Skip to main content

Construction Law and Practice (including Sri Lanka distance learning)


School - School of the Built Environment

Subject area - Built Environment

Start Date(s): September


MSc (two years distance learning)
PgDip (one year and four months distance learning)
PgCert (eight months distance learning)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Distance Learning - £1,332 per 30 credit module

In Brief:

  • 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
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Construction law and practice affects stakeholders working across the international construction sector. This course will provide you with the legal knowledge and commercial awareness required to perform your current role more effectively or to move into a specialist role in construction law.

You will examine the responsibilities of employers, contractors and construction professionals together with the problems raised by the complexities of construction, 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 manage risk. You will also study the complex issues arising from the multiparty nature of the construction process and the particular challenges of international construction, together with the uncertainties that can arise from the passage of time and latent defects.

The full masters award is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing exemption from their academic entry requirements, as well as ensuring that you are educated to the highest industry standards.

There is also an LLM route available for this course.

Jonathan Neill, Consultant, EC Harris,
Construction Law and Practice student

The programme provides an excellent foundation from which a career in construction law can be pursued.  Perfect for graduates looking to specialise in this unique area of law, while also offering established professionals the opportunity to develop a range of legal skills.  The course has elevated my position in the jobs market and opened up a world of new possibilities.

Awards and Accreditation

Course Details

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 supervised by specialist staff from the School of the Built Environment whilst LLM students are ordinarily allocated a supervisor from a more legal background.    

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 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).

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.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Distance Learning£1,332 per 30 credit module
International Distance Learning£1,755 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

For more information please see our funding section


To help you fit your studies around your work, the course is taught via 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, and 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.

Contact Time

Two hours online contact time, plus up to 15 hours self-directed study.


You will be assessed through:

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

Postgraduate Staff Profile

The Course Director, Paul Tracey is a dual qualified Chartered Quantity Surveyor with a degree in law and 30 years of experience of challenging construction projects around the world.

As an experienced Claims Manager and Expert Witness, with extensive international experience on high value international construction projects, Paul has been instructed on complex disputes in the following sectors: building, manufacturing, nuclear, offshore, oil and gas, petrochemical, power, process, rail, renewables, water and wastewater.

Paul’s research interests are in respect of influence of national culture on the outcome of time and money claims around the world.

Anastassios Karakatsianis, Regional Contracts Manager (Africa),
Archirodon Construction (Overseas) Co S.A.

I was a bit sceptical about the web-based nature of the programme, but the delivery, the interactivity and the virtually 24/7 support offered on the programme soon dispelled any scepticisim.  I would wholeheartedly recommend the course to anyone, something I have already done with a member  of  my team here in Cairo.

Richard Parker, Senior QS

Construction Law and Practice student
The Construction Law and Practice distance learning degree enables me to conveniently study alongside full-time employment. There are several advantages  to this but in  particular I find it very useful in applying course content to actual scenarios. The course is very relevant in this way to my field of work.


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

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.

James McManus MRICS

Links with Industry

The full Masters award is 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, enriching your learning experience.

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.

Not the course you're looking for?

If this course isn't for you then please retry our course finder below.


Visit our A-Z list of courses.

A-Z courses