T Levels are new courses launched in September 2020 which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to three A-levels. These two-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.
The Professional Construction T Level programme is designed to develop the necessary surveying, planning and design skills required for the future of the construction industry, exploring architecture, structural design, civil engineering, building services and project management, together with other aspects of the industry.
With a focus on modern sustainable design methods and construction techniques, and aimed at a future built environment that will reduce carbon emissions and offer sustainable communities and environments, the course aims to develop professionals of the future who understand the importance the industry plays in all our lives.
Students will explore new ideas and learn academic skills such as critical thinking and analytical thinking, along with more vocational, interpersonal and collaborative problem solving skills which are essential for modern construction planners/designers. Students are also encouraged to identify and investigate future industry innovations and trends through guided research hours.
The programme is designed to develop transferable skills that are useful for graduates in various academic and professional progression routes. It includes the T Level qualification (with UCAS points equivalent to three A-levels) that will either prepare students for university or help them to hit the ground running within the construction industry as part of a Higher Apprenticeship.
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, civil engineers and structural engineers. This will include ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).
For more information on the T Level please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-t-levels/introduction-of-t-levels
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 achieved qualifications and successful interview.
You will need one of the following:
The candidate should also have GCSE English and Maths at grade 5 (higher C).
Maths is a critical element of this programme and is embedded in many of the units taken. Those accepted on the course with the older grade C in Maths must be able to demonstrate higher grade C ability – an additional assessment of suitability will need to be taken.
T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:
A technical qualification, which will include:
Core theory, concepts and skills for Construction and the Built Environment around the design, surveying and planning aspects
Year 2 – Specialist pathway
Design Surveying and Planning
Every T Level will include an industry placement with an employer focused on developing the practical and technical skills required for the occupation. These will last a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days) but can last longer.
Employers can offer industry placements as a block or day release or a mix of these, and can discuss sharing part of the placement with another employer if necessary.
Students who pass all the elements of their T Level will gain a nationally recognised certificate showing an overall grade of pass, merit or distinction. It will also set out the details of what students have achieved on the course.
The T Level is externally assessed by the awarding body, using a mixture of national exams and employer set projects.
The T Level certificate will include:
an overall pass grade for the T Level, shown as pass, merit or distinction
a separate grade for the occupational specialism, shown as pass, merit or distinction
a separate grade for the core component, using A* to E
details of the industry placement
We have a dress code of a uniform shirt (with the Derby College Group Professional Construction Logo), smart trousers/skirt, and sensible work shoes (not trainers).
You will also 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.
This course allows for progression to the appropriate Level 4, 5 or 6 Construction qualification.
Alternatively, and with employment in a qualifying role, progression to a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship in the appropriate specialist pathway is possible.
Trainee quantity surveyor Alisha Jhangeer says professional construction at the Roundhouse provided the perfect preparation for her new job.
Her Level Three course meant she already had valuable, relevant knowledge when she joined Derby-based chartered surveyors Armsons.
Nineteen-year-old Alisha described the lecturers as “100 per cent great”. She said she especially enjoyed going out on site visits and was inspired when employers came to college to speak to her group. Her achievements come after a period when she was unsure of a career after school. Alisha went to DC Group’s Joseph Wright Centre to retake her GCSE English, as well as three further exams, including higher maths.
Newly armed with seven GCSEs, Alisha decided on professional construction at the Roundhouse after being inspired by the enthusiasm of her quantity surveyor uncle.
Darley Abbey-based Armsons is a DC Group Skills Academy member and she met the firm through the college.
Jonathan Heath, an Armsons director, regularly visits the Roundhouse to give student talks and to stage practice interviews.
Alisha did well in her interview and joined the firm on work experience before landing her trainee/apprentice quantity surveyor job. She completed the course with two distinctions and a merit.
Alisha said: “The lecturers were 100 per cent great, helping with my assignments and helping me to get my grades. In terms of the classroom, you learn the information that you need and then, when you go on site, you really see how that knowledge is used. When I came to Armsons, I was familiar with the kind of work I was asked to do. College helped a lot to prepare me for what happens at work, and without it I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
As part of her training, Armsons is putting Alisha through the Level 6 Chartered Surveyor (Quantity Surveyor Pathway) Degree Apprenticeship course at Nottingham Trent University.
My studies take five years and after another year’s experience, you qualify as a quantity surveyor. My family is so happy I’ve found something I really want to do.