Learner Success Stories: Valentino – Former HNC/D Mechanical Engineering Learner

Valentino receiving his degree

My name is Valentino Burattini and I decided to enrol on the HNC/D Mechanical Engineering course provided by UniCourse back in 2017. I was looking for a course to complete whilst working in full-time employment. UniCourse was able to provide me the flexibility that I needed.

I chose UniCourse because I had the freedom to choose from a wide range of optional modules. This gave me the possibility to pick the most appropriate modules according to my career path. I was interested in completing the HNC/D in Mechanical Engineering, which is accredited by Edexcel and sponsored by some great companies.

My goal was to complete a course that will prepare me for the final year of university and help me make a step forward in my engineering career path. Moreover, the support provided by UniCourse was excellent. At the time, I used to study during the night and when I sent some emails at 3am I would always receive answers back in the morning or in the afternoon.


My experience with UniCourse was great and the tutor that was assigned to me was brilliant. The materials provided by UniCourse for studying every module were also very well structured. The workbooks provided were great and designed for an online student; easy to understand, full of worked examples and very synthetic.

After completing my HND course I enrolled onto an Aerospace Engineering (Bsc) course provided by Kingston University. The university allowed me to start directly in year 3 and I managed to obtain a 1st Class degree certificate. In the beginning I had some reservations about online courses. I was initially concerned that a university could have viewed an online course as a “class B” course. However, I was completely wrong as Kingston University accepted my HND certificate with no problems because it was accredited by Edexcel.

I now believe that a well-designed online course can provide a student with quality academic knowledge that is comparable to an ‘in-class’ course. The engineering knowledge gained with UniCourse and the study methodology I developed as an online student were suitable for university standard. A massive bonus is that an online course can give you a lot of flexibility. Perhaps the only downside is that you miss out on building academic collaborations with other students. However, this changes if you choose to progress to university.

The main challenge with distance learning is setting your own deadlines and making sure you stick to them. In the beginning I struggled to submit assignments frequently. Then, I noticed that the main problem was my study organisation, which is why I developed a sort of ‘Assignment Gantt Chart’ to keep my academic schedules always on track.

Since completing the course, I am now working as a Technical Sales Engineer for a company specialising in bearings for special applications, such as cryogenic, aerospace, marine, F1, high temperature applications etc. The organisational skills that I have developed when I was an online student have been very handy in my current job. I am considering completing an Online Engineering Postgraduate course in the next 2-3 years.

My advice for a prospective online student is to be very motivated. An online student must consider that there is no teacher in front of you who will push you to submit assignments. You have to keep yourself constantly on the right track and remember that hard work always pays off.

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