South Devon College

Inspiring our community through learning for all

Contact us on: 08000 380123

Automotive

Studying automotive courses at South Devon College in Paignton, the heart of the English Riviera, will give you the perfect start to your exciting career in any area of the motor industry. Our fully trained and highly experienced staff members have a wealth of industry experience, from vehicle body paint specialists to MOT testers and race team technicians, so we are confident that we are the right people to start up your journey!

Being a part of the outstanding Automotive section at South Devon College will give you the opportunity to gain access to many of Devon's automotive sector experts, including main dealerships such as Speedwell Honda, local businesses like Western Garage and parts companies. You will also be able to attend events such as the South West Autosport show and the BMAD Bike Festival. We will encourage and improve your raw skills and turn you into an enthusiastic, highly skilled automotive professional.

At South Devon College we have workshops suitable for vehicle maintenance, motorcycle maintenance, vehicle body repair and vehicle body refinishing, with courses available across these areas. All of our facilities feature state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that you learn in the best possible environment and get the highest level of professional experience from your course, preparing you for future employment.


Why South Devon College?

South Devon College is an outstanding place to learn, and the perfect place for your education and development. In 2014, we were delighted to be recognised as the top Further Education and Tertiary College in England, in results published by the Skills Funding Agency for 2012-13. We were also graded as 'Outstanding' in our most recent Ofsted inspection.

We are proud to promote a culture of success within the College, with fantastic results across the entirety of our provision. With an exceptional learning environment and our inspirational teaching team, we know that together, you will enjoy the same success in your studies and achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

Personalised Learning Programmes

Every student at South Devon College has a Personalised Learning Programme; a custom plan tailored to you as an individual that ensures you gain the academic, vocational and employability skills necessary to achieve your goals and find employment upon the completion of your studies.


Lesley Thomas: Automotive student

I studied Vehicle Maintenance and Repair at the College, and learnt a lot of valuable skills. My lasting impression of South Devon College was the tutors; they were outstanding! You were always treated as an adult, and it was great preparation for future employment. I've since progressed through an apprenticeship with Vauxhall and am now a qualified technician. I now work within the service team, assisting customers and technicians with their needs.

We have 12 fulltime courses in Automotive:

Vehicle Construction and Panel Repair - Level 1 Diploma

The Vehicle Body Repair Diploma Level 1 is ideal if you are interested in Automotive Vehicle Body Repair. You will develop essential knowledge of repair procedures and practice the required skills to complete simple joining techniques, basic body repair procedures and the removal and replacement of vehicle body panels. During this course you will utilise our specialist vehicle body repair workshop and our cutting edge laboratory facilities, across a balanced programme that features both practical and theoretical study. As your first step into industry, this course builds a fantastic foundation for future study or potentially, an apprenticeship.

What will I learn?

  • Introduction to the retail automotive maintenance and repair industry
  • Vehicle body repair materials, basic vehicle preparation and basic vehicle body
  • repairs
  • Moving loads and vehicle jacking
  • Forming and joining for Vehicle Body Repair
  • Removing and fitting motor mechanical, electrical and trim (met) components to
  • vehicles
  • Vehicle body resistance spot welding operations
Vehicle Construction and Panel Repair Level 1 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 2 GCSEs at grade D or above
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available


Vehicle Construction, Repair and Paint Preparation - Level 1 Diploma

If you are interested in automotive paint refinishing and bodywork, we have the perfect course for you! The Vehicle Paint Refinishing Diploma Level 1 includes developing essential knowledge of refinishing procedures and practice the required skills to prepare and paint vehicles, including an understanding of construction, preparation and application. During this course, you will utilise our specialist vehicle body repair workshop and our cutting edge laboratory facilities, across a balanced programme that features both practical and theoretical study. As your first step into industry, this course builds a fantastic foundation for future study or potentially, an apprenticeship.

What will I learn?

  • Interpreting vehicle technical information and construction
  • Basic vehicle preparation including selection of filling materials
  • Vehicle refinishing materials
  • Tools and equipment
  • Vehicle paint application and minor defect rectification
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of health and safety in the workplace
Vehicle Construction, Repair and Paint Preparation Level 1 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 2 GCSEs at grade D or above
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Light Vehicle Maintenance Technician - Level 1 Diploma

The Level 1 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance Technician is available at both our Paignton and Newton Abbot campuses, and is delivered in workshops featuring industry-standard equipment. This course can be an ideal starting point for you if you wish to pursue a career in the automotive industry. Starting with the essential skills, you will develop your knowledge of light vehicles and practice carrying out maintenance and repair activities. You will learn through a balanced combination of practical workshop activity and theory sessions, providing you with an excellent foundation for future study or employment in the automotive industry.

What will I learn?

