Course details

Course code


Course level

Level 4

Course credits

20 credits

Next course date



1 year part time


Distance learning, Enterprise Centre

Course description

The distinctive nature of this programme is represented by the flexibility of its design and delivery. Its construction and innovative modes of delivery recognise the diverse and dispersed nature of not only the industry itself, but the potential student body it will serve. Due to the geographical spread of the industry, manufacturing sites and offices are often remote and isolated. Technical and operational staff very often spend a significant proportion of their time working outdoors, can be transient (with seasonal working activities sometimes playing a part) and they may also find that they are suddenly re-located, in some cases abroad. The provision offered within this programme of study, has had to evolve to meet the needs of such learners: taking advantage not only of traditional teaching and learning techniques, but utilising the most advanced learning technology for teaching, learning, supervision and assessment.

Key Characteristics

The programme enables the following opportunities:

Equips learners for shortfall in international, national and local development needs

  1. Develops the learner’s knowledge and understanding of the Construction Materials sector and the context in which it operates, including global and environmental influences
  2. Enables a learner to develop their intellectual breadth and be able to make integrative links across the various areas of their organisations
  3. Increases capacity to learn, both on the programme and as independent lifelong learners following completion of the programme
  4. Provides an academically rigorous and challenging programme of study aligned with the QAA Qualification Framework enhancing critical and reflective practice
  5. Provides flexible learning opportunities in a diverse environment that widens participation.

Structure, certificates and assessment

Aggregates form the basis of many construction materials. This module develops knowledge about construction materials made with aggregates; and the standards, specifications and other requirements that apply to them.

It includes the methods used to sample and test aggregates, bituminous mixtures and ready mixed concrete in a safe way. In addition, the module will develop knowledge of the principles of mixture design; the methods of making and using bituminous mixtures and ready mixed concrete; and knowledge of the techniques used to manage product quality so as to satisfy the needs of producers and their customers.

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’.

Entry requirements

This programme, (one module) is less intensive than the University Certificate in Concrete Technology (three modules). More details about the three module programme are available on request. Successful completion of this programme, (one module) will exempt the leaner from Module 1 of the University Certificate in Concrete Technology and from the Construction Products Technology module within all of the Centres Foundation Degree programmes. Experience has shown that this single module programme may be more suitable for learners with limited experience, or who have not studied for some time.

The programme has been designed to appeal to a wide audience, such as:

  1. Employees working in testing laboratories and associated professionals who wish to gain knowledge in construction materials technology so as to strengthen the service that they provide to their internal or external clients.
  2. Employees from related supply and equipment manufacturing industries who wish to gain knowledge of construction materials technology to better serve their customers.

The following broad criteria applying for entry:

While the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that learners meet entry requirements and acceptance on to programmes rests with the University of Derby, employers typically nominate the majority of learners expected onto this programme. The prior experience of learners is a key factor in programme design and development as such employers, potential learners, professional bodies, and key stakeholders have been consulted during the programme development stage.

Fees and funding

UK and EU students

International students

*These fees apply if you’re starting this course between September 2021 and August 2022. 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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Contact us

Construction Materials 01332 591066 (option 6)
Programme Leader: John Mawer 01332 597 976

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