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Topic Title: Non Accredited degree
Topic Summary: BEng Tech (Hons) Renewable Energy Engineering **a new degree**
Created On: 07 April 2012 12:20 PM
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 07 April 2012 12:20 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Hi - Hope you can help!

I am just about to complete my final year of a FdSc Renewable Energy Engineering degree.

In September '12 I will be progressing on to the top-up 3rd year
BEng Tech (Hons) Renewable Energy Engineering degree
which will be brand new to my university.

What will having "Tech" after the BEng mean in real terms?

It is a 'non accredited' degree due to it being brand new I guess.
My uni are saying that us students have to individually apply to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) membership - It has been designed to fulfil UK-SPEC educational requirements to be worthy of membership.

Why is my uni asking us students to apply for accreditation? We seem to be the only course they haven't applied to have accredited.
What's

Having read about accreditation it seems like the uni and the course would have to be inspected/scrutinised to see if it is worthy.
I don't see how us students can apply individually :s

Abit of background info...
My university realised that they didn't have a top-up degree suitable for us Renewable Energy Engineers and they're legally obliged to do so. So they have created one just for my class of just 5 people and there are no imminent plans to keep the course running after we graduate.
Could we be getting fobbed off with a rubbish degree?

How hard can being accredited be? What is involved?
If it doesn't get accredited would the degree be useless?
Surely it's unethical for a uni to run a degree course that isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Thanks for yourr patience

Look forward to hearing from you

Nicky
 07 April 2012 12:40 PM
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hamishbell

Posts: 288
Joined: 11 September 2001

The degree accreditation process involves the University in expenditure as it involes a visit from a small team of assessors for a period of time, as well as looking at the output of the course. If it will not be running the course again, or it will be incorporating the course into another degree, it would not be worth while seeking accreditation, especially as the sample is so small. This does not imply anything further as regards the standard of the course which will have to meet the Univerity's own criteria in any case.

There is no difficulty in you seeking to join the IET with a non-accreditied degree. You will have to provide details of the course that otherwise would be directly available to the IET.

I hope that helps, and good luck with your studies.
Regards
Hamish

-------------------------
Hamish V Bell, BSc, CEng, FIET, FCQI, CQP
2013 - 2016 Elected Council Member
2007 - 2010, Vice President and Trustee
 07 April 2012 02:00 PM
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scottseedell

Posts: 58
Joined: 05 June 2009



My uni are saying that us students have to individually apply to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) membership - It has been designed to fulfil UK-SPEC educational requirements to be worthy of membership.


Are you sure you're fully understanding what they're trying to tell you? The university will never apply for incorporated membership for you, that has always been down to the individual upon successful completion of the degree. It is unheard of for the university to initiate a professional registration application for you as there would be fees involved that are down purely to the individual. If the degree has been designed to fulfil ECUK educational requirements then by default that degree should be accredited. It would never be down to a student to attempt to get a degree accredited.

If it's a good university they should have an IET representative (usually a senior lecturer) as a point of contact with students and the IET. It may be wise to grab a word if your university has one and make sure you understand what is being said. However, just to clarify; even if it's not accredited you can still achieve IEng by taking a slightly different route.

-------------------------
Scott Seedell - BSc(Hons) IEng MIET
 07 April 2012 02:36 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Thanks for the swift response guys!

Hamish that really helps!

Such a small sample wouldn't be cost effective especially if they didn't run it again.

What it boils down to is that I don't want to be disadvantaged once graduated. Whether its accredited or not does that really matter if I was able to progress to an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) anyways?

Scott again thanking you!

I think I wasn't fully understanding it. I was getting mixed up the accreditation of the course and IEng membership.

"If the degree has been designed to fulfil ECUK educational requirements then by default that degree should be accredited. It would never be down to a student to attempt to get a degree accredited."

I don't know if I should mention the university's name but it's a decent one with a really good Engineering track record. All the other courses are accredited. Do you think they have to fulfil the ECUK requirements then? I'm sure all the other engineering degrees do.

http://www.tees.ac.uk/Parttime...Energy_Engineering.cfm (See: Professional Accreditation)

"This programme meets the requirements of the Institution of Engineering and Technology as a route of approved additional learning to complete the educational requirements (in compliance with UK-SPEC) at degree-level so you can progress to Incorporated Membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology."

Does this mean I will be successful if I applied to be an IEng?

I will speak further with the uni. I dropped the course leader an email yesterday so I'll see what he says.

I'm just weary of us being fobbed off as we only have a class of 5 people so if they werent legally obliged to they'd have folded the course.

Thanks again!
 07 April 2012 08:14 PM
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scottseedell

Posts: 58
Joined: 05 June 2009


"This programme meets the requirements of the Institution of Engineering and Technology as a route of approved additional learning to complete the educational requirements (in compliance with UK-SPEC) at degree-level so you can progress to Incorporated Membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology."



