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Building Surveying

MSci (Hons)

School - School of the Built Environment

Subject area - Built Environment

UCAS Code: K210 (no placement); K211 (with placement)

Start Date(s): January; September


A variety of study modes exist to suit your individual circumstances. These range from a minimum of 3 years (accelerated full-time) to a maximum of 6 years and 8 months on certain part-time modes.


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £12,960 per year

In Brief:

  • Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (subject to validation)
  • Course can be studied as an Accelerated Degree
  • Graduate with a masters degree
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity

Course Summary

Studying on the MSci pathway of this programme means that you will complete both an undergraduate degree and a postgraduate degree and you will graduate with a masters degree on completion of the course. The full-time option takes 4 years to complete however it is also possible to complete an accelerated degree (in 3 years) or study part-time.  

Building surveyors are sought after professionals, and the work of a chartered building surveyor can be varied or involve high levels of specialism. A chartered building surveyor can be involved in a construction project from its inception, through design and procurement, to managing its fulfilment,  and eventually overseeing the building in use.

This course will develop your professional and technical skills specific to building surveying, as well as your presentation, communication and collaboration skills vital in everyday business. It combines academic study with the application of professional skills and competencies and is taught through  a combination of academic study and project work. Furthermore, you will work with students from other related courses, mirroring the multidisciplinary, team-based approach of the modern construction and property industry.

This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) [subject to validation], meaning that you will be educated to the highest industry standards.

Find out more about the School of the Built Environment

Year 1    

You will be introduced to English Law and relevant statutory requirements for studying for vocational qualifications in the construction and property professions. The module also introduces you to the workings of the English legal system, to the law relating to contracts and to the regulatory framework;affecting the use, management and development of land, in particular, planning, building control and the CDM regulations.      
You will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to describe, explain, evaluate, compare and apply building construction techniques and materials used in typical low-rise, domestic type buildings, with a focus on contemporary construction techniques. You will develop a systematic understanding of the sustainable practices involved in building construction.      
You will learn to identify and use appropriate strategies that are applicable to building surveying practice. You will be able to recognise and apply discipline specific knowledge and practice to solve discipline related tasks as well as ethical codes of behaviour appropriate to built environment professional practice.As part of this module you will experience applicable ICT technologies relevant to building surveying.      
You will develop an understanding of basic economic concepts and principles and of the economic environment, in which the construction and property sectors operate. The module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of the construction environment within which you will operate as well as management and organisational theories in the construction and property context.      
You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the interactions between a building and its internal and external environments. You will gain a fundamental understanding of the principles involved in building heat transfer, occupant thermal comfort, illumination and acoustics. You will also develop the ability to appraise and critically analyse the choices available to engineers when selecting systems to meet specifications.      
You will gain the competence to identify and use appropriate ICT tools that are applicable for building surveying.      

Year 2  

You will enhance your knowledge and skills to describe, explain, evaluate, compare and apply building construction techniques and materials used in typical medium to large span single storey buildings and multi-storey industrial/commercial buildings. You will develop an understanding of both historic and contemporary construction techniques for medium to large buildings. You will learn to identify and critically review alternative construction technologies, and make informed decisions and recommendations.      
Gain awareness and build knowledge about a range of building and structural designs.      
You will explore and differentiate the principal types of procurement systems and associated contracts used in the UK. You will also gain an understanding of the fundamental procedures related to contract administration.      
You will further develop legal skills and knowledge relevant to the construction and property professions. The module will introduce you to aspects of the Law of Tort, Land Law and the Law of Landlord Tenant which are directly relevant to the use, management and development of land, and to your future professional        roles.      
You will gain the ability to demonstrate a working knowledge to identify symptoms and diagnose defects found in a diverse range of building types and advise appropriate repair/remedial measures. You will learn to critically evaluate the implications of building condition and level of repair on functional use value,        aesthetic standards, and maintenance obligations.      
This project is an opportunity to experience collaborative working in multi-disciplinary team. It will promote reflection on individual and team working and the nature of built environment projects. You will practice and further develop key skills required by a built environment professional. You will also develop written/oral communication, team working and inter-personal skills.      

Year 3  

You will further develop a working knowledge of Identifying symptoms and diagnosing defects in existing buildings. You will learn to understand and appraise different types of survey, their applicability to different situations and the problems of accuracy and consistency. You will become conversant with ;issues that will become important to the early practice life of a building surveyor.      
You will work in a disciplinary team in the context of a complex refurbishment, design and construction project based environment. The project will highlight the working skills required by building surveyors and the real world/problem based scenario they face. The experience will help you to develop a personal development plan based on your learning needs, career aspirations or professional requirements e.g. RICS.      
You will acquire an appreciation, understanding and working knowledge of the principles of professional practice activities in relation to a range of surveys used in the commercial market. You will develop advanced knowledge of the legal framework covering Dilapidations, Party Walls and Commercial Surveys with particular reference to professional liability when acting on behalf of the client and discharging obligations.      
You will develop a recognition and critical evaluation of the principles and practices associated with the conservation of the historic environment in the UK. The knowledge you will develop will enable you to prepare for when dealing with listed buildings in future practice and you will become conversant with common documentation used within building surveying practice.      
You will gain a holistic view of urban regeneration process so you are able to understand and participate in sustainable regeneration initiatives in the future. You will examine a wide range of interconnected physical, economic, social and environmental issues, with a strong emphasis on forming integrated regeneration strategies for better implementation of community based regeneration for long term sustainability. On completion of the module, you will recognise and apply building surveying related skills and knowledge in the context of complex urban regeneration projects.      
You will develop your knowledge of good research practice through the completion of a written research proposal and a research document. You will also develop data analysis skills through the collection and critical appraisal of different sources of data.      

