Construction & Engineering

Do you want to make your mark on Manchester or even the world? With a career in construction or engineering, you’ll be able to see the results of your work for years to come.

One look at the number of cranes dotted across the Manchester skyline will tell you that the construction sector is booming in this city. There’s huge demand for highly skilled tradesmen, from architects to joiners and plumbers, and no better place to learn your new trade than at The Manchester College - the No.1 College in Greater Manchester for achievement*.

*NARTS 18/19

  • If you’re 16-18 and you’ve achieved the necessary entry requirements, you’ll have the opportunity to join our Industry Excellence Academy from Construction and Engineering and could study one of our brand new T Levels.

    From September 2021, you’ll be able to choose to study for a T Level in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, On-Site Construction (Carpentry and Joinery) or Building Services Engineering for Construction (Electrical Installation). These brand new two-year qualifications are worth the equivalent to three A Levels and will give you the opportunity to study programmes co-developed with industry partners and benefit from a 45 day industry placement and much more.

    If you would like to progress onto a T Level but don’t have the entry requirements then you’ll be able to do this by choosing to study one of our Level 2 T Level Transition programmes which are also part of the Industry Excellence Academy. These programmes will allow you to transition straight onto one of our T Level courses once you’ve finished, plus you’ll spend at least 15 days on an industry placement.

    Alternatively, you’ll join our Centre of Excellence for Construction and Engineering if you enrol on any of our qualifications from Level 1 through to Level 3.

  • Our two year Architectural and Construction Engineering Scholarship for 16-18 year olds - which is part of our Industry Excellence Academy from Construction and Engineering - is designed to find and shape the talented individuals who will help to build Manchester’s future.

    The ACE Scholarship has been designed in collaboration with our industry partners – Conlon Construction, Kier Regional Building RW, Lovells, Vinci Construction UK, Wilmott Dixon and Wates Construction - and will help you to master the exact skills that local employers are looking for.

    In fact, many of the course elements have been designed to fill critical skills gaps identified by the industry, so you’ll be in a prime position to find a job when you’ve completed your studies.

    You’ll be put your new skills into practice even before you graduate though, as you’ll benefit from a 45 day work placement in the industry.

    There are lots of other significant perks to this course, including a £300 bursary, extra opportunities to travel abroad as part of a student exchange programme, and even a free laptop worth £1500, with the latest 3D Cad Modelling Software (T&Cs apply). And best of all, you’ll be entering into a talent pool that gives you direct exposure to potential employers.

  • There are so many career paths you can take in the construction sector. Whichever path you’re thinking of taking, we can help you to get started on your journey.


    As a bricklayer, you’d be able to see the results of your hard work for the rest of your life. Our brickwork courses will teach you everything you need to know, from the craft itself to estimating costs and working in a safe, professional manner to an accepted code of practice. You’ll also be gaining valuable work experience.


    If you’re not sure which trade is right for you, the following courses can help you to build skills in a wide range of areas. You’ll explore bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, plastering, painting and decorating and plumbing. You’ll also gain a greater understanding of what it’s like to work in the industry, and learn more about how to behave in the workplace, including keeping yourself and others safe on a building site.

    You can use these courses to help you decide which trade to specialise in, or as a route to setting up your own maintenance or home improvements company.

    Carpentry and Joinery

    Are you considering a career as a carpenter or joiner? If you want to learn the essential skills required by the construction industry, and earn a widely-recognised qualification, then these are the courses for you.

    Once you graduate, you could find yourself working on everything from staircases to timber frame buildings. So you’ll need to learn a wide range of essential skills during your time with us, including how to carry out first fix flooring, roofing, frames, partitions and stairs. You’ll also explore carpentry maintenance and second fixing operations, as well as learning how to set up and operate a circular saw.

    Electrical Installation

    Are you fascinated by how electrical systems work? If so, do you want a career building and maintaining electrical installations in machines or structures? These courses can get you started on your journey.

    As you progress through the levels, you’ll explore a wide range of areas within electrotechnical technology.

    You’ll be learning the principles of electrical science, as well as getting hands-on practical experience with electrical installations technology. You’ll also discover more about what life would be like out in the workplace, and what would be expected of you, including how to keep yourself and team mates safe.

    By the time you reach the Level 3 course, you’ll have the basic skills and experience you need to progress into the workplace.


    If you’re interested in a career in engineering, these courses are the perfect place to start.

    On the Level 2 course, you'll explore the engineered world, and will cover several areas in greater detail, including mathematics for engineering, health and safety, and engineering materials. You’ll also choose other units based on your own interests.

    Once you’ve completed our Level 2 course, you’ll have a solid understanding of the engineering discipline, and be ready to deepen your understanding and gain even more skills on the Level 3 course.

    Painting and Decorating

    As a painter and decorator, you’d be transforming homes for a living.