  • Principles of construction and routine maintenance
  • Principles of engines
  • Principles of tyres
  • Principles of brakes
  • Principles of steering and suspension
  • Principles of transmission
  • Principles of vehicle electrics and electronics
Light Vehicle Maintenance Technician Level 1 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 2 GCSEs at grade D or above
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus
  • Newton Abbot Campus

Vehicle Accident Repair, Paint Preparation Technician - Level 2 Diploma

This course is the perfect progression from the Vehicle Paint Refinishing Diploma Level 1, developing your existing knowledge even further. You will study what is required to prepare and apply paint to vehicles to the high standards required in industry today. You will be examining vehicle paint refinishing in finer detail, considering practical and theoretical topics that include preparing and applying foundation and topcoats, as well as repair work and polishing. This course is delivered at our specialist vehicle body repair workshop, giving you access to industry-standard equipment and familiarising you with the practices necessary for further progression or employment.

What will I learn?

  • Preparing panels to accept foundation and topcoats
  • Preparing and applying foundation materials
  • Repairing minor paint defects
  • Hand and machine polishing
  • Application of primers and topcoats
  • knowledge and understanding of health and safety in the workplace
Vehicle Accident Repair, Paint Preparation Technician  Level 2 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 2
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 2
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 4 GCSEs including English or equivalent
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Vehicle Accident Repair Technician - Level 2 Diploma

This course is the perfect progression from the Vehicle Body Repair Diploma Level 1, developing your existing knowledge even further. You will study what is required to carry out removal and refitting of non-permanently fixed body panels, repairs using techniques used with the industry and simple welding procedures. This course is delivered at our specialist vehicle body repair workshop, giving you access to industry-standard equipment and familiarising you with the practices necessary for further progression or employment.

What will I learn?

  • Removing and fitting permanent and non-permanent fixed body panels and components
  • Carrying out minor repairs to body panels
  • Resistance spot welding
  • Mag welding techniques
Vehicle Accident Repair Technician  Level 2 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 2
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 2
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 4 GCSEs including English or equivalent
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available


Diploma in Vehicle Parts - Level 2

The efficient ordering and delivery of vehicle parts is crucial in keeping businesses running smoothly. This programme of study involves promoting, selling and delivering automotive parts to motor trade and other customers, achieving sales targets, advising customers on required parts, establishing and maintaining customer relationships.

What will I learn?

  • All aspects of health & safety, maintaining positive relationships and good housekeeping
  • Giving customers a positive impression of yourself and your organisation
  • Contributing to a secure workplace
  • Selecting and issuing vehicle parts
  • Receiving and storing parts
  • Understanding of how the above procedures operate
Diploma in Vehicle Parts Level 2

Entry Requirements

  • You must have a GCSE Grade C in Maths
  • You must have a GCSE Grade C in English
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technician - Level 2 Diploma

This course is a perfect progression from the Level 1 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance Technician and develops existing knowledge by examining the components of vehicle maintenance and repair in more detail, preparing you with an advanced skill set necessary for success in a fast-moving and dynamic industry. The Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Diploma Level 2 involves both practical workshop activity and theory sessions, making it the perfect course for you if you enjoy hands-on work and getting stuck in, and would like to develop an advanced knowledge of the automotive industry.

What will I learn?

  • Remove and Replace Engine Units
  • Remove and Replace Engine Components
  • Remove and Replace Electrical Components
  • Remove and Replace Auxilliary Components
  • Remove and Replace Chassis units and Components
  • Development of Health and Safety in the Workplace
Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technician Level 2 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 2
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 2
  • You must have completed an appropriate vocational qualification at Level 1
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus
  • Newton Abbot Campus

Vehicle Fitting - Level 2 Diploma

This course is a potential progression route from the Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Diploma Level 1, and is suitable if you wish to study vehicle fitting principles in more depth. The programme looks at a full range of vehicle fitting procedures, and provides the essential knowledge and skills necessary if you wish to seek employment as a vehicle fitter who will work on a range of vehicles in all types of garages. This course will develop skills employers look for in vehicle fitting technicians, and also provides an excellent foundation for studying other Automotive courses at South Devon College.

What will I learn?

  • Inspecting high performace vehicle and motorcycle tyres
  • Repairing and replacing high performace vehicle and motorcycle tyres
  • Carrying out vehicle front wheel alignment
  • Inspecting and replacing vehicle exhaust components
  • Inspecting and replacing vehicle suspension components
  • Inspecting and replacing vehicle braking components
Vehicle Fitting  Level 2 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 2 GCSEs at grade D or above
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Vehicle Paint Refinishing - Level 3 Diploma

This course is an excellent opportunity to build upon existing knowledge and develop advanced skills for work in the vehicle paint refinishing and bodywork industry. You will study preparation and application procedures across a range of surfaces and materials, as well as the diagnosis and rectifying of paint faults. This will allow you to work across a variety of vehicles in any kind of garage, dealership or specialist paint business; a key skill for vehicle body operators. This will enable you to progress directly into employment upon completion.

