Higher National Certificate (HNC) Construction & the Built Environment
This is a Institute of Technology programme. This course is a two-year, part-time day release course for
people employed in the construction industry. It is also appropriate for people
with a more varied profile of achievement such as those with extensive work
experience or those with a range of qualifications that are related to their
The units comprising the qualification are designed to meet the skill needs of the sector and the specialist units allow coverage of the full range of employment within the sector. We make use of the choice of units available to ensure they meet the skills needs of employers and students.
|Level 4||Level 5|
|Construction Technology||Legal and Statutory Responsibilities|
|Science and Materials||Surveying, Measuring and Setting Out|
|Construction Practice Management||Principles of Refurbishment|
|Construction Information (Drawing Detailing and Specification)||Individual Project|
32 UCAS points. Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject or A Levels with some industrial experience. Applicants with significant relevant prior learning and experience may be considered.
How will I be assessed?
The HNC is assessed through a mixture of written papers, assignments, assessed presentations and practical activity.
Skills you will learn
Throughout the course students will develop skills in design principles and application, problem solving, understanding of a development brief, critical reflection, communication with colleagues and partners, working in a team, understanding of the technical aspects of construction, invaluable industry insight and advanced CAD skills.
Method of delivery
New material is introduced through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. You will also engage with learning materials via the Virtual Learning Environment as a means of student support.
Case study and problem-solving activities, often in groups, allow you to deepen your understanding in a real work environment. Problem solving is a key component of many activities and you are encouraged to be a reflective student in preparation for life-long learning. You are closely supported and monitored by module leaders and the course team to ensure the required skills are developed.
Part-time students in appropriate work will be able to update their skills and knowledge to enhance their effectiveness in their current and any future role. In particular, they will use their experience of the work place to reinforce their learning and to see how theoretical learning can be applied in a practical role.
Partial distance learning and home study are key elements of this qualification and this activity is supported by a comprehensive virtual learning environment (VLE)
No additional costs are expected for this course.
Your next steps
The course has been developed with career progression and professional body recognition in mind. The following is an indication of relevant professional bodies, all of whom recognise the BTEC Higher National Certificate in Construction & the Built Environment and its module structure, as qualifications that contribute towards their requirements and meet the requirements of the:
- Engineering Council (UK) – Standards for Professional Engineering Competence
- Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
- Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
- Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
- Institute of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
Successful completion of the HNC gives access to a range of undergraduate degrees in the world of the built environment, or can offer the opportunity of a technician or management role within the construction industry. Students have progressed to become:
- Construction Managers
- Site Supervisors
"I decided to continue my education at York College University Centre as it offered the HNC, which is a highly recognised qualification in the construction industry. My tutors are very engaged in my development and they want me to achieve my goals, both in College and in my career.
Once I’ve completed my course I’d like to progress further with Barratt Homes (my employer) and eventually become a qualified Quantity Surveyor.”
MA (Conservation Studies Historic Buildings),BA (Training & Education), CertEd, Andrew has been a construction lecturer for the past 23 years. Previously working as a Construction Director with substantial experience in construction contracting – ranging from domestic repair, refurbishment, adaptation and new build to commercial maintenance, repair and restoration/conservation of historic buildings – alongside working as a tutor at York College, Andrew has worked for Awarding Bodies, writing and examining a range of qualification modules for use within UK and international markets. Andrew teaches across the whole programme range of construction at the College and takes great pride in student progression. Andrew is the Award Leader for HE in Construction and is supported by a very talented teaching staff.
MBE BA (Hons) March RIBA Chartered Architect. Stefanie runs her own practice in Leeds alongside teaching the HNC course at York College. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Construction Industry Council Yorkshire and Humber, sits on the RIBA Yorkshire Council and is Deputy Chair of the RIBA Yorkshire Education Group. Stefanie is a judge for the RICS Pro-Yorkshire and Construction Excellence Awards, and has previously judged the CIOB Committed to Construction, York Design, the Big Draw and the RIBA Awards.
She specialises in community focused design including schools, places of worship and arts organisations. She has extensive experience of facilitating consultation and design workshops with a range of participants, ranging from Elected Members through to school children.
Stefanie was awarded an MBE for Services to Construction and Architecture in 2019’s New Year’s Honours.
On leaving college with a BTEC in Building Studies, Ian spent four years studying for a BSc in Building at the Polytechnic of Wales. After graduation, he then joined a three-year graduate training scheme with Geoffrey Osborne Ltd (a medium sized building and civil engineering contractor) working in various job roles, from Setting Out Engineer to Estimator/Quantity Surveyor over a twenty-year period, gathering exceptional experience along the way. In 2010 Ian decided to retrain as a Teacher and gained Outstanding Qualified Teaching Status through the GTP scheme, where he trained in a local secondary school. Ian went on to spend six years in secondary schools teaching Design and Technology and has over four years’ experience in FE as a Tutor on various level 3 and 4 Construction programmes.
Dave has been assisting in the setting out module of the HNC surveying unit for the last two years. Involved in the surveying business in Yorkshire since 1987 and running his own business since 1996. Dave runs a practice employing a small team to carry out topographical surveys, measured building surveys and site setting out. Dave has also supported student work placements from degree level courses taken during that time. Clients have included Arup water, Redrow and Barratt Homes. He's currently working on a number of smaller projects.