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HNC Civil Engineering

Take the first step towards your exciting career in Civil Engineering!


Equivalent to the first year of a university degree, our Civil Engineering HNC will develop the practical and personal skills that are needed for a role in this sector. We will help you to understand the key Civil Engineering principles, including materials, numeracy, construction technology, mechanics and health and safety. 


The programme is delivered flexibly, so it will fit easily around your current employment and other commitments.


For an informal discussion about the course, please contact: 

Lawrence Atherton, 
Programme Leader, Bolton College
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482556


apply online


The Higher Education courses shown on Bolton College’s website are taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton. Therefore, all the information applicants and learners provide will be shared between these two organisations. Applicants and learners will receive communication from both the University of Bolton and Bolton College. Student Finance Loan applications should be made using the institution ‘University of Bolton’ not Bolton College.

Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering)

  • Introductory Course Information

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    AwardPearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering) 

    UCAS points: 32

    Location: Bolton College – Deane Road  

    Awarding BodyPearson  

    Duration2 Years (part-time) 

    Start Date: 21/9/2020

  • Course Overview

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    The Higher National Certificate in Civil Engineering Studies is a vocational course designed to help prepare you for a rewarding career in the industry. With a strong focus on hands-on practice, reinforced by theory, this course is the product of more than 50 years' experience delivering well-acknowledged civil engineering programmes in the North West.


    As a student on the HNC Civil Engineering Studies course, you'll have hands-on access to our laboratories, developed for practice in the materials, hydraulics, geotechnical and structural disciplines. You'll also have the opportunity to make use of all the latest surveying equipment, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.


    Problem solving is a key focus - you'll be guided in learning and applying UK and EU codes of practice and industry standards, using your critical reasoning and analysis skills. You'll also cover those elements of maths and science that support engineering principals, along with management techniques and subjects that enhance your awareness of the commercial and economic context of engineering processes.

  • Course Highlights & Key Features

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    Course Highlights

    • Our Civil Engineering course provides you with the opportunity to make progress towards achieving internationally recognised professional status with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways or Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).
    • Upon completion of this programme, you'll be awarded the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Construction and The Built Environment (Civil Engineering).
    • Bolton College scores highly in student satisfaction surveys for our HE provision, and we take pride in being able to offer you the opportunity to learn from industry-experienced staff.


    Key Features

    • This course offers essential subject knowledge to help you progress into the world of work, advance in your current role or onto further study.
    • We adopt a 'student-centred' teaching and learning approach. We'll work with you on an individual basis so that you receive tailored support throughout the duration of your studies.
    • We'll give you the opportunity to  attain essential skills such as communication, teamwork, organising and planning, numeracy, problem solving, flexibility and adaptability, action planning, self-awareness, initiative, personal impact and confidence, environmental sustainability and social, public and ethical responsibility.
    • You'll be able to participate in trips to a range of projects within Civil Engineering so that you can gain first hand industry knowledge and insights from guest speakers during your class time.
  • Modules

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    The modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

    • Individual Project (Pearson Set)
    • Construction Technology
    • Science and Materials
    • Construction Practice and Management
    • Construction Information (Drawing, Detailing Specification)
    • Mathematics for Construction
    • Principles of Structural Design
    • Civil Engineering Technology
    • Surveying, Measuring and Setting Out
    • Building Information Modelling
  • Entry Requirements

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    • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3
    • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above / 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and maths
    • Entry is also available to those who have extensive relevant work experience within the construction/civil engineering sector - if you don't have the academic qualifications required but have extensive appropriate work experience, we'll consider your application
    • If English isn't your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications - click here to find out more.
    • If you want to progress on to a top-up degree course at a university after completing this HNC, you will usually need GCSE English and maths at grade c/4 or above (or equivalent). If you have not already achieved this, please speak to the course leader about taking GCSE English and/or maths while completing this course.

    You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of your work.

