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HNC in Future Homes Design and Construction

If you work as a Housing Design Technician, BIM Technician, Digital Design Technician, Off-Site Construction Manager, Architectural Technologist, Planning Officer, Building Control Officer or Housing Project Manager, this HNC is for you. You can study it as a standalone qualification or as part of the Level 4 Design and Build Technician 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: 36
Hours: 8.00
Start: 15/09/2023
Tuition: £3750 Per Year
The Roundhouse

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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. 

This qualification has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE). If you are employed as a Housing Design Technician, BIM Technician, Digital Design Technician, Off-Site Construction Manager, Architectural Technologist, Planning Officer, Building Control Officer or Housing Project Manager, this two-year part-time course is for you. 

The qualification has specific emphases on the design, manufacture and installation of housing, using off-site, factory-built and new technologies. You can study it as a standalone qualification or as part of the Level 4 Construction Design and Build Higher Apprenticeship standard.

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 Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating and Engineers (CIPHE).

Please note that, in addition to this BTEC HNC in Future Homes Design and Construction, DCG also offers a BTEC HNC in Construction and the Built Environment, 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 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 units in total over two academic years (four units a year: each unit is 15 credits). 

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 14: Building Information Modelling – Mandatory
  • Unit 16: Principles of Alternative Energy – Mandatory
  • Unit 50: Housing Design and Specification – Mandatory
  • Unit 51: Principles of Off-site Construction – Mandatory
  • Unit 52: Principles of Housing Economics – Mandatory

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 and reading weeks. The direct delivery time for this course will be 30 weeks.

Students are expected to undertake private study, prepare for assessment and undertake 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, 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 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 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’, ie 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 8 units equivalent to 120 credits at Level 4.
  • achieved at least a Pass in 105 credits at Level 4 (i.e. passed 7 of the 8 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 8 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 the 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 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 the 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 into employment in one of the following job roles:

  • Housing Design Technician
  • Housing Project Manager
  • Off-Site Construction Manager
  • BIM Technician
  • Digital Design Technician
  • Architectural Technologist
  • Planning Officer
  • Building Control Officer

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 our Student Protection Plan, we reserve the right to close a course – if there are insufficient student numbers to make the course financially 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: October 24, 2022 11:59 am