Level 4

Construction and the Built Environment (HNC)

Duration Age Group Study Year Cost Available Locations
£3500 per year * Luckyn Lane Campus
Duration Age Group Study Year Cost Available Locations
£3500 per year * Luckyn Lane Campus


Developed in consultation with employers by Pearson Edexcel, this course is suited for those pursuing a career in Construction & the Built Environment.

Our Higher National Certificate course offers a good balance of academic theory and practical industry knowledge which is firmly aligned to your job requirements from day one. Through high-quality lectures, case study research and employer-based projects you will gain a unique blend of general skills along with specific industry knowledge in sustainable construction management. Content on the course centres around current UK and International Building Projects.

Entry Requirements

You will need a minimum of 64 UCAS points from one or more of the following:

  • BTEC Level 3 Construction
  • AVCE/GNVQ in a related vocational area (Level 3)
  • an A-level with strong performance in relevant subjects
  • a related Access to Higher Education Certificate or other related Level 3 qualifications
  • related work experience supported by GCSEs at grades A*-C or equivalent

You will also need GCSE English and Maths at grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as functional skills.

To find out how many points your qualifications are awarded, view the UCAS Tariff tables.

All candidates will be required to attend an interview.


Chat with a student

You can start a conversation with one of our current students if you wish to learn more about our courses or studying at the University Centre South Essex in general.

Just follow this link: www.southessex.ac.uk/he/unibuddy

Course Structure

This course places a strong emphasis on analysis and evaluation of subject-specialist concepts and procedures. By the end of the programme you will have gained significant sector skills knowledge and competence to undertake middle to senior management responsibilities.

The qualification has a minimum credit value of 125 credits. This comprises mandatory core unit value of 65 credits and specialist unit value of 55 credits. The course is primarily designed on the general pathway. Alternative pathways are subject to availability. To pass the course you must pass all eight units, including the four core units and four specialist units. These modules could relate to architectural technology, construction management, surveying or civil engineering. The College offers units that will best benefit the students in line with the requirements of the construction industry.

The academic year is split into two semesters and key dates are contained in the HE year planner. Each year consists of four units; units are delivered over one or two semester alongside assessment coursework. You will also receive tutorial support and feedback meetings.

Mandatory modules

  • Construction information (drawing, detailing and specification)
  • Science and materials
  • Individual project
  • Legal and statutory responsibilities in construction

Guest speakers

You will also have the opportunity to attend guest speaker lectures delivered by industry experts from the Chartered Institute of Building and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Field trips

You will benefit from educational trips to key UK construction projects, such as The National Self Build & Renovation Centre and the Othona zero carbon project.

Contact hours

You will be required to attend college for 1 day a week (09.00 – 17.00) comprising of lectures and study sessions and one hour tutorial.

Other units will include:

Surveying, measuring & setting out Construction practice and management Building information modelling Construction technology

Assessment & Feedback

The course is assessed through coursework. You will complete assignments that focus on the practical application of the assessment criteria, providing a realistic scenario for you to adopt, making maximum use of work-related practical experience and reflecting typical practice in the construction and built environment. The HNC is graded pass, merit or distinction.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment (leading to the award of credit) that considers whether you can demonstrate that you can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills you already possess and so do not need to develop through a course of learning. This can be discussed at the start of the course.

Course Cost

Adult, part_time_day: £3500 per year

Fees are per academic year for Home/UK students.

What Next...

Students progressing from the course have gone to work for:

  • Gilles-Surveyors
  • Skanska
  • Bradford Watts
  • Sharkey