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Home » Courses » IMI Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair

IMI Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair

The role of a diagnostic technician is to identify and rectify faults on cars and vans to ensure that they are safe to be on our roads. This course will continue your development to becoming a Diagnostic Vehicle Technician, capable of diagnosing a wide variety of automotive faults.

why choose this course?

This course is the next step after the Level 2 Diploma to developing a career as a Car Mechanic. You will develop your understanding of the motor vehicle industry and have an opportunity to apply more complex vehicle diagnosis and rectification skills in a practical and realistic way. You will follow a rigorous programme of study that enables progression to employment within the motor industry. You will gain confidence by developing independent learning skills and will learn how more in-depth vehicle repair activities are carried out safely; you will also learn how important the role of a mechanic is to keeping so many different parts of the country operating smoothly.

Apply for this course

Start date: 09/09/2024

Course code
Level 3
Penwith College
1 year


Small Class Sizes

Experienced Tutors

Industry-Standard Facilities

Great Links With Employers

Automotive PC 0001

Learn from sector experts

You will be taught by staff with extensive experience who have all been tradespeople themselves. You will learn to advance your knowledge and skills to meet the expectations of the automotive industry with a focus on the job role of a vehicle technician.

Automotive PC 0002

Develop work-related skills

During your programme, you will also develop personal and work-related skills which will prepare you for progression to full-time work, following completion of your training in college. This will include working to pre-determined repair times, used by the industry so that you can compare your efficiency to that of a qualified and experienced mechanic.

Automotive PC 0005

Enjoy professional surroundings

Our Automotive facilities are equipped with the latest industry-standard vehicle diagnostic equipment and resources. We enjoy partnerships with many large suppliers and employers and as a result, students will experience, apply and develop industry-standard vehicle repair skills in a realistic working environment.


You will be taught automotive diagnostic procedures in our first-class workshops, classrooms, and IT suites, and will quickly start to inspect, diagnose and rectify a variety of faults that we insert into vehicles and rigs, all whilst using professional quality tools and equipment. Of course, it’s not all about practical skills, employers need enthusiastic and engaged employees to meet the demands of the ever-evolving motor industry to help their business grow. You will therefore need to gain knowledge of how the industry works and how the role keeps other industries operational, such as the emergency services or armed forces. This will give you the very best opportunity to progress and forge a successful and rewarding career in the automotive world.

If you are a full-time student, you will follow a study programme which will consist of your main automotive maintenance and repair course, enterprise and enrichment activities, English and Maths* and work-related experience.

*Should you not achieve at least a grade 4 in English (Literature or Language) and Maths you will be required to continue to study these as an integral part of your course.

Units that you will study include:

  • Knowledge of Diagnosis and Rectification of Auxiliary Electrical Faults: This unit will teach you how to diagnose and rectify a variety of electrical faults on cars and vans. This will be introduced through more simple systems such as lighting faults or window motors not operating correctly, developing further into complex systems such as air conditioning compressor clutches. In the classroom, you will develop knowledge and skills to support these diagnoses, such as the use of wiring diagrams to understand circuits.
  • Knowledge of Diagnosis and Rectification of Engine Faults: As engines become more complicated, their use of Electronic Control Units, sensors and actuators grow. The modern vehicle technician needs to have a comprehensive understanding of how these work and how to diagnose faults. This unit will teach you how all of the various sensors work and how to diagnose engine faults using a step-by-step procedure or test plan. Faults could range from an engine management light being illuminated to a misfire or even an engine that won’t start.
  • Knowledge of Diagnosis and Rectification of Chassis Faults: You will learn to diagnose and rectify chassis component failure such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) faults. You will learn about the different types of sensors that are used and why, you will also learn different testing methods and the equipment required for each one. Both steering and suspension are also covered in this unit.
  • Knowledge of Diagnosis and Rectification of Transmission Faults: Modern transmission systems favour electronic solenoids to provide accurate and smooth gear change and selection for maximum efficiency, performance and comfort. As a diagnostic vehicle technician, you will need to learn how these work and how to diagnose them when they fail. You will gain the underpinning knowledge in the classroom of how these systems operate before putting the theory into practice with our dedicated diagnostic equipment and rigs.
  • Tools, Materials and Fabrication; Health and Safety; Job Roles and Responsibilities: These units are all completed during the Level 2 Diploma. However, if you are applying for direct entry to this programme then these will also need to be completed.
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Where Will It take Me?

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to progress into employment to further develop the skills that you have learned thus far. You could also progress into Higher Education such as an HNC or HND. There are many opportunities for skilled vehicle technicians in the motor industry.

Further professional development will enable you to work towards more roles within the industry such as Breakdown, Recovery, Mobile Mechanic, Workshop Supervisor or even Garage Owner.

Assessment Arrangments

Coursework will be assessed through set practical tasks in our well-equipped workshops, where you will diagnose and rectify a variety of faults in different automotive systems.

Your knowledge will be assessed through internally set assignments, writing the job cards of practical tasks and externally set online exams.  

Entry Requirments

You are required Successfully complete the Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair or equivalent. It is possible to gain direct entry to this programme but extensive experience in the industry will be required, as well as a keen interest in the role of a Vehicle Technician.  

Information & Support

The student support team are here to support you and offer advice and guidance on financial, personal, and pastoral issues. A professional team of staff will work together with your personal tutor to support you in successfully completing your course and pursuing pathways to progress as a mechanic. 

Additional Information

As in the workplace, PPE will be required for the course such as safety boots, overalls etc. You will be provided with a full list of the protective equipment requirements of the course before you start. 

Meet the staff, tour the campus and find out about life as a student at one of the best colleges in the country.

What you could earn

  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Vehicle Technicians, Mechanics and Electricians
  • Electrical and Electronics Technicians
  • Electronics Engineers
  • Assemblers (Electrical and Electronic Products)
  • Electrical and Electronic Trades
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Electricians and Electrical Fitters
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Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


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