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.
A commercial manager with housebuilder Avant Homes says the foundations of his career were laid as a joinery apprentice on day release with Derby College.
Joe Evans, 28, from Belper, now leads a team of 10 and his work covers an area stretching from Chesterfield down to Milton Keynes. Joe joined Avant from Barratt Homes, where he was a senior quantity surveyor, having started there as a joinery apprentice on day release at Derby College.
He switched to the National Certificate in Construction, while working as a trainee quantity surveyor, and went on to take the college's Foundation Degree in Quantity Surveying, gaining distinctions for both his construction and foundation course. Moving on to Nottingham Trent University, Joe was one of just three part-time students – two of whom were also from Derby College – to be awarded first class honours degrees.
Joe said his Derby college lecturers were excellent and, he praised the depth and variety of the courses which "set me up" for the future.
At the moment, I'm on advanced management programmes with Avant, so I'll see where they lead. My joinery side was the basis of where my construction knowledge began. The sky's the limit really and the foundations came from Derby College.