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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 »

Sukjevan Dhindsa

Sukjevan Dhindsa

Motor Vehicle apprentice Jeeves on road to becoming Master Technician

Former Derby College motor vehicle student Sukjevan Dhindsa intends to go as far as he possibly can in his career as a motor technician. Sukjevan – or Jeeves as he is better known to his friends – is aiming to become a Master Technician after being taken on as an apprentice with VW Parkway in Derby. Jeeves who is 17 and from Sinfin, was offered the apprenticeship while on work placement as part of his full-time Motor Vehicle course with Derby College.
He joined VW Parkway in August and will shortly be embarking on VW's own apprenticeship training scheme at Milton Keynes. Once qualified Jeeves would like to work towards every certificate on offer via VW until he becomes a Master Technician. It is the highest level attainable and a qualification which demonstrates diagnostics expertise in areas which include electrical systems, engine performance, heating and air conditioning and engine repair.
Jeeves is settling in well in his new role and is enjoying learning new things every day. He particularly likes working with engines and diagnostics and has found the experienced technicians at the dealership to be approachable and helpful. Jeeves loved his time at Derby College and was impressed by both the theoretical and practical teaching he received there. He said:

I would definitely recommend my college course. My message to potential students would be to go along to the induction days and enrolment days and find out all you can about the course that interests you. I wouldn't be where I am now without Derby College.


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