Developed in accordance with the requirements of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the leading international professional body for surveying, our course meets the needs of potential employers in the public, private and third sectors.
You will gain a detailed understanding of real estate, alongside learning to make an expert analysis of the processes of its ownership, development, occupation, valuation and management. You’ll also examine economics and finance, property valuation and management, development, construction, urban planning and law, ensuring you are equipped with the attributes you’ll need for a successful career.
The course integrates technological, financial, legal and management issues, and you will connect the theories and practice of real estate to a range of real-life case studies, helping you understand the complex world of property.
We will prepare you for a career in real estate, developing your collaborative skills and ensuring you are not only able to practise effectively within the global real estate industry, but that you are also sensitive to the needs of the diverse cultures that you come into contact with in your work.
Especially relevant for the would-be chartered surveyor, this course offers a detailed study of the built environment alongside an expert analysis of the acquisition, disposal, management and valuation of land and buildings.
Benefitting from our staff's close links with industry, the course thoroughly prepares you for the enormously varied work of a general practice surveyor.
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 4 November. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
Are you planning to study an undergraduate degree course in a Built Environment subject? If so, you may be eligible for grant funding of up to £9,500 to help you during your studies at Birmingham City University.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subjects are covered.
BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2017/18|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any units awarded at Merit or Distinction|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points (2017 entry)|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points (2017 entry)|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
|Irish Leaving Certificate||B2, B2, B3, B3, B3|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||AABB|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points (2017 entry)|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 years||£9,250 per year (excluding sandwich year)||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||5 years||£1,542 per 20 credit module|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Introduction to the Built Environment
This module explores how key ‘actors’, including professional bodies, landowners, developers, investors, politicians, members of the public, and the state influence the development of the built (and natural) environment. You will explore the way in which politics, the economy, society, technology, law and the environment (PESTLE) all shape the built (and natural) environment.
You will also consider past, current and potential future trends that influence development, including significant issues such as resource availability and climate change and learn how development processes occur at different spatial scales and contexts.
Introduction to Property Markets
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the property markets and develop your knowledge of the property markets across different sectors and the drivers of space, property and capital market. It will focus on the different types of property markets and the role of property in the wider economy from a social, economic and investment perspective. In this introductory module, you will learn about the activities of the various property stakeholders, the different property types and the range of property investment instruments, such as property trusts. You will develop critical investigation skills in solving challenges in the property market in a professional context.
Professional Environmental and Materials Science
Environmental and materials science is an important area of study for all disciplines involved with the design, planning, development and management of the built environment. This module encourages you to consider how the properties, structures and performance of materials influence why buildings function. You will be encouraged to consider how these properties have an impact on construction from a design and practical use perspective. This module will enable you to develop innovative solutions for more robust, resilient, safe and sustainable buildings and structures.
Using directed learning exercises, you will produce a professional portfolio exploring issues including design technology, building methods, energy use and thermal effect. Many of these issues relate closely to the changing landscape of the sustainability agenda, which affects all built environment disciplines from planning and design to property management. In groups you will produce a final professional poster which will be presented to an industry panel.
Introduction to Valuation
Valuation is a crucial skill across the built environment and is core to many professional pathways. This module introduces the theory of valuation as a set of principles, financial mathematics, methods and techniques employed for identifying and understanding economic concepts of value and worth in a property context.
You will build an understanding of the central role of valuation in the efficient functioning of the property markets and the wider economy and develop your knowledge of the tools and techniques required to provide prudent advice when dealing with property.
You will gain the foundational valuation tools that you will further develop in subsequent modules as you improve your practical skills in valuing a wide range of assets for different purposes including sales, development appraisal and investment management.
Built Environment Technology
This module, for all of the built environment professions, introduces a range of concepts relating to the technology of construction. You will gain an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of construction, based on the example of low rise residential construction as this is relatively straightforward and gives you the opportunity to explore these issues appropriately.
You will be introduced to everyday materials, construction methods, building services and Building Regulation. You will gain an insight into the properties of materials and the basic scientific principles that apply to them. You will focus on construction materials and how they can be used to create a construction element and/or component (e.g. a floor, an external wall, a roof). In order to gain an understanding of the design process, you will create and present a virtual building model.
This module will provide you with the basic legal concepts and principles you will need throughout your career in the built environment.
You will be introduced to the structure and processes of the English legal system. This is the essential foundation of the legal skills necessary for the provision of sound advice to clients and colleagues in your career. In particular, you will focus on legal and regulatory frameworks which shape the design, development and management of buildings and places. You will explore the English legal system and how law is made and contract and tort law including nuisance, negligence and occupiers’ liability.
