Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course Location: Course Type:
September 2 Years Level 4 Part-Time - Day Washington Campus University Level Qualification Apply Enquire

What’s it all about?

The HNC in Construction and The Built Environment (Construction) is aimed at students wanting to continue their education through applied learning.

The course is also suitable for employees who wish to progress in their current job role and then progress to a relevant university degree course.

The course provides a wide-ranging study of the construction and the built environment sector and is designed for students who wish to pursue or advance their career in construction and the built environment. In addition to the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin the course, students will experience the breadth and depth of the sector that will prepare them for further study, training or advancement in their current workplace.

You should one of the following:
- A BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in Construction or a related subject area
- An NVQ Level 3 in a Construction Craft
- Site experience.

If you are a mature student, you will be interviewed and accepted onto the course depending on work experience, enthusiasm, and a range of professional qualifications in your work sector.

For further information, please contact the College’s admissions team on

Maths, English and IT
A good standard of Maths and English is required for the course. Use of IT based programmes such as Word and Excel would also be beneficial.

International Applicants
If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 4.5, with a minimum score of 4.0 in each component (reading, writing listening and apeaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification

Non-academic criteria:
- A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report
- A face-to-face interview may be required before an offer is made

How to apply other than UCAS where applicable:
For further information please contact the College’s admissions team on

Study level Cost Additional fees
19+ please enquire Fees for September 2022 - £2300 It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years but the maximum increase each year will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The following course-related costs are included in the fees: - Annual £10 printing allowance - Loan of equipment required for units such as technical drawing equipment The following course-related costs are not included in the fees: - Any costs that occur on field trips (optional) Financial support: For more information on Student Finance please go to our HE Finance page.

The course is classroom based and you will learn through a combination of:
- Lectures/presentations
- Seminars/tutorials/class discussion
- 1:1 discussion
- Guest speakers (where appropriate)
- Field trips (where appropriate)

Seminars/class discussions enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in the lectures in smaller groups.

1:1 individual discussion can be used to discuss progress on a particular unit or assessment.

At level 4 you will typically have around 5hrs contact hours per week, typically consisting of:
- Lectures
- Class discussions
- 1:1 discussion (where appropriate)

Typical class size is generally 10-15 students from a variety of backgrounds within and around the construction industry.

Independent learning:
When not attending lectures, seminars and practical sessions or other timetabled session you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research, preparing coursework assignment and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of facilities including the Learning Resource Centre and a dedicated computer room and regular access to your lecturer.

Overall workload:
Your overall weekly workload should consist of class contact hours (5hrs) and independent learning (outside of college) totalling 10-15hrs.

Academic support:
Our HE Academic Support Tutor provides help in the following areas:
- Study skills (including reading, writing, note-taking and presentation skills)
- Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
- Academic writing (including how to reference)
- Research skills (in conjunction with the learning centres)
- Critical thinking and understanding arguments
- Revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management)

Teaching staff:
You will learn from an experienced teaching team, whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Our teaching is informed by the relevant practice within the sector and lecturers have relevant teaching qualifications and experience required for the specific units on the course.

The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final grade. Each unit normally consists of 2-4 summative assessments/assignments and an overall grade will be given after all assignments have been handed in and assessed.

The course is classroom based and is wholly assessed by formal assessments, such as reports and presentations

You will receive feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your course lecturer to enable to improve throughout the duration of the course and gain the best possible grade you can achieve.

Lecturers aim to provide you with formal written feedback within 14 working days of hand-in of each assessment.

Each unit is worth 15 credits, with a total of 120 credits required over 2 years.

There are 8 units in total, with 4 being delivered in each year of the course.

Teaching and learning is informed by current practice and units may change periodically to reflect developments in the sector.

The units delivered on the course are as follows:

Mandatory Core Units -
- Individual Project (set by awarding body)
- Construction Technology
- Science & Materials
- Construction Practice & Management

Other Units that make up the qualification -
- Legal and Statutory Responsibilities in Construction
- Construction Information (Drawing, Detailing, Specification)
- Principles of Alternative Energy
- Principles of Refurbishment


Our HE Academic Support Tutor can provide help with study skills, written English, academic writing, research skills, critical thinking and revision, assessment and examination skills.

What’s next?

After successfully completing the course, you could move onto the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Construction and the Built Environment, or a degree programme at university.

You could also go on to find employment within the professional levels of the construction industry.

Career options and average salaries:
– Assistant construction managers (£32,535)
– Assistant site manager (£42,500)
– Project managers (£44,137)
– CAD designer (£32,104)
– CAD/BIM technician (£31,000)

Skills for employment

This course is a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ), approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. HTQs are alternatives to apprenticeships or degrees, providing a practical and employer-led study programme. Our HTQ courses are approved against occupational standards set by employers to give you the skills and experience to start a career in your chosen field.

Putting careers first

This course is offered in partnership with the North East Institute of Technology (NEIoT) , which is a collaboration between education providers, Universities and leading employers within the sector. 
As a members of the North East Institute of Technology, Sunderland College will prepare you for progression into higher level study and technical employment, by accessing world class facilities and teaching from highly trained specialist staff who are industry professionals.

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