Engineering & Mathematics
The principles of mathematics, and mechanical and electrical engineering are fundamental to the operation of production, processing and mobile plant. This module aims to develop an understanding of the principles and concepts of basic mechanics and to introduce the basic theories and concepts of electricity, electrical circuits, electrical measurement, magnetism and electromagnetic induction. Furthermore, the module aims to develop a wider understanding of the use of mathematical principles and techniques and apply them to applications in the fields of engineering and mineral products technology.
This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge and understanding of the Mineral Products Industry. The module will introduce the learner to the economic importance of the industry, its role in modern economies, and how it underpins the very fabric of civilisation. It will explore its roots in geosciences, providing an understanding of the chemistry and geology of the planet and its application in the evolution and exploitation of the minerals its mines. It explores the widespread nature of the industry across the United Kingdom and globally. Fundamental to working in this industry, particularly in the operational areas, is an understanding and competence in the recognition and application of health, safety, and environmental awareness. Furthermore, the leaner will gain knowledge of emergency planning procedures and the safe use and guarding of machinery and equipment used within the mineral products sector. Finally, learners will be introduced to both first aid in the context of the work environment and also mental health to keep pace with industry guidelines and best practice.
Industry & the Environment
Central to this module is the development of knowledge in the field of geology that is beneficial to the safe and effective operation of mineral extraction and construction sites and the identification of geological hazards. This module also introduces the general concepts of workplace health and safety with particular attention to noise and hazardous substances. A further element to this module is the introduction of sustainability and in particular corporate, social responsibility, standards, and governance in the context of the mineral products industry. Key topics are discussed and developed including climate change, net zero and performance reporting. Furthermore, the impact of biodiversity, geodiversity and natural capital as applied to the mineral products industry are described and discussed.
Learning, Thinking & Study Skills in Higher Education
This module gives learners the opportunity to identify and reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses, to enable personal developmental planning needs, to be identified as they begin to progress through their learning journey within the Mineral Products industry. It provides learners with the basic knowledge and tools required to recognise and review their personal learning and thinking skills. It explores with them how they can identify and assess their developmental progress and equips them with the skills needed for academic study, writing and progression. It will provide examples of how they can use this knowledge and the associated tools within the context of their workplace in the Mineral Products industry. This module will also provide learners with an introduction to British Values, PREVENT and Safeguarding followed by leadership, which will supplement their developmental and employability potential within the work context. In addition, specifically for apprenticeship learners this module will introduce the Knowledge and Skills required to prepare and develop an e-portfolio required for End Point Assessment purposes.
Engineering Principles & Theory
The engineering concept within the mineral products sector is fundamental to the successful operation of static and mobile plant. This module will develop an understanding of the theory and principles of mechanics and their application within the sector. The principles and concepts associated with heat and fuels and their application in burners are introduced and awareness of engineering materials and of the fundamental principles of corrosion in relation to beams and fixed structures is developed. Furthermore, this module will focus on an understanding of the principles and concepts associated with the use of AC electricity and its application within the sector before extending the students understanding of electrical power transmission systems, electric motors and generators.
Construction Products Technology
Mineral resources form the basis of most products used in construction. This module develops knowledge of the technology, EN standards, specifications and other requirements that apply to these products. It will include aspects such as the methods used to sample and test aggregates, bituminous mixtures, cement and concrete, and bricks in a safe manner. In addition, the module will develop knowledge of the technology, characteristics and Standards used in customer specifications for these products. The module also provides knowledge of the techniques used to manage product quality to satisfy the needs of the customer.
Business & Operational Management
This module develops the operational, business and financial knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the effective management of a mineral products facility. This includes an understanding of the human implications of running a successful business. The module also recognises the importance of communication (written and none written skills), people and values in developing a positive workplace culture. Furthermore, the concepts and principles of asset management are introduced to develop skills in relation to performance measurement and monitoring. To meet with modern day challenges students are also provided with the fundamentals of building a sustainable business and the concept of cyber security. Additionally, for apprentices this module supports and develops completion of the e-portfolio required for End Point Assessment purposes.
