Course Area Overview

Construction Trade Courses

Construction Trades

With sustained growth returning to the sector, there has never been a better time to make a career in the construction industry. To avail of the diverse job opportunities in the modern construction sector it is necessary to have suitable and relevant qualifications in your chosen area.


Bricklaying is one of the first trades on site, bricklayers precede all other tradesmen to create the foundations and line out the building, an undertaking that requires skill, precision and stamina. It has many transferable skills that are in demand not only all over the UK but abroad as well.


To become a fully qualified plasterer students undertake four years of training (2 years each at Level 2 and Level 3). These qualifications are designed to provide learners with the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills gained in the college environment with competence demonstrated in the workplace.

Painting & Decorating

This qualification is aimed at learners aged 16 and above who work or want to work in the construction industry and specialise in the area of painting and decorating.  Our qualifications are aimed at people wishing to learn some skills in painting and decorating, to progress on to becoming skilled in their chosen trade, or to progress through an apprenticeship and work towards becoming a master craftsman.

Floor & Wall Tiling

This qualification allows candidates to learn, develop and practise the skills required for employment and/or career progression in Wall and Floor Tiling. You have some knowledge and basic skills in wall and floor tiling or carrying out building maintenance work - probably from a role where you work under supervision. You want recognition for your skills, giving you the chance to take on more responsibility.

About our Construction Trade Courses

Having finally returned to growth in 2015, construction output in Northern Ireland is predicted to have an annual average growth of 3% over the next five years, higher than the UK rate of 2.5%. Demand is projected to be strongest in the managerial, supervisory and professional occupational categories.

At South West College we offer a broad range of Construction courses, designed to prepare you for a variety of careers across the Construction industry through gaining the skills and knowledge currently in demand in Industry. It will provide you with specific practical, technical, and professional skills in design, construction technology, management and communications. The courses aim to leave you equally prepared to progress and successfully complete the next level of your studies right up to Honours Degree, to directly enter employment as a highly skilled employee, or to start your own business using the skills learned.

About the qualifications

This suite of professional and technical qualifications is designed to help learners build the knowledge and skills needed for working in a vibrant and challenging Construction industry. The qualifications are designed in a progressive way to enable students to achieve professional recognition in a diverse range of occupational areas including site based and office roles.

Level 2

NVQ / Construction Diploma in Trowel Occupation CSkills Awards L2 NVQ Diploma in Plastering

Level 3 Cskills Awards Level 3 Diploma in Bricklaying CSkills Awards L3 NVQ Diploma in Plastering
Level 4 City & Guilds Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Construction Site Supervision
Level 4/5 Higher Level Apprenticeship in Sustainable Construction/Civil & Environmental Engineering/Building Services and Renewable Energies
Foundation Degree in Sustainable Construction
Foundation Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Foundation Degree in Architectural Technology
Foundation Degree in Building Services & Renewable Energy

Who is it suitable for?

These construction programmes are designed to benefit school leavers wanting to enter the Construction industry as a career path. They are also targeted at site tradespersons considering upskilling/reskilling to site supervisors as well as current construction engineers and professionals pursuing Continuous Professional Development.

Students will have access to a wide range of financial assistance including; EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance), Student Grants and Student Bursaries/Scholarships. If you are in
employment and seeking to upskill/reskill or if you want to undertake a new professional and technical career, you could benefit from one of a suite of Higher Level Apprenticeship in the Sustainable Construction field.

Core areas of study

Undertaking one of these programmes will provide you with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in;

  • Sustainable ConstructionQuantity Surveying
  • Passive House Design
  • BIM - Building Information Modelling
  • Architecture/Architectural Technology
  • Computer Aided Design – (AutoCAD & Revit)
  • Civil Engineering
  • Building Surveying
  • Renewable Energy
  • Building Services
  • Site Management
  • Materials Testing
  • Digital Land surveying (Laboratory Based)

Students will be given the opportunity to study within the new Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (CREST). CREST is the first educational facility of its kind in the UK and holds certified Passive House, BREEAM and Carbon Neutral status. An exceptional learning environment.