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MSc-Graduate Diploma Building Surveying

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  • Objectives
    The Graduate Diploma in Building Surveying is an innovative course aimed at those who already hold a degree in another subject and who wish to follow an RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) accredited route to qualification as a Chartered Building Surveyor.
  • Entry requirements
    The course was established following extensive consultation with local and national employers. It is not a one-year quick fix but a comprehensive programme of study that builds on knowledge and skills developed through the course. It is because of this and our links with the profession both locally and nationally that we have earned the trust of employers, and maintain a high employability record for those applicants not in employment at the start of the course. All full-time applicants have the opportunity to participate in our unique Foster Firm Scheme to gain relevant work experience with selected local and national firms, whilst studying at the University. A high proportion of the full-time teaching staff are Chartered Building Surveyors with many years' experience in practice, supported by part-time visiting practitioners and external speakers. The course also draws upon the research and consultancy carried out in the Faculty's Construction and Property Research Centre. We offer a comprehensive two-day residential team-building and induction programme featuring a range of speakers and the RICS Regional Training Adviser. Venues change yearly. There are visits to development projects and historic buildings. Field trips are organised to visit alumni working at firms in London, Washington DC or partnership organisations in Europe. It is possible to top up the Graduate Diploma to an MSc if you wish. If you hold a degree in architecture, architectural technology, construction management, quantity surveying or another closely related subject, you can apply for direct entry to the MSc. See further details below. The Graduate Diploma course aims to: -provide a coherent programme of study in building surveying, underpinned by staff research and consultancy; -provide a course that is firmly rooted in the needs of professional practice to enable you to become an effective member of a building surveying team within a short period of time; -offer a varied and flexible pattern of study, well suited to students and their employers; -provide an academic challenge and encourage you to develop the capacity for independent, analytical and reflective thought and judgement; -encourage you to examine the link between theoretical concepts, research outputs and the practice of building surveying; -develop your academic skills within a professionally defined framework in order to deepen knowledge in those fields regarded as core to the building surveyor, such as construction technology, building pathology and project management; -develop your understanding of the multi-disciplinary and multi-professional nature of the context in which building surveyors practice their profession; The course gives you the opportunity to: -obtain a RICS accredited qualification -advance your career prospects -develop your managerial and technical skills -reflect on professional practice -benefit from highly rated teaching and associated research, consultancy and practice links
  • Academic Title
    MSc/Graduate Diploma Building Surveying
  • Course description

    Pre Enrolment Learning

    If you do not have a related first degree and/or relevant work experience and therefore do not have knowledge of domestic construction, law, economics, environmental science or materials science, you will be required to undertake directed reading and work to prepare you for the course. The Pre Enrolment Learning (PEL) is equivalent to a 15 credit undergraduate module: it is studied by distance learning and is assessed through coursework, exam and an interview (viva). If required to undertake the Pre Enrolment Learning, you must pass the assessment before joining the Graduate Diploma course. There will be a fee of around £250 for the learning materials and assessment.

    Level 2 and 3 modules

    Building Defects and Property Surveys (20 credits) investigates the ways in which buildings deteriorate and explores the range of investigative and reporting techniques that the building surveyor employs.

    Building Services (10 credits) looks at the issues affecting the design, selection criteria and performance characteristics of the services incorporated in commercial buildings.

    Building Surveying Issues (10 credits) assists students to deepen their understanding of the range of issues that affect the building surveyor in practice.

    Design and Performance of Commercial Buildings (20 credits) covers the issues that relate to the detailed design, construction and performance of commercial buildings.

    Property Development Economics (20 credits) explores the range of economic and market variables that influence the feasibility of property development schemes.

    Property and Construction Law (20 credits) covers the legal issues arising from the ownership and occupation of commercial property and the administration of construction contracts.

    Refurbishment and Renewal (20 credits) explores the design, construction and social issues influencing the refurbishment and redevelopment of residential property in the private, social housing and public sectors.

    These Level 2 and 3 modules are studied over one year full time, or over two years part time by day release.

    Level M (Master's) modules

    There are two core modules, and you select a further 30 credits from the two specialist options. 

