Woven through the UTC’s curriculum are projects, designed to give students an experience not only of the types of work conducted by our partners, but the ways in which our partners operate.
All the projects our students engage with are authentic, based on real challenges. They are all cross-disciplinary rather than working in one academic subject area, in line with the real workplace. The projects are run in addition to the academic curriculum and are one reason for the long working day at the UTC.
We consider these projects to have huge value in many ways, for example:
- students develop industry-specific skills, for example in computer-aided design software
- students understand real life projects which our partners have engaged with, for example in designing a new hospital ward
- students are able to develop transferable skills applicable in their lives generally, including teamwork, leadership or managing deadlines
- students are able to gain experience of working in a range of corporate cultures and therefore are able to narrow their career focus
- students are able to gain experience across a range of specialisms including civil and mechanical engineering for example, meaning they can make informed decision on their future direction
- students gain exposure to potential employers, with opportunities from success in employer projects including site visits, work experience and more
- students are able to learn in context, giving them an enhanced opportunity to make academic progress
- employer partners are able to spot talent, giving opportunities at their organisations to certain students
One example of an employer project is The Ward of the Future, led by Skanska and Great Ormond Street Hospital. The project was linked to a real job, redeveloping the hospital, with the brief to design a suite of rooms to improve patient outcomes for sick children. A simplified version of the authentic challenge was given to UTC students with instruction from a team of senior professionals to get students underway in teams. Outputs were a series of CAD designs and Dragons’ Den-style pitches to senior judges at Skanska offices.