Masonry (Brick, Stone and Concrete Work)

Understand different types of materials and techniques to create buildings, interior and exterior building features and landscape features. Training for new employees, or professional development for anyone on a building site.

Course CodeBSS101
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn to work with Brick, Stone and Concrete

Masonry commonly refers to construction with brick, stone or concrete units joined together with mortar to create structures. Those structures may be buildings, fences, walls, or perhaps something else.

Definitions of masonry vary though. One definition may be the work undertaken by a “mason”.  Some definitions describe masonry as working with clay or concrete bricks and stone. Other definitions may consider masonry as working with a more diverse range of materials including glass bricks, cobbles and ceramic blocks and tiles.

Develop your skillset

This course is mostly about understanding materials used by bricklayers, stone workers, concreters and masons; and expanding your knowledge of the different ways those materials may be used to both build and repair things. You are encouraged to conduct your own research along the way and to watch videos on the internet to add to your understanding. You will also need a basic set of masonry tools and access to some brick, stone, concrete and cement, as well as basic masonry tools. 



Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Masonry
  2. Cement and Concrete
  3. Construction Method and Structural Considerations
  4. Working with Brick
  5. Working with Stone
  6. Construction for Fire -Fireplaces, bbq’s, kilns, ovens and fire pits
  7. Landscape Applications & Hybrid construction
  8. Repair and Miscellaneous Work
  9. Building Applications -houses, garden, farm or commercial buildings

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the materials, tools and equipment used for masonry construction, and the nature and scope of work that might be undertaken by those skilled in the use of those tools and materials.
  • Explain how to use cement as a mortar or in concrete appropriate to the circumstances of construction
  • Explain how to construct with brick stone or concrete in a way which is structurally sound and appropriate to the circumstances.
  • Explain how to work with different types of bricks for different construction purposes
  • Explain how to build different things with different types of stone.
  • Explain how to build fireplaces and other structures that will be exposed to fire.
  • Explain the use of masonry in the landscape
  • Explain how stone, brick or concrete should be maintained and repaired when damaged
  • Explain the construction of a house and other type of building with brick, stone and concrete.

What Do You Need To Know?

Masonry work involves joining individual pieces of brick or stone together to create walls or other structures.
The strength and durability of any construction will depend upon the way the different components are joined.
Typically, they are stuck together with cement; but not always.  
Cement may be applied in different ways to the gaps between bricks or stones.


  • The quantity of cement used can vary
  • Reinforcing materials (usually metal), may be embedded in the concrete to strengthen the wall by tying the bricks or stones together.
  • Utilities (eg. water or gas pipe, electric wiring) may be embedded in a wall during construction
  • A waterproof barrier may be embedded in a wall
  • Joins (joints) between two bricks or stones may be treated various ways to create different affects; eg. cement can be raked to create a recessed surface, may be scraped so it is flush with the surface (or bricks) or may be allowed to spill out beyond the surface of stones or bricks. There are many different ways to rake cement in a wall

Learning More About Cement is Fundamental

Cement is a powder made by heating up raw materials containing calcium in a kiln to create dark pellets called clinkers; which are then mixed with gypsum to create a fine grey coloured powder.

The raw materials may be various combinations of limestone, sea shells, chalk, clay and other materials including and, shale and iron. These are ground into small pieces up to 2cm diameter; before heating to temperatures as high as 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The final product commonly contains a mix of calcium, silicon, aluminum, and iron and is called Portland cement or type 1 cement.

Cement can become useless if it gets wet before use, do bags should be stored as follows:

  • in dry water proof areas
  • where humidity is low
  • where there is a dry floor
  • stack in a header footer fashion
  • stack on raised boards
  • use oldest bags first

Different types of cement can have different characteristics. Physical requirements that may be variable between different cements include strength, heat of hydration, setting time, air content, expansion and fineness.

To undertake any new masonry work; or repair anything old, it is fundamental that you learn about the materials you are working with. That starts with cement, but there is so much more to learn in the course, both about cement, and everything else.

Benefits of Studying This Course

This course is designed to be of benefit to people who are interested in learning about how to build foundations, walls, driveways, buildings or other solid constructions, for self-interest, business or work purposes. It will also be of value to those who are operating an existing businesses which involve masonry work.

Take this course if you would like to:

Find ways to improve an existing construction business.
Enhance your employability in construction and maintenance positions.
Improve your knowledge of building techniques.
Develop your skillset for freelance work in construction-related fields.

This course may be studied by itself or along with other modules as part of a learning package.

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