Undergraduate HNC






One year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

If you're thinking about starting a career in construction and property, returning to education or want to develop your current career in the built environment sector, then our HNC Construction course is ideal for you.

Delivered by one of the UK's leading centres for built environment education, you'll study a wide range of construction and property related topics. On successful completion, you will have an industry recognised qualification which will support your future career development.

If you're looking to build a strong foundation of knowledge in this area or if you don't meet the entry criteria for direct entry onto one of our undergraduate degrees, this HNC course is a good option. You will have the option of progressing onto a number of different built environment degrees, including Quantity SurveyingConstruction Project Management, Building Surveying or Real Estate Development and Management 

Start your study journey

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying HNC Construction, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Study a range of modules which will develop your professional and technical competencies, ready for a fulfilling built environment career
  • Build your knowledge about the practicalities and legalities involved in delivering built environment projects
  • Learn how both traditional and modern methods of construction are deployed to maximise the sustainability of construction projects
  • Develop your understanding of how people, process and digital management combine to produce successful projects
  • Specialise in one of four discipline-focused modules to suit your personal preferences
  • Develop your presentation, communication and interpersonal skills

students accepted

This is for you if...


You have a passion for how buildings are designed, constructed or managed


You want to work in a fast-moving sector which provides variety, responsibility, and real world impact


You want to make a difference and participate in the process revolution which is already transforming the built environment


You are interested in new physical and digital technologies, and how these are applied practically in industry


You want to develop professional and technical skills ready for a career in the built environment

Course details

All about the course

Course Delivery

The course provides a gateway to the fascinating world of construction and the built environment, as well as offering an opportunity for students with some industry experience to consolidate their academic learning. Delivered over eight months full time, it provides a platform to progress into further, degree level study.

You will be introduced to the built environment sector and its processes and will develop practical industry knowledge through a range of credit bearing modules. Course content includes sustainable construction technology, building services, legal and contractual procedures, and management. You'll also use the knowledge you've gained on the course to complete a final project.

Both full-time and part-time students complete the same modules, with full-time students undertaking all six in their year of study, whilst the part-time students complete 3 modules per year during their two years of study.

Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Learning experience

At the heart of one of the UK’s fastest growing city regions, Salford is home to a rapid rise in construction. With Manchester just a mile away from our Peel Park campus, you’ll be surrounded by rich architectural heritage where you can get involved with live industry projects.

On our Sustainable Construction Technology module, you’ll study the characteristics of different building materials and techniques and its impact on the environment by using IT based approaches including BIM.

At Salford, we aim to give you an interactive learning space to develop both your professional and technical competencies and provide you with strong network connections with local organisations. Along with industry links, the course is delivered over 8 months so you can build all the essential knowledge quickly.

Year one

Sustainable Construction Technology

You will learn about the challenges of creating a more sustainable built environment, and follow the process of how buildings are put together, from the feasibility study and foundations all the way up to the roof. Along the way you will study the characteristics and properties of different building materials and techniques, and what impact different choices may make on the local and global environment. You will explore both traditional and modern methods of construction, and learn how these are managed and implemented using IT based approaches including Building Information modelling

Building Services and Sustainability

You will study the principles which underpin why building services (e.g. drainage, electrical, gas, heating and ventilation) are routed throughout buildings in the way that they are. You will examine how decisions relating to building services influence overall energy consumption (and energy generation), as well as the critical role that building occupancy plays in the overall carbon footprint of built assets. You will learn about some of the technical aspects of building services, and the ways in which energy may be conserved, managed and generated efficiently.

Construction Law, Procedure and Regulation

Construction projects are expensive, complicated and unpredictable. They pose great financial risks, and great risks to the health and safety of workers. In this module you will learn about the most significant ways that law and contracts operate to manage these complexities. You will gain a solid understanding of the legal framework surrounding the construction process, including planning permission and building regulations, with a focus on the importance of fire regulations. You will also examine the different ways that contracts are used to distribute responsibilites for design, construction and management of cost, quality and time.

Management and Project Delivery

You will study the theories of how people and processes should be managed from a practical and project-based perspective. You will look at how a project should proceed throughout the entire cycle, from planning, through construction all the way to decommissioning, and how the effective collaboration between people is at the root of every successful outcome. You will examine how projects are digitally facilitated in terms of information and process management, relying on a range of different software tools. An element of your learning will also relate to the economic aspects of successful project outcomes.

Integrated Project

You will work together with your fellow students and experience the process of an integrated project. You will gain a practical understanding of the multidisciplinary roles involved in a project and see how vital collaborative working is to success.

You can choose to study one of four discipline-focused modules to specialise your knowledge of the build environment.