To put your skills into practice, you will be presented with scenarios and required to provide accurate, informed and professional advice to your client with reference to existing case law.
Design and Development in the Built and Natural Environment
In this module, you will explore the socio-economic, historical, environmental and governance context that shapes the design and use of buildings and structures. We will encourage and support you to develop and apply a range of research techniques to evaluate the costs, benefits and values of ‘good’ design; how to appraise the implications of different approaches to implementation, on-going use, management and quality of place; and produce a practice-based piece of work that delivers a range benefits to different users and communities.
Advanced Valuation Methods
This module will develop your ability to apply both traditional and contemporary discounted cash flow (DCF) techniques within the framework of property investment and occupation markets. It covers a range of topical analysis that will enable you to critically appraise and solve practical valuation issues. The knowledge acquired during the module will not only enable you to select the ‘right’ technique in today’s market place but also challenges you to question the validity of alternative techniques in the context of identifying the risk of property valuation error.
Property valuation is a cornerstone skill for the Chartered Surveyor. Thus, this module helps to equip you with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills to allow you to enter the surveying profession whilst further enhancing your critical thinking, analytical ability and communication skills.
Data and Decision Making
This module allows you to develop and apply your research skills in a property development, planning and real estate context. You will gain an introduction to some of the data, techniques and approaches required to explore social, economic, environmental and technological change in a built environment context. The module comprises two parts: preparatory sessions to provide you with the necessary background information, qualitative and quantitative techniques and data to successfully undertake fieldwork and a field visit, run over several days and consisting of a series of staff-led sessions and individual / group project exercises.
You will reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to conducting research; the key principles of quantitative data analysis, and qualitative research; how to collect new data during fieldwork; how messages can be communicated for different audiences; the role of communication skills; and the importance of negotiation, mediation, advocacy and leadership skills.
This module covers the requirement for property professionals engaged with the existing built environment to appreciate the varying needs of clients in relation to property, to identify methods of construction, appraise the condition of a building, and make recommendations to achieve a client’s aims. You will have an opportunity to apply your learning to a relevant case study to develop your practical skills.
This module relates to 2 of the RICS core competencies: Inspection and Measurement of Land and Property, as well as the optional competency of Building Pathology.
Property Asset Management
Property asset management is one of the core functions of a real estate professional. In this module, you will explore the principal ways of managing physical property from the perspective of operational asset management for a variety of property sectors. In addition, you will learn about the principles of corporate (occupier) property management.
You will be able to apply knowledge gained in different property subject areas to conceptualise and implement programmes for operational and asset management. The module also explores space demand drivers and contemporary issues in sustainability and property in order to provide you with the technical knowledge and understanding required by professional bodies such as the RICS. The module will also enable you to develop critical investigation skills in solving problems in a professional context.
This module introduces you to the nature of real property and the legal framework that regulates its acquisition, disposal, use, occupation and management. It is designed to relate to issues that you may meet in professional practice and explain the way in which the law will affect your day-to-day activities and decisions. You will develop your general competencies through problem-based studies based on the abilities and skills required of a professional practitioner. These practical problems will allow you to apply the knowledge gained in your studies.
Valuation is central to the work of the professional real estate surveyor. Valuation expertise is used in a wide range of real estate contexts including investment, asset management, property development and maintenance management.
This module is designed to further develop your valuation knowledge and skills and build on your previous learning in the Level 4 and Level 5 valuation modules.
The module will introduce you to the various aspects of marketing communications, from initial analysis of the property and market through to developing an expanding range of promotional and negotiation techniques.
You will explore all elements of the promotion mix with particular reference to the estate agency sector and the wider property business industries. You will cover advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, professional ethics and direct marketing. You will also consider new areas of increasing relevance such as product placement, electronic print and social media.
An understanding of clients and consumers and their buyer behaviour will enable you to have a greater understanding of targeting individuals and groups for existing properties and new developments with new product ranges, brand positioning, target marketing and tailored communication strategies. This module will prepare you for a career in property agency and property development, alongside the mainstream property professions.
This is a chance to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide on your topic, which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material.
The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider its relevance to your future academic or professional development.
You will be expected to work independently, with additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress, extra support will be available which may take the form of group seminars, workshops or online materials.
