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Future Homes Design and Construction - Mansfield Higher National Certificate

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): K204
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: One year full-time, or two years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Campus: NTU at Mansfield
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Taught at NTU in Mansfield, we are providing access to alternative routes in higher education. We've built qualifications with the local job market in mind. Each of our higher education courses is relevant, hands-on and work focused.

To achieve the UK's target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it will be essential to transform existing housing with insulation, low carbon heating, and renewable energy generation. This shift is already producing increasing employment opportunities in emerging low-carbon sectors and zero-carbon homes. We'll provide you with the knowledge and skills to take advantage of these new spaces, and make a positive impact in the built environment.

This new course is centred on modern methods of construction. Its focus is on sustainable and low carbon methods of future homes design and construction that help reduce the industry's carbon footprint. Through applied and practical work, you'll explore the technical, social, and economic challenges that need to be overcome in transitioning to zero carbon.

With an emphasis on the design, manufacture, and installation of housing, using off-site, factory-built, and new technologies, you'll gain a thorough grounding in construction and built environment principles. The course will develop you as a professional, self-reflecting individual and provide you with the in-demand skills required by the construction industry to meet the global priorities of de-carbonisation and sustainable construction.

  • You'll study at our NTU in Mansfield University Hub, where you'll have access to fantastic buildings, and all of the tools and technology you need for studying on this course.
  • The course is delivered full-time for two days per week, enabling you to fit learning around your work and other commitments. You'll also have opportunities to undertake additional placements during the year.
  • This course prepares you to progress to a range of roles in the construction industry and the opportunity to continue your studies on a university degree course.
  • Developed in collaboration with a range of employers, students and subject experts, this course is designed to meet the changing needs of industry.

What you’ll study

The course can be studied over one academic year full-time, or part-time over two years, with the option of completing a two-week industry-focused project or short placement. It is made up of 120 credits, which are represented by 15 credit modules.

The modules will help you develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the construction and built environment sector. With a specialist focus on the design and delivery of homes, you'll gain an understanding of off-site construction techniques, manufacturing processes and new technologies.

You'll explore live projects either through work placements or exploring NTU's own campus facilities. These opportunities will enable you to look at real-life scenarios, collaborate with clients and evaluate current buildings via surveys and energy assessments to recommend improvements.

Employment in the construction industry will require you to be flexible in your approach, resilient under pressure and meet challenging targets. We'll support you in developing these traits, and other key transferable skills highly sought after by companies. From the ability to communicate accurately and take personal responsibility, to team working and problem-solving, this course will prepare you for the demands of industry.

Principles of Alternative Energy

  • Technologies that harness solar, wind and hydro energy are now established systems for generating power and heat. Along with other innovations such as heat pumps and bio-fuel, these are often incorporated into the design for new construction projects. This module will develop your knowledge of current and future energy technologies and apply that knowledge in the analysis and assessment of its effectiveness.
  • You'll learn to differentiate alternative energy systems from common systems in use today, evaluate renewable energy systems in context, and understand how alternative energy solutions can address broader environmental issues. In addition, you'll learn to consider the costs associated to building upgrades, and identifying appropriate forms of alternative energy.

Construction Technology

  • This module will introduce you to the different technological concepts used to enable the construction of building elements, and the functional characteristics and design considerations when selecting the most suitable technological solution. You'll learn about the constantly evolving materials and techniques and the demand for providing buildings with the capacity to enhance their environmental and energy performance.
  • You'll develop an understanding of the terminology used in construction technology, the different techniques used to construct substructures and superstructures, finishes, building services, and the types of technology used in buildings.

Housing Design and Specification

  • The success of any project relies on the development of a good design and the technical information to allow the project to be built. This module will provide you with an awareness of the design process and the information required to communicate the design. You'll learn to specify and quantify materials, provide instruction for assembly and erection, calculate precise costing and the importance of project management.
  • You'll gain an understanding of construction drawing, detailing, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Building Information Modelling (BIM), schedules, specifications, bills of quantities and information collaboration. On completion of the module, you'll be able to analyse scenarios, make decisions and produce drawings and specifications to achieve appropriate, creative, and innovative home design proposals.

