Course details

Course code


Course level

Level 5

Course credits

240 credits

Start date


Course length

3 years


Enterprise Centre, Distance learning

Course description

Higher Apprenticeships are an excellent way of developing and motivating your workforce to maximise the potential of your business.

Not only will your employee benefit from a completely tailored path to higher qualifications, but your business will benefit too:

Aimed at attracting young people into the industry, the Higher Apprenticeship in Mineral Products Technology has been developed to address the specific needs of the sector.

The Higher Apprenticeship in Mineral Products Technology combines practical skill development with higher education qualifications developing competence in the real-life environment of your workplace, so preparing your apprentices for their first supervisory position.

It’s been designed in partnership with industry and leading professional bodies such as the Institute of Quarrying and the Mineral Products Qualifications Council, so you can be sure the content addresses the key skill issues you are facing as an employer.

Core skills

The course begins with a core foundation year where apprentices cover personal learning and thinking skills (the important behavioural skills of employability). They will also cover the key technical areas of health, safety and environmental awareness, as well as an overview of the industry, an introduction to geology and geoscience and quality and product awareness. Subsequent years enable your apprentices to specialise depending on your organisation’s activity, so that they develop sector-relevant skills.

The programme is fully SASE (Specification for Apprenticeship Standard in England) compliant and on successful completion your apprentices will gain:

On completion, apprentices can choose to continue their studies and progress to achieve a full honours degree.

Subject modules

  • Engineering 1 - 4ZZCBL - 20 credits
  • Industry Intro - 4ZZCBN - 20 credits
  • Mathematics - 4ZZCBP - 20 credits

Optional modules:

  • Intro to Mineral Prod (HA) - 4ZZBBN - 40 credits 
  • Personal Learning & Thinking Skills - 4ZZCAF - 20 credits
  • Cons Product Tech - 4ZZCBK - 20 credits
  • Engineering 2 - 4ZZCBM - 20 credits
  • Industry Technology - 4ZZCBO - 20 credits

Optional modules:

  • Health Safety and Environmental Awareness - 4ZZCAG - 60 credits
  • First Line Supervisory Management - 5ZZBAX - 20 credits
  • Business Management - 5ZZBCF - 20 credits
  • Engineering 3 - 5ZZBCG - 20 credits

Optional modules:

  • Raw Materials Processing - 5ZZBCZ - 20 credits
  • Cement Process Engineering - 5ZZBCY - 20 credits
  • Clinker Processing - 5ZZBCX - 20 credits

Structure, certificates and assessment

The first year of study provides apprentices with a solid foundation for their career. They will study these modules:

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (20 credits)
Your apprentices will develop key skills in creative thinking, reflective learning, team work, self motivation and independent learning.

Introduction to the Mineral Products Industry (40 credits)
This module gives apprentices a practical introduction to the industry and its emphasis on health, safety, environmental sustainability and plant safety; key knowledge required when working within the industry. Apprentices also undertake a study of basic geoscience, surveying and process measurement along with operational knowledge of quality, products and sustainability.

Subsequent years enable specialisation depending upon the sector your organisation is focused on. Relevant level 5 technical modules can be selected and built around modules on First Line Supervisory Management and Work Based Study.

First Line Supervisory Management (20 credits)
This module provides the underpinning knowledge of basic supervisory management contextualised for the mineral products industry and is designed to help develop management performance and confidence in the role. It looks at people management in terms of the roles and responsibilities of managers and leadership styles and will provide learners with a knowledge and understanding of the principles of effective change management.

Learners will study a range of issues relating to organisational effectiveness as well as elements of ‘finance for the non-financial manager’ with the aim of assisting learners to understand the nature and role of accounting and finance within an organisation. The module will also explore the role of operations management in the context of the mineral products technology industry. Learners will look at how it contributes to the industry priority of developing a culture of continuous improvement, health safety and environmental management.

Work Based Study (20 credits)
This module brings together the learner’s knowledge of the industry gained from the programme or part of 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.

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 work-based experience.

Technical Module (20 credits)
Enabling specialisation, level 5 technical modules can be chosen in a range of subjectives:

How you'll learn

As an organisation you will provide your apprentices with an introduction to work in a variety of environments via an on-site training programme bespoke to your organisational needs.

Apprentices will work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills, whilst also following their programme of study at the University of Derby. It utilises a blended approach to studying, with much of the programme being work based, supported by online learning and project weeks at the University and in the field.

Your apprentices will be encouraged to think creatively, become self-motivated and develop academic research and writing skills. Self study is accompanied by an extensive range of support including an online e-learning portal and e-portfolio, regular communication from tutors, voice guided lecture presentations and a LinkedIn support group for discussion with peers.

This approach reduces time away from the workplace for your apprentice and ensures that they can continue to study even if working in different, and sometimes remote, locations across the UK.

Entry requirements

Current eligibility criteria:

*Where an employer wishes to place a learner on to this programme who is already working within the industry then an opportunity is provided to recognise any higher level learning that has taken place at work and reward this with appropriate credit.

Fees and funding

*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

Contact us

Higher Apprenticeship - Mineral Products Technology 0800 678 3311