere which helped me settle in very well. The College’s approach to teaching in the classrooms was very different to traditional 6th form Colleges and a lot more informal which I believe was a great aid in developing my skills in independent study. During my time as a student at Ashbourne, I was passionate about physics and maths as well as music. My teachers and other staff members were very supportive of this and were an incredible assistance in helping me find an ideal course at university which catered to my interest. Thanks to Ashbourne I went on to do a joint degree in Physics and Music at Cardiff University. I graduated in 2018 and have remained at Cardiff to do a masters in Astrophysics.
AmyBSc in Physics and Music and MA in Astrophysics at Cardiff University
Has been given the opportunity to study in a focused and mature way and has thrived in that environment
I see Ashbourne as a place which I feel comfortable to express myself and it creates an environment that encourages me to develop as a leader. I am constantly looking for ways to improve. I am determined to continue to develop myself and I know that this is made more attainable with Ashbourne’s fantastic support and encouragement. I am very lucky to find myself at Ashbourne. It is a truly remarkable place to work.
Dennis FulcherHead of Multi-Media and Social Science Faculty