Year 4 - Masters Level  

Trimester One    

Develop insight of BIM concepts and principles, and learn how it is transforming the traditional construction industry. You will explore data structures and standards, data exchange and interoperability needs in different uses, including the requirements for Level 2 BIM. You will discover how BIM facilitates        the collaborative design, construction and operation of the digital built environment.            
Critically examine the economic principles and analysis applied to the property market. You will learn to evaluate the techniques applied to conventional and contemporary domestic and international property valuation. You will grasp the principles of property investment, the measurement and management        of risk, and the application of portfolio theory in investment property management.            
Gain a solid understanding of procurement in property and construction sector. On this module, you will cover a range of topics, including contractual frameworks, procuring design and construction services.  You will develop your knowledge of partnering strategies, learn about supply chain        management and supplier appraisal, and be familiar with the adoption of e-procurement processes.            
Explore the role of histories and theories in generating cultural values for making places and material artefacts. You will develop a comprehensive and systematic understanding of how theories of architecture contribute to framing practice, and how built places and material artefacts participate in        forming theories.            
Awaiting content            

Trimester Two    

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of integrated design and production and the increasing adoption of lean construction methods. You will recognise its importance to successful management of projects.            
You will develop a solid understanding of the functions of property management and development. You will recognise the application and operation of leases, and develop an understanding of the property development process.            
You will expand your knowledge of construction law, raise your commercial awareness and learn to consider risk management from a commercial perspective. You will explore the nature and causes of disputes between contracting parties and stakeholders in the construction industry, and the mechanisms for        dispute avoidance and resolution.            
You will apply the processes of financial, risk and value management to construction and property activity. You will also explore the new and emerging processes and practices, and relate them to the contemporary construction and property sector.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Grade C or above in Maths and English Language
UCAS tariff points 104 points
GCE A level 104 points
BTEC National Diploma National Diploma MMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Higher National Diploma Pass in cognate subject for entry to level 5
Foundation Degree Pass in cognate subject for entry to level 5
Other Qualification Degree in cognate subject for level 5 entry

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

This course is not suitable for international applicants.

Applicant profile

Applicants will also need to have a minimum grade C pass in English and Mathematics at GCSE, O level (or equivalent). There are no specific A level topics required.

In addition to our academic entry requirements, we also look for certain characteristics in each student. Possessing these characteristics will not only help you to fulfil your potential at university, but is also an essential requirement for a successful career in the built environment.

All our courses are management focused; therefore leadership skills and a hard-working approach are important. The built environment caters for many different skills from creativity and original thinking to efficiency and technical ability, so you should be willing to develop in new areas.

The modern built environment industry relies on a multidisciplinary team-based approach to work. Therefore all our courses combine academic study with group project work, so it is essential that you are a good team player.

Most importantly we want you to have a real passion for developing, advancing and shaping the future of the built environment

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. Please contact Andy Fleming the Director of Admissions for further information.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,960 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £12,600 per year

Additional costs

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


  • Coursework
  • Projects
  • Work with other students from Architectural Design and Technology, Construction Project Management, Quantity Surveying, and Property Management programmes
  • Exams at the end of each trimester
  • Guest lecturers and visits to construction sites, completed buildings, historic structures etc.


You will be assessed through coursework, projects and exams.


The annual Built Environment Recruitment Fair that takes place on campus is an excellent way for  students to meet employers from industry and find out about jobs within the sector. Employers who attend the event promote  a variety of opportunities  that range from part-time, placement and graduate roles. This event is exclusive to students studying at the University of Salford.

Career Prospects

With an extensive understanding of the industry, you will be well equipped to pursue roles in a variety of areas including: the design of new buildings, the specification and supervision of construction work, refurbishments alterations and extensions, acquisition and condition surveying and building defect diagnostics.

Graduates of this course 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

Working with ex-practitioner tutors, Building Surveying students hone their surveying skills by working upon live local projects with real clients and local surveying practices. In 2016 our building surveying students undertook project and survey work at the Edgar Woods Centre in Middleton, Manchester; Port Sunlight Village on the Wirral; Dunham Massey (National Trust) in Cheshire; the Inland Waterways Centre at Elsmere Port and Ordsall Hall in Salford.  Our current final year students will embark upon a project to try to establish a future for the at risk grade 2* Brookfield Unitarian Church in Gorton, Manchester.

During the Multidisciplinary Projects module students get to work on some ‘live’ development projects. Previous students have helped to design a new club-house for Salford City FC and worked on the designs for Macclesfield Cricket Club and the Salford Woolpack community pub.

Further Study

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