School of Art, Design and Architecture

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying

Our industry-recognised BSc (Hons) Building Surveying course is designed to build your knowledge and skills in the physical care, repair, conservation and 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.

This course will help you gain the problem-solving skills and technical knowledge necessary to survey buildings and identify defects. You will also participate in real-world group projects involving the refurbishment of existing, historic and listed buildings, as well as new-build, which will help you understand the surveyor’s role, the client’s requirements, and develop project management skills.

Key features

  • Our course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).
  • This course is designed around a common first year with BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management, allowing you to transfer to these courses after successful completion of Year 1.
  • You will gain valuable experience with an optional, paid year-long placement in a leading surveying company in the UK or abroad. Our industry links will help you find a placement, boosting your studies with practical experience and providing the contacts that can lead to future employment.
  • You will be part of a vibrant multidisciplinary learning environment, working with students from other built environment disciplines, including construction project managers, architectural engineers and quantity surveyors.
  • You will have access to a wide range of industry standard facilities, resources and equipment, including, a designated design studio space, specialist laboratories and workshops, Mac and PC suites, a 360 degree immersive vision theatre.
  • Each year the building surveying knowledge and skills you develop come together in a real-world design and build project with an actual client and project brief. Guided by our panel of industrial advisers, you will develop the professional skills to stand out in the sector.
  • Learn from leaders in their fields. Our staff come from both industry and research backgrounds. Industry professionals also play an active role in the course participating in guest lectures, workshops and tutorials.
  • Our built environment courses have been running for over 25 years.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • BLDG402 Principles of Economics and Management

      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.

    • BLDG404 ICT for Architecture and Construction Projects

      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 2D CAD and BIM practicals, which will incorporate support on a one-to-one basis.

    • BLDG405 Built Environment Project 1

      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.

    • BLDG406 Fundamentals of Construction

      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.

    • BLDG407 Building Physics

      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.

    • CIVL102 Construction Materials and Site Surveying

      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.

    • FAPY100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      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
    • BLDG501 Technology of Large and Innovative Buildings

      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 used in high performance framed buildings.

    • BLDG504 Building Surveying Principles and Practices

      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.

    • BLDG506 Contract Procedures

      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 provide 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.

    • BLDG508 Built Environment Project 2

      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.

    • BLDG510 Property Development and Refurbishment

      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.

    • BLDG511 Building Services Engineering

      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.

    • FAPY200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the Level 1 module (FAPY100), this module continues to support you with the search for your placement and preparation for the placement itself.

  • 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
    • FAPY602 Industry Placement

      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
    • BLDG603 Sustainable and Safe Construction

      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.

    • BLDG604 Building and Property Law

      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.

    • BLDG607 Building Surveying Professional Practice

      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.

    • BLDG609 Built Environment Project 3

      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.

    • BLDG611 Research Methods in the Built Environment

      This module provides students with a solid basis to undertake in depth research in a subject of their choice. It requires students to develop a research proposal that is based on a solid general knowledge of their discipline in construction. For students progressing to BLDG612, this module provides students with an understanding of the research methods necessary to undertake a dissertation in a built environment related topic.

    • BLDG612 Dissertation Project

      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 BLDG601. This module builds on this introduction to research methods and carries out the actual research.

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 2020 21 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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

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

International Baccalaureate
28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma 
DDM

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.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.

All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Other
  • 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 admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU To be confirmed To be confirmed
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities 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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • [ A top 10 University for Building courses in England and Wales by overall student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2019)
  • ? A top 10 UK Young University for Art, Design and Architecture (Times Higher Education World University ranking 2019
  • < First Class Category of Sustainable Universities in the UK (People and Planet Green League)

1st in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction in Building Surveying (NSS2019)

We take great pride in the fact that our students enjoy their studies with us so much.

  • 100% said that staff were good at explaining things
  • 100% thought the course is intellectually stimulating
  • 90% enjoyed being part of our community of staff and students, having the right opportunities to work with others.  

Building Surveying

Building surveyors are involved in construction projects throughout the whole lifecycle: from buying the land, professional assessments and 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.

Triple accreditation

Our course is fully accredited by the leading professional bodies recognised for surveyors: the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

Professional accreditation is an internationally recognised seal of quality assurance. The award of accreditations signify that both the University of Plymouth and the BSc (Hons) Building Surveying course have met the highest standards of academic and vocational quality.

