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Construction HNC and HND

About Studying at UCO
Key Information

Start date:September

Institutional code:O10

UCAS code:Apply direct to UCO

Duration:2 years

Course type:Part Time

Fees per year 18/19:£3750

Additional costs per year:None

Entry Requirements

All applicants will undertake a skills review profile to identify qualifications and/or experience held by applicant to assess whether this profile shows an ability to progress to level 4 or level 5 qualifications.

All applicants will undertake a skills review profile to identify qualifications and/or experience held by applicant to assess whether this profile shows an ability to progress to level 4 or level 5 qualifications.

A typical profile for a student who has recently been in education would consist of:

  • a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Construction and the Built Environment
  • a GCE Advanced level profile which demonstrates strong performance in relevant subject or an adequate performance in more than one GCE subject.

(This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades at A* to C)

  • Other vocationally related level 3 qualifications
  • An Access to Higher Education Certificate awarded by an approved further education institution
  • Related work experience within construction or an associated field.

Mature students may present a more varied profile of achievement that is likely to include extensive work experience (paid and/or unpaid) and/or achievement of a range of professional qualifications in their work sector.


Pearson BTEC Level 4 & Level 5 HNC / HND Diploma in Construction And The Built Environment (QCF)

This course will provide you with a working knowledge of a wide range of activities undertaken throughout the construction process including project management, health, safety and welfare, legal framework and sustainability. Group work and reflective practice is covered within the course enabling you to develop a rounded, teamwork approach, developing analytical and problem solving skills as well as enhancing confidence and communication skills, essential for the workplace. The part-time nature of the course enables you to develop theoretical skills in line with work practices and students are encouraged to use work-based case studies as part of the learning process where possible.

Course Content - Year 1 / Year 2

The course content has been devised in order to develop key areas of importance to construction managers across a broad spectrum of professional areas within the Built Environment. The skills developed on the course will enable students to function effectively in the work environment.

Years 1 / 2 (Part-Time)

Design Principles and Application for Construction and the Built Environment
This unit addresses the phases of construction, reviewing the co-ordination and management of each phase. Constraints in relation to the planning, design and construction processes are considered as are the roles, responsibilities and obligations of parties to the construction process. The impact of technology on the design process is also reviewed. We investigate the legislation that applies to the construction industry. Health and safety policy is reviewed, codes of practice considered and company policies and procedures for the effective implementation of health, safety and welfare policy are highlighted. Project management principles are evaluated with a focus on duties and responsibilities of the Project Manager.

Science and Materials for Construction and The Built Environment
Properties and behaviours of materials are identified and analysed. Comfort levels relating to building use are discussed and evaluated.

Group Project in the Construction Industry
Working as a group undertaking a “real-life” construction project, this unit encourages teamwork, application of a range of professional skills and communication within the group. Developing a construction brief, preparing a “plan of work” and devising strategies and solutions, the group project helps to consolidate the units that have been studied throughout the rest of the course – this is essentially therefore a year 2 unit.

Personal and Professional Development
This unit focuses on developing personal and professional attributes. It reflects on the learning process, introduces learning styles and development planning aimed at enabling students to optimise their learning capabilities. The unit introduces portfolio building and a range of evaluative techniques designed to enable performance improvement.

Law and Contract for Construction and The Built Environment
This unit covers the legal framework governing the UK and also looks at the contractual relationships that exist within the construction industry, highlighting the rights, duties and obligations of parties to the construction process.

Environmental Impact of Construction
Covering both local and global impact of the construction industry, issues relating to sick building syndrome and the use of environmental impact systems, this unit covers a broad range of subjects that are relevant in today’s modern industry. The importance of meeting national and international targets in relation to reduction of carbon emissions as per the Climate Change Act (2008) is discussed. ​

Placement and Work Experience

Opportunities may arise for students throughout the course to engage with local construction consultants and contractors. In the past, students have undertaken placements within design teams, commercial departments and also on site production, enabling them to gain first-hand experience of construction activities and processes. This is beneficial in helping to underpin theoretical concepts gained throughout the course of their studies. Students wishing to benefit from this experience can express an interest and register on the student placement scheme. ​

Career Opportunities

The HNC provides a broad base for entry into a wide range of construction related professions. These include Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Building Surveying, Construction and Production Management, Tendering and Estimating and Planning. The HNC also allows for further academic progression, enabling students to pursue degree level qualifications. Throughout the course, opportunities exist for personal development, interview techniques, writing CVs and establishing excellent presentation and communication skills, all vital requirements when seeking entry into employment.​

Teaching and Assessment

The course is delivered by a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials, assignments and project based work. There is a strong focus on practical work, devising group strategies and solutions and feeding back via formal presentation. Students are also encouraged to work independently and to develop the necessary skills to enable the presentation of the highest standard with regards to academic submissions. The combination of theory and practice will enable students to engage in a wide range of activities that reflect modern day construction practice. This will be of benefit to students who are embarking on a career within the industry and will also help to develop those students already engaged within the construction sector.​

Other Information / Useful Links

The HNC is a recognised qualification. Once the certificate is gained, this allows for further study at year 2 of a degree programme. Students typically progress into areas such as quantity surveying and commercial management, project management, construction management and building surveying.

The course team recognises the value of professional bodies within the teaching environment and also actively encourages students to engage as student members with relevant organisations. A representative of CIOB will visit to inform students of the role of the institute and the benefits of student membership. All students studying on the HNC Diploma in Construction and The Built Environment course are eligible for student membership of the institute. This gives the student numerous benefits such as attendance at specialist seminars, receipt of a quarterly magazine etc. The following links highlight further information on the relevant professional bodies and institutions and highlight some of the routes that are possible for students undertaking the course.


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