Only to be used alongside Learning at Work case studies.

Studying at Portsmouth enhanced Conner’s theoretical knowledge and has given him a sound understanding on both mechanical and manufacturing engineering and engineering competence. Which is providing a solid foundation to build his career on.

5 min read

I started off overwhelmed with what the course entailed. But once I started it became clear that the work/study balance was carefully planned and balanced. And the apprenticeship had a strong support framework from the University and my employer.

The degree apprenticeship has been a great way of studying higher education while still working full time. The part time, distance method of learning meant I could easily plan and fit my study around my work and hobbies. I’ve found that the degree apprenticeship has enabled me to further my academic ability, professional skills, and knowledge at the same time.

Learning on the job

I joined Williams Racing, the Formula 1 team, to do a four-year advanced apprenticeship in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. I was then offered a permanent role as a CNC machinist and continued with further education by undertaking a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Portsmouth. Afterwards I took a year out from studying to decide what I wanted to do next, which is when I came across the Postgraduate Engineer Degree Apprenticeship (Engineering Competence) PgDip.

Only to be used alongside Learning at Work case studies.

The work-based learning element of the course made what I was learning very relevant to my job. Meaning the results had a beneficial impact on the workplace.

Conner Murphy, Postgraduate Engineering Degree Apprenticeship (Engineering Competence)

PgDip in Engineering Competence

The modules I have just finished studying are very relevant to my everyday work and I have been able to transfer numerous skills and knowledge gained from the research into my working practices. As well as this, I thoroughly enjoy the balance of work/study, and the support that I get from both the University and my employer is second to none.

The path to success

The course is a great opportunity to improve managerial and project leadership competence, enhance research and organisation skills, and become a more effective communicator. I’ve also gained greater skills and knowledge that will aid in professional and personal development, so it was definitely worth the time and effort required to complete it.

My main achievement has been that my employer has recognised my hard work on the course and have put me on a career development pathway. Going forward, I hope to achieve CEng status with IMechE and then progress my career at Williams by moving into a managerial/supervisor role. The project management, leadership, and effective time/task management skills I learnt at Portsmouth will all help me achieve this. On top of this, I’m currently doing an in-house training course at Williams on supervisor and manager development, which is going to develop all the skills I need to be an effective leader.


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