School of Art, Design and Architecture

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying

UCAS tariff 96 - 112
UCAS course code K232
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Assessment breakdown 65% coursework 35% exams
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Build your knowledge and skills in the physical care, repair, conservation, restoration and refurbishment of buildings. The combination of lectures, site visits, tutorials and an optional year-long paid industry placement will prepare you for a range of routes in the construction and surveying sector, including building surveying, property management, project management, or building regulation.

Building Surveying
Key features

  • Gain industry experience with the option to take part in a year-long paid work placement.

  • Live, real-world design and build projects guided by our panel of industrial advisers enable you to develop the professional skills to stand out in the sector.
  • Learn using industry-standard facilities, resources and equipment, including a designated design studio space, specialist laboratories (materials and immersive visualisation) and Mac and PC suites with industry-standard software (such as Revit, AutoCAD, MS Project and BCIS database).   

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Principles of Economics and Management (BLDG402)

      This module presents the fundamental economic and financial techniques used to critically analyse the cost of a project and its financial feasibility. The module also introduces the students to the communication and team management theories and techniques necessary to successfully complete construction projects.

    • Built Environment Project 1 (BLDG405)

      This module encourages students to implement the knowledge in construction technologies as well as the team working, time management and graphical representation skills developed in the course. It involves designing a domestic building according to a realistic brief set by a client in a collaborative and multidisciplinary exercise, where each student assumes different roles, including building surveyor, construction manager, building services engineer, and architectural engineer.

    • Fundamentals of Construction (BLDG406)

      This module introduces students to the construction industry and the relationship between construction and the local, regional and global environment and presents the characteristics and requirements of the different professional disciplines involved in construction industry. It also provides students with fundamental knowledge, underlying concepts and principles in the areas of domestic building technology and the construction process, including domestic building services.

    • Building Physics (BLDG407)

      This module introduces students to building science and physics, necessary to appreciate how buildings perform. Laboratory-based sessions allow students to experience the measurement and assessment of building performance by practical experimentation with thermal comfort, daylighting, noise levels, and electricity consumption.

    • Digital Built Environment (BLDG409)

      This module provides students with the information, communication, graphical representation and digital modelling skills needed for the design, construction and management of building projects by means of a combination of lectures and practical on 2D, 3D and modelling tools.

    • Construction Materials and Site Surveying (CIVL102)

      This module provides a theoretical and practical understanding of key construction materials and site surveying practices. The origins, properties, quality, specification, sustainability and environmental impact of a range of construction materials are investigated. This is combined with an appreciation for the need to accurately locate features on site.

    • Stage 1 Placement Preparation (FAPY100)

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

  • Year 2

  • Core modules

    Construction technology (BLDG512)

    This module will expand the knowledge in building technology and processes gained in Year 1. Focusing on the design and construction of framed buildings, the module provides the student with a full understanding of current and innovative building technologies, materials and systems.

    Property development and refurbishment (BLDG510)

    This module will introduce you to the reuse and adaptation of existing buildings, as well as provide a detailed understanding of the technical, environmental and regulatory aspects associated with building refurbishment and the retrofitting process. The module will also provide you with an understanding of planning and development procedures for existing building projects.

    Building surveying principles and practice (BLDG504)

    This module aims to ensure the students acquire and practice knowledge and skills that are essential to core building surveying practice. The module will help students gain knowledge of building pathology and forensics, including diagnosis of common building defects in domestic scale buildings, causes of building deterioration, development of a professional condition survey, and health and safety practices in remediating building defects.

    Common Challenge: Built Environment (BLDG515)

    This module encourages students to implement the knowledge in construction technologies as well as the team working, time management and graphical representation skills developed in the course. It involves designing a framed and complex building, or a specific building element contained in it, according to a realistic brief set by a client in a collaborative and multidisciplinary exercise, where each student assumes different construction roles.

    Building services engineering (BLDG511)

    This module provides students with further knowledge, underlying concepts and principles in the areas of building science and building services technologies for large and non-domestic buildings.

    Contract procedures (BLDG506)

    Construction projects normally involve a large number of individual companies due to the fragmented supply chain in the sector. This module allows students to appreciate the complexity associated with procurement and project contract administration. It provides students with a deeper understanding of cost estimating, project feasibility studies and dispute resolution in the construction industry. Students will also gain practical experience of using computer programs used for cost estimating.

