Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Building Surveying with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment



With placement


Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Building Surveyors look at the pathology of buildings, focusing on opportunities for refurbishment, reuse, development, restoration, repair, or conservation. This foundation year pathway is designed to help you build a strong foundation in construction, surveying and design techniques, and the essential study skills you'll need to progress and succeed on the full BSc (Hons) Building Surveying degree.

On successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress on to the full honours degree which will provide a route towards professional status. Our Building Surveying degree course is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Association of Building engineers (CABE) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

As our growing cities adapt to the changing needs of the 21st century, studying building surveying at Salford can unlock some rewarding career roles that help to revitalise old properties for exciting new purposes an help to shape our built environment.

Start your study journey

Register for our next Open Day to learn more about studying Building Surveying with Foundation Year, explore our facilities and meet the course team

You will:

  • Develop competence in essential areas of built environment professional practice
  • Build technical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Gain hands-on experience using built environment-focused IT equipment and software
  • Build your confidence by strengthening team working, communication and study skills
  • Be ready to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Building Surveying degree

Course accreditations

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) logo
CABE academic partners logo

This is for you if...


You’re passionate about developing and shaping the built environment


You want to study building surveying but don't meet the honours degree entry requirements


You're returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

Course details

All about the course

Manchester Skyline

Foundation year

The introductory foundation year is designed to develop your awareness, understanding and problem-solving capabilities for typical challenges experienced in construction and the built environment.

Once you successfully complete and pass the foundation year, you will progress on to our full BSc (Hons) Building Surveying honours degree.

BSc honours degree

For a further three years of study - or four, if you choose an industry placement, you will cover building surveying modules in areas such as economics, law, technical design and management.

In year one, you will build a strong foundation of knowledge, with essential modules covering regulation, economics, management, surveying and design, as you progress into year two, you’ll focus on specific topics and start your industry placement. By the final year, you’ll explore advanced modules and complete a research dissertation.

Learn more about the course modules in the section below.

Learning experience

Located at the heart of the largest property and construction market outside of London, Salford is a great choice for building surveying. Drawing on our strong links with the construction industry and professional bodies, you will experience site visits, guest speakers and placements. Working with ex-practitioner tutors, you will develop your surveying skills by working on live local projects with real clients and local surveying practices.

In year one, you will study the Building Surveying Practice 1 module so that you can solve discipline related tasks as well as ethical codes of behaviour appropriate to built environment practice.

Along with our series of theoretical modules, you’ll learn from external guest lectures, collaborate with students from related courses and experience group projects that will build your confidence and desirable skills for real-world construction careers.

Industry placement

On the full BSc (Hons) course, you will have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you will be responsible for securing your placement, our tutors will support you in finding a role, and monitor your progress throughout.

Industry placements are an excellent way to enhance your CV, gain hands-on work experience and build industry connections. We often find that placement students achieve higher final year grades.

Foundation Year

Introduction to Built Environment Professional Practice

This module will introduce you to the range of sectors and professions involved in the built environment sector. You will also gain an understanding of the role of the different professions, and begin to explore the concept of health and safety in industry.

Introduction to Design Practice

The aim of this module is to provide you with an appreciation and understanding of architectural design and the factors that influence it. You will gain an understanding of architectural design in the context of the overall building procurement process, and be introduced to the role of ICT as an essential tool in built environment professional practice. Through this module you will begin to develop your expertise in commonly used built environment design representation software applications.


Introduction to Building Science

This module will introduce you to many of the reasons why we need buildings. It introduces and examines how we design buildings to both passively and actively modify the internally created built environment. The concept of whole building Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is introduced in relation to thermal comfort, visual comfort, acoustic comfort and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) with the goal of instilling an understanding in the learner as to how aspects of good building design promote occupant comfort and wellbeing. Via an understanding of the physical properties of construction materials, basic scientific principles and building engineering services, you will gain an understanding of buildings in use, not just buildings under design or in construction.


Introduction to Digital Built Environment

The module is to introduce the concept of digitalisation in the built environment industry and allow you to apply different digital technologies. It will also introduce you to building materials and structure.

IT and Study Skills

This module is designed to equip you with a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that ensure the student is likely to be successful in their chosen route of academic study on a course within the School of the Built Environment. You will develop the ability to understand what and how they are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning.

Professional Practice Project

This module introduces the process of client/architect/engineer design briefs, and particular specifications in relation to a building’s internal environment, with particular attention paid to the specification of thermal, visual, acoustic and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) design variables. Building on the theory learned in the Introduction to Building Science module, this module moves on to the design and practical application of environmental design criteria based on the previously developed understanding of environmental comfort.

