Interested in the new Design, Surveying and Planning T-level?

T-levels are the new national technical qualifications you can take after GCSEs that combine studying in the classroom with work placements. There will be T-levels in 15 different areas (or routes) to choose from, like Healthcare Science, Engineering, and Agriculture. The first three T-levels have just launched with the very first T-level students beginning courses in; Education & Childcare, Digital Design & Development, and Design, Surveying & Planning.

Although T-levels are brand new, combining classroom study with work placements has been a way of learning that many people have really benefited from in the past. Aurelia is one of them. Her subject was in a similar area as the new Design, Surveying & Planning T-level. We had a chat with her about why she enjoyed this way of learning.

Hey Aurelia! Can you tell us what you do and how you got to where you are now?

For the past few years I’ve been working as an Architectural Technologist, which meant I created 3D versions of architectural designs for a wide range of projects. In 2013 I started on a full-time college course in Construction Management, before switching to Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology which I did for two years before being hired by the design and engineering company BakerHicks. I’ve recently changed roles within the company, so my new title is CAD/Revit Technician.

What made you choose to go to college to study, rather than going straight into work?

I thought that a college course would give me the basic tools and knowledge of the job for when I started work. The college I went to also had lots of the latest technology, so I thought I’d have a better chance of being hired if I had experience of using industry kit!

What did you like most about learning a technical subject in the classroom?

I’ve always like learning new things, so I hoped going to college would suit me. There was a huge range of things covered in my course, from theory to the hands-on practical side. While I was there, I learned a lot about the tools that I would end up using in my job, including software such as; Revit, Computer Aided Design, and 3DSMax. I also got to practice model-making.

What made you pick college over trying to get an apprenticeship?

I actually went onto a two-year apprenticeship after my college course before I was promoted to an Architectural Technologist. Because I had studied the subject for two years at college beforehand I got to do a shortened apprenticeship, so I actually got into the job quicker by combining college and an apprenticeship than someone who had just done an apprenticeship.

What was it like going from a college course into work?

I found it fine! BakerHicks hired me because my college had put my name forward to them, as the college has really good links with employers. When I started work, I already had the tools to do most of the tasks that were given to me because I’d learnt so much on my course. I just had to focus on my workplace’s standards and the way they worked.


Get in touch with us at and let us know your thoughts about T-levels, learning technical subjects in the classroom, or anything else you would like to share your ideas about!

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