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Construction - HNC

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Want a comprehensive introduction to the construction industry? Study HNC Construction and structure your coursework in your own way. You’ll gain fundamental knowledge that will set you up to explore a range of construction roles. Plus, it’s a great way of progressing onto one of our Built Environment degree courses....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK and is a great area for students to be in if you want to be in the built environment because there's redevelopment going on all around you and there's also a strong possibility that you could be working on these projects in the future. I've had a really good experience at BCU so far. We get to go on quite a lot of site visits. One of the biggest ones we've been on so far was the housing development by Taylor Wimpey, and we also had for our first assignment Taylor Wimpey's, managing director of the West Midlands, assessed one of our presentations. Support from lecturers is really, really good that always there, they're always there to reply to your emails no matter what the query is. They've all had real life experience, academic and industry wise, that we can learn from. One of the things that I'm most passionate about the built environment is the possibility of working on the creation of the built environment that we live in. I wanted a change of career. I wanted to do something that's a bit more impactful and something that can help the community. So I think the built environment was a perfect way to go about the student experience has been amazing, to be honest. The lecturers and the students actually have been very welcoming. There's definitely something for every person to get involved in. The Careers+ and Employability team and the support that I got from them with regards to updating my CV, get my professional network set up on LinkedIn, which has been excellent. So I was lucky enough to secure a placement with Atkins. After my placement year, I was actually offered the graduate role, which was fantastic because it meant that I've got something secured and now go back into industry and into a company that I really enjoyed working with.

It's only four years for me to change my career and really step into a brand new industry. And I'm really thankful for BCU for supporting me through this journey. There's always been something about buildings that has interest in me, kind of curious and how they're put together and what kind of technology goes into that. Coming to university, I knew that I wanted to go to Engineering or Architecture and seeing those courses in depth, I kind of knew to myself that it wasn't correct for me. So then I came across Architectural Technology and I found out it just answered both of those questions I had then, which was wanted to go to. So BCU offers a wide range of facilities. It provides a lot of equipment such as VR headsets, laptops that students can borrow whenever they need to, and industry level software such as AutoCAD and Revit to really useful to us as being used as currency in our industry and will continue to be used throughout the years to come. Being able to go outside of the classroom and use industry level equipment really helps us as students get a vision of what it's like in practice. I've really enjoyed my time studying at BCU and I can't wait to what the future holds.

Want a comprehensive introduction to the construction industry? Study HNC Construction and structure your coursework in your own way.

You’ll gain fundamental knowledge that will set you up to explore a range of construction roles. Plus, it’s a great way of progressing onto one of our Built Environment degree courses.

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, Mott MacDonald, Taylor Wimpey, Birmingham City Council and Birmingham International Airport.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Offering expert training for technologists in the design, production and management of buildings, the HNC 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. You’llalso be supported by expert staff who have professional experience of working on multi-million pound housing and commercial developments, as well as having excellent working knowledge of the construction industry.

Close links with industry will provide you with valuable connections. You ’ll have the chance to take part in student awards with big name sponsors, such as BAM, Bouyges, UK North and Midlands, giving you the chance to gain recognition and make contacts to help further your future career.

You’ll also benefit from having access to both state-of-the-art digital facilities and traditional resources. Using advanced BIM software, surveying equipment and a computer-generated virtual building site, you get accustomed to the technology used in industry.

Birmingham’s cutting edge development presents fantastic opportunities to gain experience and contacts for our students based in the city centre location.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is accredited by Charted Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
  • Satisfying professional body requirements, this course places you in typical working situations, giving you vital experience.
  • Using advanced CAD software, surveying equipment and a computer-generated virtual building site, you will become accustomed to the technology used in industry so that when you enter your career, you’ll have the skills that give you a competitive advantage.
  • You’ll benefit from the invaluable industry insight of staff and guest speakers who have worked on major projects and developments.
  • You will have the chance to take part in student awards with big name sponsors such as Thomas Vale. These give you the chance to gain recognition and make contacts which could prove beneficial in your future career.
  • Studying on a day-release, one day per week basis, you can build your course work around your working commitments.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £340m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

Essential

88 UCAS tariff points from at least one A Level, together with GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English and Maths.

T Level 

  • 96 UCAS points - grade Pass (C or above on the core)
  • All T Level subjects are accepted for our foundation year degrees in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment

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.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: HNC

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £1542 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 60 credits
  • Year 2 - 60 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Field trips (optional)

This course may involve local site visits relating to essential module coursework where you would pay transport costs to and from the site. This course may also include the option of additional trips to complement your studies; these would be at extra cost.

Guidance for UK/EU applicants

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.

Guidance for international students

There are two ways for international students to apply:

1

Direct to the University – using our International Application Form.
If you need help, please email your questions to us at International Enquiries.

