Prepare for a career in the dynamic construction industry with our quantity surveying course. You will work collaboratively with tutors, practitioners, theorists and designers who will equip you with everything you need to participate in shaping the future of the built environment.
The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.
Today’s construction industry is facing the challenges of globalisation, climate change, demanding clients and a complex regulatory framework. The growing importance of technology and integrated delivery plays an increasingly important role in the industry.
This course will give you the skills to deal with these challenges and more. With innovation at the core of the programme, you will learn through creative problem solving and working with our industrial partners. You’ll also develop the intellectual and practical competencies required by professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
You’ll leave with a broad knowledge of the legal, technical, managerial, economic, social and environmental aspects of construction projects, and able to confidently manage both commercial and civil engineering projects.
This course is taught by experienced staff with a wealth of industry experience. A flexible approach to delivery allows construction professionals to study alongside their professional role.
You'll gain expertise in cost management, procurement and quantification skills. You’ll also develop expertise in risk management, costing techniques, design economics, buildability, procurement, ability to add value and an appreciation of people from different cultural backgrounds and construction disciplines.
Our partnership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ensures our course has the best industry links, as well as relevant, up-to-date content.
“The energy of the campus was always vibrant and with the close proximity and close relationship between the various construction disciplines, there was a competitive edge that provided a healthy environment to studying.” James Funge
Our Built Environment courses are placed 11th out of 59 institutions in the Guardian University League Tables 2018.
We are an RICS approved Partnership Centre.
The average starting salary of a School of Engineering and the Built Environment graduate is £23,000 (DLHE 2014/15).
In 2017, we are spending £6.5 million on improvements to our Millennium Point facilities so you’ll have even more access to dedicated, industry-standard equipment.
Strong links with employers such as Willmott Dixon allow you to apply what you learn in a practical context through work placement opportunities. You’ll also have the chance to work on live projects for clients.
It’s an exciting time to study the built environment in Birmingham – the city is undergoing huge regeneration. The Big City Plan, a 20 year vision covering every aspect of the built environment, is creating innovative redevelopments and opportunities.
You’ll use industry-standard equipment and benefit from regular site visits which give you a close-up view of professional practice and an industry perspective on your studies.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place in 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
This course is in the final stages of design and is due to be reviewed and approved to meet our quality standards.
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.
BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2018/19|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BB or 80 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 80 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||MMP - 80 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 80 UCAS points|
|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 10 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Passes in six subjects at the higher grade including mathematics|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Passes in five subjects at the higher grade including mathematics|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points|
|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 2018/19|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
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.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||4 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2018||FT||4 years||£12,000 per year|
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.
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.
The Built Environment Context
Academic & Professional Development 1
Academic & Professional Development 2
Built Environment Skills in Practice
Sustainability and Ethics
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.
In groups, you will work with industry, researching and presenting ideas about current thinking in relation to PESTLE and the actors involved with the development process. You will also develop your professional presentation, academic research and client care skills.
Integrated Digital Design: Residential
Digital construction is an integral component of the design, development and maintenance of modern residential development. Building information technology (BIM) is at the forefront of the movement towards total digitalisation of the built environment. This module aims to provide a foundation for you to successfully execute the BIM process by working across the different course disciplines on a project that simulates a residential project.
Students from each course (real estate, construction management, architectural technology, planning or building surveying) will execute multiple BIM data developments throughout the building’s lifecycle simultaneously. These individual developments will then be amalgamated to produce a federated BIM model that contains all coursework submitted for each group as a final bid report. The disciplines will broadly work on the following: real estate will focus on the marketability of the project based upon its BIM output; construction management and planners will consider planning and controlling the project; architectural technology students will focus on the redesign of the residential project according to appropriate building regulations; building surveying will produce an analysis of the building’s life cycle requirements for facilities management during occupancy.
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.
Built Environment Technology 1
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.
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.
Residential Quantification and Cost
In this module introduces you to the core Quantity Surveying skills of quantification and cost. You will gain an understanding of the procedures for costing, through the development of your skills in measurement and interpretation of construction drawings.
You will apply measurement principles and develop specifications to enable you to prepare and manage cost estimates. You will measure finishes (floor, walls and ceilings), floors (ground and first), external works, roofs, substructure, schedules and internal walls.
You will actively apply the skill of quantification and cost to your Built Environment Technology 1 assessment. You will be assessed on your quantification, descriptions, specification, pricing documentation and appreciation of the cost consultant’s role.
