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Building Surveying


School - School of the Built Environment

Subject area - Built Environment

Start Date(s): January


Please note the first intake for this course is January 2018, with a second intake available in September 2018.

January intake
One year and four months full-time or two years and eight months distance learning/part-time

September intake
One year full-time or two years and four months distance learning / part-time

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,332 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,992

International - £12,600

In Brief:

  • A fast-track route for those seeking a career as a chartered building surveyor
  • Subject to validation, graduates from the programme will be eligible for professional membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • The programme is suitable for existing graduates in any discipline, or for those who already have experience in the property and construction fields
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Building surveyors are specialists in all aspects of existing buildings. Working either in professional practices or for a range of property owning organisations they advise on a vast range of professional, technical, legal, and managerial aspects of the nation’s building stock. This includes  condition  surveys, building refurbishment projects, energy performance issues, landlord and tenant negotiations, as well as the conservation of historic buildings.

Throughout your time with us you will study the core technological skills that underpin the building surveyor’s particular expertise in the fabric of existing buildings, including how buildings are constructed, and how they can deteriorate and fail. You will also learn how buildings can be brought  back  into use at the end of their lives through refurbishment, conservation, and adaptation. As a student on a professional course you will also learn about the legal, professional and statutory context of the building surveyor’s role, including requirements relating to planning permission, construction  contracts,  and professional conduct.

You will be studying in one of the world’s top 50 ranked built environment schools with an enviable reputation in some of the most cutting edge research in the field. You will, for example be exposed to the latest developments in building information modelling (BIM) and energy performance, as  well  as having the opportunity to undertake your own research into an area of building surveying of your choosing. All your studies with us will prepare you for work as a graduate building surveyor and, from there, via the two-year assessment of professional competence, for a career as a chartered building  surveyor.

Find out more about the School of the Built Environment

Course Details

Trimester 1                        

  • Principles of contract law                                                                
  • Introduction to building contracts                                                                
  • Negligence & the duty of care                                                                
  • Occupiers’ liability & building defects                                                                
  • The land-related torts                                                                
  • Introduction to commercial leases                                                                
  • Parties & professionals in the construction process                                                                  
  • Types of contractual arrangement                                                                  
  • Typical contract documents                                                                  
  • Pre-contract practice & the tender process                                                                  
  • Commencement & progression of the works                                                                  
  • Variations & contractual claims                                                                  
  • Valuations & certificates                                                                  
  • Completion & defect liability                                                                  
  • Introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM)                                                                                
  • BIM concepts, principles, barriers & challenges                                                                                
  • BIM level 2                                                                                
  • BIM in the design process                                                                                
  • BIM in construction and facilities management                                                                                
  • Interoperability & Standard                                                                                
  • Professional conduct, ethics & client relations                                                                                
  • Practice of building surveys & reports                                                                                
  • Dilapidations surveys, negotiations & expert witness role                                                                                
  • Party wall practice & procedures                                                                                
  • Health & safety responsibilities & processes                                                                                
  • Maintenance & conservation management                                                                                
  • Regulatory issues                                                                                

Trimester 2                          

  • Sites and foundations                                                                    
  • Domestic scale construction                                                                    
  • Environment and services                                                                    
  • Large buildings                                                                    
  • Building high and wide                                                                    
  • Cracking in buildings                                                                    
  • Dampness in buildings                                                                    
  • Deleterious materials                                                                    
  • Masonry decay                                                                    
  • Cladding failures                                                                    
  • Central & local planning policy                                                                                            
  • Development plans                                                                                            
  • Operations and development control                                                                                            
  • Applications for planning permission                                                                                            
  • Permitted development & material considerations                                                                                            
  • Role of building control                                                                                            
  • Appeals & enforcement                                                                                            
  • Feasibility (design process)                                                                                        
  • Adaptive reuses                                                                                        
  • Lateral and vertical extensions                                                                                        
  • Principles and aspects of refurbishment                                                                                        
  • Sustainable adaptation                                                                                        

Trimester 3                                

This module allows you to develop a research proposal with clear aims and objectives related to your study. You will undertake critical analysis of existing research and engage in various forms of recognised research in order to produce a sustained, sophisticated, and logical argument in the form of        a written dissertation.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for of this course must have a minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2).