What will I learn?

  • Working with plastic materials and components
  • Preparing metal and pre-painted surfaces
  • Diagnosing paint defects
  • Applying top coats and completing refinishing
  • Colour matching
Vehicle Paint Refinishing  Level 3 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 2
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 2
  • You must have completed an appropriate vocational qualification at Level 2
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Light Vehicle Maintence and Diagnostic repair Technician - Level 3 Diploma

The Light Vehicle Maintence and Diagnostic repair Technician is the perfect course for building a highly advanced set of skills that will enable you to succeed and excel in the automotive industry. You will study the components of vehicle maintenance in finer detail, working with complex systems across a range of vehicles. You will consider diagnosis and fault-finding, as well as the appropriate rectification and maintenance of faults and equipment. The course develops knowledge from previous studies, and upon completion, as a skilled technician you will be able to find employment in a variety of fields in the automotive industry.

What will I learn?

  • Diagnosis and Rectification of Engine and Component Faults
  • Diagnosis and Rectification of Transmission and Componenet Faults
  • Diagnosis and Rectification of Chassis System Faults
  • Diagnosis and Rectification of Auxilliary Equipment Electrical Faults
  • How to Identify and Agree Motor Vehicle Customer Service Needs
Light Vehicle Maintence and Diagnostic repair Technician Level 3 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 2
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 2
  • You must have completed an appropriate vocational qualification at Level 2
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus
  • Newton Abbot Campus

Electrical and Mobile Electrical Principles - Level 3 Diploma

This Level 3 Diploma is available at our Vantage Point Campus in Paignton, and is an ideal progression route after you have completed the Vehicle Fitting Diploma Level 2. This course further improves your knowledge and practical skills, as well as developing your employability in the vehicle fitting sector. You will study both the theory and practical aspects of vehicle electrics and auxiliary components in our fully equipped automotive training centre, the ideal place to complete your studies. During your studies you will focus on elements of vehicle fitting including consultation, diagnostics, inspection and installation.

What will I learn?

  • Installation of aftermarket enhancements ie radios, alarms and warning systems
  • Inspecting vehicles using prescribed methods
  • Identifying suitability, installation and configuration of vehicle electrical
  • enhancements
  • How to identify and agree motor vehicle customer service needs.
  • Conducting vehicle enhancement and installation
  • Diagnosis and rectification of auxiliary equipment electrical faults
Electrical and Mobile Electrical Principles Level 3 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 1
  • You must have completed an appropriate vocational qualification at Level 2
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Exploring Automotive Skils - Entry Level Certificate

The Vehicle Technology Entry Level Certificate is the perfect starting point if you would like to develop your literacy and numeracy skills in an automotive environment, building essential skills in a practical setting. This course will help improve your understanding of vehicles and aspects of the automotive industry through practical lessons delivered in our fantastic workshop facilities. You will also build your confidence through theoretical studies and classroom based activity, ensuring you develop the essential skills necessary to progress to a Level 1 course. Therefore, upon completion you will be well on your way to a successful career in industry.

What will I learn?

  • Introduction to Vehicle Workshop Safety
  • Introduction to Motor Vehicle Industry
  • Motor Vehicle Tools and equipment
  • Routine Vehicle Checks
  • Light Vehicle Construction
  • Multiskill pathway including light vehicle maintenance and repair, vehicle body
  • repair and motorcycle
Exploring Automotive Skils Entry Level Certificate

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to be working towards achieving Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to be working towards achieving English at Level 1
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Apprenticeships with South Devon College

Automotive

An apprenticeship in the Automotive industry can lead to a variety of interesting career pathways, and gives you the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications whilst earning money, and will enable you to work in local garages and dealerships. The career routes we currently offer include Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair, Vehicle Maintenance and Repair and Vehicle Body Repair and Refinishing.

To be successful in these trades you will need to possess strong practical skills, as well as good problem solving skills so that you can think on your feet. There is an element of customer service required within the industry, which means that you will develop written and spoken communication skills. Furthermore, automotive apprentices often work within a team, meaning that team work skills are essential to your success.

Your dedicated Training Officer in the College and your work-based NVQ assessor will ensure that you develop all the skills you require to succeed in this dynamic and rewarding industry. Our support team can also help you find a suitable employer, and together, will help you take the first steps into a career that could last a lifetime.


My future with South Devon College

Careers: I want to be...

Our courses at South Devon College have been designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge employers seek, enabling you to find employment and take the first steps towards a successful career. Our Automotive courses will help you gain employment in the following industries:

Work with the latest technology

If you want to be on the cutting edge of technology, working with the tools and equipment that will shape the world of tomorrow, then look no further than South Devon College. By studying with us, you'll gain experience with the latest technology and prepare you for a career as:


Vehicle Technician