Pre-Apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery (NQ) @ SCQF Level 5

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
Pre Apprenticeship carpentry joinery - construction


This course will provide you with the skills and attitudes that will help you in achieving progression to becoming an apprentice in carpentry and joinery. As well as learning mainly practical skills and a small amount of theory in carpentry and joinery. You will also learn other necessary transferable essential skills that employers value such as health and safety, working with others, problem-solving, basic numeracy, communications, and Information Communications Technology (ICT).  

You will gain skills, knowledge and understanding of basic carpentry and joinery techniques required in the construction industry and get an insight into the working environment in which a carpentry and joinery employee might be expected to operate.  
Through employer engagement at the college, it is hoped that the course will enhance your chance of getting an employer to sponsor you for progression to Carpentry and Joinery at SCQF level 6, which is the first year of the apprenticeship. 
Time is also spent learning about the wider role of the carpentry and joinery trade and how you would interact with clients, other trades, and professionals from the construction industry.

Course code





Full Time - Predominantly face-to-face on-campus practical delivery approach although there will be some theory classes that can be completed from home. 
Attendance is on-campus 2 days per week plus an additional half day working from home with online support.  
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

If you are currently a college academy or full-time student at Dumfries and Galloway College studying construction, achieve a positive progressing learner reference highlighting your tutor’s confirmation that you have the skills and aptitude from your current course to be able to progress on to this one.  


Achieve at least 5 National 4 awards (or 1 National 5 and 3 National 4s) with at least one being Maths, English, or 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 who have life experiences that would suit this course, depending on prior knowledge and construction experience, please note this in your application details and further discussion can take place at the 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, with good timekeeping 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 pre-set 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 discuss your answers to the pre-set questions and discuss your suitability for the course prior to a decision being made about their application. 
Safety footwear, Hi-Viz vests, and head protection are 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.  


You should be prepared to be actively involved in looking for an employer who may take you 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 may be asked to attend an informal information and interview session. This may be on-campus, or either through TEAMS or by phone. 
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 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 the 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.

Do not 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 predominantly in practical sessions with a small amount of theory to underpin the knowledge and understanding you learn from practical sessions.  
Examples of practical elements of this course that you will cover are:
  • Introduction to carpentry and joinery tools and techniques. 
  • Marking, setting out, and manufacturing a timber door. 
  • Hanging your door in a opening and furnishing with handles and facing etc.  
  • Marking, setting out, and manufacturing a scaled version of a staircase. 
  • Learning and using woodworking 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, Information Technology, 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. 


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 Carpentry and Joinery at SCQF level 6 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 the many local employers who look to the college for recruiting apprentices for the following academic year.

Career Prospects

Ultimately this could lead you to a Carpentry and Joinery at SCQF level 6 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 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