Principles of Off-site Construction

  • In the majority of cases construction projects are still carried out using the same principles as medieval construction. Large amounts of material are delivered to a building site where weather conditions and physical constraints can cause not just delays and defects but often unattractive working conditions. Off-site construction offers a range of potential benefits for increasing the efficiency, accuracy, and quality of the end product.
  • In this module, you'll explore different approaches to off-site construction for housing development and delivery. This includes modular construction, factory construction, automation and robotics, and 3D printing. You'll consider the way in which off-site processes and technologies may influence housing design and delivery.
  • On completion of the module, you'll be able to assess potential options for off-site production in the housing market, and develop design and manufacture strategies to enable housing delivery.

Principles of Housing Economics

  • This module explores the economic factors associated with housing design, construction and development. You'll develop an
    awareness of the relationship between forms of housing development, economic and environmental sustainability, while considering the impact of both design and construction methods on the cost and market viability of housing.
  • You'll establish an understanding of the complex relationship between housing, sustainability, and the economy. A key focus of this will be exploring the impact that new technologies and forms of construction have on housing costs and housing supply.

Construction Practice and Management

  • This module will provide you with a holistic understanding of construction practice and management processes. You'll investigate and research the modern construction industry, from the practical skills embedded in industry through to their link with development on-site and connection with construction management.
  • You'll develop an understanding of the different types and sizes of construction company structures and their relationships with the tendering process, and explore how health and safety has evolved within the industry. You'll be able to discuss the different stages of a construction project and how Building Information Modelling (BIM) fits into construction processes, ranging from domestic to large-scale and design and build projects.

Building Information Modelling

  • The aim of this unit is to provide students with the background knowledge and understanding of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the context of the construction industry. You'll be introduced to the drivers and benefits associated with BIM, as well as the terminology which surrounds BIM.
  • You'll explore the relationship between design, construction, and operation, and the relevance of information management in regards to BIM. You'll investigate BIM in different contexts - including local, national and global developments and professionals' roles and responsibilities - and how concepts influence the entire process of the way an asset is managed and maintained.

Construction Design Project (Individual Project)

  • This module will support you in using and applying the knowledge and skills developed through other areas of your study, to complete and present an individual construction design project.
  • You'll develop a project brief, as well as a project specification, and work through clear processes to identify, define, plan, develop and execute a successful construction design project. You'll undertake research, i.e. a feasibility study, and consider a range of potential solutions using your critical analysis and evaluation techniques to test, select and contextualise your chosen methods.
  • Through your project, you'll learn how to formulate and manage a project within agreed timescales, evaluate potential project management solutions, and produce and present a project report with your final project outcomes.

How you’re taught

The course is delivered full-time for two days per week, and the part-time route is delivered one day per week, enabling you to fit learning around your work and other commitments.

Most modules involve a series of different methods to explain and develop the subject concepts. These include seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions, and workshops. You'll also be involved in self-directed project work with the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.

Outside of timetabled sessions, you'll need to undertake self-directed independent study. This will include preparing for seminars, researching, completing coursework, developing a portfolio, and directed reading to expand your knowledge.

Seminars and lab sessions

You'll have seminars and lab sessions, where you'll apply theory learned to real-world situations. These sessions involve active learning and are driven by collaboration with your tutors and classmates. Due to the smaller class sizes, this approach enables individualised support to ensure you reach your learning potential.

Input from industry

Industrial input into your learning will help prepare you for the workplace or further study. We have great connections with local employers in Nottingham and the surrounding areas. Our industry partners are involved in offering optional industry-focused projects and work placement opportunities, as well as embedding live projects into your learning throughout the course. Our relationship with industry will also benefit you in expanding your network and hearing from professionals in practice.