Property Practice

As a student on the property pathway, you will focus on the characteristics of the completed built asset. You will carry out surveying tasks in order to critique the quality and condition of buildings, and put them in the context of the property market.

Quantity Surveying Practice

As a student on the Quantity Surveying pathway you will focus on the costing of a construction project. You will gain a grounding in the core QS specialty of measurement, a technical and practical discipline which is foundational to the QS profession.

Construction Management Practice

As a student on the construction management pathway you will gain practical experience of setting out a site in readiness for construction. You will also develop skills relating to the process of construction planning, and how this process can be supported and implemented using IT and software.

Architectural Technology Practice

As a student on the architectural technology pathway you will focus on the technical design and detailing which is core to the Architectural Technologist profession. You will have the opportunity to develop your own design ideas using industry standard design software.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills using a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods. These include:

  • Studio projects, both individual and group-based
  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Directed study
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment)
  • Guest lectures and site visits


You will be assessed using a combination of methods, including exams, projects and written coursework. Coursework is problem-focused and may typically involve case study analysis and/or essay writing. 

What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a HNC qualification?

HNC stands for Higher National Certificate. This is a level 4 qualification (equivalent to the first year studying a bachelor's degree) undertaken for a year full-time or two years part-time. HNCs are often more vocational than other higher education qualifications. 

If you choose to continue your higher education journey after this HNC qualification, you will have the option of progressing one of our built environment bachelor’s programmes.

What is the basic definition of construction? 

Construction is defined as the process, art, and manner of constructing. This means something that is built or put together. This can be a building or any other structure such as a bridge. 

What are the 4 types of construction? 

The four main types of construction are: residential construction, commercial construction, industrial construction, and infrastructure construction. You will learn about the range of work that goes on in the field of construction during our programme.

What are the 5 phases of construction?

Construction projects can be sectioned into 5 phases: 

Phase 1: Pre-Design (Planning stage) 

Phase 2: Design (Pre-Construction) 

Phase 3: Procurement (Gathering resources) 

Phase 4: Construction and Monitoring 

Phase 5: Post-Construction (Closeout) 

By the end of our programme, you will have gained skills in all areas of construction. 

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a construction student, you will learn in our carefully designed studios and study spaces provide an inspiring environment to develop ideas, work collaboratively and share best practice. Our facilities include Think Lab, our futuristic research environment used for smart city applications, collaborative engineering, industry collaborations, and interactive learning

Salford is also home to the unique Energy House – the only fully climate-controlled research facility of its kind in the world. Built in 2011, this full-sized two-bedroom terraced house is built inside an environmental chamber that can replicate almost any weather conditions. It is packed with a vast array of sensors that can monitor a wide range of variables.

Industry Collaboration and Research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global built environment issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


This course is designed to help you to develop a range of personal and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. As well as gaining an introduction to the build environment, you will also build key IT, study and presentation skills and develop your team work and project management skills during your studies.

An increasing number of construction-industry employers are hiring HNC graduates with good technical knowledge and related computer skills.

Our graduates have secured roles with local and national organisations, including Balfour Beatty, Bramhall Construction, Laing O'Rourke, Manchester City Council, New Charter Housing Ltd, Northwards Housing and United Utilities.

Read about Chris's role at KAM Project Consultants.

Further Study

If you want to take your interest in construction and the built environment even further, we have a range of degree courses where you can continue your studies.

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying

BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management

BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying

BSc (Hons) Real Estate Development and Management

A taste of what you could become

A Construction Manager

A Site Manager

A Contractor

A Project Technician

and more...

Career Links

This course is extensively informed by collaboration between the university’s academics and industry partners from the built environment. Our experienced teaching team maintain strong links with the architecture, engineering and construction sectors, both local and international.

This collaboration with the professions ensures a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, as well as career networking opportunities. You will benefit from field visits, practitioner-led lectures and real-world problem-solving work developed for and by industry.  

Recent industry partners have included:

  • Bramhall Construction
  • United Utilities
  • Wates Construction
  • Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

What you need to know

Applicant Profile

We're looking for enthusiastic and determined applicants who want to start their journey towards a career in construction and the built environment.

English Language Requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Mathematics at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

UCAS tariff points

72 points

A level

72 points (typically BC or DDD)

BTEC National Diploma


BTEC Higher National Diploma


Access to HE

72 points

Scottish Highers

72 points equivalent from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

72 points equivalent from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Please contact our Admissions team

International Baccalaureate

Please contact our Admissions team

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we receive your application, we'll assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please contact Admissions for further information.


Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £15,720.00per year
Part-time 2024/25 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,650.00per year

Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply?

UCAS Code: K2N3

Start Date(s): September


One year full-time

Two years part-time

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID K2N3

Institution S03