Hi Nicky.
If what you're saying above is stated on the university's website then it sounds like the course is accredited by the IET for IEng and you would have nothing to worry about. For clarification check out the ECUK site, it will list all UK accredited courses for IEng and CEng. If your course/university are not on there get in touch with both the university and the ECUK because they should not be making statements like that if it is not true.

I had some initial difficulty with my previous university for advertising the course I took as accredited when in fact all the I's had not been dotted and the T's not crossed properly. Upon graduation I applied for IEng and was horrified to find my course not on the ECUK site. It was nothing major to sort out (was a fairly new course and the accreditation had not been finished) but the ECUK were not happy with the university for saying it was accredited when it was not. It was basically false advertising as far as they saw it.

-------------------------
Scott Seedell - BSc(Hons) IEng MIET
 07 April 2012 09:46 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Hey

That's what confuses me because there's that statement on the website but the course documentation says:

"Aims of the programme: To meet the educational requirements (in compliance with UK-SPEC), at degree level, to permit progression to Incorporated Membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology**               

 **Please note that it is a NONE ACCREDITED pathway. However the IET invite application for Incorporated Membership on an individual basis.""

I will certainly check out ECUK

Glad you got yours sorted!!

Thanks!
 08 April 2012 02:12 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: NickyTeasdale
Could we be getting fobbed off with a rubbish degree?

What makes a degree rubbish?
If it doesn't get accredited would the degree be useless?

What makes a degree useless?
Surely it's unethical for a uni to run a degree course that isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Nicky

It takes more than just a qualification to make a successful career. Every degree was new at some time and as renewable energy is relatively new and growing field I would suggest that if you wish to work in that area then you consider if what you are learning is of value to this field.....if it is then do not look down upon it. The degree is validated ultimately by the government and therefore it will not be rubbish or useless.

Regards.
 08 April 2012 02:20 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Thanks for that

You're totally right.

I have my eye on a graduate project manager role at Network Rail.
It asks for any 2:2 (Hons) degree and doesn't mention accreditation type so I hope I'm ok

Many thanks
 08 April 2012 03:46 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Then try to make sure your final year and project show some of the competencies you will require for the project manager's role. I suggest, for example, to use 'Microsoft Project' to manage the project and look at some of the theories behind project management. IET/EC accreditation adds value to something but the real value of an education is what it teaches you and what what you do with it.....in each case the most important factor is you.

Regards.
 08 April 2012 04:04 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

The bigger picture, yes, I will take that on board!

Much appreciated

Kind Regards

Nicky
 08 April 2012 08:32 PM
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scottseedell

Posts: 58
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I have my eye on a graduate project manager role at Network Rail.

It asks for any 2:2 (Hons) degree and doesn't mention accreditation type so I hope I'm ok



I'm sure that plenty of people have told you this but to get yourself in a good graduate role you need to be aiming for at least a 2:1 (ideally 65% +). Remember that there are more graduates than graduate jobs and the chances are that you will be up against people with high 2:1 and 1st degrees all vying for the same position as you. Many employers are weary of people with 1st class degrees with exceptional grades throughout as they can be nerds with no personalities. However, a 2:2 (even a high one) will probably not even get you past the initial stage of the application process. They will state a minimum of 2:2 on the application (probably to avoid being overly discriminatory) but in reality they will filter through anything below 2:1 and bin it.

The dissertation will carry all the weight in your final year. If you really went to town on it and managed to get 70%+ it would massively help your aggregate score. However, don't do as i did and negate the other modules. It all worked out ok for me in the end but I spent a bit too much time on finishing my project when I should have been submitting other coursework and revising for other modules. I did indeed end up with a good project mark but didn't do nearly as well as I could have on the others.

Basically the aggregate score you need to aim for is 60% and you should be fine. Being as naturally pessimistic as I am, I actually made a spreadsheet with all the minimum marks I could get and still achieve a 2:1. It is possible to obtain a 2:1 with 57% if more than half your total marks were over 60% but this should be seen as a lifeline not a target to aim for. Even if you got a low 2:1 (say 61%), some employers will not ask for your transcript and all it would say on your degree certificate is the classification not your aggregate mark. In this case you could 'exagerate' and imply you were close to a 1st. It's not lying as such afterall!

Good luck

-------------------------
Scott Seedell - BSc(Hons) IEng MIET
 08 April 2012 09:15 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Yeah true, I shouldn't bank on a 2:2. I hadn't thought of it that way.
If I owned the company I'd filter it the way you said to be honest.
I don't think I'm at a 1st standard but I'm certainly no nerd so I'd be ok in interview, I hope!

I will take that on board - Not too much time on the dissertation - get the balance right!

Kind Regards

Onwards and upwards!
 09 April 2012 10:54 AM
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DonaldFisher

Posts: 44
Joined: 21 December 2010

To echo with what Scott's saying here, you really want to be trying to achieve a 2:1 minimum, regardless of the job advert stating minimum 2:2. There will be lots of competition for graudate positions and you have to be able to demonstrate that you are better than those that are also applying so the first step is to have a better grade.

