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Building Surveying with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

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Looking to become a Building Surveyor? Our BSc (Hons) Building Surveying with Foundation year degree. matches the needs of industry, based on real-life building practice, building pathology, construction technology, and the legal framework for industry, risk management and building surveying practice....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

Looking to become a Building Surveyor? Our BSc (Hons) Building Surveying with Foundation year degree. matches the needs of industry, based on real-life building practice, building pathology, construction technology, and the legal framework for industry, risk management and building surveying practice.

Much of your learning will be hands-on, you’ll carry out survey work using a range of equipment and you will also be provided with the latest CAD software.

The course is founded on the core competencies of the Building Surveying profession, preparing you to pursue your journey to full professional chartership.

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The course not only encompasses the conservation, repurposing and adaptation of the existing built environment, but also embraces innovation, preparing you to contribute to the success of the profession and supporting the development of a sustainable society for the twenty-first century and beyond.

During this course, you will develop a range of academic and technical skills relevant to the building surveying profession. As in industry itself, this course demands a broad range of technical and creative skills.

We focus on the core technical knowledge, such as building pathology, construction technology and sustainability, as well as the legal framework knowledge required for a career in building surveying.

As the industry changes and adopts new approaches, by working with our industry partners gives you the opportunity to learn about the innovative changes impacting the industry today.

The course aims to produce building surveyors with a well-rounded ability to mix technical, creative and business skills, ready to join an equally fast-moving built environment. You will therefore be industry-ready and can look forward to a fulfilling and enjoyable career as a building surveyor.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Why Choose Us?

  • Accredited course - Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
  • Industrial placement year option - Gain desirable employability skills and work experience with the option of an industrial placement year, that will take place between your second and final year of the course.
  • Site visits and industry talks - These opportunities enhance your learning experience and help explain how to gain employment within the built environment world.
  • Scholarships - You might be eligible for grant funding of up to £9,500 towards your degree, through the Built Environment Scholarship. You may also be able to gain funding through our travel scholarship scheme.
  • State-of-the-art facilities - You will be based at our Millennium Point campus in City Centre, where our facilities have undergone a £6.5 million investment to provide you with the very best learning experience.
  • Flexible course - this course is available to be studied full-time or part-time to suit you. 
  • We are an Autodesk Training Centre (ATC) -This national and international recognition will give you access to on-campus training by certified Autodesk instructors, providing you with digital skills that will be highly sought after by employers. Autodesk applications play an important part in supporting the digital transformation of Architecture, Engineering and Construction. 

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted - please see UCAS for list of acceptable Maths and English equivalents considered in lieu of GCSE
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English language and mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • 80 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at level 3.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • MMP
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 80 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 80 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

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)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Additional Requirements

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.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Field trips (optional)

This course may involve local site visits relating to essential module coursework where you would pay transport costs to and from the site. This course may also include the option of additional trips to complement your studies; these would be at extra cost.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Professional Placement Year (optional)

In order to qualify for the award of Bachelor of Science with Honours Building Surveying with Professional Placement Year, a student must successfully complete all of the modules listed as well as the following Level 5 module:

Professional Placement 120 credits

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Download course specification

Download now

Just like the building surveying industry, this course will require you to develop a demandingly broad range of technical and built environment knowledge.

The assessment methods used reflect the course philosophy, with a particular focus on the ability to produce consistent work in line with the high standards and competencies RICS expects.

The first year of the BSc focuses on developing your fundamental skills and knowledge in the residential area of the built environment.  You will explore the traditional areas of the built environment gaining an insight into how your future role is relevant to it. You will be introduced to the innovations of a modern construction project through the Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment, the requirements of the law and an understanding of the key technology relating to residential built environments.

Your skills will be developed further in your second year, with specialist modules and more challenging projects.  You will learn more about commercial technology and surveying practice and experience working collaboratively with students from other courses. You will also develop specialist skills in building pathology, advanced design skills and facilities management. Your level of understanding of the built environment will increase as you start to learn about commercial structures within the built environment.

Your final year will see you refine your skills and realise your full potential.  You will undertake surveys and prepare for your RICS Accreditation of Professional Competence through a series of events which are designed to prepare you for your first steps in industry.

Attendance requirements

There are 24 weeks of teaching in each academic year.

Full-time

A typical week on this course will include 20 hours per week of contact time over two to three days, plus 15 to 25 hours of self study.

Part-time

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.

Student stories – Sam Towers

Sam gained a BSc (Hons) degree in Building Surveying from Birmingham City University in 2012. Upon graduating university, Sam joined Savills in June 2012 with the intention of becoming a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the Autumn of 2014. His experience has been gained through a diverse client base including those from the public and private sectors.