  • Career Opportunities

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    This qualification has been developed by Pearson in close partnership with experts from professional bodies, vendors, businesses, universities and colleges so that you can gain the skills necessary to succeed in the future - no matter which route you choose to take.


    What can I do with this qualification?

    The HNC in Civil Engineering is designed to further your career within structural, public health, highways and transport, hydraulic/water, geotechnical or site engineering.


    Alternatively, you may already have a job within this sector; for instance, by a contractor, consultant, utility company, local authority or any other public or private body. This course will give you the skills to take on further responsibilities at work and develop your knowledge.


    You can also progress onto a higher level qualification if you complete the Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC in Construction and The Built Environment (Civil Engineering). You'll be able to apply for advanced entry to Level 2 (HE5) of the University of Bolton’s part-time BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering course. 


    Other career options:

    • Building services engineering
    • Geology
    • Environmental consultancy
    • Quantity surveying
    • Logistics
    • Operation management
    • Patent law and intellectual property
    • Teaching
    • Research and development
    • Procurement, purchasing and buying
    • Supply chain management
    • Technical sales and consultancy


    Professional Recognition

    This qualification is approved by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) as fully satisfying the educational base for an Engineering Technician (EngTech).


    The JBM consists of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE). See for further information.


    Certificate holders can apply for Engineering Technician (EngTech) professional status after the necessary practice in industry.


    We'll encourage you to become a student member of the relevant Institution(s) and take part in local and regional activities, enabling you to network with potential employers.

  • Fees & Financial Support

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    For students starting in 20/21, the tuition fees are £2,996.


    Bursaries, scholarships and prizes: The College also provides Progression Awards for students who progress from a level 3 Bolton College course onto a HE Bolton College course. For further information on the Progression Award, click here. To find out more about financial support, please click here.


    Useful links for Bolton College Regulations, Policies and Procedures:  If you need information regarding any of the HE policies and procedures or how to make a complaint or appeal then please visit our key strategies and framework page

  • Teaching, Learning & Assessment

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    Due to the nature of this HNC programme being so diverse, we use a range of teaching and learning methods, so that you can achieve the relevant concepts, knowledge and skills. To do this we combine classroom learning with student centred and independent living. You will be attending lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and informal group study sessions. There will also be opportunities for you to go on site visits and learn from talented guest speakers who work in a range of key industrial sectors and roles.


    You will have significant opportunities to spend time with your tutors however, you will still be expected to dedicate a significant amount of time to personal study i.e. You might spend this time engaging in general background reading, revisiting practical work, attending technical meetings and lectures provided by the professional bodies or working on assignments.


    The assessment methods for your course will vary depending on the learning outcome and the type of module content being assessed. You will be able to test your understanding of the modules informally before completing the formal assessments that count towards your final mark or grade. Each module/unit contains at least one piece of practice or 'formative' assessment for which you'll receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades/marks you receive for them will not count towards your final module/unit mark or grade.


    There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module/unit. Methods include a range of assessment such as exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, and final year major project. The grades from the formal assessments count towards your module/unit mark or grade.



    We will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


    Assessment Methods

    LevelAssessment method
    Level One Coursework (100%)


    Learning Activities


    Learning activity

    Level One

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

  • How To Apply

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    September Start

    You can apply directly online by clicking here.


    Before you start your online application, please read the Application Guidance Notes.


    You should also make sure you have to hand:


    • Details of the educational establishments you attended and the dates
    • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course - you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies of it
    • Details of any employment history including, name, address, dates and your role
    • Your personal statement - this can either be entered into the relevant field within the online application form OR uploaded separately
    • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide you with an academic reference.


    Please ensure that any documents you want to upload to support your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.


    Please verify that the data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.



    International applications are not possible for this course.

    As an international student you are not allowed to study part time courses, this is because of the restrictions on your visa.     

  • Contact Us

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    Lawrence Atherton
    Programme Leader, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482556

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