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

The minerals sector, which includes quarrying, surface mining, concrete, cement and related manufacturing industries, 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 concrete manufacturing sites across the country, as well as marine wharves, mineral extraction sites and aggregate recycling operations.

If you're already employed in the concrete 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 technologist or operational manager and wish to acquire professional status.

You'll undertake a portfolio of work relates assessment that applies everything you learn to your workplace, so you can make a real impact in your role.

Study tour

You can choose to join a five day study tour of sites relevant to the minerals industry so you can widen your knowledge and experience.

Programme modules

  •  Industry Introduction - 20 credits at Level 4

  • Engineering I - 20 credits at Level 4

  • Mathermatics - 20 credits at Level 4
  • Construction Product Tech - 20 credits Level 4
    Engineering II - 20 credits Level 4
    Industry Technology - 20 credits Level 4
  • Concreate Technology - 20 Credits Level 5
  • Business Management - 20 credits at Level 5
  • Engineering III - 20 credits at Level 5
  • Concrete Constituent and Types - 20 credits at Level 5
  • Concrete in Construction - 20 credits at Level 5
  • Durable Concrete Structures - 20 credits at Level 5

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.

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.

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.

Foundation degree stage

Concrete Technology (20 credits)
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of fresh and hardened concrete, its constituents, microstructure and properties, and of its interaction with its exposed environment in order to produce concrete that is fit for purpose and durable using conventional and new materials. The module looks at concrete in the context of its sustainable use in durable structures and covers its environmental impact in terms of the appropriate use of prime resources for constituent materials, and energy consumption covering current and future alternatives to lower this impact. Throughout this module you'll cover cementitious materials including cement replacing materials; natural and recycled aggregates; admixtures; properties of fresh, hardening and hardened concrete for durable structures; standards, specifications and conformity control; production and placing.

Concrete Constituents and Types (20 credits)
This module develops your ability to evaluate the influence of different aggregates, cementitious materials and admixtures on the characteristics of fresh and hardened concrete. You'll get a deeper understanding of the properties of concretes and cementitious mortars used for specialist end uses - including self-compacting, precast and fibre reinforced concrete; and mortars for masonry, render and screed. The module also provides a greater awareness of the health, safety and environmental aspects of producing and using concrete.

Concrete in Construction (20 credits)
In this module you'll develop a deeper understanding of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete, including its use in concrete slabs, floors and external paving. The particular characteristics of fresh concrete required for specialist end uses such as pumped, sprayed, foamed and underwater concrete will also be studied. The module will also develop your understanding of the influence of formwork on the surface finish of hardened concrete.

Durable Concrete Structures (20 credits)
This module will give you a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the long term durability of concrete used in structures. You will look at the methods used to investigate and analyse the causes and extent of deterioration in a concrete structure as well as learning about the methods used to repair and protect reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structures.

Business Management (20 credits)
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.

Engineering 3 (20 credits)
The module will develop an awareness of the need for lubrication and bearings, an understanding of the principles and concepts associated with hydraulic systems, their application and associated dangers. Also, the module introduces mechanical power transmission systems applied to plant and instrumentation in the sector and develops an understanding of the behaviour of gases and how these are applied to the construction and operations of compressors, pumps and internal combustions engines. An understanding of plant operating and maintenance schemes and that of safe design and guarding of plant is also developed. Furthermore, the module introduces the different types of electrical generators and motors and their applications within the sector before developing knowledge in the field of electronics and awareness in relation to electrical safety, earthing, earth leakage and overcurrent protection.

How you'll learn

You'll study part time, online, and can choose to attend a number of optional weekend tutorials each year at Derby in the UK. Here 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 colleagues in your sector - swapping ideas and sharing best practice.

These are not compulsory and will not affect your studying if you don't attend.

Your learning is supplemented through online video and guest lecture presentations. Your programme materials are in an interactive/electronic format and are released to you 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 exams and continuous assessment.

Entry requirements

If you have experience in the concrete industry, 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

Student should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

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Contact us

Concrete Technology 0800 678 3311

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