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BTEC Level 2 First Award in Construction and the Built Environment

The BTEC Level 2 First Award in Construction and the Built Environment is a one-year course designed for those who would like to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the construction industry before progressing in their education to a Level 3 course or apprenticeship.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Professional Construction
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Hudson Building
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 2
Number Of Years: 1
Interview Required?: Y
Hudson Building

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Course Information for Students

The BTEC Level 2 First Award in Construction and the Built Environment is a one-year course awarded by Pearson and designed for use in colleges as an introductory Level 2 course for learners who want to study in the context of a vocational sector. It follows GCSEs and provides a broad knowledge and understanding of the construction industry, supporting young people to succeed and progress in their education to a Level 3 course or apprenticeship. Progression routes include the Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma in either Construction and the Built Environment or Civil Engineering, which are all offered by Derby College Group. 

The course will give learners the opportunity to develop and apply skills in English and mathematics in naturally occurring, relevant contexts. Learners who have GCSE grades in Maths or English below 4 can attend relevant classes while they are on the BTEC Level 2 course and re-sit their GCSE exams before progressing to Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment in the following academic year. Please note that progression from BTEC Level 2 to our Level 3 is subject to achieving a minimum of “Level 2 Merit” as well as having Maths and English GCSEs at grade 4 or above.

In addition to the main units, you are expected to complete a minimum of 40 hours work placement in the industry. Participation in work placement preparation workshops and career events would count towards the work placement hours you need to complete. The College will aim to help learners secure a suitable industrial placement, but we encourage students to initiate contact with construction employers for securing a placement themselves and we will provide guidance throughout the process.

You will also attend sessions that prepare you for our Level 3 course in Construction and the Built Environment. In addition, you will participate in tutorial sessions and join our Professional Construction Employment and Skills Academy which has outstanding links with – and support from – numerous local construction companies including contractors, architects, building services firms, civil engineers, quantity surveyors and structural engineers.

In summary, BTEC First will aid progression to further study and, in due course, prepare learners to enter the workplace in one of the following areas: architecture, construction design, building information management, building surveying, quantity surveying, site management, construction project management, site engineering, civil engineering or building services engineering.

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 the following:

  • A minimum of four GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including either English or Maths.

Maths is a critical element of this programme and is embedded in the units taken. An additional assessment of suitability may be taken.

This course allows you to study construction and the built environment, giving you the opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the industry. You will develop skills such as interpreting and analysing information, identifying the infrastructure required for safe and efficient work and understanding how client needs can shape building design. 

The qualification involves 120 guided learning hours, which is the same size and level as a GCSE, and is aimed at everyone who wants to find out more about construction and the built environment. It gives you the opportunity to learn about one of the most important sectors of the UK economy.

You will study four units (three of which are mandatory), covering the fundamental knowledge, skills and understanding required for construction technology and design. These units are:

  • Unit 1: Construction Technology (mandatory)
  • Unit 2: Scientific and Mathematical Application for Construction (mandatory)
  • Unit 3: Construction and Design (mandatory)
  • Unit 4: Construction Drawing Techniques

These topics are taught in a mixture of individualised timetabled sessions and also in project sessions where you will learn how to apply your knowledge and skills holistically to solve real-life construction problems. 

In addition to the four units above, you will have the following timetabled sessions:

  • GCSE Maths or English classes
  • Preparation for Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment
  • Tutorials
  • Work placement sessions

This course is delivered on-site in the Hudson Building on the Roundhouse campus. The course has 120 guided learning hours. Guided learning hours mean activities that directly or immediately involve tutors and assessors in teaching, supervising and invigilating students, for example lectures, tutorials, online instruction, and supervised study.

Your weekly timetable will include sessions that cover the topics of the qualification in addition to GCSE Maths or English classes, and preparation for Level 3 studies in Construction, which is the natural next step following the completion of this course. 

You will also attend tutorial sessions weekly covering employability skills, industrial placement preparation, personal development, social action, performance, wellbeing, and the next steps following your graduation from the course.

We work closely with our partner employers to engage them in the design and delivery of the curriculum where possible. This includes guest lectures from industry specialists and site trips to live construction projects and relevant museums.