I would also highly recommend trying to pick up placements during your summer periods or, if you're lucky enough, pick up an actual part time job in industry. Relevant work experience will definitely help you to stand above the rest.

**Sorry if I went off-topic here, I was simply replying to the last two posts.

JBB

-------------------------
JBB IEng MIET
 09 April 2012 10:57 AM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

No, no, all helps

Thank you Donald
 09 April 2012 11:46 AM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Originally posted by: hamishbell

The degree accreditation process involves the University in expenditure as it involes a visit from a small team of assessors for a period of time, as well as looking at the output of the course. If it will not be running the course again, or it will be incorporating the course into another degree, it would not be worth while seeking accreditation, especially as the sample is so small. This does not imply anything further as regards the standard of the course which will have to meet the Univerity's own criteria in any case.


Hi Hamish or anyone else that can input

The uni spec for my course quotes "You are invited to apply individually for accreditation from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)"

Taking on board the feedback received and further research this quote seems likes nonsense as, like you say, the UNIVERSITY have to apply for accreditation, not the individual - me!

The IET say:
"Academic accreditation services cost approximately £500 per year.
Each uni in the UK offering IET accredited programmes is required to pay the charge annually. The charge is applied annually on October 1st.

There is no restriction on the number of programmes that may be submitted per accreditation visit. Joint visits do not affect the charge. The charge has been set at a level which the IET hopes will not discourage university's from seeking joint visits.

Ideally, the IET is seeking to enable university's to present all their programmes in a single visit once every five years.
Where a uni seeks accreditation for additional programmes between these visits the IET can consider them as a paper exercise or with a smaller panel over a single day.
In exceptional cases, where this is not possible and a second full visit is required, the IET reserves the right to apply a discretionary one off charge to cover the travel and subsistence costs attributable to that visit. This charge will be discussed and agreed in advance of the visit taking place."

There are a few new degrees currently pending accreditation at my uni and one which promises to lodge an imminent application so I don't understand why they haven't offered the same for my course, maybe because it's brand new? (2 years Foundation Degree and the 3rd year BEng Tech (Hons) Renewable Energy Engineering starting Sept '12).

We discussed the sample of 5 in my class as being too small to justify seeking accreditation but, surely they have nothing to lose if the fee is just £500 annually, it doesn't matter how many programmes they've submitted and there'll already be an arranged, imminent visit from the IET.

The uni say my programme "meets the requirements of the IET as a route of approved additional learning to complete the educational requirements (in compliance with UK-SPEC) at degree-level so you can progress to IEng Membership" - Then they contradict this by saying on another, already accredited degree, "Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the programme meets the educational requirements of the IET (in compliance with UK-SPEC).
I don't see what sort of assurance I have then. What if I finish my degree and it actually didn't meet the spec? :s The worst thing would be having to complete additional modules once graduated.

Hmmm, I'm glad that I've delved further so when I speak with uni I kinda know the system so I will be less likely to be fobbed off.

Sorry for the essay!

Many thanks for your patience
 09 April 2012 12:58 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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Originally posted by: scottseedell
Many employers are weary of people with 1st class degrees with exceptional grades throughout as they can be nerds with no personalities.

Where is your evidence to support these statements? I have worked directly for several of the worlds top 10 companies and indirectly for many others and I have never seen any evidence to support either of your statements.
However, a 2:2 (even a high one) will probably not even get you past the initial stage of the application process.

And what is your evidence to back this statement up?
They will state a minimum of 2:2 on the application (probably to avoid being overly discriminatory) but in reality they will filter through anything below 2:1 and bin it.

Where is your evidence to support this?

Regards.
 09 April 2012 01:12 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: NickyTeasdale
I don't think I'm at a 1st standard but I'm certainly no nerd so I'd be ok in interview, I hope!

There is no such thing as a 'nerd', it is discriminatory terminology and has no place in professional and ethical engineering. Always do the best you can in your studies and then use your results and degree in a positive way and sell the best of yourself and you will increase your chances of success.

Regards.
 09 April 2012 01:32 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: NickyTeasdale
I don't see what sort of assurance I have then. What if I finish my degree and it actually didn't meet the spec? :s

You attach far to much importance to IET/EC accreditation for your degree. The IET/EC will accept people as IEng or CEng who can meet the competency requirements with work experience and yet have no degree and so in reality the degree in itself is not the be all and end all of becoming IEng or CEng. Apply to the IET as a student member and then when you get your degree upgrade to a standard member and then stick MIET after your name.

http://www.theiet.org/membersh...ters/miet-q-and-e.cfm

Regards.
 09 April 2012 06:01 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

I'm just worried i'll get to the end of the degree and fall short of the educational requirements for IEng status. I just want assurance I won't. I'll have a chat with uni and hopefully they'll put me at ease.

Just had a bad experience throughout the foundation degree so i'm a little pessamistic.

Thanks
 09 April 2012 06:02 PM
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NickyTeasdale

Posts: 27
Joined: 07 April 2012

Pessimistic*
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