BTEC National Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
The National Diploma is a two-year, part-time course for learners who want a strong core of sector study. Equivalent in size to two A-levels, it can be taken alongside one of our Level 3 apprenticeships in construction provided you have already secured employment with a construction company.
Course Information for Students
Who is this course for?
Construction is a very important global industry and is worth £90 billion annually to the UK economy. At technician level and beyond, there is a diverse range of career pathways, with established professional entry and development routes in civil engineering, building services engineering, design/architecture and construction supervision/management. Currently, qualified construction technicians, managers and professionals are highly sought after in the UK industry, with demand for a greater number of professionals to implement and lead low-carbon and sustainable building projects in an efficient, cost-effective way.
The National Diploma is a two-year, part-time course which is designed to be the substantive part of a 16–19 study programme for learners who want a strong core of sector study.
This Diploma can be taken alongside one of our Level 3 apprenticeship courses in construction provided that the candidate has already secured employment with a construction company. We currently offer three Level 3 apprenticeship standards that can go along with this Diploma (please see apprenticeship course pages for more information). They are:
- Construction Support Technician Apprenticeship – Level 3
- Surveying Technician Apprenticeship – Level 3
- Digital Engineering Technician Apprenticeship – Level 3
Alternatively, the programme may include other BTEC Nationals or A-levels to support progression to higher education courses in construction areas before entering employment. The additional qualification(s) studied allow learners either to give breadth to their study programme by choosing a contrasting subject, or to give it more focus by choosing a complementary subject. This qualification can also be used to progress to Higher Apprenticeships.
This National Diploma is equivalent in size to two A-levels. Learners can progress to this qualification either from a relevant Level 2 course in construction or directly from GCSEs provided they have the required grades (see the Entry Requirements section for more details). For candidates who would like to do this Diploma as part of an apprenticeship, they should already be in a qualifying role with a construction company.
Please note that, in addition to this BTEC National Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, DCG offers a BTEC National Diploma in Civil Engineering (please see relevant course page for more details).
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 one of the following:
- A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 (higher C) or above, including English, Maths and Science. You will need a grade 5 or higher in Maths if you choose to pursue the Civil Engineering pathway of the course.
- A BTEC qualification at Level 2 with an overall grade of Merit or higher.
- An Intermediate Diploma in a relevant subject area to a Merit or Distinction grade. The candidate should also have GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above. You will need a grade 5 or higher in Maths if you choose to pursue the Civil Engineering pathway of the course.
Maths is a critical element of this programme and is embedded in the units taken. An additional assessment of suitability may be taken.
What will you learn?
The qualification is 720 guided learning hours (GLH), which is equivalent in size to two A-levels. You will study ten units in total over two academic years. Two of these units are double size units (120 GLH each) and are externally assessed by the awarding body, while the remaining units are all 60 GLH and are assessed internally at the College. This means that 33% of the curriculum size is externally assessed.
The mandatory content of this qualification is 70% of the curriculum size i.e. seven out of the ten units are mandatory, whereas the other three are optional and can be chosen by the College from a list of available units. The choice of the three 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: Construction Principles – 120 GLH – externally assessed
- Unit 2: Construction Design – 120 GLH – externally assessed
- Unit 4: Construction Technology – 60 GLH – internally assessed
- Unit 5: Health and Safety in Construction – 60 GLH – internally assessed
- Unit 6: Surveying in Construction – 60 GLH – internally assessed
- Unit 7: Graphical Detailing in Construction – 60 GLH – internally assessed
- Unit 8: Building Regulations and Control in Construction – 60 GLH – internally assessed
In addition to the seven mandatory units above, there will be three more optional units that will be confirmed by the College during the course, and all optional units are internally assessed.
How will you learn?
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 720 guided learning hours (360 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.
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.
For information related to the course assessment, please see the relevant section.
What will you need to bring with you?
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 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.
How will you be assessed?
The Pearson BTEC National Diploma is a Level 3 qualification. The course is assessed by a mixture of internal and external assessments. The course includes two double size units (120 GLH each) which are externally assessed by the awarding body. This means that 33% of the curriculum size is externally assessed. The external assessment usually takes place in May/June of each academic year. 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 eight units are all 60 GLH and are assessed internally at the College. 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.
