This one-year course is designed for those interested in pursuing a career in architecture, building or quantity surveying, site management, construction project management, site engineering, estimating or buying.
You will participate in tutorial sessions and our Professional Construction Employment and Skills Academy which has outstanding links with - and support from - numerous local construction companies including contractors, architects, building services and structural engineers.
The course is structured so that students who obtain an apprenticeship part-way through can easily transfer to our part-time apprenticeship programme with minimal fuss. This can sometimes happen whilst students are completing internships with employers via our Employment and Skills Academy.
You need to be highly motivated and demonstrate a keen personal interest in pursuing a professional construction role. Offers of a place on the course are dependent on your qualifications. You will need one of the following:
Maths is a critical element of this programme and is embedded in many of the units taken. Those accepted on the course with grade C in Maths must be able to demonstrate this came from the 'higher' paper.
The modules in the 90-credit Diploma have been purposely selected for this pathway:
The course uses various assessment methods including written assignments, presentations, poster presentations and phase tests along with other methods. Unlike many other programmes at this level, the course utilises ‘problem-based learning’ teaching methods which create a student-focused learning environment.
You will need to purchase various items of equipment, including safety boots for site visits and technical drawing equipment. The purchase of appropriate books and e-books is encouraged and guidance on which books to purchase will be given by subject specialists. There may also be a request for contributions to trips and visits as part of our Employment and Skills Academy activities.
With successful achievement of the Level 3 90 Credit Diploma at the required grades, you can progress to the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment.
Alternatively, and with employment in a qualifying role, progression to an Advanced Apprenticeship in Construction and the Built Environment is also possible.
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.”