student looking at a jet engine

Professional course

Engineering Capability Development Framework

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Engineering Design and Mathematics
Programme leader:
Wendy Fowles-Sweet

Page last updated 20 November 2018


The Engineering Capability Development Framework is a modular framework specifically designed for employees and employers in the Advanced Engineering and Aerospace sectors.  It has been developed for two reasons:

  • Employee Career Development: to allow individuals to develop skills and knowledge in these sectors and provide a portfolio of evidence in support of Chartered Engineer Registration.
  • Employer Capability Development: to offer organisations the opportunity to develop their own specific award pathways through the Framework, for workforce development and competency achievement.

The Engineering Capability Development Framework team will work with:

  • Individuals: to identify the best pathway through the Framework towards an academic award appropriate to them; options range from studying a single module to the completion of a full Masters degree.
  • Organisations: to identify workforce development requirements to meet company strategy, advising on the best opportunity for specific individuals and "bespoke" pathways to satisfy company competency requirements.

Applicants will normally have significant graduate level experience in the Advanced Engineering and Aerospace sectors, coupled with a good first degree in engineering or a related discipline. 

Applications will also be welcomed from individuals with substantial relevant experience, such as an apprenticeship followed by an HNC/HND with several years appropriate employment, or significant experience in the Armed Services, but with few qualifications.

Most students will be based in the industry and studying in a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) flexible format. This CPD format offers a range of delivery modes to suit the individual. Each award has a number of compulsory modules, plus a wide range of optional modules from which to choose. There is no fixed timescale for completion of the award, although it is anticipated the time to completion will range between 3 and 5 years.

Entry requirements

The applicant is required to have a first degree (at least a 2:2 honours) in an engineering-related subject or equivalent.

Students are normally sponsored, and have a number of years experience at graduate level within the engineering sector.

Many applicants will have a non-standard academic background, perhaps starting as an apprentice and working towards qualifications such as an HND (Higher National Diploma) and/or a Foundation degree.

Applicants who can demonstrate a high standard of industrial experiential learning will also be considered. Each application will be considered on its own merit.

Careers / Further study

The Framework offers individuals the opportunity to study as much or as little as they require to achieve their own career development targets. It is expected that most applicants will be aiming for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration, or be looking to develop further after achieving this recognition. The modules and awards within the Framework are designed to develop students technical and business capabilities in the Advanced Engineering and/or Aerospace sectors.

The breadth of optional learning allows individuals to determine their own academic progression in line with career objectives and to develop the competences required for professional recognition such as CEng. This makes the Framework ideal for engineers who want to develop both technical and business skills and capabilities. Successful graduates will have developed "generalist" skills, enabling them to work across functional boundaries.



The Framework provides CPD students with the opportunity to gather modules to meet their learning requirements. Certain module combinations can allow students to achieve specific awards. Each award has a set of core modules and allows for a range of optional module choices (for core requirements go to the individual award site):

The remaining modules should be chosen from the optional module list after discussions with the programme leader and through completing the Professional Development Appraisal and Review module.


The key to the Framework is its flexibility. It allows each individual to gain a broad set of skills and knowledge and develop the ability to critically appraise and implement them within the workplace. 

To achieve an award the required core modules must be successfully completed. The student determines the remaining optional modules with the approval of the programme leader. The aim is to identify a bespoke study programme aligned to the needs of the individual and the organisation (where appropriate.) Students can qualify for one of three postgraduate awards (MSc, Diploma or Certificate) by accumulating credits on completion of modules, or alternatively, modules may be gathered to enhance existing competences, without targeting an award.

  • The MSc requires 180 credits, including 60 credits from the dissertation.
  • The Postgraduate Diploma requires 120 credits, all from the taught part of the course (no dissertation is completed.)
  • The Postgraduate Certificate requires 60 credits all from the taught part of the course (no dissertation is completed.)

The MSc study programme may also be used as part of the portfolio of evidence for professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng.) In this instance, module choices should be verified with the relevant professional institution to ensure the requirements for professional registration have been satisfied.

Learning and Teaching

Modules may be offered in a number of flexible delivery modes; taught modules are usually held over 3 to 5 consecutive days.  With the agreement of the module leader, Distance Learning and Work-Based Learning may be offered; specific details are determined between the module leader and student via a learning contract to ensure the module learning outcomes can be achieved. This varied learning approach is different for each individual.

Study time

CPD students attend modules to suit their work commitments. Each 15 credit module is expected to take around 150 hours to complete. Depending on the number of modules studied each year, students are normally expected to complete the MSc in 3 to 5 years while in full time employment.


Assessment is normally by assignment, assessing the student's ability to critically appraise and competently implement acquired skills and knowledge. The assignments are normally expected to be based on a live project within the workplace or a real industrial case study. 

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


The MSc dissertation module is a significant piece of work, which must be an industry-focused project. It integrates the learning from the taught material and develops competences through an in-depth study of a substantial technical/management problem within the relevant engineering sector. Students will have both an academic and an industrial sponsor for this activity, to help scope out the project in the required context.

This project activity is particularly attractive to employers, as it provides an opportunity to deal with a real issue in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Often, the project outcomes have a significant impact on the sponsoring business.



Professional accreditation

The MSc Aerospace is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). 

The awards within the ECCDF Framework have been developed in conjunction with one another and have been endorsed by the Engineering Council as able to provide the learning required for CEng registration, facilitated through the Institutions "Learning Contracts" process.  The Framework provides a vehicle for individuals to develop a portfolio of evidence towards Chartered Engineer registration.

The awards are co-taught with the cohort comprising a mixture of engineering disciplines and organisations from across the Advanced Engineering and Aerospace sectors, allowing students to simultaneously broaden their understanding of other contexts.

Study facilities

The University has excellent facilities, accessible to all students, as required; however, it is expected that much of the work will be carried within the work environment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.


UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to find UWE Bristol

Prices and dates

How to apply

How to apply

If you wish to study any of our framework modules with the module accreditation, you will first be asked to register onto one of the framework pathways. Once you are registered onto a pathway, you will be able to register onto modules as and when you wish.

We ask you to register onto a pathway so that we understand your current career situation and future plans so that we can help shape your study programme to fit your needs. By registering onto the pathway, you are making no commitment regarding the number of modules you are planning to study each year. Commitment to each module (including academic penalty and fee implication) is made when you ask to register onto these in writing each time.

MSc AerospaceEnquire Now
MSc Professional EngineeringEnquire Now


For further information

  • Email: For all queries, please complete the online enquiry form above.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86304

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