Ashbourne Engineering Programme
Ashbourne College runs the Ashbourne Engineering Programme (AEP), a highly successful specialist course for students wishing to study engineering at university. The programme builds on many years of impressive results and focuses on enabling students to make the best possible applications to University Engineering departments. Through group project work and a series of seminars, the programme gives A level students a range of valuable and relevant experiences, as well as providing them with the most up-to-date information about their chosen course and profession. In the process students gain insights that help them both to write strong personal statements and to make the best decisions about their future.
The programme is also designed to help students to develop skills that will help them once they have actually begun their Engineering degree. The group projects allow the students to develop teamwork skills, time management, effective communication and the ability to make a presentation. The students are also helped to become better organisers and to approach their prospective degrees with confidence. The Engineering Programme complements the College’s A level teaching and the goal is to meet at least twice every half-term.
In the first half-term period (Sept–Oct), the students involved will be briefed in the initial seminar about what an Engineering course entails. Many A level students do not really know what Engineering is; so as well as discussing the different streams of Engineering, the programme clarifies what the students are getting into and whether it really is for them.
The students will also of course be introduced to the structure of our Engineering Programme and to what they should be doing throughout the year. This phase of the programme will also consider how to prepare the students for UCAS applications, as well as starting the students on a supervised group project.
The second half-term (Oct–Dec) provides an opportunity to develop their respective group projects. At the end of the second half-term, in December, the participants make a presentation of their projects. The second half-term also involves one fun activity, to be decided during the course of the programme.
For the third period (Jan–Mar), the students will be expected to write a report, submitted at the end of the term, which will be largely based on their project. This exercise is aimed at developing the writing skills of the students in a way that is appropriate to the prospective study of Engineering. There is one more meeting during the term, and another fun activity is scheduled as well. Finally, the programme guides students towards the kind of vocational summer experiences that greatly strengthen any application for an Engineering course.