Skip to main content

BTEC Level 4 HNC in Construction (Construction) – 2 years

If you're employed as a technician or in a management, site supervision, surveying or design role in construction and the built environment, this two-year part-time course will help advance your career. You can study this HNC as a standalone qualification or as part of a Higher Apprenticeship supported by DCG.

Apply Now

Course Summary

Subject Area: Professional Construction
Higher Education
Location: The Roundhouse
Full Time or Part Time: PT
Level: 4
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: Y
Weeks: 36
Hours: 6.00
Start: 15/09/2023
Tuition: £3750 Per Year
The Roundhouse

Apply now at:
QR Code

Course Information for Students

Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals are designed to help students secure the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the workplace. They represent the latest in professional standards and provide opportunities for students to develop behaviours for work, for example by undertaking a group project or responding to a client brief. 

At the same time, BTEC Higher Nationals are intended to keep doors open for future study should a student wish to progress further in their education. They do this by allowing space for the development of higher education study skills, such as the ability to research, problem-solving, cognitive and interpersonal skills. 

If you are employed as a technician or in a management, site supervision, surveying or design role in the construction and the built environment industry, this two-year part-time course is an ideal way of moving your career forward. You can study this HNC as a standalone qualification or as part of one of the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship standards supported by the Professional Construction team at DCG. We currently support three Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship standards that can go along with this HNC (please see apprenticeship course pages for more information). They are:

  • Construction Site Supervisor – Level 4
  • Construction Quantity Surveying Technician – Level 4
  • Construction Design and Build Technician – Level 4

Construction is a very important global industry and is worth £90 billion annually to the UK economy. Construction engineers play a key role in building projects, having significant influence on-site or as part of the design team.  Currently, qualified construction technicians, surveyors, managers and professionals are highly sought after in the UK industry, with demand for a greater number of professionals to address the Net Zero Strategy and implement low-carbon and sustainable construction projects in an efficient and cost-effective way.

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. Your own industrial practice will be a welcome asset to promote experiential learning and peer support throughout the course.

This qualification has been developed to meet the requirements of several professional bodies including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).

Please note that, in addition to this BTEC HNC in Construction and the Built Environment, DCG offers a BTEC HNC in Civil Engineering and BTEC HNC in Building Services Engineering (please see relevant course pages for more details). 

You need to be highly motivated and working in the construction industry. You should have at least one of the following:

  • A Level 3 qualification with an overall grade equivalent of Merit. This could be a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Construction and the Built Environment, three A-levels in relevant subjects or a Level 3 qualification in Engineering. An international equivalent of the above is also accepted.
  • Relevant work/industrial experience of five years (full-time). If this work experience is not supported by education qualifications such as GCSEs, then a minimum proficiency in Maths and English at Level 2 needs to be evidenced.

Offers of a place on the course are dependent on your achieved qualifications and successful interview.

Please note that, in line with the Consumer Act and as articulated in our Student Protection Plan, we reserve the right to close a course if there are insufficient students to make the course viable.

The qualification involves 480 guided learning hours (GLH) and 120 credits. You will study eight units in total over two academic years (four units a year: each unit is 15 credits). Six of these units are mandatory whereas the other two units are optional and can be chosen by the College from a list of available units. The choice of the optional units depends on several factors, such as meeting employers’ current demands, the construction sector’s developments, and the availability of specialist teaching staff for delivery of these units.

The units in this qualification include:

  • Unit 1: Individual Project (theme is set by the awarding body) – Mandatory
  • Unit 2: Construction Technology – Mandatory
  • Unit 4: Construction Practice and Management – Mandatory
  • Unit 5: Legal and Statutory Responsibilities in Construction – Mandatory
  • Unit 6: Construction Information (Drawing, Detailing, Specification) – Mandatory
  • Unit 14: Building Information Modelling – Mandatory
  • Unit 15: Principles of Refurbishment – Optional (choice of optional unit may be changed based on the availability of the teaching staff)
  • Unit 21: Site Supervision and Operations – Optional (choice of optional unit may be changed based on the availability of the teaching staff)

This course is delivered on-site in the Hudson and Stephenson Buildings on the Roundhouse campus. It is part-time which means you will attend College one day a week. The course has 480 guided learning hours (240 per year). 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.

The core higher education academic year will be for a duration of 33 weeks for the purposes of maintenance loans. You will receive a proportion of this time as direct delivery, with any additional time – as deemed appropriate by the programme team and the awarding body – for activities such as induction, tutorials, research, directed study, reading weeks etc. The direct delivery time for this course will be 30 weeks.

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. 

We work closely with our partners to engage them in the design and delivery of the curriculum where possible. This includes guest lectures from industry specialists, professional bodies and visiting academics.

During your study of this course, you will attend academic and study skills tutorials and have access to the College’s HE 360˚ Hub which aims to enhance HE learning and provide you with easy access to information and advice. The HE 360˚ Hub consists of four support services:

  • Higher Education (HE) Academic Coaches who work collaboratively with HE students offering confidential, personalised support to help you develop the academic skills you need for your course
  • Library services with a collection of core textbooks and journals (both physical and digital resources)
  • Careers and Employability Advice
  • Inclusion and Support: whatever your inclusion need (learning difficulty or disability), we can work with you to develop your use of assistive technology and, where needed, help you apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

In addition to the above, the Professional Construction team at DCG offers HE students access to industry-standard software such as Autodesk and Microsoft Project as well as the Construction Information Service (CIS) online tool developed by IHS Markit and NBS. CIS gives you quick access to current regulations, construction standards, technical advice and industry news on building, engineering, design and construction processes in the UK. Updated weekly, the CIS offers a powerful search engine to find authoritative information from over 26,000 documents for every stage of the construction lifecycle from design and completion to operation and maintenance. Easy-to-use search filters allow you to access full text copies of British standards and technical data from over 500 publishers. 

