Diploma in Automotive Engineering (KNEC)

A diploma in Automotive Engineering is a course that will equip the graduates with skills to be able to service, diagnose and repair faults in vehicles. They will also be able to manage and supervise an automotive workshop and automobile spare parts shop. Automotive engineering is a part of the larger mechanical engineering field that specializes in vehicles and other automobiles.

In Kenya, automotive engineering is offered at both universities and TVET institutions. For university, they have the autonomy of deciding on what to be included in the course. However, TVET uses a common syllabus produced by KICD and examined by KNEC. In this article, we concentrate on Diploma in Automotive Engineering for the KNEC syllabus.

The objective of the automotive engineering course

By the end of this Diploma in Automotive Engineering, the trainee is expected to be able to do the following.

  1. The graduate will be able to test and analyze vehicle performance.
  2. Interpret technical information on vehicle bodywork and performance.
  3. Manage a vehicle production line.
  4. Apply ICT in vehicle industry production line and research.
  5. Design and implement environment, health, and safety programs as per the OSHA guidelines.
  6. The course will also offer foundation knowledge for further training in the automotive works industry.

The entry requirement for Diploma in Automotive Engineering

Being a Diploma course those who wish to join the course in any TVET institution will require a minimum KCSE grade of C-. There is no cluster subject required. However, since it is an engineering course, it will require good mathematics, analytical, and physics knowledge.

Those who have done a Craft certificate in automotive engineering and passed can proceed to a diploma level. Depending on your performance at the craft level you can request KNEC to exempt you from some units. When exempted you will be admitted to module 2 of the diploma instead of module 1.

Units covered in the Diploma in Automotive Engineering course

For the diploma KNEC program, the course is divided into 3 modules/levels which are supposed to take 3 years. The student does the unit in each module and sits for the KNEC exam for those specific units before preceding to the next level.

If you fail 3 units among all your units per module, KNEC considers it as FAIL and you have to repeat all units in that module. When you fail 1 or 2 units you are allowed to proceed to the next level but you must repeat the failed unit and pass before you are Certified by KNEC.

For the Diploma in Automotive Engineering course, the following are the units that you are required to cover to be certified.

Module 1 units

  1. Communication skills.
  2. Life Skills.
  3. Information Communication Technology.
  4. Entrepreneurship Education.
  5. Mathematics I.
  6. Mechanical Science.
  7. Electrical and Electronics Principles.
  8. Basic Engineering Drawing.
  9. Materials Technology and Metallurgy.
  10. Workshop Technology.
  11. Vehicle Technology.

After module 1 students are expected to go for an industrial attachment which is a requirement of the course. Students can be attached to any industry or area that deals with vehicles and other automotive industries. This includes but is not limited to a vehicle garage, vehicle assembly line, and end-of-life workshops for moto vehicles among other areas.

Module 2 units

  1. Business Plan.
  2. Mathematics II.
  3. Strength of Materials.
  4. Mechanical of Machines.
  5. Industrial Organization and Management.
  6. Engineering Drawing and Design.
  7. Engine Technology.
  8. Vehicle Body Work

Module 3 units in Automotive Engineering

  1. Computer-Aided Design (AutoCAD)
  2. Thermodynamics.
  3. Fluid Mechanics.
  4. Control Systems and Instrumentation.
  5. Mathematics III.
  6. Auto Electric and Electronics.
  7. Trade Project.

Career Progression in Automotive Engineering

After you have done the course you will have enough knowledge to manage a vehicle production line and workshop. You can also diagnose vehicles and repair different issues on the cars and other engines.

With a Diploma in automotive, you can progress to a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering. However, since it is a branch of mechanical engineering not many universities offer it at the undergraduate level. Nevertheless, you can specialize in areas such as

  1. Automotive design engineer.
  2. Automotive electrical and electronics
  3. Bodyworks specialist

To practice engineering in Kenya you will require to be certified by the Kenya Engineering Board. This is the body that is tasked with ensuring all engineers practicing in Kenya are registered. It ensures that they follow all guidelines when carrying out any engineering task.

Prospect employment areas/opportunities

With a Diploma in Automotive Engineering, you can be employed as an automotive engineer technician. Some of the work related to the position are:

  1. Managing the vehicle workshop and garage.
  2. Diagnose and repair vehicles.
  3. Vehicle bodywork.
  4. Sales of spare parts

For self-employment, you can start your own vehicle garage. This may take time since many people want their cars checked by experienced mechanics but that can be a starting point. If you have enough capital you can also start a car spare part for the most common vehicle in your area.

For employment opportunities, you can go to companies that deal with vehicle repair and those with production lines. These companies offer services to their cars brand across the country. Companies such as TOYOTA, NISSAN, etc.