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Undergraduate study
Engineering & Construction

Building Studies HNC

This course is for higher technicians in architecture or design, building management, building control, quantity surveying and building surveying.


Course overview

It explores the construction of new properties and the adaptation and restoration of existing buildings. You are introduced to all aspects of construction including design, health and safety, and management.

This is an award of Teesside University delivered at a partner college of your choice.

Admissions enquiries: Darlington College (01325 503050 or, Hartlepool College of Further Education (01429 295000 or

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Course details

You study eight units chosen covering the range of needs of local and national industries and business.

Course structure

Core modules

Building Technology (HN)

You gain the underpinning knowledge of construction technology. The materials and techniques used to achieve the basic principles of construction technology are constantly evolving to enable the construction industry to deliver better quality buildings. Scarcity of resources and the continuing demand of more sophisticated clients, end users and other stakeholder interests, are driving the construction industry to provide buildings which facilitate enhanced environmental and energy performance, and greater flexibility, in response to ever increasing financial, environmental, legal and economic constraints.

You are introduced to different technological concepts used to enable the construction of building elements; from substructure to completion, by understanding the different functional characteristics and design considerations when selecting the most suitable technological solution.

Construction Practice and Management (HN)

You gain an overview of the industry’s size and operation of construction companies. Health and safety performance is considered and also how BIM has the potential to influence a range of construction processes and operations.

You develop an understanding of construction practice and management processes. You investigate and research the modern construction industry, both from the practical skills embedded within the industry through to its links with development on-site and the connection with construction management; including roles within the industry.

Construction Science and Materials (HN)

You develop basic knowledge of the properties of materials needed to successfully complete the other core and specialist modules. You analyse, apply, investigate and evaluate scientific principles and the properties and behaviour of materials in construction related situations. It is contextualised for construction, civil engineering or building services engineering and the delivery and assessment is tailored to your particular vocational needs.

Individual Project (HN)

You apply the skills and knowledge that you developed in other modules of the course (and where possible experiences from work) within a major piece of work that reflects the type of performance expected of construction technologists. 

You develop your ability to identify, define, plan, develop and execute a successful project by working through a clear process. You develop a project brief, outlining a problem that requires a solution, as well as a project specification, the specific requirements of which the final outcome must meet.

You research the problem, undertaking a feasibility study, and consider a range of potential solutions using critical analysis and evaluation techniques to test, select and contextualise your preferred solution. You also provide a work and time management plan, keeping a diary of all activities, reflecting on their process and their learning throughout the project.


and four optional modules

Design Principles (HN)

You develop a fundamental understanding of the design process and of how the planning and design phases are co-ordinated and managed. This module forms the design base for the programme and develops your ability to apply, analyse and evaluate the design in terms of the production, the environmental impact and the emerging technologies that affect the design and production phases for construction projects. The content can be contextualised in terms of the discipline being followed to relate to a particular building, civil engineering or building services project. 

Health, Safety and Welfare (HN)

You will acquire 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 must be considered along with relevant safety legislation.

This module is applicable to all students studying the Higher National courses, although the forms of risk assessment and their technical bases will be different for each course. The module will contribute to health and safety plans within project work and help you to formulate safety policy, the arrangements and carry out risk assessment in the workplace.

Principles of Alternative Energy (HN)

Buildings use about 40% of global energy, 25% of global water and 40% of global resources in their construction and operation. Governments around the world have recognised the importance of tackling energy consumption in the built environment, and have instituted legislation to address these issues. These have often been supported by financial incentives to implement alternative energy systems and processes. They are also governed by rigorous targets and deadlines. 

Technologies that harness solar, wind and hydro energy are now established systems for generating power and heat. Along with other innovations such as heat pumps and bio-fuel, these are often incorporated into the design for new construction projects. You develop knowledge of current and future energy technologies and apply that knowledge in analysis and assessment of its effectiveness. You also apply that knowledge and research to a design activity. 

Principles of Refurbishment (HN)

There are buildings all over the world of different types, styles, ages and conditions. Once a building has been built there comes a need to maintain and update the property; to keep it fit for the intended purpose. Refurbishment is a broad term that covers adaptation, alteration and extension. 
The value of refurbishment to the construction industry is significant; with nearly half of the total value of construction coming from work to existing buildings. With a reduction of available land, legislative changes, and a drive for increased sustainability, the need to understand refurbishment has never been as prevalent as it is today. 
You analyse the underpinning concepts of refurbishment and the options available, and use construction knowledge from other modules and apply it to a refurbishment project, taking into account the key factors that influence a scheme. 

Site Surveying and Setting Out (HN)

Infrastructure and new buildings are essential requirements of modern life. In both construction and civil engineering there is a need to conduct initial surveys to assist the design team in establishing a clearly defined starting point. Once designed, the priority becomes to set out the structures to the required accuracy to facilitate the construction process. Finally, as built surveys are necessary to assist future maintenance and improvements to the built asset.

You develop your ability to use modern surveying equipment to undertake a range of surveying and setting out procedures which are common in the construction industry.

Tender and Procurement (HN)

You gain a fundamental understanding and application of tendering and estimating methods together with the principles and methods of procurement methods. Youo develop a commercial awareness of tendering and estimating and to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the commercial aspects of the Industry.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course is delivered using a combination of practical sessions, lectures and tutorials. You are required to complement your college-based learning with self study.

How you are assessed

Assessment is by a range of integrated assignments, case studies, projects and tests which are planned throughout the year.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

64 Points from any combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications. Examples include A-level, BTEC, Access to HE Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, T-Level, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS tariff calculator.

Subject requirements:
GCSE Mathematics at grade 4/C, or equivalent

We are not accepting applications from international students requiring a Student Visa for this course.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

The qualification provides you with the opportunity to seek career development into senior positions in national and international companies. Alternatively, you may seek further study to HND, degree level and beyond.



  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: One day a week (days may vary by location)
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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