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HNC in Construction Management for England

If you're employed as a design and build technician, assistant construction site supervisor or assistant project manager in the construction and built environment industry, this two-year part-time course is ideal for moving your career forward. You can study this HNC as a standalone qualification or as part of a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship.

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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: 30
Hours: 7.20
Start: 25/09/2023
Tuition: £4000 Per Year
The Roundhouse

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Course Information for Students

If you are employed as a design and build technician, assistant construction site supervisor or assistant project manager 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 qualification as a standalone programme or as part of the one of the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship standards offered by the Professional Construction Department at DCG. (Please see our apprenticeship course pages for more information.)

The Level 4 units of this qualification provide a broad introduction to construction and different construction management functions. This develops and strengthens your core skills while preparing you for specialist subjects at Level 5 or to enter employment with the qualities necessary for job roles that require some personal responsibility.

You will gain a wide range of construction knowledge linked to practical skills gained through research, independent study, directed study and workplace scenarios. You will be involved in vocational activities that help you to develop behaviours (the attitudes and approaches required for a competence) and transferable skills. Transferable skills are those such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis, which are highly valued in higher education and in the workplace. By the end of Level 4, you will have sound knowledge of the basic concepts of construction. You will be competent in a range of subject-specific skills as well as in general skills and qualities relevant to key areas of construction.

This qualification has been developed in collaboration with several construction employers, educational institutions and professional bodies such as:

  • Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
  • Chartered Association of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
  • Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
  • Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT)
  • Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
  • Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)
  • The Institute of Business, Engineering and Technology
  • Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
  • The Institute of Informatics Studies
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Institution of Structural Engineers (iStructE)
  • Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE)
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

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.

Please note that this qualification is a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ). HTQs are quality marked by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) to indicate their alignment to employer-led occupational standards. The Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in Construction Management for England map to the following Occupational Standards:

  • Construction Design and Build Technician (Level 4)
  • Construction Site Supervisor (Level 4)

For more information on HTQs, please visit:

Please note that, in addition to this HNC in Construction Management for England, DCG also offers a HNC in Modern Methods of Construction for England (please see the relevant course page 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 Level 3 qualification in Construction or construction-related field, three A-levels in relevant subjects or a Level 3 qualification in Engineering. An international equivalent of these 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 a 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 entails 480 guided learning hours (GLH) and 120 credits. You will study eight core mandatory units in total (each unit is 15 credits) over 18 months (five units in the first academic year and three in the following year). 

There are two pathways available for this HNC:

  • HNC in Construction Management for England (Construction Design and Build Technician)
  • HNC in Construction Management for England (Construction Site Supervisor)

The units for the Construction Design and Build Technician pathway include:

  • Construction Design Project (Pearson-set)
  • Construction Technology
  • The Construction Environment
  • Digital Applications for Construction Information or Digital Applications for Building Information Modelling
  • Legal and Statutory Requirements in Construction
  • Financial Management and Business Practices in Construction
  • Building Information Modelling
  • Tender and Procurement

The units for the Construction Site Supervisor pathway include:

  • Construction Design Project (Pearson-set)
  • Construction Technology
  • The Construction Environment
  • Digital Applications for Construction Information or Digital Applications for Building Information Modelling
  • Legal and Statutory Requirements in Construction
  • Financial Management and Business Practices in Construction
  • Surveying, Measuring and Setting-out
  • Site Supervision and Operations

This course is delivered on-site in the Hudson Building on the Roundhouse campus. This course is part-time which means you will attend College one day a week. The course has 480 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.

The core higher education academic year will be for a duration of 30 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, developing your use of assistive technology and, where needed, helping you apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

In addition to the above, the Professional Construction Department 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 Revit or AutoCAD Architecture which can be downloaded for free from Autodesk for students. 

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

Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals are assessed using a combination of:

  • Centre-developed internal assignments that are set and assessed by centres
  • Pearson-set assignments, which are set by centres in line with the awarding body guidelines and graded by centres.

Pearson-set units are mandatory and target particular industry-specific skills. For this HNC, the College will assess one compulsory Pearson-set unit targeted at particular skills, which is the Construction Design Project. This is a Level 4 core unit carrying 15 credits. The other seven units are assessed and graded 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 construction scenarios. Evidence for some of the assessments will be generated through a range of activities, including academic reports, 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. The assessment criteria for a unit are based on a hierarchy. For example, if a Merit criterion requires the student to show ‘analysis’ and the related Pass criterion requires the student to ‘explain’, then to gain a Merit the student will need to cover both ‘explain’ and ‘analyse’. The unit assessment grid shows the relationships among the criteria so that assessors can apply all the criteria to the student’s evidence at the same time.

  • 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.

A Pass cannot be awarded just because the student has completed all the assignments. Students must meet all of the Pass criteria. If they do not, their grade should be reported as ‘unclassified’. 

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.

If a student fails to achieve a Pass for a unit following reassessment, the assessment board may agree that they can repeat the unit. Students can repeat a unit once only. In this case:

  • the student must pay the unit fee and study the unit again, with full attendance.
  • the grade for the unit (if successfully completed) will be capped at a Pass.

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 that students can still be awarded an 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 this BTEC HNC is to develop students as professional, self-reflecting individuals able to meet the demands of employers in the construction and built environment sector and 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. Graduates can perform key modern methods of construction tasks, understand processes and operations, and work effectively.

You could progress to a Level 5 HND 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 HNC will also pave the way into employment in one of the following job roles:

  • Design and build technician
  • Assistant construction site supervisor
  • Assistant project manager
  • Assistant health and safety manager
  • Quantity surveyor technician

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

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.

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.
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Course Information Last Updated On: July 31, 2023 12:48 pm