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T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: The RoundHouse

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

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). 



Entry requirements

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: 


  • A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 (higher C) or above, including English, Maths and Science
  • An Intermediate Diploma in a relevant subject area to a Merit or Distinction grade.

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. 


Course Content

T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements: 

A technical qualification, which will include:


Year 1 


  • 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 

  • Civil Engineering 


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. 


How will I be assessed?

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 


Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

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. 


What can I do after this course?

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.




Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Roundhouse Campus

About the Roundhouse »

Isaac Fowler

Isaac Fowler

Targeted lectures measure up for professional construction student

Teenager Isaac Fowler says Derby College is providing focus and freedom as he builds towards a career as a quantity surveyor. Seventeen-year-old Isaac, from Belper, decided to take a BTEC Level 3 in Professional Construction when he realised life in the sixth form was not for him. Now he is completing his course part-time after being taken on as an apprentice with builder GF Tomlinson following a work placement with the business.
Isaac is aiming to go on to take a Derby College foundation course, and then a degree with Derby University, while he gains more experience with GF Tomlinson. His long-term dream is to qualify as a quantity surveyor and run his own business. He said:

I'm enjoying college; you have more freedom than at school and the lessons are aimed at what I want to do for my future. The lecturers have both come from construction and they really know what they are talking about.


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