As a graduate of our accredited course, you will be on the preferred professional route to RICS, CIOB and CABE chartered membership.

Building surveying facilities and resources

We are continuingly investing in our facilities and resources. You will have access, seven days a week, to a designated design studio space, specialist laboratories (materials, immersive visualisation) and Mac and PC suites with industry standard software (such as Revit, AutoCAD, MS Project and BCIS database).

You will also be provided with full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required to enter construction sites, including safety boots, high vis jacket, gloves, safety glasses and hard helmet.

Find out more about the facilities and resources available to you

Plymouth University Civil coastal engineering students surveying on campus.
<p>Architecture digital fabrication lab</p>
Undergraduate civil engineering students conducting a hands-on activity in the Brunel heavy structures laboratory W14
<p>Architecture studio space</p>
<p>Architectural Engineering Facilities</p>
<p>Architecture MAC labs</p>

Virtual tour of our campus and Plymouth

Experience first-hand what it is like to be on campus and explore the environments and facilities that inspire and shape our learning every day. 

Step into one of our campus buildings and explore our facilities

Check out our comprehensive range of useful services available to you and spot areas of interest in Plymouth.

Discover our virtual tour

How you will be taught and assessed

You will be taught by 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, through reports, and 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.

Industry-led group projects

A key feature of our building surveying course is that the skills you develop each year come together in a real-world, industry-led group project with an actual project brief.

You will have the opportunity to work with other built environment students to challenge and develop your team working skills in a professional industry scenario.

You will also benefit from the expert advice of more than thirty industry professionals who provide guidance in workshops, seminars and tutorials.

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 between the second and final year of your course.

You will receive help to find a work placement and a tutor from the university will support you on your placement.

Our building surveying students have recently secured work placements in AECOM, Faithful and Gould (Atkins), Arcadis, CBRE, Bailey Partnership, Houses of Parliament, Kier Construction and Currie and Brown.

You will also receive an additional certificate at graduation in recognition of your placement year.

Find out more about placements

What do our building surveying students and graduates say about their time on the course?

Your future career

Graduates of BSc (Hons) Building Surveying have an excellent track record in gaining employment in surveying and project management consultancies, both in the private and public sector.

Graduates secure positions in companies, such as: National Trust, Faithful and Gould (Atkins), CBRE, Houses of Parliament, AECOM, Kier Construction and Currie and Brown.

Throughout your time at University of Plymouth, you will have access to a wide range of opportunities to boost your employability, including, an optional one year paid industry placement, talks and workshops with future employers and careers events and support services.

Find out more about career opportunities

Admissions: Construction Professionals

If you are already working in the construction industry, we offer flexible routes for construction professionals to study for a degree in Building Surveying whilst continuing to work:

  • Study flexibly one or two days per week by spreading one year’s study over two years and only paying for the credits taken.
  • We will consider your previous qualifications or industry experience.
  • You can directly join the second year of our degree if you already have a Foundation Degree (FdSc), Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher National Certificate (HNC).
If you are interested in studying BSc (Hons) Building Surveying by any of the routes above, the first step is to contact the admissions tutor: Dr Rory Jones.

Admissions: Foundation Degrees and HNC/HND

Every year, new students join us directly in the second year of our BSc (Hons) Building Surveying degree, who are studying for a foundation degree or HNC/HND at one of our partner colleges (City College Plymouth, Cornwall College, PETROC or South Devon College) or elsewhere. 

We can also offer you flexible study, one or two days per week by spreading one year’s study over two years and only paying for the credits taken.

If you are interested in joining us to study BSc (Hons) Building Surveying after you finish your foundation degree or HNC/HND, the first step is to contact the admissions tutor: Dr Rory Jones.

European and International Students

Building Surveying is studied by students globally and we welcome European and International students from around the world to study with us. Our Built Environment courses currently have students from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

We offer three routes for European and International students to study Building Surveying at our university:

  • Join us in the first year and start your degree journey with us.
  • If you are already studying building surveying or a similar course, we can offer you a place directly in our second or final year.
  • A one year exchange programme between your current university and us.

If you are interested in studying BSc (Hons) Building Surveying by any of the routes above, the first step is to contact the admissions tutor: Dr Rory Jones.

People

* 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.