Ashford College - HNC Construction
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Essential information
Qualification: HNC Construction
Location: Ashford College
Fee: £3000 p.a. part time for UK students. EU students, please contact the department for further information.

HNC Construction

This programme is designed to prepare you for a technical and professional role in the construction industry. You will develop industry-specific and transferable skills enabling you to successfully manage situations and problems of a technical, social and industrial nature. It is aimed at those wishing to further their construction education in construction management or built environment related profession.

The HNC qualification is at level 4 of the UK qualification framework and is equivalent to the first year of a degree programme.

Description of teaching and assessment methods

All modules are taught by a combination of lectures and small group sessions, which include seminars, group practicals, problem sets, debates and role-play games. Assessments are varied and reflect the module outcomes. There are both written and practical assignments, opportunities to work on innovative project work. Some modules are assessed through examinations, which take place in January and May in each academic year. Assessment methods vary between modules, from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework, usually in the ratio 50:50, 60:40 or 80:20. Coursework tasks can include individual and group projects, presentations, critical reviews and portfolios, as well as conventional analytical essays.

Expected timetabled hours and time commitment outside timetabled hours

Students will typically receive six hours of contact time with teaching staff each week through teaching and assessment (i.e. lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, projects and examinations). Students will be expected to dedicate two hours of independent study for every hour of contact time, equating to a total of approximately 18 hours of study per week.

Skills and experience gained

Students will develop a wide range of analytical skills and knowledge in the built environment, sustainable construction methods and personal/professional skills, as outlined below:

Intellectual skills: 1. Identify, define and explore technical issues and real life applications using appropriate analysis. 2. Analyse, synthesise and evaluate theories and evidence. 3. Discuss hypotheses, interpret data and produce reasoned arguments. 4. Analysis and critical judgement in relation to theory and methods. 5. Communicate findings in oral or written form. 6. Apply subject specific, transferable and study skills to learning tasks. 7. Apply mathematical and statistical techniques to problem solving.

Subject practical skills: 1. Planning and scheduling work in an effective way. 2. Use IT to illustrate and clarify arguments. 3. Use word-processing and data analysis packages and undertake computer-based literature searches. 4. Use interpersonal skills for collaborative effort. 5. Use internet to retrieve and manipulate data. 6. Manage and process data using spreadsheets and software packages. 7. Use IT skills in a variety of learning contexts.

Transferable skills: 1. Engage in problem solving. 2. Reflect on and improve own learning, performance and self-management. 3. Use information technology in a variety of contexts. 4. Apply number skills to analyse data. 5. Apply learning skills to independent study. Communication skills: 1. Communicate effectively using graphical, written, verbal and IT means. 2. Work with others as an effective team member.

Employers value such transferable skills for their use in analysis, decision-making and communication. In addition to these sought-after skills, the programme seeks to prepare students for rounded professional life.

Progression routes / leaving destinations

The HNC qualification is highly regarded by employers, and students who successfully complete the programme should benefit from enhanced employment prospects in fields such as architecture, construction, estate management and surveying. The opportunity to 'top up' the HNC qualification to an HND or Foundation Degree is also available to graduates, normally with a further two years of part-time study (at the discretion of the university or college delivering the course). Thereafter, progression to the final stage of a full Degree is possible

Equipment required

Although there are no compulsory equipment requirements for this programme, it is advisable for students to have suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) for site visits. You will have access to the College's Learning Resource Centre, computer rooms with specialist software and campus-wide wi-fi. Moodle, our virtual learning environment, provides a one-stop shop for course notes, lecture slides, timetables and more.

How to Apply/Entry Process

Following receipt of your application, you will be interviewed and asked to complete a short written task at interview. This task and the interview will help us to assess your suitability for the programme. We will also consider your application and the entry requirements when making a decision. Applications for the programme should be made direct to the College through the website.

Why should students study this programme?

The core framework for the programme is built around modules which develop specific knowledge and skills within the broad subject area of the construction industry. There is a strong emphasis towards developing a wide range of current construction knowledge, research projects and field trips. Students are also exposed to current and future trends in this fast moving sector of the economy while student-led class debates form an engaging part of several modules surrounding professional topics.

Target audience

The programme is aimed at those employed on a full-time basis in the construction industry. We recognise that everyone has different skills and experiences, so we look for potential through a broad range of work that expresses the scope of your creative experiences and shows evidence of enquiry and experimentation. Previous construction experience is necessary as this will be developed during the programme. We are seeking enthusiastic students who are committed to pursuing a career in the built environment. We would expect you to keep yourself up-to-date with developments in the industry by visiting exhibitions and reading books and magazines.

Modular structure

The programme consists of eight modules each weighted at 15 credits.

Year 1:

  • Building Construction A (15 credits)
  • Personal Skills 1 - Communication and Research (15 credits)
  • Safety in Construction (15 credits)
  • Refurbishment, Maintenance and Adaptation (15 credits)

Year 2:

  • Analytical Methods (Building) (15 credits)
  • Science and Materials (15 credits)
  • Construction Management (15 credits)
  • Management Applications or Building Construction B (15 credits)

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold one of the following on entry:

  • Two A Levels at grades CC or above, including one in a relevant subject (e.g. Maths or a Science subject)
  • A BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in a relevant subject at grade MPP or above
  • A BTEC Level 3 Diploma in a relevant subject at grade MM or above

Equivalent qualifications will also be considered. In addition, applicants must be employed in a position in the construction industry on entry to the programme.

Mature applicants (those aged 21 or over at the start of the course) who do not hold one of these qualifications but who possess a suitable level of relevant industry experience and/or qualifications are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis.

All applicants will be interviewed.

Entry Requirements

Please see our Group entry requirements

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you

Elwick Road
TN23 1NN

01233 743100