Mixtures of aggregates and bitumen are used in several ways by the construction industry, particularly in highway and airfield pavements, in foot paths and other paved areas. This module introduces the concept of asphalt pavements and develops knowledge of the technology, standards, specifications, and other requirements that apply to bituminous mixtures specifically. In addition, the module will develop knowledge of the technology and principles of designing and testing bituminous mixtures, and of the specific processes and knowledge required to produce, transport, and place the mixtures. The module also provides knowledge of the techniques used to manage product quality to satisfy the needs of the customer and introduces health, safety and environmental aspects associated with asphalt production.
Production Facility Engineering
In relation to the Mineral Products industry, this module develops an awareness of the need for lubrication, bearings, and an understanding of the principles and concepts associated with hydraulic systems, their application and associated dangers. Also, the module introduces mechanical power transmission systems and develops an understanding of the behaviour of gases and how these are applied to the construction and operation of compressors, pumps and internal combustions engines. An understanding of asset prioritisation and plant operating and planned, preventative maintenance schemes are also developed along with process control concepts in relation to automation and digitisation. Furthermore, the module develops knowledge and awareness in relation to 3 phase and circuit control, power factor and correction, electrical safety, earthing, earth leakage and overcurrent protection.
Pavement Solutions & Innovation
The module develops an understanding of specialist asphalt mixtures through a discussion of their specialist applications. The production of specialist binders, such as emulsions and polymer modified binders is described and their fundamental properties and associated test methods are introduced. Sustainability is introduced and considers the needs, resources, and implications of trends before reviewing sustainability in the context of business models commonly associated with the paving industry (circular economy, sustainable products etc). Finally, sustainability in the context of asphalt mixtures will be considered using environmental product declarations, life cycle assessments and various foot printing techniques (carbon, greenhouse gas etc). Furthermore, recycling and the use of alternative mixtures in asphalt will be covered along with cement and unbound mixtures for roads and their place and function within an asphalt pavement. Innovations in asphalt are discussed and considered using case studies from industry and provides a fundamental understanding of innovation origin, management, and application.
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 the student with an appropriate background to this topic so that they understand the impact and consequences of The Contract on their daily activities. The module also covers techniques of estimation and organisation which underpin the procurement and execution of work by a contractor. The law relevant to the establishment, operation, and maintenance of roads, and as it relates to statutory undertakers, is covered as is the specific construction design and management safety regulations.
Mineral Products Workbased Project
This module brings together the learner’s knowledge of the industry gained from the programme and asks them to offer a detailed discussion of a problematic area and locate it within the wider context of current academic and professional thinking as presented in the literature and within the context of the area of the Mineral Product industry in which they work. Learners will be expected to demonstrate the ability to diagnose an organisational issue, to present this issue in a coherent manner, and to draw conclusions from their reading, personal analysis and workplace experience.
How you will learn
The programme is influenced by the principles of work-based learning. As such a flexible range of teaching and learning methodologies are used relevant to particular groups or practices. For example:
- Face to face taught modules combining tutor input with structured opportunities for discussion, reflection and planning for workplace application
- Learning opportunities identified and taken directly from the learner’s workplace situation
- Action learning sets and other facilitated group activities
- Individual reflection on learning
- Technology enhanced learning using a sophisticated virtual learning environment (VLE).
At undergraduate level, the emphasis is on fostering independent learning, whilst providing a supporting environment in which to study at higher level. One of the key aims of any undergraduate programme is to produce an independent learner capable of properly managing their time and resources to identify issues, decide how to collect and analyse evidence and reach reasoned evidence based conclusions, and to subsequently present this information via various methods of communication (written and oral).
Indicative 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
- problem solving tasks
- varied writing tasks and oral assessment
- practical assessment of professional competence
These indicative approaches will be used to test attainment of knowledge and understanding as well as skills and capabilities thereby promoting ‘deep learning’.