The introduction of the world’s first HNC/HND in space technologies in Cornwall is being hailed as a new frontier for space education.

The University Centre Truro & Penwith and awarding body Pearson have partnered to co-develop the new undergraduate-level, higher national qualification that will be rolled out across the UK later this year.

The qualification is backed by support from the UK Space Agency, Spaceport Cornwall, Goonhilly Earth Station, Airbus Defence & Space, the University of Leicester, the Open University and the University of Exeter.

The University Centre Truro & Penwith will be one of the first institutions to offer the new HNC/HND and is encouraging interested students to contact for more information.

Learners can expect to gain insight into engineering for space missions and ground stations with topics including; satellite structures, in-space power generation, space craft altitude control, rocket propulsion and space communication to name a few.

Successful completion will provide opportunities to progress to further study where learners can achieve a BEng or Meng in space systems or aerospace engineering.

Graduates will be equally well placed to start a career in a wide range of roles such as a satellite communications technician, satellite manufacturing technician, or spacecraft propulsion engineering technician, to name but a few.

Training will be delivered at the new £7.3 million Valency building, part of the South West Institute of Technology at Truro College.

Dr Heidi Thiemann, ESF project manager for space & aerospace at the University Centre co-led the qualification team and commented: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Pearson and a large number of institutions and NGOs, including the UK Space Agency in the development of this University Level qualification that has been part-funded by the Smart Specialisation Business Needs through Higher Level Skills (SS HLS) project.

“Students are already starting our new University Level Space Engineering Technician Apprenticeship in September. The HNC/HND was written to align with this Level 4 Apprenticeship and I’d like to extend my thanks to my colleagues Leslie Nickola, an engineering specialist who joined the college last year from South Africa, Professor Nigel Bannister from the University of Leicester and Roy Haworth from Airbus Defence & Space, who were instrumental in co-writing the programme with us. We aim to be running the new HNC/HND part-time from September 2022 and will recruit a full-time cohort in 2023.”