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 is run by Sean Pillai, Deputy Head of Sixth Form and Maths teacher, who runs weekly engineering sessions involving seminars, talks, group projects and activities. Students benefit from his expertise and experience in these sessions as well as his guidance throughout their UCAS application process.


The Programme provides students with the most up-to-date information about their chosen course and profession. In the process they gain insights that help them write strong personal statements and to make the best decisions about their future. The Programme also helps develop skills that students will need during their Engineering degree including teamworking, time management, effective communication and giving successful presentations. Students become better organisers and approach their prospective degrees with confidence.

How the AEP works

In the first half-term period (Sept–Oct), students learn what an Engineering course really 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 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 focus on how to prepare for UCAS applications, as well as beginning a supervised group project.

The second half-term (Oct–Dec) provides students with the 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 next period (Jan–Mar), 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.

Ashbourne’s A level courses, taken in conjunction with the Programme, 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.

How to apply

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?
I was drawn to apply to Ashbourne at first based on their phenomenal reputation in the UK, but the reality far exceeded my expectations… No single teacher had the same approach to teaching a subject, which was much more refreshing than the standard lecture & questions approach. From team quizzes during revision period, to weekly workbooks matching the syllabus – the organisation and creativity of my tutors really helped the content stick in my head, which made revision easier when exams came around. My personal tutor was extremely supportive throughout my UCAS application. He would reply emails near instantly if I had any questions, be on hand for regular support when I needed it and loaned me materials to read directly related to my chosen course – Law. Albeit slightly frustrating with the constant tweaking required to my personal statement every week, this was more of a fine tuning process as he would not stop until he knew my personal statement was as perfect as it could be, and I am very grateful for his determination! The hard work and determination required of you at Ashbourne really set me up for life at university as I knew what I had to do to stay ahead and still even applied revision tactics and tips from Ashbourne tutors to my final year of my law degree
NatashaLaw at Queen Mary (University of London); Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP Law School
Our grandson was very ready to make a huge step from recluse, out­ of ­step with his age group, not knowing what to do with himself or how to relate to others, many of whom he found terrifying. He found travelling on the tube terrifying and trusted few people. Ashbourne has never pushed him too hard but has always encouraged every step he has taken towards what was sometimes a big risk for him. He has learned to respect himself as a learner, to be realistic about his strengths and what he finds difficult, and is learning what to do about the things he finds difficult. He is becoming sociable, well­ informed good company, smiles 100% more than he did and travels to and from Ashbourne by tube without a qualm. He is punctual (or sends a message if held up). He is learning to trust the many good people he now recognises as on his side. He is very aware of how much Ashbourne has contributed to these huge changes and is looking forward to trying out University in September, becoming a student, knowing lots of other people will arrive by different routes. A real success story/work in progress. Thank you Ashbourne
Ashbourne is a wonderful place to teach and an even better place to study. The staff treat the students as adults and the mutual respect results in a relaxed university approach to study. Teaching classes that only have a max of 10 allows for individual tuition and greater differentiation within the groups helping the students grow in confidence and develop a love for their subjects. I really like the fact that students are encouraged to refer to their tutors by their first name and feel that this breaks down tutor/student boundaries and means that the students are confident in asking for help. Brilliant students, brilliant tutors, great place to work
Rachel TeasdaleFormer Head of GCSE and Biology Teacher