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You usually take Highers in S5 and S6 after you have reached Standard Grade credit or Intermediate 2 level.
You normally need Highers to get into higher education courses at university or college - Degree, Higher National Diploma and Higher National Certificate level.


Building Construction: Higher

Why Building Construction?

This course is particularly relevant for those intending to have in a career in the construction industry at technician or professional level. It offers practical, creative activity, teamwork and variety in work. This is a specialist course providing the opportunity to develop an awareness of the functional requirements of buildings, an appreciation of the design factors and constraints to be considered in successful building projects, an understanding of the main forms of construction, knowledge of environmental impacts, land survey skills and the preparation of construction drawings.

Entry to the Course

This is at the discretion of the school/college but you would normally be expected to have attained one of the following

  •  Intermediate 2 course in Product Design, Graphic Communication or Technological Studies
  •  Two Standard Grades including Craft and Design or Graphic Communication and one of Mathematics or Physics at Grade 3 or above.

 Course Outline

The course consists of three compulsory 40 hour units plus 40 hours of flexible time.

Architectural Technology - Building Design (40 hours)

This unit covers the following topics:

Building design requirements - including:

  •  performance requirements and design factors
  •  constraints of building projects
  •  the role of building and planning control
  •  the environmental impact of building.

Construction methods, building form and construction materials - including:

  •  forms of construction - traditional masonry cavity wall construction and timber frame
  •  construction materials for main enclosure and structural elements - traditional and modern materials, current good practice, building legislation and related standards
  •  environmental sensitivity of construction methods.

Elements of buildings - including:

  •  building types - domestic, social , commercial, industrial
  •  enclosure elements - walls, cladding, windows, doors and roofs
  •  structural elements - foundations, walls, timber frame, floors, roofs and stairs.

Development of a design - including:

  •  developing a design brief - understanding what the client needs and wants
  •  selecting a suitable type of construction in relation to the brief
  •  selecting appropriate materials
  •  bubble diagrams and preliminary sketch drawings
  •  graphical presentation requirements - sketch layout.

Architectural Technology - Site Surveying (40 hours)

This unit covers the following topics.

Ordnance Survey (OS) maps and plans and project site plans - including:

  •  extracting and interpreting information
  •  OS maps and plans, scales, the National Grid, grid references and co-ordinates
  •  project site plans - scales, levels, symbols.

Linear Measurement Surveying - including:

  •  accurate tape measurement
  •  trilateration and offsetting - purpose and techniques
  •  linear surveying - techniques and procedures
  •  plotting of results on a plan
  •  report writing.

Levelling, contouring and sections - including:

  •  carrying out a levelling survey
  •  survey factors and procedures
  •  preparing contour plans
  •  plotting
  •  identification of sections.

Architectural Technology - Manual and Computer Aided Drawing (40 hours)

  •  orthographic projection, layout and presentation of drawings
  •  site layout and general arrangements drawing
  •  computer aided construction drawing.

 Core Skills

  •  Int.1 (SCQF 4) Numeracy (Using Graphic Information)
  •  Int.2 (SCQF 5) Problem Solving (Critical Thinking)



The course is assessed by a combination of internal assessment by your teacher/lecturer and external assessment consisting of a project based on the work of the course and an examination, set and marked by the SQA. 


Successful completion of this course may lead to:
Education (HNC/HND/Degree);Employment in