Students are expected to undertake private study, preparation for assessment and undertaking assessment when not under supervision, such as preparatory reading, revision, and independent research in order to complete and show achievement for the qualification. 

Delivery strategies will reflect the nature of work in the construction and built environment sector by encouraging learners to research and carry out assessment in the workplace, or in simulated working conditions, wherever possible. The College will engage with local employers for support and input. Learners are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and achievement, taking account of industry standards for behaviour and performance.

For information related to the course assessment, please see the relevant section.

We encourage all our learners to comply with our 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, a scientific calculator 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.

The Pearson BTEC First Award is a Level 2 qualification; the grades range from Level 2 P to Level 2 D*. Learners who do not achieve at Level 2 may be graded at Level 1. Learners whose level of achievement is below a Level 1 will receive an unclassified (U) result.

The course is assessed by a mixture of internal and external assessments. The course includes one externally assessed unit (Unit 1) by 1 hour and 15 minutes examination in January/June. This will help learners as they progress either into higher levels of vocational learning or to related academic qualifications, by providing independent assessment evidence of learning alongside the portfolio-based assessment. This approach will also assist learners in developing a range of transferable skills, and in applying their knowledge in unfamiliar contexts. 

The remaining units (Unit 2, 3 & 4) are internally assessed. Internal assessment enables learners to develop a wider range of skills and provide evidence towards meeting the unit assessment criteria. Evidence for assessment can be generated through a range of activities, including written work, practical performance, and verbal presentations.

There is one internal unit, Unit 3, which provides the main synoptic assessment for the qualification. Unit 3 builds directly on Units 1 and 2 and enables learning to be brought together and related to a real-life situation. Unit 3: Construction and Design requires learners to apply their learning in construction technology to design a client brief for a building. The learners will use mathematical applications from Unit 2 in the design process.

Each individual unit will be awarded a grade of Level 2 Pass, Merit, Distinction or Level 1. Distinction* is not available at unit level. Learners whose level of achievement is below a Level 1 will receive an unclassified (U) for that unit.

The table below shows the number of points scored per unit at each grade:

Points per grade per unit
UnclassifiedLevel 1Level 2 
Pass (P)
Level 2 
Merit (M)
Level 2 
Distinction (D)


The sum of the points from the four units will decide the qualification overall grade as illustrated in the table below:

BTEC Award (120 GLH)
Grade*Minimum points required
Level 124
Level 2 Pass48
Level 2 Merit66
Level 2 Distinction84
Level 2 Distinction*90

*Please note that learners are required to achieve a minimum of 24 points across the three mandatory units (Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3) to achieve either a Level 1 or Level 2 award. Failure to achieve a minimum of 24 points across the mandatory units would result in an overall qualification grade of “Unclassified” even if the total sum of points across the four units is above 24 points.

Following the completion of the BTEC Award in Construction and the Built Environment, learners can progress to the:

  • Full-time BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
  • Full-time BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Civil Engineering

Alternatively, and with employment in a qualifying role, students could progress to one of the Level 3 Construction apprenticeships we deliver, which will be combined with either: 

  • Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
  • Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Civil Engineering

Please note all the above courses are offered by Derby College Group. However, progression to our Level 3 courses is subject to achieving a minimum of “Level 2 Merit” in the BTEC Award course as well as having Maths and English GCSEs at grade 4 or above.

This course will pave the way for learners to further their education and eventually pursue a career in one of the following job roles: 

  • Surveying Technician
  • Civil Engineering Design Technician
  • Digital Engineering Technician
  • Civil Engineering Technician
  • Architectural Technician
  • Construction Design Coordinator
  • Transport Planning Technician
  • Rail Engineering Design Technician
  • Building Services Engineering Technician
  • Site Engineering Technician
  • Site Supervisor

For more information, contact Derby College Group on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering the curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...

Civil Engineers


Civil Engineers

Building and Civil Engineering Technicians


Building and Civil Engineering Technicians

Architectural and Town Planning Technicians


Architectural and Town Planning Technicians

Quantity Surveyors


Quantity Surveyors

More Careers Information at:
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Course Information Last Updated On: May 24, 2022 4:17 pm