Property Fund Management
Property fund management is a relatively new core competence for the real estate and development professional (Chartered Surveyor). Accordingly, a comprehensive grounding in the principles and practice of property investment and finance is essential.
The module introduces and develops the concept and practice of property fund management in relation to real world market activity and includes a consideration of property finance. This will increase your awareness of the role of property as an investment asset class, its use as an investment and the means of financing property investments and developments. In particular, it emphasises both theoretical and analytical aspects of property decision making in the context of property portfolios formation and management.
Professionalism and Citizenship
In this module, you will focus on extending and providing appropriate evidence of your professional skills and development. The aim of the module is to introduce you to key contemporary social thinking within the built environment, centred on community, built environment diversity and inclusivity issues.
You will gain an appreciation and understanding of the principles, tools, methods and processes of consultancy and professionalism and how these link to a wider citizenship agenda. You will explore practice-based learning through a ‘hands-on’ group-based consultancy assignment with a real client organisation. You will be required: to deconstruct and negotiate a consultancy project in a situation where initially there may be a lack of clarity, high ambiguity, intense uncertainty and unusual data; apply a range of frameworks to structure analytical thinking; apply techniques to complete the research; and demonstrate effective communication skills in delivering the final results to the client.
If you have completed a Foundation/HND course and want to study this degree with us in 2017, you may be able to start in Year two/three (level 5/6). Please be aware that the modules for a Year two/three start will be different to the ones listed above. You will need to download the 2016/17 programme for more information on which modules you will be studying.
In your first year, you’ll be introduced to the built environment, learning about building technology and innovation, valuation and economics, and the fundamentals of property law.
In year two, you will build on your previous learning and learn about development, planning and data management, as well as enhancing your skills in property management.
For your final year, you will study more detailed and complex valuation, property investment and corporate property management, supporting your final research project and dissertation.
Assessment takes the form of unseen written examinations, essays, written assignments, posters, oral presentations and an e-portfolio, as well as workshops, online quizzes and more. Learning on the course will come from classroom sessions such as lectures, workshops and small group discussions.
There are 24 weeks of teaching in each academic year.
A typical week on this course will include 12 hours per week of contact time over two to three days, plus 15 to 25 hours of self study.
A typical week on this course will include six to nine hours per week over one day, plus 10 to 20 hours of self study.
Ambitious Rachel Hill made the most of her 12-month sandwich placement – before graduating with first class honours. Her work placement not only equipped her with the hands-on experience to impress employers, but also counted towards a valuable professional qualification.
It’s also been the perfect way to show employers what she’s made of. Rachel was able to work towards her Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) before completing her degree, as the placement experience counted towards the first 12 months of her APC diary.
The course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Successful completion of the course will lead to Professional Membership after the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
You will be encouraged to progress to postgraduate study within the school, which provides a range of relevant Master’s courses. Details can be found on the courses section of the website.
“The high level of staff commitment to the student experience is quite evident and witnessed in positive student feedback.”
External examiner, BSc Real Estate
We are committed to practice-led learning and teaching, ensuring that you get vital experience of the world of work through relevant activities. These could include voluntary work, live projects, problem solving, case studies, site visits and opportunities to interact with visiting professionals.
The University also has its Graduate+ programme, which is an extracurricular awards framework that will enhance the subject-based skills you’ll develop on the course with broader employability skills. Graduate+ will help you with CV writing, crafting personal statements and interview techniques, as well as helping you to source jobs.
Our excellent links with industry employers provide opportunities for voluntary work placements and permanent career opportunities.
Students have been found internships or work placements at companies such as CBRE, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, GVA, Knight Frank and Savills.
The opportunities with companies such as Birmingham-based Willmott Dixon, a leading independent construction and property company, have increased confidence, ability and skills.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Former graduates have progressed into roles with CBRE, Colliers International, Savills, Knight Frank, Birmingham Property Services and more, taking on roles as agents, valuers, rating surveyors and property marketers.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Building work on our new Conservatoire began in the summer of 2015 – and is scheduled for completion in summer 2017. This, along with the construction of a new city centre accommodation block, means our students have access to their very own building sites.
We couple this with the more traditional, office-based facilities:
Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as levels, theodolites, measuring tapes.
You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.
Amanda is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and teaches on post-graduate and undergraduate programmes. Her teaching experience is supported by 2:1 law degree (specialising in Planning and Environmental Law), a post-graduate professional qualification (Legal Practice Course), along with 15 years relevant practical experience with a Local Planning Authority in their Legal and Development Control Sections.