Construction Crafts and Services

Construction HNC (University of Kent)

Course Code: 3858

Qualification: Higher National Certificate in Construction
Course code: 50006
Campus: Ashford - Jemmett Road
Mode of attendance: Part-time Daytime
Duration: 2 years
Awarding body: University of Kent
Credits per year: Year 1 (60 credits), Year 2 (60 credits)
Download the course handbook for 2016/17 (PDF)

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.

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.


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

Year 1:

- Building Construction A
- Personal Skills 1
- Communication & Research 
- Safety in Construction
- Building Services (General)

Year 2:

- Analytical Methods (Building)
- Science & Materials
- Construction Management
- Management Applications or Building Construction B

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. 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.

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.

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.
Career Options:
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.
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.

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

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 form and the entry requirements when making a decision.

Applications for the programme should be made direct to the College via the standard application form. Please click here for further advice on how to apply.

Starting date for this course

Tuesday 12 Sep 2017
2 years

Fees for this course

Students aged 16-18 >

Tuition: £2950

Students aged 19-23 >

Tuition: £2950

Concessions for those over 19 are available. If you believe you may be eligible, please contact us.

An exam registration fee of up to £150 (depending on the mode of study) is payable by all students aged 19 and over unless you are self-funding a Level 3 (or above) course.

Students aged 24 or over >

Tuition: £2950

Concessions for those over 19 are available. If you believe you may be eligible, please contact us.

An exam registration fee of up to £150 (depending on the mode of study) is payable by all students aged 19 and over unless you are self-funding a Level 3 (or above) course.

Overseas status students (per year) >

Tuition: £2950

The fees given for 'Overseas status students' will normally apply to students who are from a country outside the European Union (EU) and have not been resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the three years before the start of the course. Please note that there are exceptions to this rule. For most courses, the fee for overseas status students is higher than for other students because the College does not receive funding from the UK government for overseas status students. Please contact our Applications Team if you are unsure whether or not you are an overseas status student.

A material fee of £20 is payable by all students on a full-time course.

This course IS NOT eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan.
All fees are payable to West Kent and Ashford College on enrolment.

Please note that all published fees are for the first year of the programme only. A fee will be due for each subsequent year of the programme and will be requested at the beginning of each academic year. Fees for each subsequent year will be subject to an inflationary increase, based on the appropriate inflationary measure set by the Government each year.

The fees stated above only apply to the specified course, start date, mode of attendance and location. Fees may be different for courses where these details are not the same and will be different in future academic years.

Please note that for courses at Level 2 and below, fees are payable for each year of a course, so if a course has a duration of more than one academic year, the fees shown are for the first year only and the same rate of fees will be due for subsequent years.

All students who do not achieve a pass at the first sitting and need to take a re-sit will be responsible for re-sit fees.

Kit fees are payable to an external supplier, not the College, so are excluded from the total payable to the College. Where applicable, kit fees normally cover essential equipment or clothing for the course. Details about how to purchase these items will be provided with the joining instructions sent to you by the College (once you have applied and been accepted for the course) or at the beginning of the course.

We make every effort to ensure the fees we publish are accurate but sometimes we will have to change the fees for a course, such as when changes in government funding occur. We therefore reserve the right to change fees without notice.

How to Apply

You can apply for this course now by calling on 0845 207 8220 or contact us using the enquiry form.

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