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 8 fulltime courses in Automotive:

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 Level 1 Diploma 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 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 and Repair 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 and Repair 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 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 Accident Repair, Paint Preparation Technician - Level 2 Diploma

This course is the perfect progression from the Vehicle Paint Refinishing Diploma Level 1, in order to develop your existing knowledge. You will study what is required to prepare and apply paint to vehicles to the high standards required in the automotive industry. 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 auto 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

Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technician - Level 2 Diploma

This course develops your existing knowledge by examining the components of vehicle maintenance and repair in more detail. You'll build an advanced skill set necessary for success in a fast-moving and dynamic industry. This course involves both practical workshop activity and theory sessions, making it the perfect course for you if you enjoy hands-on work 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 Paint Refinishing - Level 3 Diploma

This course is an excellent opportunity to build your 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 Maintenance and Diagnostic Repair Technician - Level 3 Diploma

The Light Vehicle Maintenance 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 Component Faults
  • Diagnosis and Rectification of Chassis System Faults
  • Diagnosis and Rectification of Auxilliary Equipment Electrical Faults
Light Vehicle Maintenance 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

Exploring Automotive Skills - Entry Level Certificate

This course 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 an appropriate course at South Devon College. 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 Skills 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