Construction Law and Practice

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Distance Learning
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Construction Law and Practice at Salford


The full Masters degree is RICS accredited


Combine study and your career with our innovative distance learning option from anywhere in the world


Operate effectively and accurately in areas of construction law

Course Summary

This programme of study will equip you to operate effectively in all areas of construction practice that involve construction law. What you learn will equip you to conduct legal analysis into any aspect of mainstream construction practice, and to communicate your findings to your colleagues and clients.

There is also an LLM route available for this course.

Course Details

In this course you will examine the responsibilities of construction professionals and the problems raised by design liability and insurance.  Construction contracts and the law underpinning them, together with a wide range of standard form contracts are studied to assess and comment on risk allocations.  

You will also study the complex issues derived from multiparty nature of the construction process, in conjunction with the uncertainties that can arise from latent defects.  The elective modules allow you to focus on dispute resolution, the environment or procurement strategies.  

Learn how to:

  • Conduct and communicate legal analysis with confidence and accuracy in relation to any aspect of mainstream professional construction practice
  • Examine construction practice from a legal perspective, to include detailed consideration of construction contracts, tortious and multi-party liability, insurance, dispute resolution, procurement, and the environment
  • Assist individuals in taking effective roles in specialist construction law departments or firms
  • Promote high quality research in areas of law relating to construction, including a high level of legal analysis.

Course Structure

This course is studied part-time by distance learning.  Admission onto the course is in September.

The Masters award consists of four core modules.  The PgDip requires the completion of all four core modules.  The PgCert requires completion of two core taught modules.  All modules are delivered over a 15 week period and are assessed entirely through coursework.

Distance learning study:

A 30 credit taught module is studied in each semester for the first sixteen months.  Assessment of these modules is driven by real-world problems aligned to your workplace and job role.  Teaching is based around a virtual learning environment supported by interactive online sessions.  In the final two semesters you undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits which is also delivered online and incorporates extensive tutor engagement and support.

Core Modules

  • Common law underpinning construction contracts
  • Source, rationale and nature of key terms (Scope, cost, quality, time, variation)
  • Contract formation
  • Implication of terms
  • Mistake, frustration, breach, causation and loss
  • Operation and administration of Standard Form Contracts (SFCs)
  • Comparison between SFCs
  • Consideration of key terms in SFCs
  • Role of the Contract Administrator
  • Impact of the industry specific legislation on construction contracts
  • Legal complexities and commercial risks
  • Design liability
  • Limitation
  • Sub-contracting
  • Contribution and contributory negligence
  • Insurance
  • Insolvency 
  • Dispute resolution procedures
  • Management of dispute resolution procedures
  • Statutory adjudication in the UK
  • Arbitration
  • Decision drafting

You will then need to complete your Dissertation. MSc students complete the MSc module managed by the School of the Built Environment.  LLM students complete the LLM dissertation module managed by Salford Business School.

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 to the MSc must have a minimum of:

  • A second class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant discipline, or
  • A second class undergraduate honours degree in an unrelated discipline and significant relevant work experience within the built environment, or
  • A recognised appropriate professional qualification such as RICS or CIOB

Applicants to the LLM must have a minimum of:

  • A second class undergraduate honours qualifying law degree, or
  • A recognised appropriate professional legal qualification

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

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).

We do not require references provided that you have the standard academic entry requirements.  If you do not, then we will ask you to complete the Accreditation of Prior Learning process referred to above.

English Language Requirements

International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 with no band below 5.5 is proof of this.

Suitable For

This course will enable lawyers and built environment professionals including surveyors, engineers and architects, to operate more effectively in areas of construction practice which involve construction law.  The course is ideally suited to practising professionals.

Applicant profile

The course allows you to build on current knowledge and experience by aligning learning to real-world problems you may face in your workplace or job role, therefore the course is ideally suited to practising professionals.  Built Environment professionals including surveyors, managers, engineers and architects will be eligible to undertake the MSc route, while the LLM route requires a qualifying law degree or professional legal qualification.


To help you fit your studies around your work, the course is taught by distance learning. This takes the form of an online learning environment supplemented by constant support from experienced tutors.

