On completion of this advanced level qualification you will have achieved industry recognition as an 'Improver / Plumber's Mate' level within the industry. This course builds on knowledge gained from other levels and provides opportunity for you to hone your skills and build experience as a professional plumber.

This full time course is taught over 3 days a week for 1 year. The course will be held at our South West Durham site in Newton Aycliffe.

The theory and practical units as follows:  

  • Health & Safety in Building Services
  • Understanding the fundamental principles and requirements of environmental technology systems,
  • Plumbing systeminstallation planning
  • Complex cold water systems
  • Domestic hot water, Sanitation and drainage systems
  • Central heating systems
  • Domestic gas principles
  • Career awareness in building services.

You will achieve a full level 3 Diploma. You will learn, develop and practice the skills required for employment and/or career progression within the plumbing sector.

You will need Safety Footwear and overalls which you can purchase from the College. You will also need access to text books.

If you gain suitable grades you may want to progress to a paid Plumbing NVQ Apprenticeship or employment.


Entry Requirements

Four GCSEs at grade 9-4 including maths and/or English is normally required. A level 2 in Plumbing Studies. An interview will assess your suitability and interest in the subject.

Course Cost

Course fee as set based on the age of the student at 31 August in the year they begin their study.

This course is fully funded for

  • All students aged 16, 17 and 18 
  • Learners, aged 19 to 23, without a full level 2 qualification

24+ students, will be required to pay course fees up to £3,300. 

For information on fees please contact 

Information on learner loans can be fund at:

Course Duration

Full time; 3 days per week, Monday to Friday 

The course runs from September to June