Level 1 Diploma in Plumbing Studies

Course Level

Level 1


1 year FT




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Department of Sustainable Construction
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Progress onto next level construction courses

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

*CITB, 2021

Plumbing and heating systems are essential parts of any construction project, and skilled plumbers are always in demand, particularly with major building and regeneration schemes happening across the UK today. If you want to become a plumber or heating engineer, our Plumbing Level 1 course provides the perfect starting point for you to gain core skills and knowledge that will enable you to turn this trade into a lifelong career.

By training to be a plumber, you could work on everything from carrying out plumbing repairs or fitting bathrooms and domestic appliances to installing and maintaining heating systems, or even working with gas appliances. This Level 1 plumbing course will teach you the fundamentals of plumbing science and how to work with plumbing systems and pipework, as well as covering elements of the wider construction industry including health and safety, modern sustainable construction methods and green technology. You will also develop your maths and English skills alongside your trade skills to prepare you for the world of work.

Our plumbing course gives you practical, hands-on training, supported by state-of-the-art facilities at our Sustainable Construction Centre on campus. After you finish your studies, the doors will be open for you to progress onto further study, apprenticeships or careers within the industry.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Build core skills and knowledge in plumbing and heating, as well as other key skills including maths and English to get you work-ready
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Get hands-on training using innovative facilities in our state-of-the-art Sustainable Construction Centre
  • RECOGNISED QUALIFICATION – Gain a recognised Level 1 qualification to enable your progression onto further courses and apprenticeships
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 brand new Sustainable Construction Centre 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
  • Modern methods of construction workshop
  • Green technologies workshop
  • Realistic working environment
  • Enhanced IT facilities


James Cond Building

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

Camden House

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

Course breakdown

Topics you will study:

  • The structure of the construction industry
  • Fundamental safe working practices
  • Environmental and sustainability measures in domestic dwellings
  • Site preparation for working in the construction industry
  • Above ground drainage
  • Copper pipework
  • Plastic pressure pipework
  • Low carbon steel pipework
  • Installing, repairing and maintaining plumbing systems
  • Plumbing science
  • Level 2 Award in Understanding Domestic Retrofit

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

  • 3 GCSE at grade 3 including maths or English (Language or Literature), with at least a grade 1 in the other subject.

English and maths

If you do not have a grade 4/C or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to study these subjects alongside your vocational subject. After enrolment you will complete an assessment with our teaching team so we can ensure you receive appropriate English and maths support.

Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English.

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.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of externally-assessed exams, projects and practical assessments.

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

Additional qualifications and training

As part of our course, you will have the opportunity to complete a Level 2 Award in Understanding Domestic Retrofit.

Career opportunities

On completion of the Level 1, you could progress onto our Level 2/3 construction courses, or you could pursue a range of employment opportunities within the industry.

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Plumbing and heating engineer

Average Salary: £50,000

Gas engineer

Average Salary: £60,000

Green technologies installer

Average Salary: £50,000

Industrial mechanical heating engineer

Average Salary: £60,000

MEP designer

Average Salary: £50,000

Electrical designer

Average Salary: £60,000


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 Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and T-level qualifications.

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