In this module, you will gain an understanding of the procurement process and how it can deliver benefits to clients, contractors and others involved with the development process.
You will explore issues that affect the choice of a procurement strategy by evaluating various projects and the best management and procurement approaches to be adopted. You will also learn about how the choice of procurement strategy can affect time, cost, viability, quality and sustainability issues. You will also cover current issues influencing procurement, such as international markets, legislation and sustainable procurement.
You will be encouraged to reflect on what might be considered the best service to the client, understanding and evaluating which procurement approach will lead to the best outcome. You will gain understanding of procurement options in accordance with professional codes of practice and core competencies required by the RICS/CIOB.
Integrated Digital Design for Complex Structures
In this module you will explore the potential of BIM in helping to understand the social, economic and environmental benefits associated with co-ordinated infrastructure and complex structure development.
Through the delivery of a complex BIM project, you will explore the potential of multiple BIM data developments throughout the lifecycle of a project.
You will work in a team with students from our planning, quantity surveying, construction management and civil engineering courses to develop your awareness of your impact on our environment and the communities we work within. You will develop the self-confidence to critically reflect upon your own leadership and problem solving skills via an integrated project delivery. You will plan your own work schedules, manage your own time and extend your presentational skills.
Built Environment Commercial Technology
This module will explore the wider implications of the selection of traditional and innovative building material, methods of construction in new build and refurbishment and environmental and mechanical services systems.
You will gain an insight into the operational complexities involved in the construction of large-scale commercial buildings to ensure that projects are delivered on time and on budget and meet the required quality standard.
You will be introduced to the key technology concepts and gain an understanding of the technical terminology used in commercial construction. You will also gain an in-depth understanding of the construction methods and systems which can be applied to commercial and industrial buildings and apply the technology principles gained at Level 4 to large scale buildings.
You learning will be reinforced by problem-based tasks focused on identifying different building materials and methods which can be used in commercial construction.
This module will broaden your knowledge of various forms of cost considerations prior to tendering, including an estimation of a construction project’s cash flow. You will develop the skills to deliver the various elements required in preparation of a Tender.
You will gain a perspective on procurement procedures and the impact of those procedures on project development and consider how aspects of commercial management contribute to the life of a development.
The ability to understand the process and techniques for cost planning in accordance with professional codes of practice and the RICS core competencies is key to the role of the quantity surveyor. As a cost manager within the construction industry, you will need to demonstrate an understanding of how construction projects are cost managed at design stage and valued through the use of internal and external sources of information and cost data. You will develop tin depth knowledge of how the cost estimating and cost planning structure of projects can be applied to cost advice for both new build and refurbishment works.
You will acquire the fundamental skills to estimate construction costs based on various levels of design information, make use of cost data from a variety of sources and appreciate the implications of risk and design economics on the cost and value of different types of building works.
Commercial Quantification and Cost
This module will further develop your core quantity surveying skills of quantification and cost. You will apply measurement principles and industry standard descriptions and develop specifications to enable you to prepare and manage cost estimates for more complex work and drawings.
You will measure structural frames, in situ concrete construction and services below ground. As part of your learning, you will be presented with 3D models, some of which will contain incorrect information for you to discover and rectify. You will use Building Information Modelling (BIM) software such as REVIT in order to produce a measure for pricing.
You will be assessed on your skills in quantification, descriptions, specification, pricing documentation and your professional judgement and approach to the tasks.
This module will further deepen your knowledge and understanding of contract law and procurement and provide you with hands-on experience of designing and executing a contract, which is a core requirement for a construction professional.
You will explore the various forms of contracts and the responsibilities of the people involved in executing a contract, paying particular attention to roles of the key people and clauses in FIDIC, JCT and NEC3 contracts. Issues such as clauses on the provisions for extension of time, managing change, and resolution of disputes arising in the execution of contracts will also be covered.
You will also consider the causes and consequences of breach of contracts and the procedures available for dealing with such breaches, with particular emphasis on Alternative forms of Dispute Resolution (ADRs) and the factors influencing the preference of any of these forms.
This module will consider construction projects as an organisational issue, and introduce you to the two main approaches to the management of projects. The first is the functional management approach, which is largely based on structured techniques and methods, and the second is the organisational management approach, which sees management as an ongoing social and organisational process. You will explore both approaches, and learn how to use them in a balanced way for the successful management of construction projects.
