06 Nov 2012

The Open University welcomes its first welding engineer graduate

The Open University has awarded its first Foundation Degree (FD) in Materials Fabrication and Engineering to Adrian Noble, a Senior Welding Inspector for Isleburn Ltd.

Adrian started his career in 1998 as a welding apprentice, and through an ambitious professional development plan, moved into a welding inspector role in 2005, becoming an Engineering Technician with The Welding Institute (TWI) in 2007. Adrian studied for the TWI Diploma in Welding Technology and then built on the diploma with the required Open University courses and work-based modules to gain the FD.

Adrian said: "This is a significant step forward for me to progress my career, as it opens the way to the next level of professional membership with The Welding Institute and to acquiring the European and International Welding Engineer diplomas."

The foundation degree was created to develop a pathway for those without a Bachelor’s Degree to meet the access conditions for the International Welding Engineer diploma course. In addition, the FD demonstrates a proactive response to the predicted increase in demand for up-skilling of welding professionals in the UK, as highlighted in a recent report published by the Royal Academy of Engineers.

The Open University has made achieving the degree more accessible by awarding credits for previous study and courses completed through TWI. Holders of a TWI Diploma can gain 60 credits in Stage One and a further 30 at Stage Two, adding towards the Foundation Degree’s required total of 240 credits.

The degree is industry relevant, and teaches up-to-date skills that can be deployed in the workplace immediately, offering greater efficiency and an immediate return on investment. In addition to teaching the specific welding skillset, the degree also integrates mathematics and problem solving with health and safety and project management to provide a well-rounded experience that is delivered through the OU’s trademark flexible learning.

To learn more about the degree, please visit the OU’s website at:

To read the report published by the Royal Academy of Engineers, please visit:

About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has more than 250,000 current students, including over 15,000 overseas.

The OU came top for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey this year, and has been in the top three universities every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2011/12 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 23 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 56 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.

back to All News stories

back to previous page

back to top