Offering expert training for technologists in the design, production and management of buildings, and providing advanced entry to our associated degrees, this course has flexibility, practical focus and professional respect.
Giving you a broad introduction to the building industry, our Construction HNC offers a route towards a range of construction industry roles.
The skills you gain are very much in demand and graduates of the School have secured roles with major engineering and construction companies such as Laing O'Rourke, Currie and Brown, Taylor Wimpey, Thomas Vale Construction, an overseas Ministry of Public Works and Birmingham International Airport.
Offering expert training for technologists in the design, production and management of buildings, this construction course has a practical focus and professional respect.
You’ll gain a sound understanding of the technical, legal and scientific principles of construction. Seminars and lectures are backed up by construction site visits which will bring your studies to life.
Students have even had opportunities to work as part of a project management team putting together a development brief for work on an actual site.
Our close links with industry provide valuable connections. Student awards sponsored by Thomas Vale give you a chance to stand out and gain recognition.
Throughout your course, you’ll be supported by expert staff who have professional experience and in-depth insight. They’ve worked on multi-million pound housing and commercial developments and have excellent working knowledge of the construction industry.
You’ll benefit from having access to both state-of-the-art digital facilities and traditional resources. Using advanced CAD software, surveying equipment and a computer-generated virtual building site, you get accustomed to the technology used in industry.
Our city centre location is an inspirational place to learn. Being based near to construction sites as Birmingham develops presents fantastic opportunities to gain experience and contacts.
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220 points from at least one A Level, together with a grade C GCSE in English and Mathematics.
BTEC National Certificate/BTEC National Diploma in Construction or a related discipline.
Other qualifications and applications from mature students with relevant experience of at least three years will also be considered.
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From at least one A Level
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|HNC||Sep 2016||PT||2 years||£775 per 15 credits|
|HNC||Sep 2017||PT||2 years||TBC|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
Sorry, this course is not available to international students.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
You will need to pay a BTEC registration fee when you enrol. There are no additional compulsory costs for this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
To apply, please complete the online application form using the link above.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
There are two ways for international students to apply:
Through a country representative – find a representative in your country.
They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Design Principles and Application
Science and Materials
Construction and Maintenance of Buildings
Law and Contract Specialist
Management Principles and Application Specialist
Group Project Core
Health, Safety and Welfare
Research Projects or Work-based Learning and Assessment
The course provides a solid grounding for a range of key professions within the construction industry. It is particularly useful in providing a transition between A Levels or National Levels to a degree course. You’ll be assessed through coursework, presentations, reports and
It will develop your strong technical base, underpinning knowledge and understanding of the principles of construction, whether they are technical, legal or scientific.
The course will also provide a clear foundation for a range of key professions within the construction industry. The course is particularly useful in providing a transition between A Levels and National Levels to a degree programme of study. Evidence of the Construction Industry Council’s Common Learning Outcomes is paramount to your success in this course.
There are opportunities for field trips to construction sites around the Midlands and specialist seminars. This is particularly important if you are from a non-building background. For the award of the HNC, you must pass the four core units plus four other units, making eight in total.
Guided by our expert staff, you’ll study units to help you in your work role as either ‘Design’ or ‘Production’. The Design stream consists of Architectural, Building Control, Building Surveying and Property and Construction students. The Production stream consists of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management students. You’ll study three core units: Design Principles and Application, Science and Materials, Management Principles and Applications, and Group Project. You’ll also study specialist areas such as Technology and Law and Contract, selecting second year modules with your role in mind.
Studying three core units and one specialist unit, you’ll gain more in-depth knowledge. You’ll be required to produce a portfolio of evidence for your learning. You’ll also take part in a group project, developing your teamwork, something Harvir Singh found invaluable: “It brings into reality what would be expected of professionals in the construction industry in work based situations and shows the importance of communication and teamwork.”
Students who wish to gain advanced entry on to one of the degree courses will be guided on what they need to do to progress.
Luke was impressed with the practical elements of his HNC course.
He was awarded the Thomas Vale Prize for Outstanding Student of the Year and he believes it was a great acknowledgement of how students can succeed with this practical approach.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
Successful HNC students generally choose to progress to one of the six degree courses – architectural technology, building surveying, construction management, quantity surveying, and real estate and study either part-time or full-time. To do this, you will need to obtain Merit grades for your Higher National Certificate.
You will be encouraged to progress to one of a range of undergraduate programmes within the School. This would typically be to 2nd year full-time or 3rd year part-time (Level 5) in:
This is a part-time course intended generally for employed students, however when you study with us you’ll learn key aspects of the building industry that will help your promotion prospects, learning underlying concepts and principles to help you see the relationship between theory and practice.
You’ll learn how to use industry equipment and software, including CAD and surveying equipment. You’ll also have access to a virtual building site, giving you experience of real life scenarios. Problem based learning scenarios based upon a real site will have developed your understanding of areas including surveying, design, construction, budget, health and safety, and management projects.
Awards and company links provide great opportunities. Student Luke Eversham won the HNC Thomas Vale Award for Outstanding Student of the Year. The recognition strengthens his CV, showing how he applied the theory he learnt in class to industrial work. Josh Prescott won the Best Student Prize in Birmingham City Council’s excellence awards and has now gone on to study a Construction Management BSc.
The course gives you a strong understanding of the construction process and types of construction methods used and the environmental, social and economic factors which influence changes in building design and usage for new build.
You’ll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. With group project work and individual tasks, you’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
The delivery of the course is complemented by a range of visits to construction sites where you will be able to appreciate theory in context.
On completion of the Construction HNC, you can normally progress to the third year of an appropriate five-year part-time degree course or to the second year of an appropriate three-year full-time degree course within the school, providing you have gained the required standards and subjects.
Many of our students gain construction industry jobs in their specialist discipline. They have also found employment with private practices, main contractors, subcontractors and supply chains associated with the construction sector.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
The course is ideal if you’re looking for – or developing – a career in building surveying, architectural technology, building control, quantity surveying or construction management.
Graduates from the school have secured employment with:
You’ll undertake trips to construction sites around the region, adding colour and relevance to your studies.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Building work on our new Conservatoire began in the summer of 2015 – and is scheduled for completion in summer 2017. This, along with the construction of a new city centre accommodation block, means our students have access to their very own building sites.
We couple this with the more traditional, office-based facilities:
Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.
You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.
Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as levels, theodolites, measuring tapes.
The use of a virtual building site will help you to appreciate the surroundings of a typical construction site and experience some of the challenges you will face in practice.
Antony is a Senior Lecturer in the Birmingham School of the Built Environment and Course Director for HNC Construction.
During over 33 years in the construction industry Antony has worked for Local Authorities, Developers, Civil Engineering Consultants ultimately as the Associate Director of a multi-national consultants and finally in the education sector. A period was spent in Nigeria working on social development projects.
Experience includes Project Management and design of on and off-site infrastructure for commercial and housing developments up to £50m. Civil engineering feasibility reports and design of foundations inevitably formed part of this process. Such Reports included flood risk assessments, land appraisals, and environmental statements. He is a competent user of several civil engineering industry standard software packages and approved as a Supervising Civil Engineer for the I.C.E training scheme.