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Suitable For

Graduates of a wide range of subject areas from the arts, sciences, law or business, seeking a career as a chartered building surveyor. This course is also suitable for established professionals who want to formalise their existing building surveying related skills with an accredited qualification.

Applicant profile

No prior knowledge of building surveying, property or construction is required, however, building surveying is an extremely broad and interesting field and it is important that you are prepared for the range and diversity of the material that you will study. As aspects of course content will inevitably be unfamiliar to you it is important to be prepared to take a proactive approach to your learning, once guidance has been provided through the course.

Building surveyors have a passion for buildings, both historic and modern. They are practical, creative, business focused and capable of operating in a professional environment.  You will need to possess these qualities, and relish the prospect of a career that is simultaneously practical and intellectually demanding, and which involves time spent in and out of the office.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,332 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£1,755 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£12,600

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section


On-campus study comprises lectures, tutorials and project work.

Lectures introduce the core knowledge for each module and tutorials provide a forum for discussion and debate with personalised instruction from tutors. Project work is your chance to use research and other techniques to develop solutions to prescribed tasks. Throughout the course, experts from relevant fields are invited to deliver guest lectures and you will have the opportunity to take part in field trips, that will provide you with an insight into the workings of the industry.

If you’re studying via distance learning, you’ll enjoy access to an internet-based learning environment backed up by intensive tutor support. Weekly online tutorials are led by tutors and encourage student interaction. Our online repository of learning material enables you to undertake self-directed study at your own convenience. Learning is driven by real-world problems with application to your workplace and job role.


You will be assessed through written coursework (100%) and continuous informal assessment by your tutors.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Nova Turner 

Nova is the Programme Leader for this course and a chartered Building Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience in the Built Environment, ranging from practical trade skills to building control, project management, commercial surveying, Energy and BREEAM.

Nova is currently undertaking a PhD in BREEAM and occupant behaviour and has published in this area. She currently teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including property studies and buildings in use. Nova supervisors undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and she also provides a personal tutor role and is the degree apprenticeship link tutor for building surveying undergraduate students.


This course will equip you for a rewarding career as a building surveyor in the construction industry. The life of a building surveyor is varied and challenging and it is highly likely that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel, and that you’ll play a key role in shaping the built environment.

Career Prospects

With an extensive understanding of buildings, the law, property and construction, you will be well equipped to pursue roles in a variety of areas including: building defect diagnostics, the conservation of historic buildings, acquisition and condition surveying, refurbishments alterations and extensions, the specification and supervision of construction work, dilapidations, party walls and rights to light work, and the design of new buildings.

Opportunities exist for building surveying graduates in a range of private and public sector environments. These include surveying and architectural professional practices, property and construction companies, and the estates departments of major organisations with substantial property holdings.

Our building surveying graduates have found employment with a number of organisations including: B&Q, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gleeds Construction Consultants, Manchester City Council, Mansell Construction Services, National Grid, Network Rail, Property Tectonics Ltd, STMC Building Control Ltd.

Links with Industry

Guest lecturers from the building surveying profession with expertise in relevant areas are invited to give lectures throughout the duration of the course. Field trips are organised in co-operation with local surveying practices, giving full-time students the opportunity to visualise what is taught and apply it to a real-world context.

The School of the Built Environment enjoys excellent links with the local, national and international property and construction industries. This programme meets the needs of the industry by providing formal postgraduate level education for new entrants to the chartered building surveying profession.

Further Study

The School of the Built Environment has an exciting and vibrant research community engaged in advanced research in the built environment, please see and for more information.


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