University Diploma in Clay Studies

Why choose this course?

  • Developed in partnership with the International Clay Technology Association and industry experts, it is a globally recognised competence qualification developed specifically for the sector.
  • It provides the ideal platform for your career development.
  • It's a flexible and cost effective way to study which fits around your work commitments.
  • You'll develop the work based skills and knowledge you need to become a successful clay technologist or manager in the heavy clay industry.
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Fact file

Course code: CAAGP

Start date(s): September

Course length: Typically one year, part time.

Programme Level: Level 5

Number of credits: 60 credits

About this course

The clay industry is part of the minerals sector, which includes clay extraction, quarrying, surface mining, cement and related manufacturing industries, and is vital to the world economy. In the UK it's worth over £9 billion each year and employs some 70,000 people in a variety of roles (Mineral Products Association, 2012). Jobs exist at many extractions sites across the country, as well as brick works, marine wharves, cement plants, concrete plants and aggregate recycling operations.

If you're already employed in the clay industry, or have an interest in it, this programme will enable you to gain an internationally recognised academic qualification. It reflects UK and EU standards and best practice, and will help you if you're aiming to become a clay technologist or an operational manager and wish to acquire professional status.

What's covered

Compulsory Module Information:

Clay Drying and Firing
This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge of the techniques used to dry and then fire clay products.  It will cover the areas of practical and scientific knowledge required to perform at the appropriate level within the clay technology industry and provide the knowledge and understanding of the drying and firing processes that produce different types of clay products and the influence of drying and firing techniques on their characteristics.  It will consider the methods used to prepare (set) dried and formed clay products before they are fired and an understanding of different methods of removing moisture, including the rate of drying and associated process controls.  It includes the study of the of the range of techniques and equipment used to fire clay products, including the chemistry and economics of firing; the economic operation of kilns; statistical process control techniques; and safe operation in a way that complies with pollution controls.  The module will offer an awareness of the published product Standards that define the characteristics of finished clay products, including the control of product conformity and an understanding of the methods used to stack and pack finished clay products in a way that is appropriate to the method used to deliver it to the customer.  The module also examines the management of customer requirements, including quality management systems and an awareness of environmental aspects.

Clay Winning and Preparation
This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge of the methods and techniques used to extract, stockpile and process clay so that it can be used for the production of clay products. It will cover the areas of practical and scientific knowledge required to perform at the appropriate level within the clay technology industry and provide an understanding of the issues and constraints associated with crushing and size reduction of clay lumps and particles. The module will review the various processes used to prepare the clay so that it can be used to produce clay products in a safe way that also respects the environment. It includes the methods that can be used to adjust and modify the characteristics of the processed clay.

Clay Forming
This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge of the methods used to mould clay products into a form that is ready for drying and firing as a clay product. It will cover the practical and scientific knowledge required to perform at the appropriate level within the Clay Technology Industry by providing the knowledge and understanding of how the moulded clay can influence the dimensions and shape of the finished clay product. It includes a study of the techniques used to control the forming process. The module will offer knowledge of how surface treatments can be used to create particular surface characteristics and properties in the finished clay product. The module also provides an understanding of how surface finishes can be used to provide resistance to specified ground conditions and end-use environments.

Additional optional modules:

Clay Evaluation and Investigation
This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge of the techniques used to identify potential sources of clay and their potential for use in a range of clay products.  It will cover the areas of practical and scientific knowledge required to understand the environmental and geological factors that can have an impact on the development of a clay extraction site at the appropriate level within the clay technology industry.  It will consider the methods and techniques used to investigate and evaluate a potential source of clay, including site survey and site investigation methods.  It includes the study of the ways of describing the characteristics and classification of clay, including laboratory testing and terminology used in site investigation reports.

Business Management
This module develops the business and financial knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the effective management of a mineral extraction site, a road construction site or a related manufacturing facility. This includes an understanding of the human implications of running a successful business. The module also cultivates an appreciation of the importance of achieving the highest standards of performance in health, safety and the environment, especially in the recognition of the importance of people in developing a positive health and a safety culture.

How you'll learn

At undergraduate level, the emphasis is on fostering independent learning, whilst providing a supporting environment in which to study at higher level.

This programme utilises an on-line e-learning virtual learning environment (VLE), through which much of the learning content will be shared and developed on an on-going basis. This e-learning platform also seeks to provide interactive and community learning opportunities, in-line with the latest thinking on the utilising of new technologies in the teaching and learning. It also aims to be compatible with multiple learning platforms, such as tablets and smart phones, creating flexibility in terms of time of place of the learning experience.

In the design and development of the learning and teaching methods, it is recognised that the potential learner group for this programme has been identified as being diverse. We are therefore keen to maintain an evolutionary approach that accommodates a broad range of learning and teaching methods across the whole programme, with on-going carefully directed evaluation that will enable in process changes to be made. Our aim is to demonstrate work based learning principles in practice through how this programme is designed and delivered. This means that the content and delivery style will need to flex, adapt and be agile to meet the needs of the learners, the sector they are working in, and the external environment to ensure currency and applicability.

A wide range of assessment practices have been established within UDC and this programme draws on this experience and their suitable applicability to level 6. The practice intends to ensure that assessment is seen as motivational tool driving and stimulating learning.

How you're assessed

Methods of assessment include activities such as:

  • Practical projects focused on particular workplaces.
  • Management and technical reports.
  • Annotated presentations.
  • Reflective portfolios or collections of work completed throughout the module / programme.
  • E-assessments via the Virtual Learning Environment.
  • Assessment based on simulations and role-play.
  • Negotiated assignments.
  • Problem solving tasks.
  • Varied writing tasks and oral assessment.
  • Closed and/or open book controlled examinations.

Tutorials

In addition to the learning resources on the VLE, optional tutorial sessions are held at the University of Derby Enterprise Centre in Derby. The tutorials provide additional help and support on a face to face basis, and give the opportunity to meet colleagues in the Industry to trade ideas and share best practice.

The first tutorial is scheduled to be held on 2 and 3 October 2015.

Fees and finance

UK/EU

The 2015-16 fee for the programme is £2500. If optional modules are studied an additional fee of £885 per module will apply.

International

The 2015-16 fee for the programme is £3075. If optional modules are studied an additional fee of £1095 per module will apply.

Entry requirements

The following broad criteria applying for entry:

  • Learners' are employed, or have affiliation with a partner.
  • Learners' will have been nominated to attend following a review/discussion with their line manager and/or recruitment manager.
  • Learners' will have been identified by the organisation as being able to succeed on the programme.
  • The selection of participants is consistent with the University’s equal opportunities policies and sensitive to legal obligations to avoid discrimination on the basis of gender, race or disability.
  • Learners’ can demonstrate English language capability to that of GCSE English Language, IELTS 6.0 or its equivalent as a prerequisite of enrolment on the programme.
  • Learners' will complete an online application form as provided by the University of Derby, and meet the above requirements.

The employer will nominate the majority of learners expected onto this programme. The prior experience of learners is a key factor in programme design and development and, during the programme development stage, employers, potential learners, professional bodies and key stakeholders have been consulted.

Academic counselling is a vital part of this process to ensure that learners can achieve the learning outcomes and will ultimately benefit from the programme. This will be provided by the academic team and programme tutors.

Where will I study?

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Online and optional weekend tutorials at the Enterprise Centre

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Find out more

E: mineralproducts@derby.ac.uk
T: 0800 678 3311