If you are employed as a technician, in management or in designing HVAC systems in the building services sector within the construction and the built environment industry, this two-year course is an ideal way of moving your career forward.
The HNC is an established qualification and is recognised by industry professionals and professional bodies - in the case of building services, it is the CIBSE.
Building services engineers play a key role in the architecture of a building project, having significant influence in assessing the energy demands and sustainability of a building.
Within the sector, exciting opportunities are emerging in areas such as sustainability, low carbon technologies, energy management and renewable energy. Building services engineers therefore play a significant role in combating climate change and advising clients and architects in meeting current regulations.
Working in the industry and studying at the same time will require you to have good time management and organisational skills. However, it should also offer you the opportunity to utilise the skills you have learned in your professional practice through problem-based learning. Your own industrial practice will be a welcome asset to promote experiential learning and peer support throughout the course.
You should be employed in the building services industry and hold at least one the following:
You will need to complete eight units from the above suite, with seven mandatory units and one optional unit which will be offered based on the demand of the student group.
How is the course delivered?
You will be taught via a blended delivery model where you will attend College on alternate weeks (first week in College and the next week working independently and with autonomy) each month over two semesters per academic year. You will undertake two units per semester.
You will have access to your tutors via email and through online learning platforms, offering you additional support so that everyone has equal opportunities to develop their skills and achieve their full potential.
You will undertake technical assignments where you will have the opportunity to solve technical problems closely aligned with industrial building services and construction scenarios and offering you the chance to learn and demonstrate your knowledge. Alongside the technical assignments, you will undertake professional presentations, course work and projects both individually and as part of a team.
You will have access to staff who have experience of the industry and who boast particular specialisms as well as a broad knowledge of the construction industry. The course is delivered in our purpose built HE centre with access to industry-standard software such as Autodesk and Microsoft Project as well as online resources.
You could progress to a HND or to a BSc/BEng degree in a related construction discipline, drawing on the broad knowledge base you will have gained from your two years of study.
We would encourage you to become a member of CIBSE at licentiate level.
Maxine Dudley, Head of Technical with UK housebuilder Linden Homes South West, left Derby College 30 years ago but still looks back fondly on her time there.
She took ONC then HNC Building Studies at the college part-time over five years while working as an architectural apprentice at Derek Latham Architects in Derby. And Maxine, who moved to Devon from her home city of Derby 25 years ago, is in no doubt she took the right route into a long and rewarding professional construction career.
Maxine's qualifications have opened many doors for her, and during her career she’s held a variety of interesting roles, including architectural technician in the estates department of Manchester University.
In more recent years she has worked in estates departments for local authorities and for several housebuilders, taking up her current position with Linden Homes South West 18 months ago.
Her department works on the technical elements of a new development, delivering comprehensive information so that the production team can start building. This includes working on drawings for the house types, infrastructure and external works, as well as liaising with the legal team and statutory bodies to ensure Technical Agreements are in place.
Maxine is also actively involved in promoting and highlighting the benefits of a career in housebuilding and construction to women and has sat on the judging panel of the Women in Property’s National Student Awards.
“I enjoyed my apprenticeship and my time at Derby College. I loved drawing as a child, so my dad suggested that I should look at architecture. It was the right decision – and taking an apprenticeship and going to college on day release was the better option for me. I’m not an academic person and I wouldn’t have enjoyed studying for years at university. I know the apprenticeship and college route wouldn’t suit everyone, but it was right for me.”