Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Plymouth


Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

HNCs are very highly regarded qualifications by employers in the UK and overseas for their relevance and quality; they can also count towards membership of professional bodies and employer organisations. For careers in development, project management and civil engineering, this specialist vocational programme more than ticks the boxes. Linked to the industry’s professional requirements and national occupational standards, it has a strong career emphasis. The qualification gives you a thorough understanding of the key concepts and practical skills required to study further or go straight into industry. The course covers the range of industry disciplines, design, technical, operational, and management, helping you decide which roles might be best for you. You will begin with principles of the planning and design phases of a project, considering how each impacts construction cost. A CAD module looks deeper into design from a technical perspective. Construction technology builds on your knowledge, introducing standard design forms, site evaluation methods and methods of construction. More detail follows as you delve into the maths, the science, and materials in construction engineering as well as site surveying calculations. On the operation and management of construction projects, modules cover general construction management techniques and production management at the site level. Additional modules introduce related subjects in law and contracts, health and safety, and professional ethics and practice. You will also be involved in a team project solving practical problems in a construction scenario. How you apply the knowledge developed over the course in a large and complex piece of work will be measured, aiming to show the advanced level of performance expected of construction professionals.


  • Design Principles - provides the learner with a fundamental understanding of the overall design process, and how the planning/design phases of a project are coordinated and managed. The module is intended to help learners develop the ability to understand and apply design in terms of the production and cost implications for construction projects.
  • Science and Materials with Maths - provides the learner with an introduction to the scientific principles and a basic knowledge of the properties of materials. The module is intended to enable learners to apply scientific principles to construction-related situations. This module also provides the learner with the fundamental mathematical knowledge and analytical techniques to use mathematical processes in the solution of construction, civil engineering or building services engineering problems.
  • Health and Safety - covers the knowledge and skills needed to identify hazards in the workplace, assess the level of risk, make recommendations to control the risk and review the results; this will be considered along with relevant safety legislation.
  • Construction Management - provides the learner with an introduction to the principles of management as they relate to the technical and professional disciplines. Students will also learn how these principles may be applied to the management of construction and civil engineering activity through the application of recognised management techniques.
  • Construction Technology 1 - provides the learner with an introduction to the fundamental aspects of construction technology. The module has been designed to enable learners to understand the standard design forms, site evaluation methods and methods of construction used in the modern construction industry.
  • Professional Ethics and Practice - designed to introduce the learner to the concepts of professional ethics and the wider social, technical, economic and financial aspects of professional practice which must be considered alongside the core business activities.
  • CAD - provides the learner with an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to use appropriate computer software as an aid to design for the construction industry. The difference in approach between manual and computer aided design (CAD) is explained.
  • Production Management - develops the application of management principles and techniques at site management level. The module will provide learners with knowledge of the management of construction sites and will develop an appreciation of the interface between management, technology and productivity.
  • Law and Contracts - intended to provide learners with an introduction to the national legal system and the Law of Contract. It is also intended that learners will develop knowledge and understanding in those aspects of contractual administration relating to the common types of contract used in the industry for building or civil engineering works of various sizes.
  • Group Project - develops the learner's ability to resolve realistic practical problems within a given project and working within a team. It aims to apply the skills and knowledge developed in other modules of the course within a major piece of work that reflects the type of performance expected of construction professionals. It aims to develop a working knowledge of the types of procurement arrangements used in the industry.
  • Site Surveying Procedures - provides an opportunity for the learner to undertake setting out and control of alignment of construction work and develops the knowledge needed to perform surveying calculations.

Assessment method

Assessment is based on completed assignments, with two assignments per module over each 15-week semester. There are no exams.

How to apply

To apply for this course you will be taken to the provider's website, where you can find out more information and make an application.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £4625 Year 1
Northern Ireland £4625 Year 1
Scotland £4625 Year 1
Wales £4625 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Construction at Petroc - UCAS