Building HNC

Study level: HNC/HND courses
Two Building students wearing hard hats on an indoor construction

The Building HNC pathway is intended for candidates working for house-building contractors or intending to pursue careers in quantity surveying.

Year of entry


CU Coventry (Coventry)

Study mode



1-2 years part-time

Course code


Start date

September 2024
January 2025
March 2025
May 2025

Course overview

This course aims to develop your practical skills, real-world knowledge and theoretical understanding of the issues and processes in the multidisciplinary construction industry. The course reflects contemporary practices and emphasises the essential practical knowledge and competencies needed for career progression within the industry.

This course is available on a day-release basis only, so you will need to be in relevant employment while you are studying with us.

Why you should study this course

Construction Engineering, despite being an ancient industry, is constantly evolving to reflect our ever-progressive society. An exciting sector rich with potential for ambitious achievers, this ever-changing field is challenging preconceived notions and offering more opportunities than ever. Below are some of the benefits of studying on the course.

  • Development of transferrable skills – The skills you gain when you study Building HNC could aid you in many aspects of your life. This course is perfect for sharpening your problem-solving skills, as it will present you with the typical challenges of the industry and enable you to devise solutions.
  • Progression in a high-demand industry – Career paths in this industry tend to be well paid, with building engineers being in high demand and well paid. Depending on the branch you pursue, career opportunities may include Building Engineer, Building Surveyor, Quantity Surveyor, etc. By completing the Building HNC, you could increase your employability in your chosen career path and could open a range of progression opportunities that may allow you to climb higher up the ladder of engineering.
  • A real chance to change lives – Construction or Building engineering has been a vital aspect of life since the beginning of human existence, playing an essential role from the rudimentary shelters of early man to the sprawling metropolises of modern life. And as sustainability climbs higher on our priority lists, building engineering has a part to play in our climate change worries. The push towards sustainable living means that there is an increased need for highly qualified, innovative engineers and managers with an environmental and social conscience who can make the world a better place.
  • Progression to Management Positions – After completion of the Building HNC qualification, you should have gained knowledge of some of the key management skills and principles that may allow you to progress to a variety of management positions in the construction and building engineering field. This is because the Building HNC course introduces you to the principles of management, the evolution of management thought and their application in construction industry. It also introduces you to both practical and theoretical project management methods and planning of construction projects. You’ll gain an insight into people management and practices to ensure that your team are working to the best of their ability. This will ensure that they are competently applying their creative problem-solving abilities to improve the world around them under your expert guidance.
  • Develop Specialism - Not only will a Building HNC allow you to advance your career and seek managerial roles, but you will also have the opportunity to pursue a specialism. At CU Coventry, our HNC Building programme will also help you to develop a deeper understanding of engineering design principles and processes, sustainability and environmental protections, project management, among many other key areas. A HNC Building also places you potentially in a position for further HE study, such as enrolment at higher stages of some BSc/BEng Building/Construction Engineering related courses (subject to meeting entry requirements).
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What you'll study

You will have the opportunity to gain an insight into the full breadth of design and construction disciplines that collaborate in the construction industry, and the benefit of practical experience brought to the course by students working in industry. You should also develop a sound base to further your education and training to become professionally qualified.


  • The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the principles of project management and their application in the construction industry. Students will also be introduced to health and safety, modern construction technologies as well as the concept of green and sustainable construction. Furthermore, learners will be provided with an overview of the multi-disciplinary construction industry at a national and international level and the legal and economic frameworks in which it operates.


  • This module aims to develop design knowledge with broad understanding of construction technology and materials. The module will promote creative designs of different structures and structural components from a variety of materials consistent with relevant engineering design, codes of practice or standards, engineering drawing and drafting practice and computer aided design. This module will also focus on commercial considerations and limitations of design and construction. By completing this module, students should be able to analyse a conceptual design and use effective tools and technologies to transfer client’s requirements into viable designs for construction.


  • The aim of this module is to equip learners with knowledge of the science and engineering principles required in the construction of engineering structures. Learners will study the mechanics of structures as well as engineering properties of construction materials. The module will incorporate several topics enabling a holistic understanding of a range of structures, the feasibility of structural designs and the expected behaviour of structural elements. The module will deliver, reinforce and expand learners’ knowledge of construction and form the basis for critical analysis of construction related activities.


  • The aim of this module is to provide the students with the knowledge of traditional and modern design and construction methods of buildings. This module also aims to raise learners’ awareness of building aspects including performance guidelines, materials selection and building services. Furthermore, the students will have an understanding of the logistical considerations for building design and construction. Students will also be introduced to the methods of quantities measurements and building surveys. Upon completion of this module, learners should be able to practically apply the developed skills into building project including design, consultation and building work.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

Our teaching methods are varied, offering several teaching styles to suit the needs of all our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. We also operate an open-door policy, with additional availability via email and our online learning platform, Moodle.

Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development.

Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end-of-year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which is more reflective of our learning model.

Teaching contact hours

The number of part-time contact hours may vary from module to module, however, on average, it is likely to be around 8 contact hours per week. Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of around 15 hours each week depending on the demands of individual modules. The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

This course is available as a part-time day release course on Tuesdays or Wednesdays 9am-6pm, usually studied over two years. The course comprises of four modules, with three modules taught in each academic year.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment will take the form of individual and group coursework, which is vocationally relevant. The wide range of assessment techniques will ensure that students are given every opportunity to demonstrate their skills in these areas.

Course Breakdown:

  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Self-directed learning
  • Textbooks
  • Module webinars
  • Scenario-based learning sets
  • Professional libraries and resources
  • Journals and case studies
  • Access to industry experts and practitioners
  • Asynchronous online seminars
  • Discussion forums
  • Peer-to-peer learning

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

64 UCAS tariff points. All courses require 5 GCSEs at 9-4 including Maths and English. 

Access to HE Diploma

A pass in the Access Diploma. Plus GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 9-4, or specified equivalents.

What if I don’t meet the entry requirements?

Relevant industry experience will be considered as an alternative to A level/BTEC qualifications.

If you don’t fulfil the entry criteria your application may be considered on an individual basis, taking into account any work experience, other qualifications and/or any training you have completed. Speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK Not available £7,950


All our facilities are located at Mile Lane. Our building4 has been designed to enable collaboration, creativity and innovation to flourish, and includes (subject to availability):

  • Indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a café
  • A library that includes loan laptops, over 115,000 eBooks and a silent study area
  • Open access IT suites and 83-inch teaching screens
  • Engineering lab, science lab and a moot courtroom
  • Student support and careers advice teams

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Contemporary issues relating to a sustainable built environment, including social, environmental and economic aspects.
  • Appropriate mathematical methods, including those needed for modelling engineering problems.
  • Common construction materials.
  • Management practice and construction procurement.
  • Principles of civil engineering and construction technology, methods and procedures.
  • Building science with respect to materials, structure, services and internal environment.
  • The legal and regulatory framework within which buildings are constructed. Health and safety in built environment design and construction.
  • Preparation of project reports.
  • Design processes used in construction.
  • Management of the design process and the production of project documentation, including the planning, budgeting and control of costs.
  • Relevant principles of applied mechanics in the main areas of structural mechanics and soil mechanics.
  • Surveying and setting out.

Successful graduates will not only have the opportunity to gain the knowledge needed for a successful career in the construction industry, but also sought-after skills to be self-managing, self-developing individuals.

If you successfully pass the HNC course and meet all relevant entry criteria, you will be guaranteed a place on a relevant degree course at CU Coventry, or subject to meeting all progression requirements you could potentially progress to a degree at Coventry University. 

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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