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Academic Routes

Technical Routes

What do I need?

Masonry is a technical based career, therefore there are no set entry requirements to the career besides having experience on a construction site.

Depending on which occupation within Masonry and Construction you get into, there are standard qualifications you can enrol in. Otherwise, you can become an apprentice. There are usually no prerequisites to this career at entry level, but it would be great to have business knowledge in the case you become an entrepreneur.

Academic Routes

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Further Education

Higher Education

Further Education

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BTEC Diploma, City & Guilds and NVQ

Further Education is considered Level 3 education in the UK (England, Northern Ireland, and Wales). The most common further education route is A-Levels, but it is not the only option. There are coursework based alternatives like BTEC. To pursue a Bachelors degree (Level 4) or any other undergraduate qualification, you must complete this level of education first.

For Masonry and Construction, you do not have to finish secondary school or pass CSEC/iGCSE to get qualified.


A-Levels are exam based courses taken post-secondary education. Usually, people take from 3 A-Level subjects as most university courses require at least 3. A-Levels will come in handy if you intend to study at university level but you should note that A-Levels are not practical.

If you do not intend on attending university, you should be building experience in your field while studying. Useful A-Levels could be in Business, Art or Economics.

Find out about technical routes into Masonry here >>

What qualifications do I need for A-Levels?

A-level courses will usually require at least 5 IGCSEs (A*-C)/CSECs (Grades 1-3). Mathematics and English Language passes are usually mandatory to possess. It is best to check the specific requirements of the university or college you intend to go to, as the entry requirements may differ.

To find A-Level courses search online or Contact us for help.

BTEC Diploma, City & Guilds and NVQ

The process of obtaining these qualifications are more practical, in comparison to the theory-based A-Level. You are assessed solely with coursework. These qualifications are available at different levels from Levels 1-3. At Level 3, the diploma can be equivalent to up to three (3) A-Levels. You can get a BTEC in Construction or Construction & Built Environments.

For City & Guilds, there are practical courses on offer in Bricklaying, Plastering, Construction, Electrical Installation and Masonry at Levels 1-3.

What qualifications do I need?

At Level 1, some courses require no qualifications and others start from 2 iGCEs (D-G)/CSEC (1-6). At Level 2, at least 3 IGCSEs (A*-D)/CSECs (Grades 1-3). For Level 3 BTEC diplomas, these will usually require at least 5 IGCSEs (A*-C)/CSECs (Grades 1-3).

Additionally, Mathematics and English Language passes are sometimes mandatory to possess. It is best to check the specific requirements of the school you intend to go to as the entry requirements may differ.

To find BTEC courses search online or Contact Us for assistance.

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Higher Education

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Undergraduate Degrees

Postgraduate Degrees

Undergraduate Degrees

Foundation Degrees

All applications to undergraduate courses are accessible via UCAS. Undergraduate courses can come in the form of foundation degrees, HND or Bachelors level. 

Foundation Degrees & Foundation Years

Foundation courses can be taken if your results/tariff points accumulated in a Level 3 qualification were not high enough to allow entry to a standard three-year Bachelors course.

There are two foundation options:

  • Foundation Degree – a standalone qualification (1-2 years) equivalent to one or two years of a Bachelors degree. A top-up degree can be taken afterwards to get the full Bachelors degree.
  • Foundation Year – this is the first year of a four year degree consisting of = 1 foundation year + 3 years of a standard Bachelors degree. At the end of the four-year course, you will receive the same qualification as a three-year Bachelors degree student.

The University of Birmingham offers BSc. Construction Management which would require at least 80 tariff points as opposed to 112 tariff points at the standard three-year route.

After you complete a Foundation degree qualification (instead of an integrated Foundation Year) you can complete a top-up which takes one year to achieve the full Bachelor’s degree.

What qualifications do I need?

It often varies per university and course so you should check the entry requirements per course on UCAS.

To find Foundation courses, enter your area of study and search Foundation degrees here. In the filters select Foundation to only view Foundation courses.

HND and Bachelors Degrees

The Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher National Certificate (HNC) are undergraduate qualifications in a tier below Bachelors degrees spanning at 1-2 years. At this level, in relation to Masonry there are Construction courses on offer.

At Bachelors, there are more varied degree choices, whether in Single or Combined/Joint Honours courses. Combined Honours courses are offered as a mix of subjects in one degree. For example a BSc Quantity Surveying and Construction.

Searching “Bricklaying”, “Construction” or “Masonry” courses on UCAS throws a wealthy bunch of options for you to choose from.

How do I choose which degree?

With the copious choices given, it may make it difficult to decipher which is best for you.

To start narrowing it down, we suggest you first look at the entry requirements to the course and assess your existing or prospective exam/coursework results.

Next, have a look at the modules done by the university and assess if those are relevant to your career if you’ve already chosen. Also view the teaching quality at the university.

Finally, use comparative websites like Discover Uni or the Complete University Guide to compare course satisfaction and other statistics to make informed decisions.

If you have sports or other extracurricular interests you can research universities which offer these to keep your hobbies alive.

Tip: Some university courses offer an integrated placement year (otherwise known as a sandwich) where you get the option to work in your industry. This provides you with at least one year of experience in your field before graduation.

To view all higher education options and courses, enter your area of study and search courses here.

What qualifications do I need?

It varies per university but largely universities require at least 96 tariff points. Grades in A-Level tend to be at least CCC-BBA for Dentistry related courses. BTEC diploma grades required tend to be at least a Pass or MMM. Check the entry requirements per course on UCAS.

Don’t forget, some courses have foundation entry options which allow you to gain the Foundation qualification and continue to the full Bachelor’s course with lower entry requirements.

Postgraduate Degree

If you already have an undergraduate degree and would like to make a career swap, or you would like to pursue even further education we’ve got options for you.

To progress in your career, specialisation is key and a good method of doing this is through postgraduate study. Postgraduate options can be found in Project Management, Construction Management, Civil Engineering and more.

Similar to applying for an undergraduate degree, click here to view options and courses, enter your area of study and search courses. Filter options to Postgraduate. (Some postgraduate courses may not be listed on UCAS so do independent searches online).

Technical Routes

Gaining work experience in Masonry does not require academic qualifications. Pursuing apprenticeships and entry-level construction work is usually the standard route in this field.

We listed practical courses above which could be useful for your progression.

Apprenticeships, Internships & Work

Apprenticeships are jobs where you work towards a qualification and usually at a lower wage. In the UK Bricklaying apprenticeships are on offer at intermediate level and usually last about two years.

Have a browse of some apprenticeships in the UK here >>

Entry to Masonry or Construction can be found through seeking work at a construction site as a construction site labourer. This would require a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on the site. For further qualifications, you can join an organisation like the Federation of Master Builders for professional recognition and training opportunities.

Independent Research

Use online resources to build knowledge in your field. Doing research like reading this blog is a good start. YouTube is your best friend. There are many videos available teaching you more about Masonry. Find your niche and the information will be easier to research.

To find out what immigration hurdles you must pass to pursue education in the UK click here. For financial 411s click here >>

Unsure about what Masonry is? Read our explanatory post here.

Need help applying for school in the UK? Click here >>

Posted by:Nandina Hislop

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