Structure and assessment

The BTEC First Award in Engineering Materials and Manufacturing is one of three specialist engineering qualifications we've developed in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering.

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Structure of the qualification

Two core units and two mandatory units provide the fundamental knowledge and understanding of the engineering sector. 


Core units

Assessment method



Engineering Maintenance




Production Planning for Engineering




Materials Used in Engineered Products




Program and Use a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine




Built on the rigorous assessment standards expected of BTEC qualifications, the new qualification includes an externally assessed unit, Unit 38: Materials Used in Engineered Products.

We've designed the external assessment to be appropriate for the sector, reflecting the skills and aptitudes required. The external assessment takes the form of a one-hour paper-based exam consisting of short- and long-answer questions, with an opportunity for extended writing within the exam.

Unit overview

Unit 4: Engineering Maintenance

This unit introduces learners to engineering maintenance, including the different strategies that organisations use when maintaining their plant and equipment. Learners will investigate the causes of engineering equipment failure and the effects this failure can have.

Unit 31: Production Planning for Engineering

This unit gives learners a broad knowledge and experience of production planning. Within engineering this process is often very complex, whether because of the number of parts involved, the rate of change of a process or the occurrence of unplanned events. Effective production planning is essential in ensuring that activities and resources are coordinated over time to achieve targets or goals with as little resource consumption as possible, without compromising on product quality.

Unit 38: Materials Used in Engineered Products

This unit develops learners’ understanding of material properties and characteristics, as well as the applications of a range of common materials they may encounter in engineering. Learners will also investigate the forms by which materials can be obtained and the methods that can be used to treat them.

Unit 39: Program and Use a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine

This unit provides learners with an introduction to CNC programming, and gives them the opportunity to understand the different instructions and techniques that can be used to develop a program. From a range of appropriate design specifications for a part (such as drawings), learners will select one for a part that they will manufacture. Learners will then write a program to safely manufacture the part on a CNC machine.