The global built environment is a dynamic marketplace offering challenging opportunities in both existing and developing economies. The increasing complexity of buildings coming under the remit of the building surveyor means that you must become a more reflective and proactive practitioner if you are to manage, maintain and develop these buildings and ensure they continue as successful buildings into the future.
This programme responds to this changing employment market. Its aim is to give you a broad yet rigorous grounding in the fundamentals of organising and managing existing buildings. It seeks to provide you with the knowledge and skills that will meet the challenges in the globally evolving marketplace.
The course focuses on furthering your knowledge and understanding and will require you to challenge your existing ideas and experiences. You will also be able to add value to your decisions through a thorough analytical approach and be able to better implement them as a competent project manager.
You'll develop your abilities to be innovative and creative in solving unique problems; and will be encouraged to think critically and engage in life-long learning to become an independent, professional learner.
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.
We would normally expect you to hold at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline.
You will also need to be proficient in written and spoken English as well as numerate and IT literate.
We will also consider other qualifications and suitable work based experience on an individual basis. You may be asked to attend a selection interview.
|MSc||Sep 2016||FT||13 months||£5,500|
|MSc||Sep 2016||PT||25 months||£2,750 per year|
|MSc||Jan 2017||FT||13 months||£5,500|
|MSc||Jan 2017||PT||25 months||£2,750 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MSc||Sep 2016||FT||13 months||£12,000|
|MSc||Sep 2016||PT||25 months||£6,000 per year|
|MSc||Jan 2017||FT||13 months||£12,000|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It 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.
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 postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Construction Law and Contract
The module considers the legal and contractual aspect which influence the way that construction projects are managed:
This module seeks to provide students the opportunity to examine and critically analyse topical business issues in construction organisational context. Through business management techniques and contemporary case studies, students will explore strategic and operational business issues in the construction environment such as economics, accounting and finance, market development, corporate social responsibility, resource and knowledge management etc.
This module will cover:
Building Surveying and Practical Studies
This module introduces and supports several of the RICS competencies which are undertaken by the chartered Building Surveyor. The module then seeks to add depth and value to these through case studies and good practice analysis from theoretical and practice backgrounds.
Through this the student will develop a sensitivity to the needs of client and building owners and match this with an appreciation of the broader UK and international context of differing social, economic and cultural agendas.
With its own agenda of stimulating an appreciation for lifelong learning, the module will leave the student with the skills needed to operate as a high level professional and the outlook of a self-developing life-long learner able to positively contribute to the future of the Building Surveying Profession.
Commercial Surveying Studies
Focusing on the more tradition sphere of Building Surveying work in looking at the theory and practice of working with commercial buildings to ensure they remain a viable asset for the built environment.
This module also links closely with the Facilities Management and Project and Maintenance Management modules on this course in that it will draw on the theory and practice established in these and allow the students to focus this in a more in depth cases study of a substantial commercial building.
It will also be linked to the parallel study in the Building Surveying and Practical Studies module and allow for reflection on the quality of decisions made with regard to this case study.
In this way it will support and empower the student to analyse information and make strategic decisions to the benefit of all involved with a building or project.
This will further increase the students confidence and enhance their employability in this competitive market place. At all times this will be done with the professional codes of practice and the RICS competences for the role of the Building Surveyor.
People and Organisation
This module addresses the heart of any commercial enterprise; namely, the social functioning of groups and individuals in a collaborative project. It seeks to explore organisation and management as human social phenomena to enable people to work together more effectively. The practical nature of management will be explored in relation to way people see knowledge differently.
The underlying theories of management will be viewed critically and, in particular, their utility and application in practice will be challenged. Students will explore the socially constructed nature of society and reflect on the implications of ideologies and mindsets for organisation and organisational behaviour. Students will also explore differences between people and how these can be accommodated in organisations.
Topics covered in this module include:
Innovation in Construction
The module will consider change as an innovation process. It will consider critically past examples from: construction project procurement at personal, team, project and organisational levels; supply chain management; contracts; the management of risk; and the application of strategic approaches to meet the needs of clients, stakeholders and users.
