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Schools 14-16 – ABC Level 1 Award in Automotive Studies Apply Now »

Course Image
Level: 1

Location: Johnson Building

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This course is for school students, where the school has agreed to fund the placement.

The ABC Level 1 Award in Automotive Studies (601/7542/4)* has been developed to provide students with the technical knowledge and skills needed in the automotive sector.

The UK automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy, worth more than £82 billion turnover, and employs around 168,000 people directly in manufacturing. If you love cars and enjoy fixing things, a career in the automotive aftersales industry could be ideal for you. You’ll be in a hands-on role repairing, servicing and operating on all aspects of vehicle mechanics and electrics.

Students will have the chance to learn in our purpose-built, high-specification workshops so you’ll benefit from the latest technology such as electronic and computer diagnostic equipment.

This course is delivered over two years, starting in Year 10, and students will study at the Roundhouse (Johnson Building) one day a week.

*qualification featured on the DfE KS4 Performance Tables

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, you just need a strong interest in cars and mechanics.

You will be assessed during the first term at College to ensure this is the most suitable course for you, with fall-back options available.

Course Content

You will need to complete four mandatory units plus an external examination.

  • Working in an automotive industry environment – learn the basics of health and safety issues in the automotive industry and explore different career opportunities in the automotive sector. Find out more about the environmental issues that are linked to the automotive industry.

Weighting: 6% of the qualification

Assessment: Internal

  • Using engineering materials and skills – investigate different materials and their properties and learn how to safely use these materials and skills in order to create an accessory or tool. 

Weighting: 18% of the qualification

Assessment: Internal

  • Remove and re-fit mechanical components – learn about the processes and procedures that are required to remove and re-fit mechanical components in a safe manner and how to report on the condition of the components. 

Weighting: 18% of the qualification

Assessment: Internal

  • Introduction to basic automotive electrical principles – discover the basic principles of automotive electrics and explore the different types of batteries and lighting systems. 

Weighting: 18% of the qualification

Assessment: Internal

  • Multiple-choice synoptic exam – you will be tested on all the technical knowledge and skills you have learned through the duration of this course.

Weighting: 40% of the qualification

Assessment: External examination

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed through a mixture of internal assignments and an external examination.

All four units and the multiple-choice exam must be successfully completed to gain this qualification.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Students must wear steel toe-cap boots and safety overalls (purchased through Derby College Group) in the workshop. You will be required to supply your own writing materials.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

Upon completion of the qualification, and depending on the grades achieved and other qualifications achieved, students may wish to progress to:

  • The Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
  • The Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair
  • An apprenticeship programme at Level 2 or 3
  • A-levels 

You will be able to access advice and guidance while studying at the College to learn more about the post-16 opportunities available for you.


Further study can lead to a variety of careers, including:

  • Vehicle technician
  • Vehicle body repairer
  • Motorsport engineer
  • Garage manager

For more information, email the 14-16 team at 14-16@derby-college.ac.uk

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This course is run at the Johnson Building

About the Johnson Building »

Zubair Hussain

Zubair Hussain

Degree in motorsport engineering puts Zubair on career fast track

When vehicle technician Zubair Hussain enrolled on Derby College's motor vehicle course he had no GCSEs just a love of cars and a willingness to learn. He had missed out on sitting his GCSEs at school but was keen to gain qualifications and train for a job that really interested him.
And after achieving levels 1, 2 and 3 over successive years along with maths and English qualifications, Zubair secured a place at the University of Derby. He initially took a foundation degree in Motorsport Engineering before topping it up and graduating 14 months ago with a 2:2 BEng honours degree.
Zubair now works as a vehicle technician at Sam Autos, an independent garage in Normanton, Derby,Now he is qualified, Zubair wants to gain as much experience as he can to take him to the next the stage in his career .Zubair would ultimately like his own garage one day and is grateful to Derby College for putting him on the road to a fulfilling and skilled job with great financial prospects.Zubair enjoys mentoring trainee vehicle technicians and advises students on Derby College's motor vehicle course to "work hard and make the most of a great opportunity."He said:

I couldn't believe it. I'd always thought that uni was for clever people and I'd never thought of myself as clever.
"It was my Derby College lecturer Matt Curtis who encouraged me to go and do a degree. Our lecturers were great – just the best. They really wanted us to succeed.


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