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MSc Building Surveying

Course Description

Key Facts

The programme is delivered by building surveying professionals with practical experience in the field.

The course addresses student awareness and appreciation of the conflicting interests within the built environment and the political, social, cultural, economic, technological, environmental, legal and organisational factors involved.

Our staff use a practical approach to assessment which will not only address student knowledge, but also develop students' problem-solving skills, inter-personal and communication skills and other competences giving them a positive advantage in the job market.

The course has a strong focus on enabling students to become more capable, creative, reflective and critical built environment professionals.

Course Overview

The global built environment is a dynamic marketplace offering challenging opportunities in both existing and developing economies. The increasing complexity of buildings coming under the remit of the building surveyor means that they must become a more reflective and proactive practitioner if they are to manage, maintain and develop these buildings and ensure they continue as successful buildings into the future.

This programme responds to this changing employment market. Its aim is to give you a broad yet rigorous grounding in the fundamentals of organising and managing existing buildings. It seeks to provide you with the knowledge and skills that will meet the challenges in the globally evolving marketplace.

The course focuses on furthering the knowledge and understanding of existing practitioners and will require you to challenge your existing ideas and experiences. You will also be able to add value to your decisions through a thorough analytical approach and be able to better implement them as a competent project manager. The programme will develop your abilities to be innovative and creative in solving unique problems; and is designed to promote critical thinking; encouraging you to engage in life-long learning and become an independent, professional learner.

Course Structure

Throughout all the modules the course tutors make good use of live case studies and projects to allow you to apply skills to real life situations. The course structure enables you to develop subject knowledge and transferable skills in building surveying at the local level, and to link theory with practice through critical reflection in particular for building surveying and practical studies and facilities management.

All teaching is delivered using a mixture of learning and teaching styles that include lectures and small group seminars; workshops based on case studies; action learning sets based on student-centred research; and directed learning using internet based forums. Much emphasis is placed on current developments and is supported by guest lecturers and seminars as appropriate.

Examples of module content

Construction Law and Contract
The module considers the legal and contractual aspect which influence the way that construction projects are managed:
The English Legal System, including the courts, other tribunals, and Alternative Dispute Resolution;
Contract Law - including the formation of contracts, terms and vitiating factors, discharge of contracts and remedies, warranties and novation agreements, the Bribery and Corruption Act;
Tort law, including negligence, vicarious liability, defences and remedies, nuisance, trespass and occupiers liability; Selection of a construction contract; The administration of construction contracts;
Supply chain management - Contractual requirements and responsibilities will be examined throughout the supply chain;
The legal role in establishing collaboration and the resolution of different interests;
Alternative Dispute Resolution and mediation practices.

Business Management
This module seeks to provide students the opportunity to examine and critically analyse topical business issues in construction organisational context. Through business management techniques and contemporary case studies, students will explore strategic and operational business issues in the construction environment such as economics, accounting and finance, market development, corporate social responsibility, resource and knowledge management etc.

Further Study

The University has a range of research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate programmes.


This course will allow the qualified building surveyor access to a wide range of opportunities in senior positions in organisations, or facilitate independent and smaller specialist practice opportunities within the broader building surveying field.

Visit the MSc Building Surveying page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We would normally expect you to hold at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline.

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Recipient: Birmingham City University

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