The BTEC First in Construction and the Built Environment can help you take your first steps towards a career in the construction industry. You’ll learn essential skills from bricklaying, carpentry and joinery to plumbing, painting and decorating.
This qualification prepares you for employment and higher education in the construction sector and is suitable for you if you are interested in pursuing a professional or technical career in the construction industry. This course may suit you if you want to work in the professional area of construction as a Architect, Quantity Surveyor, Estimator, Building Surveyor, Project Manager, Site Manager, Civil Engineer, Property Developer, Housing Manager, Facilities Manager, etc. Or if you want to work in the technical areas such as CAD, design, surveying, highways, housing, contracting etc.
This qualification is suitable for you if you wish to kickstart a career in professional construction, in relation to design, surveying and planning. The qualification will suitably prepare you to study a T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning after one year.
The core units underpin the fundamental knowledge and understanding of the construction and built environment sector.
- Unit 1: Construction Technology – this unit covers the different forms of construction that can be used for low-rise offices, retail units and homes. Learners will develop an understanding of the structural performance required for low-rise construction, and explore how substructures and superstructures are constructed. This unit will be externally assessed.
- Unit 2: Construction and Design – in this unit learners will develop a broad understanding of the construction industry, the sort of projects it undertakes, and the contribution it makes to wider society. Learners will also look at how client needs can shape the design of a building, and develop their own design ideas to a given brief.
- Unit 3: Scientific and Mathematical Applications for Construction: In this unit learners will apply scientific and mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills to practical construction contexts. Learners will develop an understanding of the scientific principles affecting the performance of construction materials, and develop skills to perform mathematical calculations in construction contexts.
- Unit 11: Sustainability in Construction: This unit has been included as a mandatory unit within this qualification as it has been highlighted by employers and stakeholders as a key element in the sector. In this unit learners will develop a broader understanding of the important topic of sustainability and how construction can have an impact on the environment. They will also examine techniques that can be used within construction projects to reduce the impact on the environment and improve the long-term sustainability of a project. This unit will be externally assessed.
Optional specialist units
Learners choose four further units from the 11 optional specialist units offered within this qualification, building on the core and the mandatory units to provide them with an opportunity to develop a wider understanding and appreciation of areas of the construction sector, depending on their interests and motivation. The range of optional specialist units included in this qualification are suitable for learners already considering a career in the construction sector or for progression into further study.
- Unit 4: Construction Processes and Operations: You will develop further knowledge of the processes and operations used in low-rise construction projects, the sequencing of construction work and how the properties of construction materials affect their specification and use.
- Unit 5: Construction Drawing Techniques: You will develop the techniques to interpret and produce clear construction drawings through a variety of methods.
- Unit 12: The Construction Industry: You will examine the roles and responsibilities of different jobs within the industry and investigate the career pathways available to them.
Units 6 to 15 allow learners to develop their knowledge of the principles and techniques used in one area of the construction industry. Each unit also includes contextualised health and safety aspects and allows the learner to work independently to produce their own piece of work. The units are:
- Unit 6: Exploring Carpentry and Joinery Principles and Techniques
- Unit 7: Exploring Blockwork and Brickwork Principles and Techniques
- Unit 8: Exploring Painting and Decorating Principles and Techniques
- Unit 9: Exploring Plumbing Principles and Techniques
- Unit 10: Exploring Electrical Principles and Techniques
- Unit 13: Exploring Roofing and Principles and Techniques
- Unit 14: Exploring Wall and Floor Tiling Principles and Techniques
- Unit 15: Exploring Plastering and Dry Lining Principles and Techniques
The assessment will be through a series of reports, practical and some external examinations that will enable you to provide evidence of meeting the assessment criteria. You will learn by completing projects and assignments which are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands.
To achieve a pass grade for the unit, learners must meet the assessment criteria set out in the specification. Additional assessment criteria are required to achieve Merit and Distinction grades.
Four GCSEs at grade 3 or above including English and Maths plus pre-admission assessments.
Learners usually go onto Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and Built Environment.
or T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning