Space Technologies Qualification Opens at University Centre Truro & Penwith

5th Sep 2022
Space Technologies Qualification Opens at University Centre Truro & Penwith

The demand for trained staff in the space industry is due to grow in future years. Projects like the Goonhilly Earth Station, and the variety of space companies growing in the UK evidence a rapidly growing industry.

The University Centre Truro and Penwith is aiming to help provide a pathway for passionate and aspiring students to work in the space industry. The university is partnering with Pearson, the awarding body, to develop a new qualification. The team will launch a new undergraduate-level higher national qualification this year.

Goonhilly Earth Station and Spaceport Cornwall already support the project. The Open University, the University of Leicester, Airbus, and the UK Space Agency also put themselves behind it.

Opportunities Abound

With modules focusing on engineering as well as manufacturing, mission control, and communications, the course focuses on offering students the chance to gain foundational knowledge of many different aspects of space and the space industry, with a view to specialising later through further education or apprenticeship schemes.

As explained by The Uni Guide, “The HND offers students a broad introduction to the subject area via a mandatory core of learning, while allowing for the acquisition of some space sector-specific skills and experience through the specialist units and self-directed research project. This effectively continues to build underpinning core and specialist skills while preparing the student for more intense subject specialisation at Level 6.”

Upon completion, learners choose to go on to study a BEng or Meng in related subjects such as Space Systems or Aerospace Engineering, offered at a variety of UK universities.

Space Technologies qualification opening doors on its own

Graduates from the course do not necessarily have to advance to further education. This is not just a gateway course, and it offers people the chance to go straight into employment. Roles such as propulsion engineering technician and satellite manufacturing roles become accessible after completing the course. 

Given the demand for employees, companies such as Airbus now offer placements and internships that those achieving this HNC/HND will find themselves well positioned.

New rooms for new courses

The grounds for the course match the high technology subject matter. The South West Institute of Technology at Truro College hosts the newly built Valency building in which the university holds the classes.

Dr Heidi Thiemann, co-led the qualification team. She spoke about the offering and what it means for aspiring space professionals. “We are thrilled to have partnered with Pearson and a large number of institutions and NGOs, including the UK Space Agency in the development of this University Level qualification that has been part-funded by the Smart Specialisation Business Needs through Higher Level Skills (SS HLS) project.

“Students are already starting our new University Level Space Engineering Technician Apprenticeship in September. The HNC/HND was written to align with this Level 4 Apprenticeship and I’d like to extend my thanks to my colleagues Leslie Nickola, an engineering specialist who joined the college last year from South Africa, Professor Nigel Bannister from the University of Leicester and Roy Haworth from Airbus Defence & Space, who were instrumental in co-writing the programme with us. We aim to be running the new HNC/HND part-time from September 2022 and will recruit a full-time cohort in 2023.”

Students interested in the Space Technologies qualification can contact [email protected] for more information.

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