2

Through a country representative – find a representative in your country.
They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Core Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

Optional Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules: 

Download course specification

Download now

The course provides a solid grounding for a range of key professions within the construction industry. It is the equivalent to the first year of a degree course, taken part time. It is particularly useful in providing a transition between A Levels or National Levels to a degree or apprenticeship course. You’ll be assessed through coursework, presentations, reports and exams and you'll develop your strong technical base, underpinned by knowledge and understanding of the principles of construction, whether they are technical, legal or scientific.

The course also provides a strong foundation for a range of key professions within the construction industry. It is particularly useful in providing a transition between A Levels and National Levels to a degree programme of study.

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 five core units plus one relevant specialist option.

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

This course is accredited by Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

This is a part-time course intended generally for employed students. By studying with us, you’ll learn key aspects of the building industry that will help your promotion prospects, and understand underlying concepts and principles to help you see the relationship between theory and practice.

You’ll learn to use industry equipment and software. Building information management is essential in today’s world of design and construction and experience with industry-related software is central to our approach, giving you an insight into the world of virtual technology. 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 develop your understanding of areas including surveying, design, construction, budget, health and safety and project management.

Awards and company links provide you with great opportunities. Student Luke Eversham won the HNC Thomas Vale Award for Outstanding Student of the Year. This recognition strengthened 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, 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.

Placements

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 are already employed within the construction industry in jobs in their specialist discipline.  For students not already in employment, there are a range of placement opportunities available in local companies. Students have found employment with private practices, main contractors, subcontractors and supply chains associated with the construction sector.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff


Our Facilities

The facility our students value most is not actually on campus, but is the location of the campus in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside opposite the new High Speed 2 station construction, and minutes from dozens of fascinating live projects within the city centre.

Birmingham as it changes constantly on our doorstep really is our ‘living lab’. By simply looking out the window of our classrooms you’ll be able to witness live projects as they’re happening around us. You’ll constantly be inspired by dozens of fascinating case studies just from walking from the station to the campus.

The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. Learn more about what we have to offer below.

Software

Recognising the rapidly evolving digital built environment we are constantly reviewing software to best fit with the professions of the future.

Autodesk Accredited Centre Status, we use the latest integrated building modelling software across undergraduate courses, seeing Architectural Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Management, and Quantity Surveying students engaging in cross discipline information management projects modelling real life experience. Accredited Centre status allowing all students licence to download this software, and making available additional qualifications and certification to those demonstrating expertise and dedication to exploring their own and the limits of the Autodesk environment.

At course level, students engage with the latest and most appropriate software for their future professions. Real Estate students with CoStar, the leading industry database supporting valuations. Quantity Surveyors using Blue Beam, Revu and QS Pro, and along these Quantity Surveyors and Construction Managers use Synchro and Navisworks for 4D and CostX for 5D work. For Building Surveying and Architectural Technology routes, visualisation is important where Enscape, V-Ray Lumion and Sketch-up are available.

Built Environment Space in Millennium Point

The Built Environment Space in Millennium Point is available to all students with a huge resource of software-equipped laptops for loan on campus. For off campus working, much of the software we use comes with free student licences and all students will have access to the Windows Virtual Desktop, allowing access to our range of software from anywhere where the internet is available.

The Studio Space that we've created in Millennium Point is an open workspace where students can work on their design projects. We have all student work and examples that will change every week or month depending on what stage of a project we're at. And it's an open space for working on projects.

This is where our Architectural Technology students and our Building Surveying students in particular, spend a lot of their time.

Concrete and Hydraulics Labs

Our dedicated Civil Engineering facilities include a Hydraulics & Structures lab Concrete & Geotechnics lab as well as a bending rig.

The swollen concrete lab and hydraulics lab are the heart of our Civil Engineering course, where we have a range of test equipment. This is where our students can carry out experimental work as part of their course, either as part modules or using those labs to work on their final year project.


Built Environment facilities

Our staff

Amanda Mundell

Senior Lecturer

Amanda is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and teaches on post-graduate and undergraduate programmes. Her teaching experience is supported by 2:1 law degree (specialising in Planning and Environmental Law), a post-graduate professional qualification (Legal Practice Course), along with 15 years...

More about Amanda

Roger Wall

Senior Lecturer

Before joining the University in 2001, Roger worked for a water resource management consultancy specializing in IT solutions and GIS applications, and as a software engineer for a German consultancy firm.

More about Roger

Dr John J. Posillico

Senior Lecturer of Construction Management, Course Lead - BSc Construction Management

Whilst working in the Construction Management industry, Dr Posillico has been accountable for financial, schedule, quality and project management, as well as the owner’s representation services on numerous projects across North America. Dr Posillico’s work experience has ranged from the construction of academic / full-service healthcare facilities,...

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Dr Ghasson Shabha

Senior Lecturer

Ghasson has obtained his PhD in Architecture from Bath University, UK. He is an architect by profession with a wide range of experience in the design and property management of office, residential and commercial buildings. He has acted in an advisory capacity to Housing Associations, PROMIS , Dubai, CIB and Building Research Establishment (BRE).

More about Ghasson