This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge of the techniques used to identify potential sources of clay 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.

This module provides the learner with an underpinning knowledge of the methods and techniques used to extract, stockpile, process and mould clay into a form that is ready for drying and firing as a clay product.

It provides 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 and includes 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.

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.

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.

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.


*Module not available as an option until September 2023*

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: 

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: 

These indicative approaches will be used to test attainment of knowledge and understanding as well as skills and capabilities thereby promoting ‘deep learning’.