Each individual unit will be awarded a grade of either Distinction (D), Merit (M), Pass (P), Near Pass (N) or Unclassified (U). Distinction* (D*) is not available at unit level.
The overall grade for the National Diploma ranges from PP to D* D*. The calculation of qualification grade table is shown further on in this section, and it demonstrates the minimum thresholds for calculating these grades.
In order to be awarded a qualification, a learner must complete all units, achieve a Near Pass (N) or above in both external units and a Pass or above in all mandatory units unless otherwise specified (see below).
To achieve any qualification grade, learners must:
- complete and have an outcome (D, M, P, N or U) for all units
- complete and achieve Pass or above in the internal mandatory unit: Unit 4 – Construction Technology
- achieve a minimum 600 GLH at Pass or above (or N or above in the two external units)
- achieve the minimum number of points at a grade threshold.
The table below shows the number of points available for internal units. For each internal unit, points are allocated depending on the grade awarded:
|Points per grade per each internal unit of size 60 GLH|
|Unclassified (U)||Pass (P)||Merit (M)||Distinction (D)|
The table below shows the minimum number of points available for each grade in the external units:
|Points per grade per each external unit of size 120 GLH|
|Unclassified (U)||Near Pass (N)||Pass (P)||Merit (M)||Distinction (D)|
The sum of the points from the ten units will decide the qualification overall grade as illustrated in the table below:
|Overall grade calculation for the BTEC National Diploma (720 GLH)|
*Please note the table is subject to review over the lifetime of the qualification. The most up-to-date version will be issued on Pearson’s website. Please also note the three conditions listed previously in this section for awarding a qualification grade. Learners who do not achieve the required minimum grade (N or P) in units shown in the structure above will not achieve a qualification. Learners who do not achieve sufficient points for a qualification or who do not achieve all the required units may be eligible to achieve a smaller qualification in the same suite provided they have completed and achieved the correct combination of units and met the appropriate qualification grade points threshold. Learners who do not meet the minimum requirements for a qualification grade to be awarded will be recorded as Unclassified (U) and will not be certificated. They may receive a Notification of Performance for individual units.
For learners who are studying a Level 3 apprenticeship, this qualification will help evidence the knowledge criteria in their apprenticeship standard. For learners who are not yet employed in the construction and built environment sector, this qualification will help prepare them for employment in one of the following job roles:
- construction project technician
- trainee site supervisor
- surveying technician
- digital engineering technician
The optional units give learners the chance to learn about a particular aspect of construction in more detail, but because the mandatory content makes up two-thirds of the qualification, they will be prepared for all these roles whichever optional units are chosen.
There are many roles in the construction and civil engineering sectors where recruitment is at higher level (such as Level 4) or at graduate level (Level 6). The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to the admission requirements to many relevant courses. Following the completion of this course, learners may wish to progress to one of the HNC courses (Level 4) or one of the higher apprenticeship standards (Level 4) which are offered by DCG. This includes the following options:
- HNC in Construction and the Built Environment
- HNC in Building Services Engineering
- HNC in Future Homes Design and Construction
- HNC in Civil Engineering
- Construction Site Supervisor Higher Apprenticeship – Level 4 (combined with the qualification HNC in Construction and the Built Environment)
- Construction Quantity Surveying Technician Higher Apprenticeship – Level 4 (combined with the qualification HNC in Construction and the Built Environment)
- Construction Site Engineering Technician Higher Apprenticeship – Level 4 (combined with the qualification HNC in Civil Engineering)
- Construction Design and Build Technician Higher Apprenticeship – Level 4 (combined with the qualification HNC in Future Homes Design and Construction)
- Building Services Engineering Technician Higher Apprenticeship – Level 4 (combined with the qualification HNC in Building Services Engineering)
Please note that progression to our Level 4 courses is subject to achieving an overall grade of MP or higher in the Diploma. Alternatively, learners may wish to progress to university or other higher education providers directly after completing their Level 3.
Who do you contact for more information?
For more information, contact Derby College Group on 0800 0280289 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Information for Employers
Information for Employers
This course could lead to one of these careers...
Construction and Building Trades Supervisors
Construction Project Managers and Related Professionals
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Course Information Last Updated On: June 7, 2022 10:57 am