UK’s first demolition degree gets off the ground

The University of Wolverhampton has officially launched the first Demolition Management Master’s degree in the UK – and a local businessman is one of the first to sign up for the course.

Demolition Degree Heavy Machinery Construction - Image Courtesy of Pixabay.
The course will comprise of up to 15 different modules, ranging from asbestos removal and façade retention to working with explosives and health and safety – image Courtesy of Pixabay.

Accredited by the Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE), the demolition degree course has reportedly been designed in conjunction with industry specialists and is due to be delivered by both academics and demolition sector experts.

This follows the signing of an agreement between the University of Wolverhampton and IDE last September, providing significant opportunities for students and existing practitioners.

The course will comprise of up to 15 different modules, ranging from asbestos removal and façade retention to working with explosives and health and safety.

The sector, which works on projects worth more than £8bn every year, is expected use the qualifications to attract more young people into the industry, as well as ensuring current demolition engineers have access to the best possible professional development opportunities.

Key representatives from industry and academics from the curriculum delivery team have attended a series of planning meetings over the past two years to design the new Master’s degree course.

Richard Dolman, director of Nuneaton-based AR Demolition, is enrolling on the course which starts in September at the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Dolman explained: “This new degree is a great step forward for learning and will be brilliant for our industry, moving forward in its quest to be ever more professional. I thought I’d like to get a degree in what I do, especially as I was never interested academically when I was younger. There’s a huge skills gap in demolition on all levels and it’s a personal challenge of mine to start to plug that gap.”

Mick Ulyatt, Chair of the IDE Education Committee, commented: “We have no problem attracting labourers and operatives, which is great. However, we want youngsters looking to become chartered demolition engineers, senior managers and the leaders of the future.

“There isn’t anything like this currently in the UK and the University of Wolverhampton has shown its passion and understanding of our sector by working with us to shape the content and delivery of the courses.”

The University’s ambitious plans for a new School of Architecture and the Built Environment forms the largest phase of its £100m redevelopment of the former brownfield Springfield Brewery site, part of its £250m ‘Our Vision, Your Opportunity’ investment to drive economic growth in the Black Country.

The new campus will be a centre of excellence for the built environment, construction and high value manufacturing to be delivered by the University and it’s partners.