With the functional management approach, you will understand how to define a project in a structured way using project breakdown structures, and how to use these for further planning and control functions in the project. With the organisational management approach, you will learn about the fundamental difficulties of managing construction projects due to their inherent uncertainty and complexity.
Civils Quantification and Cost
This module will test your ability to understand the management procedures and techniques appropriate in pricing a tender document in accordance with the RICS/CIOB requirements.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of how design and construction projects are tendered and valued through the use of internal and external sources of information and develop the technical skills to understand how the pricing structure of projects can be applied to cost control by tendering companies.
Drawing on your work in the Level 5 module Integrated Digital Design Complex Structures, you will explore preliminary work items, provisional sums, excavation, drainage, cut and fill and civil engineering work.
You will be able to measure and quantify work sections through the application of standard methods of measurement for Civils (CESMM), interpreting drawings and construction details and the construction technology that underpins this information.
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.
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.
Various assessment methods will be used in this programme to address the different needs of individual modules, including exam, essay, portfolio, individual/group presentation, and dissertation. Written and/or oral feedback and feedforward will be provided through Moodle, email, and group/1-2-1 tutorial.
A personal tutor and dissertation supervisor will be assigned to each student for tailored support. You will also be able to access other support at university, faculty, school and programme level (e.g. BCU library, student support tutor, Centre for Academic Success, CELT, SAP and Graduate+).
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.
Matt Roberts had the opportunity to take part in two Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competitions during his second year studies. After being part of the winning team at a competition in Reading, he travelled to Dallas, Texas, to take part in a second competition in a team with students from Auburn University in Alabama, which he also won.
You will take part in visits to construction sites to put theories into context and gain valuable insight.
There are also walking tours around Birmingham itself to take in the city’s own diverse architecture.
You’ll have the opportunity to study in the USA. Our exchange programme with Auburn University in Alabama gives you access to the latest industry advances, including Building Information Modelling – skills that UK employers are crying out for.
RICS is the world's leading professional body for setting standards in the surveying industry.
It has members all around the globe delivering knowledge and serving the public interest at a local level. In their work, they draw on RICS' ever-growing range of globally applicable and regionally specific standards and guidance.
Students are encouraged to progress to postgraduate study within the school which provides a range of relevant Master’s programmes. Details can be found on the courses section of the website.
James Funge has built an international career in the construction and civil engineering sectors
The course gives you a thorough understanding of the construction technology relating to a wide range of building and civil engineering projects.
You’ll also understand the time, cost and quality implications associated with project procurement, as well as the relevant legislation relating to industry.
As a student you will get access to the latest GIS, BIM and CAD software, surveying equipment and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, allowing you to hone the professional skills any construction employer would value.
You’ll be a strong project manager and confident with business management systems. These skills are highly valued by employers.
The opportunities with companies such as Birmingham-based Willmott Dixon, a leading independent construction and property company, have increased confidence, ability and skills.
You’ll also develop a range of transferable skills such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills and meeting deadlines. 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.
The delivery of the course is complemented by a range of visits to construction sites where you will be able to appreciate theory in context.
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.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
The Inter-professional Project is a final year module in which you apply the skills you have developed over your course to a live project for an industry client. Our students’ recommendations have informed council policy and the design of high-profile developments.
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.
Our students come from around the world but our quantity surveying course is most popular with international students from:
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.
Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as levels, theodolites and measuring tapes.
We couple this with the more traditional, office-based facilities.
Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.
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.
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.
Our academics have worked alongside small, medium and large companies and bring to the table expertise from within the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, ICT, environmental and health sectors.
Angela is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment.
Subcontracting QS with experience in final account settlement and onsite measurement.
PQS career: based in West Midlands & London – experienced Capital Allowance consultant with Morland and Allied Domecq with public house/nightclub refurbishment measurement and costing experience.
Guaranteed maximum price contract & measurement experience, PFI measurement and bid experience.
Insurance valuation work for Prudential portfolio.
Benchmarking (Wembley Stadium) and Key Performance Indicator (Kier Construction) advisor, Partnering & Supply chain management, advisor on best practice initiatives.
Clients Charter consultant for Wembley Housing, Beacon Housing & Richmond Housing.
Risk and Value workshop for PFI MOD Salisbury, Tubelines and Manchester City Council