Construction and the Built Environment HNC

Location University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code K201
Code ST2147A17
Fees View fees and financial information
Study Mode Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: august 2023
Term Dates: View term dates


The HNC (Higher National Certificate) in Construction and the Built Environment is an introductory higher education qualification and offers a broad base of traditional construction subjects with specialist options allowing you to adapt the course to your particular career ambitions. You will study 8 modules in total in order to successfully complete the HNC award. This qualification is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap.

The continued development and regeneration of towns and cities in the UK has led to a continuous demand for suitably qualified professionals across all construction disciplines. The HNC in Construction is at an introductory undergraduate level and offers a broad base of traditional construction subjects with specialist options allowing you to adapt the course to your particular career ambitions.

The course is tailored to students with ambitions of working within construction in a professional, managerial, or technical capacity. This course is designed to provide you with a high level of understanding of the design, function, construction and statutory requirements for buildings of all classes, and to prepare you for more advanced employment in the construction industry.

The part time mode of this course is one day weekly or alternatively two evenings weekly.

What will I study?

You will study 8 modules in total in order to successfully complete the HNC award.  All construction projects involve team-work. This is also reflected in the course as you’ll take part in a group-research project which will not only improve your academic, analytical and research skills but also encourage team-working and professional communication. 

All students take a total of 120 credits. 

Modules include:

  • Individual Project
  • Construction Technology Unit
  • Science & Materials
  • Construction Practice & Management
  • Legal & Statutory Responsibilities in Construction
  • Construction Information (Drawing, Detailing, Specification)
  • Surveying, Measuring & Setting Out
  • Tender & Procurement

On this course, full time students generally spend up to 2 days a week in College, if you choose to study the course full-time. Part time students generally spend 1 full day a week in College, or two evenings if you choose to study the course part time.

As all course timetables are subject to change you should not make definite plans based on this information; this information is intended as a guide only. Please remember that you will be expected to carry out work in your own time in addition to the time you spend in College.

Entry Requirements

You’ll need 32 UCAS points to join this programme. All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English. Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.

Mature students, with experience in construction based management duties would be considered if they have a grounding in maths and English.

Care Leavers or Young Carers

We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

See our General Entry Requirements.

How will I be assessed?

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, individual projects, essays, presentations, peer assessment, open-book assignments, assignments/briefs, portfolio building, reports and poster presentations.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

What can I do next?

The course consists of a combination of core modules which provide appropriate training in each case for technicians employed in architecture, building surveying, building control, building management or quantity surveying. Graduates have gone on to be building surveyors, quantity surveyors, project managers, construction site managers, building inspectors, clerk of works and site engineers.

What will my timetable be like?

If you choose to study this course in September 2022, your timetable will consist of the following days of study at our University Centre.

The days that have been set for this course, for the first year intake only, are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

You will be required to undertake work in your own time and also undertake private study. This will be in addition to your taught hours in class. You may also be required to undertake a work placement/work-based learning. This is in addition to the taught timetabled classes, please bear this in mind with your planning. 

The University Centre reserves the right to change timetables for the year ahead and this information is provided to you as a guide. The days of study in subsequent years of the course may vary.

Career Options

Builders' Merchant

Builders’ merchants supply products and materials to construction companies, tradespeople and the general public. They make up and deliver orders, and advise customers on which products to use for particular job.

If you want a practical job, working with customers that combines indoor and outdoor work, this could be ideal for you.

Excellent customer care skills and some knowledge of construction would be useful. You’ll also need to be physically fit.

You don’t need any set qualifications for this job but you will need a good head for numbers to work out quantities, prices and quotes. You may be able to start on an apprenticeship scheme.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Building Technician

Building technicians support building managers on construction projects.

To become a building technician, you will need to have an excellent knowledge of building methods and materials. You will need good communication skills. You will also need to be able to work well as part of a team.

You may be able to get into this career in a number of ways. For example, by taking on-the-job training, through a higher education course or by completing an Advanced Apprenticeship.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Civil Engineering Technician

In this job you would provide technical support to civil engineers on construction projects. If you have a flair for engineering and building, you could have a career as a civil engineering technician.

To start in this job, you should have good problem-solving skills. You will need to be able to understand engineering drawings and you'll need good IT skills.

A common route into this career is through an Apprenticeship scheme. You could also take a college course in construction or engineering to get some of the skills needed in the job.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Quantity Surveyor

As a quantity surveyor you would play a key role in a building project, managing the costs from the early design plans, through to the building's completion. You would make sure that projects meet legal and quality standards, and that clients get good value for their money.

If you have a good knowledge of construction methods and materials, are well organised and want a professional level job, this job could be ideal for you.

You will need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to qualify. You may also be to qualify by studying part-time whilst working in as a surveying technician.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Town Planning Support Staff

Town planning support staff carry out administrative and technical work for planners that helps shape local communities. This can include work on designs for town and city building developments, new road layouts or environmental policies. If you want a job with lots of variety that makes use of your technical skills and helps to improve communities, this could be the career for you.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire