Diploma in Bench Joinery @ SCQF Level 5 (C&G)

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This is a nationally-recognised course covering proper use of tools and equipment. The course covers several practical based units such as; wood working machine use, jointing techniques, door construction, stair construction and theory units about the construction industry.

The practical element of the course, making a door and making a stair, accounts for the majority of the time spent at college and the remainder is taken up by classroom-based tasks such as: basic construction drawing skills, health and safety, scaffolding, construction technologies and mandatory core skills.

It is hoped that the course will enhance the student’s chance of getting an employer to sponsor them for progression to Carpentry and Joinery SVQ Level 3, which is the first year of the apprenticeship.

The course is industry recognised as a pre-apprenticeship course and will enhance the learner’s opportunities in finding employment in the construction industry.




Attendance: Full Time - Predominantly face to face practical delivery approach although there may be some limited theory classes that can completed from home.
Attendance either in college or online for 2 days per week

Ideally you would be looking to gain employment or work experience within the industry for the days that you are not in college.

Entry Requirements

To be 16 years of age or over by 30th September and one of the following: 

If currently at college studying construction, achieve a positive learner reference from your personal tutor confirming that you have the ability to successfully complete this course.


Achieve at least 1 National 5 at C or above in Maths, English, ICT or a science. If you are currently working towards these grades you may still apply, subject to you passing the required grades.


Entry may still be possible particularly for mature students, depending on prior knowledge and construction experience, please note this down in your application details and further discussion can take place at interview stage.

Applicants must also:

  • Display a passion for a career in carpentry and joinery during application and interview.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work at SCQF level 5.
  • Be motivated and have a good time keeping and attendance history.
  • Current students at the college will also require a positive progressing learner reference.
  • Attend an information and interview session should you be offered one on the given date and time.

Prior to the information and interview session you will be required to research the answers to the preset question detailed in the ‘Information and Interview Session Requirements’ section

During the information and interview session, applicants will have a short interview with a member of staff to reveal their answers to the preset questions and discuss their suitability for the course prior to a decision being made about their application.

Safety footwear, hi viz vests and head protection is always compulsory within our workshops and the college will provide you with all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for which you will be responsible to look after and wear. 

Learners should be prepared to be actively involved in looking for an employer who may take them on for work experience, whilst this is not a compulsory part of the course it would be beneficial for progressing onto the next stage, guidance will be available from staff.

Information and Interview Session Requirements

Once we have received your application you will be asked to attend an informal information and interview session. This may be virtual either through TEAMS or by phone but remember to tell us all about yourself in your personal statement!

This is a key aspect of the application process. You must confirm your attendance should you be offered an appointment. 

During the information and interview session, we will ensure the entry requirements and your aspirations and career plan are appropriate for the course and the level of course you have applied for. It is therefore important that you prepare well for this.

During your information and interview session, lecturers will be looking at the following criteria:

  • How you present yourself at interview.
  • How committed you are to a future career in construction.
  • Knowledge of progression routes for your chosen course.
  • The level of research and accuracy of responses to the 5 general construction questions below.

You may bring some notes to help you answer your responses.

  • Describe the differences between a terraced, semi-detached and detached house.
  • Describe the difference between a joiner and a carpenter.
  • Describe how you would calculate the area of a rectangular floor that requires new flooring.
  • Describe how you would calculate the perimeter of a room that requires skirting boards installed.
  • What is the height of a standard internal door?

You are required to provide at the mandatory information and interview session, any relevant qualifications you currently possess or one positive reference from a previous colleague or employer who can confirm that you have previously worked in a similar environment and that you have the ability and correct attitude to complete this particular course. 
Don't worry if you are waiting on results for this academic year, we can still complete the interview process and your application will be processed pending achieving the recommended entry criteria qualifications. 

Course Content

Units are delivered with a mix of practical and theoretical elements with at least three hours of practical activities in any given college day:

Practical elements of this course cover

  • Introduction to carpentry and joinery tools and techniques.
  • Marking, setting out and manufacturing a complex timber door.
  • Marking, setting out and manufacturing a scaled version of a staircase.
  • Learning and using wood working machines in a safe manner.

As with all courses at the college this course also aims to develop your abilities to work both independently and as part of a team and also extend your core employability skills of numeracy, IT and communication.

The following elements are also delivered to allow you to work safely and give you an understanding of construction principles.

  • Health, Safety and Welfare in Construction
  • Principles of Building Construction 

Successful completion of this course will gain you a City and Guilds Diploma in Bench Joinery at SCQF level 5.


Practical and theory assessments for this course are ongoing throughout the year. There is no final end of year exam for this course.


It would be hoped that the course would act as a stepping stone into an SVQ 3 Carpentry and Joinery craft apprenticeship, employment within the industry at this stage would be necessary.

Students showing the correct employability skills at the end of the year can also be recommended for apprenticeships to local employers.

Career Prospects

Ultimately this could lead you to an SVQ3 Carpentry and Joinery craft apprenticeship.

Additional funding information

You may be eligible for bursary or EMA funding for this course, please contact a member of the student funding team for details.

Selling Points

46% of all current 1st year Dumfries and Galloway construction apprentices have previously studied a construction related course within the college highlighting both the fantastic opportunity for progression to apprenticeship and the how employers are looking for apprentices who have prior construction knowledge and skills.
This course is currently closed for new learners. Register for our email alerts and we’ll let you know when this or similar courses become available. Register for email alerts Back to search results