Carpentry and Joinery Courses at Derby College

Good carpentry and joinery are vital to the quality of our everyday surroundings. These are skilled trades with excellent employment prospects – and Derby College is a great place to take your ambitions forward.

A solid start to your career

If you enjoy working with wood, there are endless opportunities to put your skills to good use. Carpenters and joiners are needed for everything from house building and shopfitting to restoring historic buildings and building film sets.

At Derby College you’ll develop your practical abilities, improve your knowledge of the theory, and gain the experience you need to make real headway in wood occupations. We’ve also teamed up with employers to offer apprenticeship routes into carpentry and joinery.

Is this you?

  • Interested in design and technology
  • Good at paying attention to detail
  • Enjoy working outdoors
  • Work well in a team
  • Good practical skills
  • Want to work in an industry that is always changing and moving forward

Getting into construction - Carpentry & Joinery

  • Full time at College There is a wide range of full-time Construction courses offered at Derby College, preparing you for jobs in wood occupations, painting and decorating, plastering, trowel occupations, plumbing and electrical installation.
  • Apprenticeships These are available with Derby College in many crafts such as brickwork, carpentry and joinery, plastering, painting and decorating, electrical installation and plumbing. For some apprenticeships, you will need GCSEs or Functional Skills in English and Maths.
  • Higher education To do some jobs in the construction industry, such as architect, civil engineer or quantity surveyor, you will need a degree, foundation degree or HND. You can study full time at university or part time alongside a job. Derby College itself offers a HNC in Construction and the Built Environment as well as a Foundation Degree in Construction Management.
  • Jobs You could take an unskilled job, for example as a labourer, as a step into construction work and do more ‘on the job’ training in the future.

Why choose Derby College?


  • You’ll benefit from our strong employer links, which open the door to work experience opportunities, industry visits and professional mentoring.
  • Our courses combine hands-on training, the highest industry standards and employability skills.
  • We provide purpose-built facilities with generous space for practical work at both our Roundhouse and Ilkeston campuses.
  • Our expert staff have vast experience as well as great contacts across the industry.
  • You can showcase your skills through high-profile competitions, projects in the wider community and ‘real-world’ challenges set by employers. You could even go abroad on a work experience exchange.

If you have strong practical skills, an eye for detail and the ability to follow technical plans, you’re likely to do well as a carpenter or joiner. At Derby College you’ll learn how to produce work in which you can take a genuine pride.

Maths and English

You need English and maths skills to get on in life. They will support your studies at the College, help with everyday tasks and pave the way to future career success.

If you don’t already have a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and Maths – or equivalent qualifications – you will continue studying these subjects as part of your course at Derby College.

We’ll support you all the way: working with you on the right programme of development throughout your time with us.

You might also be interested in ...

When you’ve completed your course, why not broaden your horizons further still at Derby College? Additional qualifications in subjects such as Engineering, ICT and Motor Vehicle Engineering are exciting choices. Or check out our courses in Business, Enterprise and Management if you would like to set up a venture of your own.

Maths & English

Find out how Maths and English can benefit you.

Jordan Edwards

Jordan Edwards

Gaining broader horizons in construction

Jordan Edwards is among many Derby College learners who have seized the chance to gain international work experience. A maintenance operative apprentice at Derby Homes, he headed to Angers in France to explore traditional eco-construction and landscaping techniques.

Jordan secured his apprenticeship after completing a full-time Bench Joinery course at the College, winning a 2014 Peak Award along the way in recognition of his excellent practical skills.

The opportunity to go on an international work exchange came courtesy of the College’s success in gaining European funding. Jordan and two other Derby Homes apprentices joined learners from Finland, France, Croatia and Greece in workshops exploring themes such as how to build a sustainable house from straw and how to make paints from natural materials.

I really enjoyed the whole international experience and we have learnt so many different building techniques that can reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry.

Did you Know?

  • Construction is one of the UK’s most dynamic sectors, employing an estimated 2.9 million people – around 10% of all jobs
  • For every £1 invested in construction, £2.84 is generated for the wider economy
  • 42% of construction firms are experiencing difficulties in recruiting staff with the right skills
  • Construction contributes nearly £90 billion to the UK economy, 6.7% of the total
  • 13.5% of people in the industry are women

Examples of recent vacancies locally

Painter and decorator
£18,000 per year.
Enhancing homes

£18,000 per year.
Constructing and repairing

£24,000 per year
Working on house extensions

£25,000 per year.
Repairing plant and machinery

Construction project manager
£31,500 per year.
Overseeing major schemes

Quantity Surveyor
£40,000 per year.
Advising on financial and contractual matters

Site Information


Courses in this area are run at our Roundhouse campus (including Johnson and Hudson Buildings) and our Ilkeston campus.

About the Roundhouse »

About Ilkeston »

Useful Websites
For information on a wide range of construction careers and the skills and qualifications needed
For young people interested in a career in construction
Explore different roles and aspects of working in construction.

Find the Construction page on Facebook


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