Foundation Degree in Industry 4.0 (Validated by the Open University)

Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, refers to the digital integration of manufacturing operations. Connecting machines and equipment to digital systems, using IIOT technology, with a view to making decisions quicker and more efficient using Data Analytics. Technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enable companies to learn and predict what is likely to happen in the future so that they can prevent machine breakdowns or foresee trends in certain markets, making them more agile and responsive. In this course you will study fundamental engineering principles and practices alongside advanced technologies being utilised in today’s cutting edge manufacturing companies as they look to improve efficiency and production capabilities.

Academic Year: 2023/24
Course Code: 11131
Campus: Bangor, Lisburn
Study Type: Full-Time
Education Level Higher Education
Department: Manufacturing & General Engineering

Alternative Years

You are viewing the 2023/24 version of this course, it is also available in the following years:

View 2024/25 Course
Course Structure

This 2-year Foundation Degree is delivered over 4 semesters.  In year 1 learners will cover core engineering principles and practices whilst gaining an appreciation of new and emerging technologies. In year 2 of the programme students will continue to study a range of contemporary modules whilst having the opportunity to undertake a structured work-based learning placement within the engineering industry.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain a suitable work placement employer.  Assistance, however, will be provided by the college as required. 

Modules Year 1: 

  • Engineering and Computational Mathematics 
  • Mechatronic Systems and Control 
  • Programming Fundamentals 
  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) 
  • Digital Manufacturing Infrastructure 
  • Science for Modern Engineering Technicians   


Modules Year 2: 

  • Computer Aided Engineering 
  • Manufacturing Systems Management 
  • Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence 
  • IIOT Data Security 
  • Work Based Learning   

In addition to the above modules, you may undertake a professional/ personal development qualification and will be involved in a range of activities, designed to improve employability within the Engineering sector.  This is a 2-Year Programme and course fees are payable in each year of study. 

Contact Hours per Week 

15 hours contact time to include practical classes, lectures, workshops, or tutorials. 

Mandatory Additional Study  

Maximum of 3 hours per week average over the academic year 

Personal Study 

19 hours maximum studying and preparing assessments in your own time per week, including use of online materials. 

Work Placement 

The Foundation Degree also provides students with an opportunity to undertake work placement during their final year. 

GCSE English 

GCSE English Language Grade C or above OR Essential Skills Level 2 Communication OR another approved equivalent   

GCSE Maths 

GCSE Mathematics Grade C or above OR Essential Skills Level 2 Application of Number OR another approved equivalent   

Additional GCSEs 

Two additional GCSEs at Grade C are required OR approved equivalents. One of the two must be from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) or computing subject area.   


A minimum of 64 UCAS points including: 

  • A levels (excluding OCN qualifications) OR 
  • Level 3 Diploma’s (Level 3 qualifications, other than BTEC, will be subject to approval)   

Access Diploma 

Access to Higher Education Diploma with an overall average of 45+% 

English Language Requirements for International students: 

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2 
  • IELTS 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in all skills) 
  • PTE 51 Or an approved equivalent test in English 

Equivalent qualifications include: 

  • Grade C (or above) in GCSE English 
  • Successful completion of a Level 3 Vocational Programme with assessments completed in English Language 
  • Essential Skills in Literacy (Level 2) 
  • ESOL Level 2    

Tier 4 Students: 

SERC will only accept a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for issuing a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)     


Successful completion of the admissions process   


Applicants who do not hold any formal Level 3/4 qualifications but hold significant and relevant Industrial experience may gain admission through experiential learning and should request the college Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) procedure. Further details on APEL can be found here Admissions Process - SERC. 

Candidates are assessed using a range of different methods. These include technical reports, coursework, Project Based Learning, presentations, practical, posters, leaflets, role-play, and case studies.  This is dependent on the requirements of each unit of study.  Oral, written and online feedback will be provided during your course to help improve and monitor performance. 

Successful completion of this course will enable you to apply for jobs in the engineering/manufacturing industry or alternatively, you would be eligible to apply to related degree programmes. 

This course will equip you with formal qualifications which will improve your job opportunities and employability skills in the engineering/manufacturing sector. You will also gain a range of soft skills regarded as highly desirable by employers. 

There are no additional costs associated with this programme. 

Alternative Years

You are viewing the 2023/24 version of this course, it is also available in the following years:

View 2024/25 Course

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Alternative Years

You are viewing the 2023/24 version of this course, it is also available in the following years:

View 2024/25 Course

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Terms & Conditions

Students will be required to comply with SERC's Terms & Conditions of study.

We strive to ensure the description of courses on SERC's website and in publications is accurate. However, for various reasons there may be occasions when the College may need to change arrangements or be unable to deliver classes due to circumstances such as reduced funding. If there are insufficient numbers applying for a course it may not be viable to deliver the class.

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