Course details

Course code


Course level

Level 5

Course credits

240 credits

Next course date



2-3 years part-time


Enterprise Centre, Distance learning

Course description

This qualification is approved as:

1. fully satisfying the educational base for an Engineering Technician (EngTech).

2. partially satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). 

A programme of accredited Further Learning will be required to complete the educational base for IEng. See for further information and details of Further Learning programmes for IEng.

Highways are a valuable asset and vital to the world economy. If you're already employed in this sector, or have an interest in it, the Foundation Degree in Asphalt and Pavement Technology will enable you to gain an internationally recognised academic qualification.

You'll gain the underpinning technical knowledge, the legislative framework, including safety requirements and contractual procedures relevant to this demanding area of the construction industry.

Structure, certificates and assessment

Certificate of Higher Education stage

Industry Introduction (20 credits)
You'll gain the underpinning knowledge and understanding of the mineral products industry, covering the economics of the industry, its role in modern economies and how it is rooted in the fabric of civilisation. You'll also cover industry topics such as the variety of materials, importance of health and safety, environmental awareness, geology, communications and surveying.

Mathematics (20 credits)
You'll understand mathematical principles and techniques and learn how to apply them to applications in the fields of engineering and mineral extractives technology. You'll apply your own experience and observation to develop a wider understanding of the use of mathematics.

Engineering 1 (20 credits)
You'll cover the principles of mechanical and electrical engineering which are fundamental to the operation of production, processing and mobile plant. You'll develop an understanding of mechanics, as well as the basic theories and concepts of electricity, electrical circuits, measurement and magnetism and induction.

Industry Technology (20 credits)
You'll develop your knowledge of the safe and effective operation of mineral extraction and construction sites and the identification of geological hazards. You'll cover the principles of earth moving and earthwork design, the influence geology has over construction sites, surveying techniques and further work in the area of health and safety.

Construction Products Technology (20 credits)
Mineral resources form the basis of many products used in construction. This module develops knowledge about the technology, standards, specifications and other requirements that apply to these products. It includes aspects such as the methods used to sample and test mineral products in a safe manner. In addition, it develops knowledge of the technology and principles of making and using bituminous mixtures, concrete and clay products. The module also provides knowledge of the techniques used to manage product quality so as to satisfy the needs of the customer.

Engineering 2 (20 credits)
You'll continue to explore fundamental engineering concepts in this module. You'll cover the principles and concepts of heat and fuels, corrosion and fixed structures. You'll also continue to explore the use of AC power, electrical power transmission systems and related topics.

Foundation degree stage

Pavement Management and Design (20 credits)
This module establishes the basis for all engineering processes related to the road structure and its surface, including the essential criterion for the safe use of the pavement. You'll develop an understanding of the way in which pavements work to protect the underlying soil, by working through the fundamental analytical principles of pavement design leading up to the current HA design method. You'll also cover pavement assessment, which is required to ensure that the road surface is both safe and strong enough to carry the ever increasing traffic loading, through to the design of treatments to maintain the structure. This includes overlay design, and assessment of skid resistance and entails learning about the principles of skid resistance and road drainage. You'll also develop your knowledge of the 'Asset Management' approach to maintaining highways, and prioritisation of maintenance treatments.

Contracts Management (20 credits)
Contracts are fundamental to commercial activity. The asphalt industry is a part of the construction industry which has developed its own forms of contract designed to service the type of exchange with which it is engaged. This module provides you with an appropriate background to this topic so that you understand the impact and consequences of 'The Contract' on your daily activities. You'll also cover the techniques of estimation and organisation which underpin the procurement of work by a contractor. The law, relevant to the establishment of, operation and maintenance of roads and as it relates to statutory undertakers is covered as are the specific construction design and management safety regulations.

Pavement Solutions (20 credits)
This module develops your understanding of the fundamental properties of asphalt mixtures and their function in road pavements. You'll cover the production of bitumen and special binders, the fundamental requirements of an asphalt mix, it's durability and resistance to cracking and deformation. Sustainability will also be considered through recycling and consideration of 'alternatives aggregates'. The module will also cover cement and unbound mixtures for roads and their function in asphalt pavements as well as the specialist topics of mastic asphalt and surface dressing.

Business Management (20 credits)
You'll cover the business and financial knowledge and skills that are required to effectively manage a mineral extraction site, a road construction site or related manufacturing facility. You'll cover general management topics, administration and relevant legal implications. You'll also recognise the requirement for the highest standards in respect of health, safety and environmental management.

Engineering 3 (20 credits)
This module introduces the principles and concepts around hydraulic systems, mechanical power transmission systems used in plant, the behaviour of gases and their use in compressors, pumps and internal combustion engines. You'll also be introduced to the different types of electrical generators and motors and how they are used in the sector.

Asphalt Technology (20 credits)
You'll focus on developing your knowledge of the technology, standards, and other requirements that apply to bituminous mixtures. In addition to this you'll develop knowledge of the technology and principles of designing the mixtures as well as the specific processes and techniques required to produce, transport and place the mixtures. You'll also cover the necessary techniques needed to manage product quality in order to satisfy customer needs.

How you'll learn

The programme is studied part time over two to three years. You will need to fit it around your work commitments, so you'll need to be self-motivated and be able to set aside around 12 hours per week for study.

You'll study online and can choose to join a number of weekend tutorials each year where you'll work face to face with our specialist academic staff, all of whom have extensive experience within the industry. It's also an opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues in your sector. Tutorials take place at the Enterprise Centre in Derby.

Your programme materials are available in an interactive electronic format and are released in stages throughout the year. You'll have full online access to our library and other learning resources.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through a combination of continuous assessment and exams

Entry requirements

If you have experience in the highways sector, as well as positive support from your employer, we will welcome your application.

Fees and funding

UK and EU students

International students

*These fees apply if you’re starting this course between September 2018 and August 2019. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

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Take advantage of a short courses block booking to upskill your employees. Our short courses run on-campus and online and include new legislation and other up-to-the-minute issues. Get in touch today and we will tailor a package to meet the needs of your business.

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Contact us

Asphalt and Pavement Technology  0800 678 3311

If you want to find out more about studying a short course, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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