Level Four Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering)

The HNC is designed to provide students with a higher level of understanding of the many different elements that the world of construction consists of. The course is tailored to students with ambitions of working within construction in a professional, managerial or technical capacity. A number of career opportunities exist including work as designers, project managers, advisors or administrative and technical roles within construction companies, as well as the opportunity to continue studying at graduate level to Higher National Diploma (HND) studies, level five. Emphasis will be placed upon reflection, analysis, environmental impact, critical thinking and personal development.

The programme aims to enable students to develop a wide variety of technical skills and understanding, supported by the development of analytical and research skills through group and individual projects.

What will I study?

The Construction curriculum consists of eight units. This is made up of three core mandatory (M) units, three specialist units (S) and two mandatory optional (O) units.

Construction pathway:

  • Individual Project (M)
  • Construction Technology (M)
  • Construction Practice and Management (M)
  • Legal and Statutory Responsibilities in Construction (S)
  • Construction Information (S)
  • Building Information Modelling (S)
  • Science and Materials (O)
  • Civil Engineering Technology (O)

Civil Engineering pathway:

  • Individual Project (M)
  • Construction Technology (M)
  • Construction Practice and Management (M)
  • Science and Materials (S)
  • Construction Information (S)
  • Mathematics for Construction (S)
  • Principals of Structural Design (O)
  • Civil Engineering Technology (O)

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, scientific experiments, presentations, group work, posters.

For more information about assessment, including guidance on marking, feedback and plagiarism, please refer to the HE Assessment Policy (section 5) and the programme spec for course-specific information.

How will the course be delivered?

Students will learn through a variety of taught sessions, group and individual projects, and self-directed study. Modules are delivered through a combination of lectures and classroom based activity, online resources and research assignments.

All programmes are led and taught by experienced teaching staff who are vocational specialists.  They are qualified, and often have extensive experience within the industry or the sector being studied. All teaching staff meet or exceed the requirements set by the awarding institute or body.  

Staff profile: Alex Sheldon

Alex has spent many years in the construction industry working in roles ranging from trade to professional management.  He has taught in the construction sector for 14 years and as head of construction has built strong relationships with a regional network of employers.

Entry requirements

  • Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject or A Levels with some industrial experience
  • College interview

Applications will be considered from mature learners without the formal academic qualifications.

Accreditation of prior learning:

Applicants may be admitted with credit for prior certificated learning (APcL) or work/life experience or other uncertificated learning (APeL)

What next?

By the end of the programme students will have developed a deeper understanding of construction design principles, project management and construction business. With the potential opportunity of pursuing a technical apprenticeship (NVQ 4) or continuation onto a level five HND programme.


Additional information

Developed in partnership with Local Transport Projects, East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

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