    Refurbishment Project Management (15 credit core module) builds on the core subjects covered earlier in the course, enabling students to work on a live project, utilising software and other methods to assess the viability of refurbishment and redevelopment options and to manage the refurbishment of individual commercial buildings in complex urban situations.

    Conserving Built Cultural Heritage (15 credit core module) is an introduction to the ideas, principles and practice of conserving the built heritage. It includes an academic consideration of conservation values.

    Two specialist options:

    Facilities Management (15 credits)
    1. Facilities and Space Management
    2. Estates and Strategic Management

    Construction Project Management (15 credits)
    1. Construction Project Management Principles
    2. Construction Project Management Practice

    These Level M modules are studied over one year in 10 blocks of two days each. You would normally be expected to have found relevant employment before undertaking the Level M study. We will assist you to find relevant employment where we can.

    You can top up the Graduate Diploma to an MSc by taking the Research for Policy and Practice module and producing a 60 credit dissertation. You would register for the MSc at the same time as starting the M Level study.

    The modules listed are regularly reviewed to ensure that they remain up to date and relevant, so some of them may change before the course starts or whilst you are on it, but the overall aims and broad content of the course will remain the same.

    Careers and professional accreditation

    Building Surveying encompasses a wide range of activities related to design, construction and property management. Whilst emphasis is placed on existing buildings, building surveyors are involved in all aspects of buildings, from conception, feasibility, design and construction to their strategic and tactical management, repair refurbishment, conversion and conservation.

    The course satisfies the academic requirements for entry to the RICS Building Surveying Faculty. Students are required to spend a minimum of two years in practice, and pass the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) set by the RICS before gaining full membership. Both full and part-time students can start the APC after their first year of study, if in relevant employment, which means that they may become members of the RICS within two years of graduation

    Pattern and duration of study
    You may study the Level 2 and 3 modules full time over one year, or part time (one day each week) over two years.

    For the M Level modules, you normally attend for 10 two-day blocks over one academic year.

    Teaching and learning
    Teaching methods are varied depending on the module; lectures, project work and tutorials all have a part. Assessment is achieved through a balance of coursework and examinations. Examinations are held in either January or May/June. Coursework will comprise a variety of essays, reports, surveys, design projects, teamwork or progress tests.

    You are encouraged to do 'formative work' to prepare for assessments: this does not count towards your marks but the feedback which you receive will help you to improve your performance.

    The teaching staff provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning. They are also actively engaged in research or professional practice, ensuring that you learn directly from the latest academic and business developments.

    The Graduate School

    The Faculty's Graduate School was established in 2005. Its main purpose is to foster an active graduate community, encompassing students on postgraduate taught courses and students undertaking research degrees. There are currently around 700 postgraduate students (400 attending and 300 distance learning) on taught courses, and about 40 postgraduate research students. The Graduate School has dedicated space in the Faculty's building on the main campus, with teaching accommodation, a kitchen and informal areas. The work of the Graduate School is based on the Faculty's extensive research programmes, and on the innovation and high quality of its teaching. Student advisers for all postgraduate courses are located in the Graduate School Office, and they are your first point of contact if you have any problems or need information. The Student Handbook is also an essential source of information.

    You may also use the well equipped laboratories for concrete and environmental services, environmental physics, earth sciences, spatial analysis (including mapping and Geographical Information Systems) and surveying technology, each with specialist technicians supporting both teaching and research. An audio-visual group provides support for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording.

    The Faculty has invested in online and offline computer-based resources to support modules, and especially those offered by distance learning. You also have access to a vast number of journals and databases online through the Bristol UWE library. The library and some computer labs on campus are open 24 hours, and the Faculty's suite of computer rooms supports software for word processing, data analysis, spatial analysis, computer aided design and other specialist software required by our students.

    How to apply
    We normally require a first degree of 2:2 or above.

    As this is a vocational course, applicants are expected to express a strong interest in becoming building surveyors. You would normally be expected to have had work-shadowing experience prior to induction and be in relevant employment when undertaking the Level M study.

    This course mainly focuses on UK policy and practice, and it may therefore be less suitable for international students intending to return to work in their home countries.

    We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but who do have substantial relevant work or other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course.

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