A woman in hard hat and viz jacket measuring a wall

Mode of Study



2 years

Start date

September 2023


Do you get excited by the idea of a career in designing and managing the buildings we live in? This part-time Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction will help you take your first steps into construction and project management.

On this level 4 course, you'll get practical experience with emerging technologies (such as 3D printing and computer-aided design) and a grounding in the legal responsibilities and health and safety of construction management. You'll be learning from staff at Eastleigh College with extensive industrial experience, working toward a deep understanding of the construction process from design to completion.

When you complete this Construction HNC, you'll be fully equipped to take your next step into a job designing and managing construction projects, or to study further for a full degree in construction, or for a specialist role like surveyor or architect.

A modern building with decorative cladding and paved courtyard with seating, part of Eastleigh College

Eastleigh College

This course takes place at Eastleigh College.

While studying at Eastleigh College, you can access the University's student support services and community, including study support, the Students’ Union and our library's online resources.

Find out more about higher education courses at Eastleigh College in partnership with the University of Portsmouth on the Eastleigh College website.

Visit Eastleigh College

Course highlights

  • Learn from staff with construction industry experience, as you study fundamental subjects such as construction drawings, computer-aided design (CAD), building information modelling (BIM) and materials science
  • Understand your responsibilities to the law, including health and safety in the construction industry, and to the environment
  • Study one day a week at Eastleigh College, close to Southampton
  • Have access to the University's student support services and community including the Library, study support, sport and recreation facilities, and the Student Union
  • Have your related study or experience recognised as qualifying you for some elements of your HNC in Construction

Related study might include an NVQ 3 in a construction-related trade, or a Level 3 in Construction and the Built Environment, for example.

Entry requirements

HNC Construction requirements

Qualifications or experience

  • UCAS points – 24 points from an A level in Construction or related subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • Level 3 vocational equivalent (diploma / extended diploma)
  • T Level – Pass (D or E in the core)
    • Acceptable T level subjects include Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning; Building Services Engineering; Onsite Construction
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – PPP (must be in a construction or engineering discipline)
  • Equivalent industry experience in a relevant field

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.


Ideal skills and qualities for this course

As well as meeting the entry requirements, the skills and qualities you need to complete an HNC in Construction are:

  • an interest in construction
  • an openness to learning new skills in building technology, construction management, consultancy, design and engineering

Careers and opportunities

This Construction HNC prepares you for further higher education qualifications, such as a Bachelor's degree, or a career in the construction industry. There are many changes happening in the construction industry that are creating more opportunities for construction students.

What's the future demand for construction graduates?

Building information modelling (BIM) technology is changing the way buildings are designed, constructed and maintained.

When you graduate, you'll be able to bring experience in BIM to career opportunities, and show you can apply what you've learned to the construction industry.

What can you do with an HNC in Construction?

Previous graduates have gone on to work in areas such as management of construction projects and construction design.

You can also use your Construction HNC to get entry to higher-level professional construction courses in subjects such as:

What jobs can you do with an HNC in Construction?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • construction managers
  • site managers
  • project managers
  • design managers
  • CAD/BIM technician
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Futureproof your career

What you'll study

On this course for an HNC in Construction, you'll study modules worth 120 credits.


All modules in Year 1 of this HNC Construction course are core and are worth 20 credits each.

  • Construction Information (Design Detailing)
  • Construction Science and Materials
  • Construction Technology

All modules in Year 2 of this HNC Construction course are core and are worth 20 credits each.

  • Construction Practice and Management
  • Legal and Statutory Responsibilities in Construction
  • Individual Construction Project

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.


Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • lab sessions

Teaching staff are qualified and experienced. Many of them are still active in the construction industry.

How you're assessed

On this HNC in Construction you'll be assessed through:

  • reports
  • portfolios
  • presentations
  • essays
  • test-based assignments

How you'll spend your time

A typical week

You'll be following Eastleigh College's day release programme on this course, with teaching taking place on Thursdays between 9.00am and 6.00pm. Optional events such as field trips may involve evenings or weekends. See more at Eastleigh College's course page

We recommend you spend at least 12 hours a week studying for your Construction HNC. You’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials for about 8 hours a week. For the rest of the time, about 4 hours a week, you’ll do independent study such as research and assignment writing, alone or in a group with others from your course.

Supporting your learning

Even though you'll study your course at one of our partner colleges, you'll still be a student of the University of Portsmouth.

You'll have access to support via video, phone and face-to-face from University teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following University services:

Types of support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees 

September 2023 start

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – To be confirmed
  • EU and International students – £9,600 per year

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.


If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

Starting in 2023

Start your application below.

Apply now – part-time (Eastleigh College)

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.