You will research into, and select, various design variables during the creation of project Room Data Sheets (RDS), used by engineering consultants to design passive and active approaches to the creation of an optimum internal environment for occupant comfort and wellbeing. The module then moves on to the determination of actual environmental conditions in numerous rooms and spaces in a variety of building types via the physical use of measuring equipment. By comparing theoretical and actual design values, you will then undertake observations and Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) surveys to determine real occupant opinions and perceptions as to their working environment, with the goal of assessing those areas of design with poor feedback and the proposal of corrective measures.

Year one (BSc Building Surveying)

Introduction to Law and Regulatory Frameworks

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.

Economics and Management

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge of basic economic concepts and principles of the economic environment in which the construction and property industry operates and knowledge of management theories in the construction context. You will be able to discuss the key role of the construction industry in the economy, current economic issues and management challenges in the construction and property context.

Environmental Science and Services

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the interactions between a building and its internal and external environments. You will learn about the principles involved in building heat transfer, occupant thermal comfort, illumination and acoustics. You will explore the need for mechanical and electrical engineering services in the building envelope and develop an understanding of typical building services systems technology.


Surveying Practice

This module covers the basic principles and computer software that you will need to understand to enter into a career in the property industry. You will become familiar with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and begin to understand what your preferred pathway into chartership will be.

The module will also help to enhance your academic writing, and you will learn how to undertake referencing at degree level. You will also become conversant in the mandatory competency requirements of the RICS. 


Building Construction and Defects

This module aims to provide you with the ability to understand how buildings are constructed and what defects are common given the method of construction. You will also understand how this affects the value of the property. Within this module, you will have the opportunity to develop building construction and pathology knowledge and develop the ability to undertake critical analysis, self-reflection and personal development.


Introduction to Valuation

This module introduces you to the 5 conventional methods of valuation and how to apply the correct method to various types of property. You will become familiar with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ “Red Book” and follow the relevant guidance laid out to allow you to competently complete formal valuation reports for residential property. This module will help to enhance your professional report writing skills and teach you the mathematics behind property valuation, as well as becoming familiar with the property market and the factors that instigate change.

Year two (BSc Building Surveying)

Technology 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.

Building Design Studies

The module enables you to work on the building design process, creating practical design solutions and specifications for new and existing buildings, as well as the selection of appropriate materials and construction methods, considering functional, technical, aesthetical, economic, and sustainable feasibility. You will learn how to represent a building project graphically, and apply building design principles to produce building drawings using Computer Aided Design (CAD) techniques and schedules of work. 

Procurement and Administration

This module enables you to explore and differentiate the principal types of procurement systems and associated contracts used in the UK, you will also explore the fundamental procedures related to contract administration.

Sustainable & Energy Efficient Buildings

This module addresses the basic theory of sustainability within the context of the built environment and key principles of energy efficiency in construction. Throughout the module a range of cultural and intellectual factors including social, political, economic, and technical that shape the built environment are considered. The module fosters broad understanding of energy efficiency construction which takes net zero carbon policies and building physics principles into account. 

Development Appraisal and Viability

The purpose of the module is to provide you with a good working knowledge and understanding of the aims and objectives of delivering a property development scheme. You will be able to identify opportunities, undertake feasibility studies and development appraisals to ascertain the viability of a proposed project or site. You will be required to understand a variety of funding options and how to apply them dependent on your client’s needs.  

Property Law

This module further enhances your reporting and client advisory skills, allowing application of the main legal principles studied to a range of complex and in-depth problems. You will also learn to apply relevant case law relating to property for a variety of scenarios, such as trespass, nuisance, negligence, party wall matters and a variety of legal issues that often arise in property transactions. This module will help to enhance your professional report writing skills and capacity to act in an advisory manner. You will also address client care and diversity skills.

Year three (BSc Building Surveying)

Building Surveying Practice 2

The Building Surveying Practice 2 module aims to further develop a knowledge and understanding of the theories and issues that might impact on the recently graduated surveyor as they move into practice and training roles. The module will seek to consider a range of contemporary areas of interest relating to surveying buildings under the prevailing legal requirements and statutory obligations as well as the professional and ethical codes of the professional bodies.

Discipline Research Project

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.

Building Surveying Project

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.

Conservation and Urban Regeneration

Conservation and Urban Regeneration aims to provide students with a fundamental knowledge and understanding of theories and issues relating to the fields of conservation of historic buildings and urban regeneration. The module will seek to consider a range of relevant contemporary areas including insight into relevant policy and regulatory requirements alongside the professional and ethical codes of professional bodies. Contemporary real world case studies will be studied alongside an overview of theory, policy and practice techniques where experienced practicing professionals will deliver guest lectures providing real world insight and a firm foundation for more advanced study and practice.

