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 on 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 of 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 attend College one day a week 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 to give everyone 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.
The moment Jamie Wasley sat down to start his sixth form studies, he realised a further two years in the classroom was not for him. He didn’t go back for day two. Instead he got himself an apprenticeship with a local builder and enrolled with Derby College. Now, aged 27, Jamie is an award winning former bricklayer, a buildings inspector, and he is poised to become a chartered surveyor.
He has special praise for Derby College which supported him when he began to fall behind while halfway through his Level 3 Construction Diploma. There were good reasons. Jamie suffered a broken jaw in an unprovoked attack and underwent three months of painful treatment.
As part of Level 3, apprentices are required to show a range of brickwork skills by making separate pieces over a period of time, and he was struggling to get them done. But his lecturers helped him design one “masterpiece” which he built featuring all the aspects he needed – an arch, a chimney stack, a curved wall, stilts and more. He said the staff were “brilliant” and helped him through the dark times.
Jamie went from strength-to-strength, winning both the College’s and the East Midlands’ SkillBuild competitions, before finishing third in the World Championship SkillBuild event in Birmingham. And because of his commitment, he was awarded a £1,000 Bowmer and Kirkland Bursary by the College. Jamie passed his Level 2 and 3 construction diplomas with distinctions and in parallel took his Level 2 NVQ Trowel Occupations and Level 3 NVQ Brickwork (Advanced Craft).
Having worked with a local builder, Jamie was head hunted by building surveyors JHAI Ltd where he is now a buildings inspector and 18 months away from qualifying as a chartered surveyor. He intends to “get as good as I can be” and perhaps specialise. He is also considering going on to become a college lecturer to support teenagers who have practical rather than academic strengths.
"At college you learn the skills and intricate details you need, especially on Level 3.
"The biggest thing I found is it gives you a place to practise. When you get to site it's not practice, you're building and it's staying up. You've got to stand back and be happy with it.
"The big thing about college was the lecturers were brilliant, "not "yes, sir", "no sir." They taught you stuff you needed to know.
"You notice yourself becoming more useful at work. You learn something and then you can apply it."