During your studies, you’ll log on for weekly online tutorials, which will be led by tutors and provide the opportunity for interaction with your fellow students. Sessions are usually delivered at UK evening times.  These tutorials are archived in case you miss one.

Learning is designed to equip you for the real-world problems that you are likely to meet in your job.


You will be assessed through:

  • Written coursework (100%)
  • Continuous informal assessment by your tutors

90% of students thought that subjects were enthusiastically taught by staffPGSES 2010

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Brodie McAdam

Programme Director: MSc/LLM Construction Law and Practice

Brodie is the Programme Director for MSc/LLM Construction Law and Practice.  Before joining the university in 2006, Brodie was a solicitor in a large commercial private law practice, specialising in the construction field.  Brodie’s main areas of expertise are in dispute resolution and contractual law, he is also a leading proponent of online learning.  He recently published a paper looking at legal issues surrounding the adoption of BIM, and potential solutions for its implementation in the UK.   For more information visit:


Career Prospects

On this course, you’ll gain the legal knowledge you’ll need to perform your current role more effectively or to move into a new role relating to construction law. Construction law and practice affects professionals throughout the construction industry. Graduates of this course have included surveyors, architects, engineers, planners, construction managers, financial managers, solicitors and lawyers.

Alumni Profile

James McManus MRICS

I’m a chartered quantity surveyor with over 30 years experience and obtained my MSc in Construction Law and Practice from Salford University in 2012.

I completed the course whilst working full-time in the Middle East. The lecturers are construction lawyers who have significant practical experience in the industry. They assisted me to quickly develop the legal reasoning I required to add to my construction experience. The weekly on-line lectures, group work and constant contact with the university resulted in me feeling constantly supported throughout the course. The sense of satisfaction and achievement felt in successfully completing my final dissertation was personally very rewarding, thanks to the team at Salford.

Further study

The School of the Built Environment has an exciting and vibrant research community engaged in advanced research in the built environment. We enjoy a top position in the UK government national research assessment which recognises the outstanding national and international profile of our academic staff. We are also number one for research power, a position held since 1992.

Our research is conducted through our 10 research centres. For those interested in pursuing a research qualification after completion of the Masters, each centre has identified topics where they particularly welcome research proposals. Of particular interest to Construction Law and Practice graduates will be the Management in Construction centre (MIC), the Salford Centre for Research and Innovation (SCRI) and the Centre for Information Technology in Construction (CITC).

In Salford Law School, the Salford Centre of Legal Research (SCoLR) was formed in 2007 and immediately made its mark on the research world, having half of its output deemed as of international significance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

In the years that have followed, SCoLR has continued to develop its academic prowess and is now home to a growing number of experts from across the legal world. Our members are nationally and internationally acknowledged leaders in their specialisms and are regularly invited to speak at events throughout the UK and abroad.

PhD research plays a big part in the School’s activities and we have a diverse range of experts on hand to support students wanting to study a higher degree in law. Experienced members of SCoLR act as mentors to staff new to research and to the growing number of postgraduate research students reading for higher degrees in law. This collegiate approach to research helps to develop mutual research interests amongst members of SCoLR and an environment in which research can flourish.

If you are interested in joining Salford Law School as a PhD research student, find out how to apply.

Links with Industry

The full Masters award is fully accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing exemption from their academic entry requirements.

The School of the Built Environment enjoys excellent links with the local, national and international construction industry.  This course meets the needs of the industry by providing formal postgraduate level education for built environment professionals in the vital and complex area of construction law.

Guest lecturers from industry with expertise in relevant areas are invited to give lectures throughout the duration of the course.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Distance Learning£1,275 per 30 credits
International Distance Learning£1,667 per 30 credits

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Distance Learning£1,300 per 30 credit module
International Distance Learning£1,717 per 30 credit module

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

We offer awards to help you study through our:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • University of Salford student loyalty discount
  • Country bursary scheme for International students only

There are also other sources of funding available to you.

For more information please see our funding section

The Postgraduate Bursaries and Scholarships for 2017-18 entry are currently under review and subject to change. A revised schedule of scholarships and bursaries will be published in February 2017.