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HNC Civil Engineering

Take the first step towards your exciting career in Civil Engineering!


Equivalent to the first year of a university degree, our Civil Engineering HNC will develop the practical and personal skills that are needed for a role in this sector. We will help you to understand the key Civil Engineering principles, including materials, numeracy, construction technology, mechanics and health and safety. 


The programme is delivered flexibly, so it will fit easily around your current employment and other commitments.


For an informal discussion about the course, please contact: 

Lawrence Atherton, 
Programme Leader, Bolton College
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482556


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The Higher Education courses shown on Bolton College’s website are taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton. Therefore, all the information applicants and learners provide will be shared between these two organisations. Applicants and learners will receive communication from both the University of Bolton and Bolton College. Student Finance Loan applications should be made using the institution ‘University of Bolton’ not Bolton College.

Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering)

  • Introductory Course Information

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    UCAS points: 32

    Location: Bolton College

    Duration2 Years (part-time) 

    Start Date:19/09/2022

  • Course Details

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    This HNC BTEC Construction and the Built Environment (Civil Engineering) course is taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton.


    The Higher National Certificate in Civil Engineering Studies is a vocational course designed to help prepare you for a rewarding career in the industry. With a strong focus on hands-on practice, reinforced by theory, this course is the product more than 50 years’ experience delivering well-acknowledged civil engineering programmes in the North West.


    As a student on the HNC Civil Engineering Studies course, you’ll have hands-on access to our laboratories, developed for practice in the materials, hydraulics, geotechnical and structural disciplines. You’ll also have the opportunity to make use of all the latest surveying equipment, which is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.


    Problem solving is a key focus - you’ll be guided in learning and applying UK and EU codes of practice and industry standards, using your critical reasoning and analysis skills. You’ll also cover those elements of maths and science that support engineering principles, along with management techniques and subjects that enhance your awareness of the commercial and economic context of engineering processes.

  • Course Highlights & Key Features

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    Course Highlights

    • The course provides opportunities for you to make progress towards achieving internationally recognised professional status with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways or Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).
    • On successful completion of this programme you’ll be awarded the Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Construction and The Built Environment (Civil Engineering).
    • Bolton College scores highly in student satisfaction surveys for its HE provision, and we take pride in being able to offer you the opportunity to learn from industry-experienced staff.


    Key Features

    • This course offers essential subject knowledge that you’ll need to progress successfully within or into the world of work or onto further study.
    • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with you on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout your studies.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to develop and enhance crucial skills such as communication, teamwork, organising and planning, numeracy, problem solving, flexibility and adaptability, action planning, self-awareness, initiative, personal impact and confidence, environmental sustainability, and social, public and ethical responsibility.
    • You’ll have the chance to take part in field trips to various projects run by industry; and gain first hand industry knowledge and insights from guest speakers during class time.


    Professional recognition

    This qualification is approved by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) as fully satisfying the educational base for an Engineering Technician (EngTech).


    The JBM consists of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE). See for further information.


    Certificate holders can apply for Engineering Technician (EngTech) professional status after the necessary practice in industry.


    You’ll be encouraged to become a student member of the relevant Institution(s) and take part in local and regional activities, enabling you to network with potential employers.


  • Entry Requirements

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    • 32 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
    • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.
    • Entry to this course is also available to applicants who have extensive appropriate work experience in the construction/civil engineering sector. If you don’t possess the academic qualifications listed above but have extensive appropriate work experience we’ll be delighted to consider your application.
    • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
    • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
    • If you intend to progress on to a top-up degree course at a university after completing this HNC, you will usually need GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). If you have not already achieved this, please speak to the course leader about taking GCSE Mathematics and/or English while completing this course.

    Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

    If you apply or enrol on this course, Bolton College and the University of Bolton will share the information you provide. You'll also receive communications from both organisations.

  • Career Opportunities

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    If you choose to complete a BTEC Level 4 HNC in Construction and the Built Environment it’s expected that you’ll be aiming to progress with your employment or continue your studies at university. Pearson developed these qualifications in close collaboration with experts from professional bodies, vendors, businesses, universities and colleges to ensure you gain the skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in the future – whichever route you take.

    What can I do with this qualification?

    This HNC is designed to advance your career in structural, public health, highways and transport, hydraulic/water, geotechnical or site engineering. You may already be employed in the civil engineering and construction sector; for instance, by a contractors, consultant, utility company, local authority or other public or private body. After successful completion of this course, you should be prepared to take on additional responsibilities at work.

    If you successfully complete the Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC in Construction and The Built Environment (Civil Engineering) you’ll be eligible for advanced entry to Level 2 (HE5) of the University of Bolton’s part-time BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering course. 

    Alternative career options

    Certificate holders can also use the qualification to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or further study may be required. Some of these careers include:

    • Building services engineering
    • Geology
    • Environmental consultancy
    • Quantity surveying
    • Logistics
    • Operation management
    • Patent law and intellectual property
    • Teaching
    • Research and development
    • Procurement, purchasing and buying
    • Supply chain management
    • Technical sales and consultancy
  • Fees & Financial Support

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    Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £2,996 for the academic year 2022/23. 

    Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2023-2024 policy on for information. 

    The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

    For 2023-2024 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2023-2024 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


    Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


    When completing your student finance application, please list your institution as 'University of Bolton', not 'Bolton College'.


  • Teaching, Learning & Assessment

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    Due to the nature of this HNC programme being so diverse, we use a range of teaching and learning methods, so that you can achieve the relevant concepts, knowledge and skills. To do this we combine classroom learning with student centred and independent living. You will be attending lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and informal group study sessions. There will also be opportunities for you to go on site visits and learn from talented guest speakers who work in a range of key industrial sectors and roles.


    You will have significant opportunities to spend time with your tutors however, you will still be expected to dedicate a significant amount of time to personal study i.e. You might spend this time engaging in general background reading, revisiting practical work, attending technical meetings and lectures provided by the professional bodies or working on assignments.


    The assessment methods for your course will vary depending on the learning outcome and the type of module content being assessed. You will be able to test your understanding of the modules informally before completing the formal assessments that count towards your final mark or grade. Each module/unit contains at least one piece of practice or 'formative' assessment for which you'll receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades/marks you receive for them will not count towards your final module/unit mark or grade.


    There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module/unit. Methods include a range of assessment such as exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, and final year major project. The grades from the formal assessments count towards your module/unit mark or grade.



    We will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


    Assessment Methods

    LevelAssessment method
    Level One Coursework (100%)


    Learning Activities


    Learning activity

    Level One

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

  • How To Apply

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    Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email

    University of Bolton
    Deane Road
    Bolton, BL3 5AB
    United Kingdom

    Tel: 01204 903903

  • Contact Us

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    Lawrence Atherton
    Programme Leader, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482556

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