The unit will explore the creative, and implementation, processes involved in innovation as well as developing critiques of new approaches in the industry to enable students to assess the value of these in differing situations. It will explore wider aspects of change management including resistance and inertia as both an organisational and individual level in order to assist the student to be able to create strategies for managing change.
Highlighting current theory and practice in the field of facilities management. The module will approach the subject with a focus on enabling students to be an independent decision maker when considering strategic planning for facilities management and day-to-day or reactive management of building, facilities and functions. This will include elements of business continuity management.
The module will not focus on any one of the various software available to the facilities manager, but will instead focus on the advantages and shortfalls of software based solutions. In particular it will apply academic theory in context to professional practice using successful organisation of space and infrastructure in the context of people and organisations. All of this with key stakeholders in mind and in line with the professional codes of practice and the RICS competences for the role of the Building Surveyor.
Project and Maintenance Management
This module supports several of the RICS competencies which are undertaken by the chartered Building Surveyor. The module considers the principles of good project and maintenance management and the practical implications of theory in practice through the use of a variety of case studies and in the context of the various agendas and stakeholders for the case study situation.
The case study approach will empower the student to analyse information and make strategic decisions to best fit the requirements on the project. In doing this the student will be able to respond with confidence a variety of challenges presented by the rapidly evolving demands of project management and deal with them effectively and sympathetically with regard to the various stakeholders involved.
At all times this will be done with the professional codes of practice and the RICS competences for the role of the Building Surveyor.
The aim of the dissertation is to develop your skills of carrying out research into a practice based problem and your ability to theorise and conceptualise. It also aims to encourage you to make connections between theory and practice. It promotes independent and reflective learning and aims to provide you with the confidence to explore and challenge concepts.
This is a major piece of individual work that allows you to demonstrate your understanding and expertise in a selected area of specialised study within the area of construction project management. The work will be a research project which is based upon investigation of empirical event(s) or organisation(s) in which you are required to compare practice with relevant aspects of theory.
You should aim to achieve identification of the elements of practice that are good or capable of improvement. With respect to the latter, you will provide logical solutions that analyse the potential for improvement.
Throughout all the modules the course tutors make good use of live case studies and projects to allow you to apply skills to real life situations.
The course structure enables you to develop subject knowledge and transferable skills in building surveying at the local level, and to link theory with practice through critical reflection in particular for building surveying and practical studies and facilities management.
All teaching is delivered using a mixture of learning and teaching styles that include lectures and small group seminars; workshops based on case studies; action learning sets based on student-centred research; and directed learning using internet based forums. Much emphasis is placed on current developments and is supported by guest lecturers and seminars as appropriate.
The course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Successful completion of the course will lead to Professional Membership after the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
As a qualified building surveyor, you'll have access to a wide range of opportunities in senior positions in organisations, or facilitate independent and smaller specialist practice opportunities within the broader building surveying field.
The Building Surveying MSc will enable you to become a more reflective and proactive practitioner. Your advanced level of knowledge will give you the skills to manage, maintain and develop complex buildings. You'll have the capacity to ensure they continue as successful buildings into the future.
With the ability to identify and tackle problems in the management of construction projects, you'll be a valuable asset to future employers. You'll also have a sound knowledge of legal implications, sustainability, economic impact and effects of social change in relation to the built environment.
You'll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. And thanks to the unique nature of the course, you'll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
Your research project demonstrates in depth knowledge, commitment and critical thinking in a specialist area, which will help you develop in your chosen career.
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.
With skills that are in demand in industry, our graduates have secured positions with prestigious firms such as Balfours and Prudential in roles such as assistant building surveyor and building manager.
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:
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.
Discover more about the industry experts you can meet on our Engineering degree courses.
Laura Layland is one of our lecturers, watch this video to find out more.
A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society, Peter teaches on postgraduate courses in built environment subjects, and has contributed to a number of academic journal papers and other publications. He also supervises at PhD level.