    Our vocational qualification will give you the chance to build your skills through hands-on, practical sessions. You’ll learn everything from preparing surfaces and applying paint by brush and roller, to erecting and dismantling access equipment and working platforms. You’ll also explore specialist decorative finishes and a wide range of other topics.

    These qualifications are widely recognised in the construction industry, so will set you on the path to a rewarding career.


    Skilled plasterers are always in demand, and these courses will give you the skills and qualifications to set yourself up in business.

    As well as learning how to apply plastering materials to interiors, and fix dry linings and plasterboards, you’ll explore the other key things you need to know if you’re to work as a plasterer. These include keeping yourself, and others, safe.

    As you progress through the courses, you’ll expand your knowledge in a number of different areas, and have the opportunity to focus on either solid or fibrous plastering. By the time you finish at The Manchester College, you’ll have laid the groundwork for a successful career.


    If you’re thinking about a career as a plumber, The Manchester College can help you to gain the skills and qualifications you need. You’ll cover all the basics of plumbing, such as hot and cold water supplies and sanitation. You’ll also explore the different paths you might want to specialise in, such as domestic heating, and gain a solid working knowledge of the industry. As part of your journey with us, you’ll discover what will be expected of you out in the workplace, and find out how to keep yourself, and others, safe while you’re working.

    Once you’ve achieved your Level 3 qualification, you’ll be ready to get out and apply for jobs or set yourself up as a self-employed plumber.

  • We believe that students generally learn best from tutors who have real-life experience of their subject. So you’ll find that most of your tutors will have worked in the construction industry for several years before joining The Manchester College.

    Get to know some of our tutors:

    Gary Wallworth - Carpentry and Joinery Tutor

    Gary was named Joiner of the Year at the 2019 On The Tools Awards. He has an impressive professional background in site carpentry and is an expert bench joiner. Gary is heavily involved with Band of Builders – the construction workers’ charity. He’s also appeared on BBC TV programme ‘The One Show’, to judge viewers’ own joinery tasks.

    Heba Nimer Sabboubeh - Construction and Built Environment Tutor

    Heba has fifteen years’ experience as a practising Architect, designer and Project Manager in Palestine. She has worked for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Palestine Technical University along with work from private engineering company designing and supervising domestic buildings and sport centres.

    She has a Masters in Construction Project Management with her PhD nearing completion.

    Stephen Adamson - Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Tutor

    Stephen has over thirty years’ experience as a plumbing and heating engineer. During that time, he worked closely with the building industry, local authorities, and conservation and planning officers. He also spent time working on listed buildings, and fire sprinkler fitting and maintenance. Stephen recently graduated with a BA Honours in Education and Professional Studies, so is perfectly placed to share his extensive knowledge with students.

  • When you enrol on one of our Construction and Engineering courses at our Openshaw or Wythenshawe campuses you’ll benefit from some of the most technologically advanced training centres in the North West.

    Whichever campus you choose to study at, you’ll be working in simulated working environments with industry-standard equipment and a range of specialist construction workshops which include bespoke areas for scaffolding, refrigeration and fire sprinkler installation.

    We're investing £25 million in redeveloping our Openshaw campus, opening in September 2021, building brand new, state-of-the-art workshops for students in our Industry Excellence Academy for Construction and Engineering. Some of our current students are even helping to build them during their work placement as part of our Industy Excellence Academy for Construction and Engineering in partnership with Caddick Construction.

    Explore our amazing new facilities

  • Find out even more about our Construction and Engineering department in our subject area guide or on our Y:

    Download our subject area guide

    Watch our YouTube playlist

  • We’ve got you!

    Get the career you want in Construction and Engineering at The Manchester College.

    View our range of Construction and Engineering courses and apply to study at the No.1 College in Greater Manchester online today!

    Apply Now

  • Go further with our Centre of Excellence for Adult Education and study a 19+ adult course starting in 2021! 

    Browse our wide range of courses and apply today.

    Browse 19+ adult courses

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Top Careers Opportunities

Elementary construction occupations

Average salary: £25k

Carpenters & joiners

Average salary: £40k

Electricians & electrical fitters

Average salary: £42k

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Electronics engineer

Average salary: £65k

I came to The Manchester College after moving to Manchester from London. I was really keen to take a practical course and I really enjoyed joinery at school. The carpentry and joinery course I completed was a great step towards my career.

Cloe O'Flaherty • Level 1 Carpentry and Joinery

I’ve enjoyed my time at The Manchester College. My tutors have been helpful and supportive and as well as gaining qualifications to Level Three, I have also managed to get my CSCS card.

Patrick Simon Gallagher • Level One Site Carpentry

In one of The Manchester College’s 19 Centres of Excellence you’ll develop the skills and gain the qualifications that you need to take the next steps towards your dream career.

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In our unique Industry Excellence Academy you’ll benefit from a programme of study that has been co-developed, and is co-delivered, with one of our industry partners.

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