BTEC Level 3 National Foundation/National Extended Diploma

Course Level

Level 3


2 years FT


60 hours




View Fees

Department of Sustainable Construction

217,000 new construction workers needed in the UK by 2025*

*CITB, 2021

Get a widely recognised BTEC qualification equivalent to A-levels

Construction is a vital industry encompassing a huge range of roles, from architects and planners to engineers and management personnel. Britain is in great need of new talent in this field too, with hundreds of thousands of new workers expected to be required within the next few years to support multi-billion-pound regeneration and major home-building projects nationwide. If you want to help drive the sustainable future of the sector, our Level 3 Construction and the Built Environment course will equip you with the essential tools to start building your career.

Our course will develop your knowledge of a wide range of areas, with a particular focus on sustainability and the need for modernised construction techniques. You will gain an understanding of science and materials, building technology and renewable energy for housing, alongside key skills such as mathematics and project management. You will also have the opportunity to gain real-life experience on work placement and design and develop construction projects while working in a collaborative environment.

By completing this course, you will receive a widely-recognised BTEC Level 3 qualification – you will enrol on the National Foundation Diploma (equivalent to 1.5 A-levels) in year 1 before having the opportunity to progress onto the National Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A-levels) in year 2. The course will put you in a great position to progress towards careers in construction and design or move onto degree-level study in this field.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Study key topics for the sector including construction mathematics, health and safety and housing design
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Put your training into practice in the construction industry by going on work placement and undertaking design projects
  • RECOGNISED QUALIFICATION – Our BTEC Level 3 construction course gives you a recognised work-related qualification to open the door to higher education and professional careers
There are lots of reasons why we think you should study with us, but here are our top 5. View video.

Our facilities

Students on our construction and engineering courses will learn in brand new real-world training environments under development at University College Birmingham. Our Centre for Sustainable Construction at the iconic James Cond building will offer state-of-the-art facilities specifically designed to develop skills that support employers and their supply chains, along with further new facilities at Camden House. These will include:

• Training rigs
• Production line technology
• Industry 4.0 rigs
• Process manufacturing training equipment
• Hydraulics
• Pneumatics
• Renewable energy simulators
• Control engineering rigs
• Cyber physical system
• Mechatronics automation
• PLCs
• Fluid dynamics software
• MATLAB design software
• Enhanced IT facilities

James Cond

Formerly a print works, this historic art deco building will become the home of our Centre for Sustainable Construction.

Camden House

Our refurbishment of Camden House will create a bespoke STEM education and training facility.

Course breakdown

Topics you will study:

  • Health and safety
  • Science and materials
  • Building information modelling
  • Building technology
  • Renewable energy for housing
  • Housing design project
  • Digital technology
  • Construction mathematics
  • Sustainability
  • Project management

Please note: Units/topics of study are subject to change

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Tilbury Douglas is delighted to be working in partnership with University College Birmingham on the development of the new sustainable construction courses. As an employer, it is vital that our employees can access robust, fit-for-purpose qualifications that will address the skills shortage and provide our future and existing workforce with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to demonstrate competency in their roles. We are passionate about recruiting and developing our own talent for the future, while ensuring we remain committed to sustainably delivering vital infrastructure to communities across the UK. This collaboration will help us to achieve this.

Tilbury Douglas

Entry requirements

Our construction lecturers are looking for students who are enthusiastic and passionate about construction, together with a keen determination to succeed in the construction and building sector, so please contact Admissions if you do not have the specific requirements outlined below. 

If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please call 0121 214 2919, email or use our live chat.

Academic requirements

National Foundation Diploma

  • 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C), including English (Language or Literature) and Maths, or equivalent.

Extended Diploma

  • Must have completed a Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment.

English and maths

As applicants are required to achieve English and Maths at grade 4 (grade C) or above prior to entering this course, University College Birmingham will not offer English or maths alongside this course. 

Supporting documents required

  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham. 
  • If you are a school leaver (over 19), you will be required to provide a reference from a previous education provider or employer in support of your application.

Guaranteed progression

We are continuing to develop and enhance our portfolio of engineering and construction courses with the aim of delivering undergraduate courses in the next two years. This will provide an opportunity for students who successfully complete a Level 3 qualification in these subjects to progress here at University College Birmingham. Students will be guaranteed progression to one of our relevant degree-level courses.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will have three days per week in college as well as time spent on industry placement. Around 4-6 hours of homework per week is also advised.

Staff will monitor your progress and have one-to-one meetings with you with targets set. You will also have progress reviews during your work experience, both from our staff and your employer.

You will be assessed using a range of methods such as written assignments, employer-set projects and presentations.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career or enhance your UCAS application for higher education. Our Hired team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Attending a work/industry placement is a critical element of our Level 3 course in construction. This will usually consist of one day per week for a number of weeks, totalling around 60 hours.

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.


Average Salary: £40,000

Building/quantity surveyor

Average Salary: £26,500


Average Salary: £60,000

Civil engineer

Average Salary: £30,000

Structural engineer

Average Salary: £25,000

Site manager

Average Salary: £45,000

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our Construction and The Built Environment HND course.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


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Engineering and Construction at University College Birmingham

Discover more about our new range of engineering and construction college courses, including BTEC Level 2, BTEC Level 3 and T-Level qualifications.

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