  • Optional placement year

  • In your third year, you will have the opportunity to undertake an optional year of professional paid training in an approved placement with a suitable company in the UK or abroad.

    Core modules

    • Industry Placement (FAPY602)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    Common Dissertation (ADA600)

    The module engages students in situating practice through research, contextualisation and critical reflection, in relation to their final stage study and post University aspirations. Programmes can offer: a traditional dissertation; preparation for an extended dissertation; situating existing practice; or the construction of a new body of work as practice-based research.

    Sustainable and safe construction (BLDG603)

    With the aim of achieving a more sustainable and safe construction industry in mind, this module provides students with in-depth understanding and critical awareness in sustainability and safety related issues related to the built environment. The module focuses on developing the skills to critically appraise and reduce the impact of buildings and construction on environmental, economic, social and health and safety aspects whilst meeting the needs of a sustainable built environment.

    Building and property law (BLDG604)

    This module focuses on the complex legal environment faced by construction professionals. It provides the students with an understanding of key legal principles in negligence, nuisance, trespass and other torts as well as key concepts in property and construction law. It also examines obligations and liabilities in a construction and property context.

    Dissertation Project (BLDG612)

    The dissertation project provides students with a vehicle to undertake in depth research in a subject of their choice. Students undertaking this module will have developed a research proposal that is based on a solid general knowledge of the discipline of construction in Semester 1. This module builds on this introduction to research methods and carries out the actual research.

    Built environment project 3 (BLDG609)

    This is primarily a student led project module encouraging the integration of knowledge and skills developed on the programme. The module involves applied research and undertaking a realistic professional commission in a collaborative and multidisciplinary exercise, where each student is required to complete those tasks relevant to the specific discipline.

    Building surveying and professional practice (BLDG607)

    This module addresses a detailed appreciation of the core activities undertaken and managed by practising building surveyors, including diagnosis and remediation of complex building defects, facility management, and other professional services provided by building surveyors. The module focuses on embedding knowledge and understanding issues faced by modern professionals in delivering their services in a professional and ethical manner.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Building Surveying programme specification 6769

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 112

A level
A minimum of 2 A levels; General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
26–28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification, it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Mathematics and English Language grade C.

All relevant international qualifications will be considered – please contact

  • Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.
  • Second year entry possible with a good HNC/HND or equivalent.
  • Equivalent qualifications and industry experience can be considered.
Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications, please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

The University of Plymouth provides a wide range of financial support to help you during your time with us. For more information regarding tuition fees and scholarships and bursaries, please visit our fees and funding pages.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.

Find out more at or contact our team at

What is building surveying?

Building surveyors are involved in construction projects throughout the whole lifecycle: from buying the land, making professional assessments and giving advice on the demolition, conservation and restoration of existing buildings; planning and monitoring the construction process; and managing the finished building.

You will learn about subjects such as building pathology and forensics, including diagnosis of common building defects, development of condition surveys, health and safety and sustainable practices in remediating building defects, dilapidations, building maintenance management, feasibility studies and property legal services.

Learn from experts in their field

Industry-relevant experience and opportunities

With close industry links, we're able to offer a course that is relevant and up-to-date with great career prospects.

Optional industry work placement

Optional industry work placement
To enhance your degree experience and boost your future employability, you can choose to undertake a one-year paid industry work placement.

Your future career

Your future career
Our graduates gain employment in surveying and project management consultancies, both in the private and public sector.

Student experience

Student experience
"I spent my placement year at Malcolm Hollis LLP in their Birmingham office... on the back of my year I was offered a job with their London Office!"

How you will be taught and assessed

You will be taught through lectures, design studio sessions, laboratory work, tutorials, seminars, workshops with industry professionals, practical sessions, guest lectures and site visits.

You will be assessed through a combination of individual and group coursework, reports, verbal presentations and exams.

You will develop and employ a wide range of skills, from preparing BIM models to developing detailed condition survey reports and feasibility studies and delivering convincing visual and verbal presentations.

<p>Architecture studio space</p>
<p>Architectural Engineering Facilities</p>
<p>Architecture MAC labs</p>

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.