The Royal Belfast Academical Institution


Head of Department: Mr J Wilson

Members of Department:

Mr N Carson

Mr D Lambe

RBAI Engineering.JPG

Teaching and Learning:

What is engineering?

The word engineer has its root in the word engine which in turn comes from the Latin word ingenium. This has in mind the use of mental power to achieve quality outcomes, you may use the similar sounding word ingenious to describe an idea or solution that has involved mental skill or prowess.

So an engineer is described as someone who has acquired, and is applying their scientific and technical knowledge for the purpose of designing, analysing or building. They turn ideas into reality! We use the products and designs from their work on a daily basis and our lives would be vastly different without their input.

Did you know? Almost 20% of the total UK workforce are in the engineering sector.

In 2018 RBAI decided to introduce Engineering as a GCSE subject choice, this widens the scope of subjects already offered by the technology department, and means that we can influence and inspire the highly sought after, skilled engineers of the future.

GCSE Engineering

The GCSE course follows the CCEA Occupational Studies specification and is divided into 2 units:

  • Unit 1 Year 11: CAD skills
  • Unit 2 Year 12: Manufacturing techniques

In Year 11 students gain skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD), this is one of the most desirable skills for engineers in today’s technology advanced design environment. Pupils design a product using CAD, and then in Year 12 their CAD design is used to manufacture the product.

This is a pattern followed by engineering companies within industry, both large and small: product design – development – build – test. We seek to provide a valuable and rewarding insight into engineering, and the design and manufacturing processes that are being implemented by engineering companies across the world.

The course is 100% practical with students competing a portfolio of evidence for each unit, submitted at the end of May.

More information about the course can be found by downloading the CCEA specification:

(The units RBAI students complete are Units 58 & 62)

A Level Engineering (BTEC)

The GCSE Engineering provides a natural route into studying engineering at A Level. The course content and subject is taught and delivered by the Belfast Met, at their Milfield campus, situated a few hundred yards from RBAI. The course is 100% practical and the modules offered are as follows:

Year 13

  • Health and Safety in the Engineering Workplace
  • Mechanical Principles and Applications
  • Engineering Secondary and Finishing Techniques

Year 14

  • Properties and Applications of Engineering Materials
  • Fabrication Processes and Technology
  • Welding Technology

Additional information:

The Engineering department links with others, where appropriate, to offer extra-curricular activities such as competitions and projects. Recent examples of this include the Engineering Futures project, sponsored by Sentinus, and the IET Lego robot programming competition held at the W5.

We will always seek to provide the RBAI pupils who chose the subject, an enjoyable and stimulating study of Engineering.

23 2024
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24 2024
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College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
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