Please note, this course is now full. You can still apply for this course, but your application will be placed on a waiting list.


This course is for those wanting to pursue a career in the building services engineering (BSE) sector or do an apprenticeship in plumbing. The plumbing element covers health and safety, basic tool skills, sanitaryware installation, forming pipework, connecting and testing water supply, and drainage systems.

The BSE element develops skills in installing and maintaining systems as well as drawing skills through sketching and computer-aided draughting to design, install and maintain some of the services within a building or structure. This supports your progress in BSE and future development in acoustics, heating, refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Read about Nathan Millward's West Lothian College experience here

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    What the course includes

    The NPA award is a pre-apprenticeship qualification preparing you for work in plumbing; heating and ventilating; air conditioning and refrigeration; and electro-technical fields. The course covers:

    • Basic electrical installation operations
    • Basic plumbing operations
    • Basic heating and ventilation operations
    • Basic refrigeration and air conditioning operations
    • Energy and the environment
    • System, roles, responsibilities and procedures
    • Building science

    It also teaches skills in safety, communication, information technology, problem solving, team-working and numeracy.

Why choose this course

You will have the chance to develop links within the industry; take part in industrial visits/guest speakers; and do a work placement.

Entry requirements

  • National 4 mathematics, English and science subject
  • National 4/general level in craft and design or a relevant practical subject such as Skills for Work, woodwork or practical craft skills
  • Where it leads

    Education: NC or HNC.

    Employment: apprenticeship as an air conditioning engineer; domestic plumber; ductwork installer; gas fitter; heating installer; industrial and commercial plumber; installation electrician; maintenance electrician; refrigeration engineer; service and maintenance engineer.

Interview arrangements

If we want to interview you, we will email or write to you with the date and time. You should plan to be in college for up to three hours. Bring evidence of any qualifications or employment references.

The interview involves:

  • Arrival, welcome and course overview
  • Individual aptitude test
  • Individual interview and the chance to discuss the course with two members of staff from the department

Fees, Finance & Funding

There may be help available to assist with your study related costs. Impartial, confidential help and advice on financial matters is available from the Student Funding Team - including Bursaries, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Loans Company and student support funds. Click here to find out more

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Take that next step in your career and apply for this course today. If the course is not yet open for applications, register your interest or feel free to ask any questions by clicking make an enquiry.