Siemens and Liverpool John Moores University launch new top-up degree programme

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Siemens has teamed up with Liverpool’s John Moores University to launch the top-up degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

The Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) honours degree will feature a range of academic models including two modules and a project that can be applied in the workplace. This will be further combined with Siemens-approved ‘PLC Programmer Certification’. It will be available to engineering professionals to upgrade their existing higher national certificates or diplomas HNC/HND level looking to gain new skills, experience and knowledge and study through to degree.

Jason Phin, training solutions business manager at Siemens Digital Industries said: “The manufacturing sector is an industry that requires a high percentage of specialised skills and there is a need to revitalise the workforce with digital and updated technology skill set.

“The pandemic threw a curve ball where it experienced a huge shortage and the need to upskill existing employees was heightened. The programme is open to anyone with a relevant HNC/HND and we will also take into account recognition of prior learning (RPL) or accreditation of prior learning (APL).”

Dr Rob Darlington, program leader from Liverpool John Moores University said: “We have a robust engineering offering for full-time engineering students and long-standing relations with industry organisations.

"However, with this partnership we are extending our reach to those that may have missed out on the full-time university experience. At the end of the one year the cohort of students will have the same degree as any other student.

“The course will give the students an opportunity to put perspective on what they know practically but with a much better understanding and knowledge of theory. It’s a reverse situation where they come with industry background making the degree a holistic experience for the candidates.”

Many apprentices and technical employees across SMEs and large-scale manufacturers are looking to upskill and the year-long top-up degree is a great option for them. In addition, the flexibility of the programme suits industry needs and minimises time off from work. Siemens has developed specific content, and this will be delivered through SITRAIN, a digital industry academy set up by the company to meet the industry’s skills and upskilling needs.

In its two modules the course will focus on ‘Manufacturing Systems’ and ‘Industrial Management’ with 20 credits each. These fundamentals are key for building on a successful engineering career in manufacturing.

According to the Employer Skills survey in 2019, the skills shortage density was highest in construction (36% the same as 2017) and manufacturing (36% up from 29% in 2017).

Phin added: “As industry leaders at Siemens we have long championed the role of continued education and upskilling of employees across the manufacturing sector. We are hoping this alliance with Liverpool John Moores University will help further our drive to reduce the skills gap in the industry.”      

The degree, which has been created according to requirements of UK-SPEC, will accept applications in July for its first cohort in October 2022.

In 2017 Siemens had successfully launched its first-degree programme with University of Salford with a degree in Control and Automation, which has seen 79 students successfully graduate.