Building Maintenance and Retrofit

This module will explore retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency. Key retrofit solutions and underlying causes of potential risks will be investigated, and decision-making proves to avoid these risks will be demonstrated. The module addresses key building maintenance and construction management principles considering assessment methods and innovative technologies.

Building Pathology

The Building Pathology Module at Level 6 looks at the theory and practice of building pathology whilst exploring destructive and non-destructive methods of testing and how buildings are constructed in a modern setting and historical setting analysing materials on differing contexts and the use or misuse of deleterious materials.  

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods, including:

  • Studio projects, both individual and in groups
  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Directed study
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment)


You will be assessed using a range of suitable methods, including:

  • Design projects
  • Essays
  • Case study analysis
  • Precedent studies
  • Examinations
What you want to know

Frequently asked questions

What is a foundation year? 

A foundation year offers a year of studying to gain an understanding of the programme before progressing to the full three-year studies. You'll get the chance to understand the way higher education studying works and gain the relevant skills and knowledge needed to undertake the full degree. 

Is building surveying a good career? 

A degree in building surveying could open global opportunities within the built environment industry. It can be a very rewarding career, working on-site on exciting new projects and seeing your work come to fruition when projects are finished. 

What does a building surveyor look for? 

The role of a building surveyor is to assess the quality of a building’s relationship with its internal and external environments. A building surveyor might also have to consider other factors such as conservation and regeneration. 

Is building surveying a stressful job? 

Building surveying could be considered a challenging field due to the size, complexity, and busy nature of buildings and surveying projects. However, our students find our programmes incredibly rewarding when gaining a wide range of skills during their studies. 

There are methods to ensure you’re getting the best of your degree, including practicing good time management and making time for yourself to recharge. If you find your studies overwhelming, there will be support available from your lecturers and university support staff. 

Do building surveyors get paid well? 

Building surveying can be a very financially rewarding career with graduate-level salaries at around £26,000.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.


As a building surveying student, you will learn in our carefully-designed study spaces that provide an inspiring environment to develop ideas, work collaboratively and share best practice.



Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global built environment issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?



Once you progress to complete the full BSc (Hons) Building Surveying degree, you will be ready to take advantage of exciting careers opportunities. We have designed the course to help you to develop a range of technical and professional skills which will make you highly-employable. Along with gaining a solid understanding of the built environment, you will build communication and presentation skills, develop your collaborative techniques and acquire project management skills during your studies.

As a building surveying graduate, 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.

Our building surveying graduates have secured roles working with a number of regional and national organisations including: B&Q, Darwen Borough Council, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, EG Group, JN Bentley Ltd, Manchester City Council, National Grid, Network Rail, Property Tectonics Ltd, and STMC Building Control Ltd.

Charlotte France, a Salford Building Surveying alumna who graduated less than 10 years ago, is weeks away from achieving a milestone moment in her career that has seen her manage the construction of our new £65 million building in the heart of main campus. Read Charlotte's story.

Further study

You might find you want to learn more about the built environment. Building on our expertise, we offer a range of specialised postgraduate courses that can help you take your knowledge and career opportunities even further. Salford graduates and alumni will also receive a substantial fees discount.

A taste of what you could become

A building surveyor

An urbanist

A property consultant

A construction contractor

A management consultant

and more...


What you need to know

Applicants must satisfy both the university’s general entry requirement and the specific entry requirements.

Accreditation for Prior Learning (APEL) is not available for this course.

International applicants

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please consider our International Foundation Year.

Applicant profile

In addition to our academic entry requirements, we also look for applicants who enjoy teamworking, have good communication skills and show initiative. Possessing these characteristics will not only help you to fulfil your potential at university, but will also be essential for a successful career working in the built environment.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, and we also accept a range of equivalent qualifications.  

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses.

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

UCAS tariff points

64 points

A Levels

64 UCAS points, typically two grade Cs

BTEC National Diploma

MMP (BTEC Extended Diploma), MM (BTEC Diploma).

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Please contact Admissions for further information

Foundation Degree

Please contact Admissions for further information

Scottish Highers

64 points from Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points from Higher Level

European Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information

International Baccalaureate

Please contact Admissions for further information

Access to HE

Pass in Access to HE Diploma - minimum of 64 UCAS Tariff points

Other Qualifications

Please contact Admissions for further information

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively 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 receive your application, we'll 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.

Please contact Admissions for further information.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID K232

Institution S03