UK’s first demolition degree gets off the ground

Dr Paul Hampton (University of Wolverhampton), Patricia Słoneczny, Richard Dolman (both AR Demolition)

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.

Richard Dolman, director at Nuneaton based AR Demolition, is one of the first to enrol on the course which starts in September at the University’s School of Architecture and Built environment.  

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

This follows the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University of Wolverhampton and IDE last September, providing significant opportunities for students and existing practitioners.

The sector, which works on more than £8 billion of projects every year, will 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 have attended a series of planning meetings over the last two years to design the new Master’s degree course.

Richard said: “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, said: “The formal accreditation of this degree is a historic landmark for the development of demolition engineering and is an important milestone in trying to get more young people interested in pursuing a career in this field.

“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.”

So far, ten people have signed up for the Master’s course which will be delivered at City Campus in Wolverhampton, eventually transferring to the new Springfield Campus.

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.