Staff Profiles

David Walker

Principal Lecturer

School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment

David Walker is Principal Lecturer in Construction and Course Leader on the BSc (Hons) Level 6 Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship (Quantity Surveyor Pathway).

How you’re assessed

You'll be assessed through a mix of diverse methods, including practical and written types. These may include reports, presentations, portfolios, and collaborative group projects. Some modules involve an element of seminar contribution through online or in-person interaction, and some others will provide employer-set themes for the coursework which will enable you to apply the knowledge to real-world scenarios as you will be expected to do in employment.

The range of assessment methods will provide a variety of ways in which you can demonstrate achievement and develop the communication skills valued by employers. You'll receive feedback throughout each module.

Careers and employability

Further study

Students who successfully complete the HNC Future Homes Design and Construction course will have the opportunity to progress to one of the following courses:

  • BSc (Hons) Construction Management full-time, part-time or sandwich routes (Year Two entry)
  • BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management full-time, part-time or sandwich routes (Year Two entry)
  • BSc (Hons) Building Surveying full-time, part-time or sandwich routes (Year One entry)
  • Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship Pathways:
    • Level 6 Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship (Quantity Surveyor Pathway) (Year Two entry)
    • Level 6 Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship (Building Surveyor Pathway) (Year One entry)
    • Level 6 Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship (Real Estate Pathway) (Year One entry)
  • BSc (Hons) Property Development and Planning (Year One entry)
  • BSc (Hons) Property Finance and Investment (Year One entry)
  • BSc (Hons) Real Estate (Year One entry)

Employment opportunities

The course's focus on specialist technical skills and knowledge provides students with a clear set of skills and goals for entering employment. Typical jobs related to this course may include:

  • Housing Design Technician
  • Housing Project Manager
  • Off-site Construction Manager
  • BIM Technician
  • Digital Design Technician
  • Architectural Technologist
  • Planning Officer
  • Building Control Officer

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies and for up to three years after completing your course.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

We are continually investing in our facilities and transforming our learning and teaching environment to create an inspiring and innovative atmosphere. The NTU HE centre is based at the West Nottinghamshire University Hub in Mansfield. It's equipped with the latest facilities and state-of-the-art technology.

Further investment is in progress to ensure all the needs of the HNC Future Homes Design and Construction course are fully met. Facilities include high specification computer-aided design suite and laboratories, in addition to a range of campus-wide spaces:

  • Diner and Courtyard Café
  • Learning resource centre
  • Social spaces
  • Sports hall
  • Student support services
  • Students' Union
  • Dedicated study zones including PC suites.

Entry requirements

64 UCAS Tariff points

What are we looking for?

  • 64 UCAS Tariff points or equivalent; or
  • BTEC Level 3 qualification in construction or a related subject - MPP; or
  • A Levels - DDE; or
  • Level 3 T Level in one of the following:
    • Craft and Design
    • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing
    • Design, surveying and planning for construction
    • On-site construction
    • Science


  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

The following qualifications will also be considered:

  • Other related Level 3 qualifications
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma from an approved further education institution
  • Relevant work experience, or an international equivalent to the above qualifications.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

If you don't have enough UCAS points, you'll need to demonstrate over two years of work experience in a relevant profession. You can detail this in your personal statement when applying.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for Year One entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into Year Two. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

We have undergraduate Architecture courses which are suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.  Here is a list of all the undergraduate courses we offer.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

*Please note that if you are considering a course that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Additional costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our brand-new library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

You’ll need to cover the cost of your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables. However, our NTU in Mansfield library is home to a wide range of books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! Our library team work closely with our academics to ensure that our library collection closely matches the topics you’ll be studying, to provide relevant resources for you to use, free of charge.

Printing and materials costs

Students should also budget approximately £100 per year to cover any printing that they may require to support their studies.


If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

How to apply

For the full-time course, apply through UCAS.

For the part-time course, apply directly through out portal.

As part of your application, you’ll submit a personal statement. Tell us about your ambitions, skills and experience. You have 4,000 characters to impress us – here’s how to make your words count.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

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