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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Quantity surveyors play a crucial role in optimising cost, quality and timescales of construction projects.

Quantity Surveyors command an average salary of £26,500.

From working on iconic buildings to green space developments, quantity surveyors play a crucial role in construction projects. Our full-time or part-time Higher National Certificate (HNC) in quantity surveying enables you to build up your knowledge and practical skills in construction to become a vital professional in this rapidly growing sector. 

As a quantity surveyor you will manage the cost of construction projects including determining client needs, calculating costs, timelines and monitoring construction progress. This course is aimed at any adult learner looking to develop their professional skills to meet the demands of employers in the construction quantity surveying sector. You will get a broad introduction to construction and different quantity surveying functions.

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.  

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.  

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. 

Measuring & Estimating

The techniques explored in this unit include essential skills in maintaining the competitive position of a construction firm in obtaining work through procurement routes of construction. You will in this unit gain an understanding of the quantity surveying techniques of measurement and estimation of rates for the compilation of tender information. On successful completion of this unit you will be in a position to take-off quantities from drawn information and to prepare estimates for work packages.

Tender & Procurement

This unit aims to give you the knowledge to be able to select a procurement route and an appropriate tendering method in the awarding of a project to a main contractor. You will learn how to prepare a tender package to procure a contractor for a construction project. Topics included in thit unit include tendering constraints, documentation needed to send out a tender, the factors that affect procurement and procurement methods to select a contractor. On successful completion of this unit you will be able to obtain an estimate for a project at the design stage using a suitable procurement method.

Construction Economics & Sustainability

n this unit you will gain insight into the ways that political, social and economic factors influence construction. You will consider the relationship between these factors and how they are reflected in a project and in the broader economy. To integrate this knowledge, you will examine projects to evaluate the way that construction economics, combined with societal and political factors may influence construction costs and procurement route.

Quantity Surveying Practice

The quantity surveyor plays an important role in the administration of a contract for both the client and the main contractor. They are involved initially in the feasibility studies when an initial cost is determined so the client is aware of the costs of the overall project. Once a design is produced, the quantity surveyor supports the tendering and procurement to appoint the contractor. During the construction stage they are involved with the valuation of the works and payments to the contractor. They can also be involved in the resolution of any disputes or claims. All these aspects of the quantity surveyor role will be outlined to you as part of this unit.

Law & Legal Frameworks in Quantity Surveying 

This unit will develop your knowledge of the role the quantity surveyor must do to act in accordance with appropriate legislation for all stakeholders. You will look at the legal context and property legislation in relation to quantity surveying including the management of confidential data. In addition, you will gain an understanding of dispute mediation to resolve contractual issues. On successful completion of this unit, you will be familiar with the key legal frameworks and processed that inform and govern activities of quantity surveying.  

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 quantity surveyor – 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.

"Quantity surveyors are key to ensuring construction projects are completed to time and budget. As construction sectors continue to grow worldwide, there are increasing opportunities for quantity surveyors both in the UK and internationally."

Deborah Bunce MICE Head of Sustainable Construction

Career opportunities

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

Quantity surveyor

Average Salary: £26,500

Cost planner

Average Salary: £45,000

Project quantity surveyor

Average Salary: £50,000

Senior quantity surveyor

Average Salary: £55,000

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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