Sam is based within the Birmingham commercial building consultancy team where he has gained a broad range of experience within the commercial property market through his building surveying role.

Student stories – Craig Chatwin

The surveying course content was extremely beneficial in providing Craig with the necessary skills to put him on the path to become a chartered surveyor, and has provided him with a sound grounding for him to develop as a surveyor.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

The Chartered Institute of Building is at the heart of a management career in construction. Its focus is on those entering and already in a management career in construction, by delivering qualifications and certifications that meet the needs of a changing industry. It works with members, employers, academia and governments across the globe to drive forward the science, practice and importance of management in construction.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

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.

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.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Our graduates have a thorough skillset, understanding complex legal issues, building design, contract administrative procedures, building maintenance and business systems.

Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market.  Getting work experience in building surveying can be challenging, so we encourage you to be agile and engage with the broad range of opportunities available. We support you through our virtual learning environment, Moodle, where we have a dedicated page which is regularly updated with potential opportunities for experience, placement opportunities and employment offers for students at all levels of your degree.

The University is eager to recognise students have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate, and thus it offers a range options for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work in industry.

You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.

The University has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.

Placements

There are a range of opportunities for student to gain industry experience, examples of student activities include: 

  • Working part-time for a building surveying practice
  • Doing a placement year between the second and third year of the course 
  • Working directly for clients
Willmott Dixon placements

Building Surveying graduate Jessica Van Rensberg secured a placement with Willmott Dixon. “It was extremely rewarding, I gained lots of experience,” she said. “I learned how a commercial construction site is run and gained experience with sub contractors on how to engage with people on a day to day basis.”

International

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:

Facilities & Staff


Our Facilities

The facility our students value most is not actually on campus, but is the location of the campus in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside opposite the new High Speed 2 station construction, and minutes from dozens of fascinating live projects within the city centre.

Birmingham as it changes constantly on our doorstep really is our ‘living lab’. By simply looking out the window of our classrooms you’ll be able to witness live projects as they’re happening around us. You’ll constantly be inspired by dozens of fascinating case studies just from walking from the station to the campus.

The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. Learn more about what we have to offer below.

Software

Recognising the rapidly evolving digital built environment we are constantly reviewing software to best fit with the professions of the future.

Autodesk Accredited Centre Status, we use the latest integrated building modelling software across undergraduate courses, seeing Architectural Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Management, Property Development and Planning and Quantity Surveying students engaging in cross discipline information management projects modelling real life experience. Accredited Centre status allowing all students licence to download this software, and making available additional qualifications and certification to those demonstrating expertise and dedication to exploring their own and the limits of the Autodesk environment.

At course level, students engage with the latest and most appropriate software for their future professions. Real Estate students with CoStar, the leading industry database supporting valuations. Quantity Surveyors using Blue Beam, Revu and QS Pro, and along these Quantity Surveyors and Construction Managers use Synchro and Navisworks for 4D and CostX for 5D work. For Building Surveying and Architectural Technology routes, visualisation is important where Enscape, V-Ray Lumion and Sketch-up are available.

Built Environment Space in Millennium Point

The Built Environment Space in Millennium Point is available to all students with a huge resource of software-equipped laptops for loan on campus. For off campus working, much of the software we use comes with free student licences and all students will have access to the Windows Virtual Desktop, allowing access to our range of software from anywhere where the internet is available.

The Studio Space that we've created in Millennium Point is an open workspace where students can work on their design projects. We have all student work and examples that will change every week or month depending on what stage of a project we're at. And it's an open space for working on projects.

This is where our Architectural Technology students and our Building Surveying students in particular, spend a lot of their time.

Concrete and Hydraulics Labs

Our dedicated Civil Engineering facilities include a Hydraulics & Structures lab Concrete & Geotechnics lab as well as a bending rig.

The swollen concrete lab and hydraulics lab are the heart of our Civil Engineering course, where we have a range of test equipment. This is where our students can carry out experimental work as part of their course, either as part modules or using those labs to work on their final year project.


Built Environment facilities

Our staff

Paul Laycock

Senior Lecturer

Paul is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and Course Director for BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology. Paul was originally a site manager. He moved into design management and from there became an Architectural Technologist. He taught at Northumbria University and then moved back into industry as a...

More about Paul

Sue Hayhow

Senior Lecturer

Senior lecturer Sue Hayhow is a former associate partner of Lawrence and Wightman who moved into Social Housing, managing large regeneration projects in the West Midlands. Sue is a member of RICS and has been training and assessing young surveyors since 1994. She's recently been a judge for the RICS regional awards.

More about Sue