Higher National Certificate

Accredited by University College Birmingham

This course is subject to validation and approval



Course Level



1 years FT (2 years PT)


September, February


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Department of Sustainable Construction
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National average salary of an architectural technologist is £25,000 per year. You can expect to earn more when you have some experience 

Architectural technologists manage all stages of the technical design and planning process of building projects 

Our full-time or part-time Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Architectural Technology enables you to build up your knowledge and practical skills in construction to become a vital professional in this rapidly growing sector. This course is aimed at any adult learner looking to develop their professional skills to meet the demands of employers in the construction sector. You will get a broad introduction to construction and different architectural technology functions. 

In addition to providing a solid foundation in construction and architectural principles and technology, our dedicated lecturers boast extensive industry knowledge and are committed to creating a supportive learning environment where innovation and creativity can thrive. This course equips you with the competencies and confidence needed to excel in a variety of roles such as an architectural technologist or a senior architectural technician.

Why should I choose this course?

  • EXPERT TUITION – Learn from our highly-qualified staff with extensive practical knowledge of construction - supported by expert guest lecturers 
  • MODERN METHODS – There is a firm focus on sustainability and health and safety to meet the demands of the future  
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Get hands-on experience studying in our cutting-edge construction facilities  
  • NO EXAMS - If you are not keen on exams, this course is for you. Unlike many courses in this field, you will have no written exams during or at the end of the course and will be assessed through coursework only 
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

Our facilities

Students on our construction and engineering courses learn in real-world training environments. Our Centre for Sustainable Construction offers state-of-the-art facilities specifically designed to develop skills that support employers and their supply chains, along with specialist facilities for design and IT skills at Camden House. Facilities include: 

Design studios with industry standard CAD software (AutoCAD and Revit) 
• 3D printers and plotters 
• Renewable energy simulators 
• Hydraulics test equipment 
• Production line technology 
• Total station surveying tools

• Control engineering rigs
• Cyber physical system 
• Mechatronics automation 
• PLCs 
• Fluid dynamics software 
• Enhanced IT facilities

Centre for Sustainable Construction

Formerly a historic print works, this retrofitted art deco building is home to our Centre for Sustainable Construction - opened in 2024.

Camden House engineering facilities

Camden House is our bespoke STEM education and training facility offering Industry 4.0 standard engineering labs and IT resources.

Entry requirements 

Entry requirements

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of EE.

T-levels: A T-level graded Pass. T-Level in the following subjects must include Maths – Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing, Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction.  

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 32 UCAS Tariff points.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 32 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Additional Requirements - GCSEs:

      GCSE/IGCSE maths grade 9-4/A*-C or equivalent

      GCSE/IGCSE English Language grade 9-4/A*-C or equivalent

Work-based: Equal consideration is given to applicants who are currently in relevant construction work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, they must have a minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, demonstrating technical, management or supervisory duties. Any application must also include a reference from their line manager which supports entry to higher education.   

Course breakdown

  • Year 1

Core Modules

Construction Design Project 

Topics included in this unit are project phases, construction drawing, detailing, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Building Information Modelling (BIM), schedules, specifications, bills of quantities and information collaboration. On successful completion of the unit, you will be able to analyse scenarios, make decisions and produce drawings and specifications to achieve appropriate, creative and innovative home design proposals.  

Construction Technology

Scarcity of resources, continuing demand of more sophisticated clients, end users and other stakeholders are driving the construction industry to provide buildings that facilitate enhanced environmental and energy performance. This unit introduces the different technological concepts used to enable the construction of building elements from sub structure to completion by understanding the different functional characteristics and design considerations needed selecting the most suitable solution.

The Construction Environment 

In this unit, you will explore the make-up and the impact of the construction industry on the environment and society. By exploring the roles and relationships of individuals and organisations in the construction sector, you will gain an overview of the organisational and the personal ways in which the construction sector works to continue to improve the built environment and limit its impact on the environment, while maintaining economic sustainability and growth.

Legal and Statutory Requirements in Construction

This unit introduces the different types of law that are relevant to the construction industry throughout the development process. This includes applying for planning approval to undertake construction activities and using building control regulations to evaluate building design and alteration at the preconstruction stage. You will explore occupiers’ liability, contract and land law, including covering trespass, nuisance, sale and leasing processes. On successful completion of this unit you will be able to apply legal and statutory processes commonly used in the construction sector.

Digital Applications for Construction Information

Achieving successful projects in the built environment requires a range of different types of information to describe the project, quantify the materials, provide clear instructions for assembly and allow for accurate costings. Throughout the process of design, construction and post occupancy, information is crucial. In this unit you will develop the skills needed to produce accurate and consistent construction information using industry-standard software.

Principles of Refurbishment

Refurbishment is a broad term that covers adaptation, alteration and extension of buildings. Nearly half of all work in construction comes from work to existing buildings. This unit will give you the opportunity to analyse the underpinning concepts of refurbishment and use your construction knowledge from other units on a refurbishment project.  On successful completion you will be able to assess the suitability of a property for refurbishment.

Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an approach to information generation and management in a collaborative environment. BIM aims to endue better information is created, shared and kept secure for the whole duration of a building from cradle to grave. This includes all phases of construction from the initial design, during construction, operation and maintenance to the eventual decommission of a construction project. This unit will give you the background knowledge, terminology and understanding of BIM in construction as well as an understanding of the drivers and benefits associated with BIM.

Digital Applications for Building Information Modelling 

Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the use of data in the planning, construction and operation of built assets has become commonplace for both large and small projects. The ability to manage projects throughout their lifecycle, using a common data set, has the potential to impact on the built environment in numerous ways such as supporting efficiency, reducing costs and driving sustainability.   While BIM is, effectively, a process of information management through a project lifecycle, it is most often based on the use of digital applications to generate project data. In this, the model is central in the process of designing and producing information that will facilitate construction and, later, the operation of the built asset. In this unit, you will explore the key processes in using digital applications to produce data and construction information that will enable the BIM process. 

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

A wide variety of teaching methods will be used to ensure you gain the appropriate skills and knowledge, including lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and group study sessions. Face-to-face classes will be combined with practical research activities in our state-of-the-art construction facilities, while you will also conduct independent and online learning. 

Assessment occurs through a combination of assignments and projects with a focus on the holistic development of practical, interpersonal and higher level skills. Many modules will require a demonstration of skills, while others will require you to carry out your own research and analysis, working independently or as part of a team. 

Our assessments will focus on developing the skills required by a professional architectural technologist – designing and demonstrating a building system, delivering presentations and technical report writing aimed at technical and non-technical audiences to broaden your range of skills. 

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time. 

Assessment for this course will be 100% coursework. 

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

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student or an EU student with settled/pre-settled status enrolling on a full-time HND in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be approximately £9,250 per each full year. UK students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

An HNC is a part-time programme, and the fees would therefore be approximately £4,625 per full year of the programme.

Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.

"Architectural technologists are in high demand due to their expertise in technical design. The increased adoption of 3D design also makes them highly sought after."

Deborah Bunce MICE Head of Sustainable Construction

Career opportunities

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

Architectural technologist

Average Salary: £25,000

Senior architectural technician

Average Salary: £40,000

Senior architectural technologist or project architect

Average Salary: £45,000

Architectural technician

Average Salary: £34,000

Want to continue your studies? Completing this HNC will give you the opportunity to move onto the second year of the Construction Management BSc (Hons) course.


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


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Rachael’s Story

Senior engineering lecturer Rachael has witnessed first-hand the rapid changes in industry and is now sharing her vast experience with our students.

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