Expressions of interest requested for combined part-time distance and classroom-based learning BEng Non-Destructive Testing degree


With the introduction of a four-year apprenticeship standard: Non-Destructive Testing Engineer, the NDT engineer will hold a degree (BEng Non-Destructive Testing) on completion of the apprenticeship. Optionally, the NDT engineer may aquire Level 3 PCN or EN 4179 certification during the course of the apprenticeship; and if the apprentice has already gained Level 3 certification prior to joining the scheme, credits towards the degree programme may be applied.

Additionally, the NDT Engineer will be eligible to apply for professional registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) after a minimum of five years’ professional development in NDT, condition monitoring or allied technologies and with at least two years in (a) position(s) of approved responsibility. The NDT engineer will be eligible to apply for membership of the professional body (the British Institute of NDT) in the Associate, Member or Fellow grade, as appropriate. This degree course is well established and has been utilised for many years, with the main target audience being NDT personnel who hold NDT qualifications and have skills and experience that exempt them from some modules. For many students, the distance learning model has worked well, allowing for both family and work commitments.

However, with apprentices who may have limited experience in the broader NDT industry, the option of classroom teaching would help to overcome this shortcoming. The advantage of face-to-face teaching is that it will help the apprentice gain the knowledge and skills interactively. The employer group that created the apprenticeship was also mindful that an apprentice could be in any part of the country and therefore traditional day release would not be practical. To overcome this, it is intended that a series of short courses will be created, to complement the existing NDT degree syllabus, which would each last one week. This would reduce costs for the employer (there is no government funding for travel, accommodation or subsistence) and allow the student to get more out of their tuition.

Rolls-Royce is recruiting eight NDT apprentices, due to start in September 2017. It is hoped that these apprentices would participate in a blended study programme, taking the modules already available online for study in their own time and also partake in face-to-face lecture time at the University of Northampton, with the relevant technical expertise for specific modules. The modules on offer would complement those undertaken at BINDT Approved Training Organisations. It is anticipated that they will concentrate on the technology, quality and mathematics parts of the degree.

This course will be available to apprentices and experienced NDT personnel alike. If you think your company or you as an individual would be interested in this opportunity, then contact John Moody, email:, who will coordinate with Abdeldjalil Benncer from the University of Northampton.