Course Level: Vocational Award Level 1&2


Specification link: Designing the Built Environment

Entry requirements: No specific requirements

Watch the following video from the Design Department which runs our Designing the Built Environment Course:

Course Description

This qualification allows you to explore the Construction and Built Environment Industry, in particular the design aspect of the industry. If you enjoy coming up with new ideas, responding to challenges and would like to develop technical skills in drawing and using design software, then this qualification is for you.

You will explore how building design has evolved over time and how it affects communities. You will examine the scientific properties of building materials to discover how the selection and use of different materials can contribute to sustainability. You will also have the opportunity to develop skills in using standard drawing conventions, symbols and design software. 

The qualification has three units: 

  • Planning Potential of Construction Projects
  • Drawing Construction Plans
  • Building Structures and Materials

What knowledge and skills will the student develop as part of this qualification and how might these be of use and value in further studies?  

The qualification develops the following knowledge, understanding and skills: 

  • How building design contributes to society and communities
  • How the design and planning process works
  • Interpreting maps used in construction
  • Report writing, including structuring reports, writing for specific purposes/audiences and creating appropriate supporting information (such as drawings and maps)
  • Carrying out calculations related to the design of a building 
  • Development of technical skills including hand sketching and use of computer software to produce basic building designs/parts of building
  • Use of different materials and methods of construction and how to select the most suitable for specific building designs/purposes
  • Environmental sustainability and its importance in the construction industry.
  • Sustainable materials and sustainable use of buildings

The three units cover the following topics;

Unit 1       

  1. Understand planning requirements for construction projects
  2. Understand how infrastructure influences design
  3. Report on potential of built environment projects                                 

Unit 2       

  1. Use mathematical techniques for construction designs
  2. Draw construction designs
  3. Use computer software for on screen 3D modelling of construction designs

Unit 3       

  1. Understand structures of buildings 
  2. Understand how properties of materials affect their use in buildings 
  3. Understand how buildings can be sustainable

 You will have 3 exams in Year 11.

Each exam corresponds to unit of study and consists of a synoptic task that will test your understanding of the concepts in each respective unit.

Synoptic tasks will have 1-4 sub-tasks and these will include reports, technical drawings and CAD modelling.

Course Profile

Career Pathways

Your understanding developed is fundamental to an introduction to any aspect of Construction and Building Services, including Architectural Design, Quantity Surveying, Civil Engineering, Building Surveying, Environmental Design

Your understanding and skills can be developed further through progression to other qualifications, such as A levels or specific to a sector, including City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technicals in Constructing the Built Environment.

You would also find the understanding and skills useful to progress to an apprenticeship related to Construction or Building Services Engineering.

Job Opportunities

Once you’ve completed Level 2 Technical qualification, you have the option to continue at Level 3.

The City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical in Constructing the Built Environment could lead to employment opportunities for you as a:

  • Construction Design Technician / Construction Site Technician,
  • Civil Engineering Technician,
  • Construction Site Engineer / Construction Work Supervisor / Construction Site Supervisor,
  • Architectural Technician, Building Surveyor, Architect, Civil Engineer

Further reading

Statement of purpose

Why a career in built environment

What is it like to work in the built environment?