Every term there is a Programme Committee Meeting (PCM) where the HE course leader, HE teaching staff and student representatives review the management, delivery and assessment of the curriculum. This is an ongoing process where we aim to improve the quality of the course.

Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals are also supported by a specially designed range of digital resources to ensure that students have the best possible experience during the course. These are available from the HN Global website: 

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

You will need to purchase a scientific calculator and technical drawing equipment. For voice-over PowerPoint presentations you will need access to a microphone. 

You will also need access to a computer or laptop with Internet, Windows 7 Operating System or above, Microsoft Office 2010 or above, and the ability to run AutoCAD Architecture which can be downloaded for free. 

The purchase of appropriate books and e-books is encouraged and guidance on which books to purchase will be given by subject specialists. 

BTEC Higher Nationals are assessed using a combination of centre-devised internal assignments (which are set and marked by centres) and Pearson-set assignments (which are set by the awarding body and marked by centres). For this HNC, only one unit (Unit 1 – individual Project) is assessed by a mandatory Pearson-set assignment targeted at particular skills. The other seven units are assessed and marked by the College.

For your course assessments, you will produce academic reports and undertake technical assignments where you will have the opportunity to solve technical problems closely aligned with industrial, commercial and domestic building and construction scenarios. Evidence for some of the assessments will be generated through a range of activities, including practical performance, verbal presentations and tasks/projects completed both individually and as part of a team.

The grade awarded to each unit is dependent on the level of achievement attained by the student for each of the assessment criteria related to that specific unit. 

  • To achieve a Pass, a student must have satisfied all the Pass criteria for the unit’s learning outcomes, showing coverage of the unit content and therefore attainment at Level 4 of the national framework.
  • To achieve a Merit, a student must have satisfied all the Merit criteria (and therefore the Pass criteria) through high performance in each learning outcome.
  • To achieve a Distinction, a student must have satisfied all the Distinction criteria (and therefore the Pass and Merit criteria), and these define outstanding performance across the unit as a whole.

After completion of assessments, each individual unit will be awarded a grade of either Distinction (D), Merit (M), Pass (P), or Unclassified (U). Units that have been attempted but not achieved will appear as ‘Unclassified’, i.e. a ‘U’ grade, on the student’s Notification of Performance that is issued with the student certificate.

To achieve a Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate qualification, a student must have: 

  • completed eight units equivalent to 120 credits at Level 4
  • achieved at least a Pass in 105 credits at Level 4 (i.e. passed seven of the eight units)

The calculation of the overall qualification grade is based on the student’s performance in all units. Students are awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction overall qualification grade, based on unit achievement, and using the points gained through all 120 credits.

The table below shows the number of points available for completed units based on the grade awarded:

Points per grade per each unit of size 15 credits
Unclassified (U)Pass (P)Merit (M)Distinction (D)

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

Overall grade calculation for the BTEC HNC (120 credits)
Grade*Points threshold
Pass420 – 599 
Merit600 – 839 

*Please note students can still be awarded a HNC if they have not achieved a Pass in one of the 15-credit units completed, but have completed and passed the remaining seven units. Learners who do not meet the minimum requirements to be awarded a qualification grade may receive a Notification of Performance for the individual units they completed.

The purpose of the BTEC HNC in Construction and the Built Environment is to develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in the construction and built environment sector and to adapt to a constantly changing world. The qualification aims to widen access to higher education and enhances the career prospects of those who undertake it.

You could progress to a HND at Level 5 or to a BSc/BEng degree or Degree Apprenticeship (Level 6) in a related discipline, drawing on the broad knowledge base you will have gained from this course.

Completing this Level 4 Higher National Certificate will pave the way to employment in one of the following job roles:

  • Assistant Design Co-ordinator
  • Design and Build Co-ordinator
  • Construction Site Supervisor
  • Construction Design Technician
  • Site Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Health and Safety Manager
  • Planning Supervisor
  • Quantity Surveyor

We encourage you to join the CIOB at student membership level during your study of this course.

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

In line with the Consumer Act and as articulated in our Student Protection Plan, we reserve the right to close a course if there are insufficient students to make the course viable.

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...

Production Managers and Directors in Construction


Production Managers and Directors in Construction

Construction Project Managers and Related Professionals


Construction Project Managers and Related Professionals

Construction and Building Trades Supervisors


Construction and Building Trades Supervisors

Other Construction Operatives


Other Construction Operatives

Quantity Surveyors


Quantity Surveyors

More Careers Information at:
QR Code

DCG Success Stories

Maxine Dudley

Maxine Dudley

Derby College the right route for housebuilder Head of Technical, Maxine

I enjoyed my apprenticeship and my time at Derby College. I loved drawing as a child, so my dad suggested that I should look at architecture. It was the right decision – and taking an apprenticeship and going to college on day release was the better option for me. I’m not an academic person and I wouldn’t have enjoyed studying for years at university. I know the apprenticeship and college route wouldn’t suit everyone, but it was right for me.

Read More about Maxine Dudley

Joe Evans

Joe Evans

Senior manager Joe’s building foundations started at Derby College

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.

Read More about Joe Evans

online application form

Get Started...

Use our online application form to apply for this course.

Apply Now

Course Information Last Updated On: March 13, 2023 10:54 am