School of Architecture, Design and Environment

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying and the Environment

Lay the foundations for a successful career as a building surveyor, as you build your knowledge and skills in the physical care, repair and refurbishment of buildings. The combination of lectures, field trips, site visits, tutorials and an optional year-long paid industry placement will prepare you for a range of potential routes in the construction sector including building surveying, quantity surveying, property management or building regulation.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Course type

Key features

  • Launch your career – 75 per cent of graduates from this programme are in professional or managerial employment within just six months of graduation (
  • Our building courses were ranked sixth in the country in the The Times and the Sunday Times League Table 2015.
  • Explore the industry with site visits and field trips (including a fully funded European field trip), observing construction practices within and outside the UK.
  • Learn from leaders in their fields - our staff come from both industry and research backgrounds. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and have access to an exciting and diverse programme of visiting speakers.
  • Lead the way in the industry - the environmental focus of our course enables you to place yourself at the forefront of the sector, able to embrace the trend of stricter environmental and energy-based legislation.
  • Gain valuable workplace experience with a paid year-long placement in a leading construction company in the UK or abroad. Our industry links will help you find a placement, boosting your studies with practical experience and cultivating the contacts that can lead to future employment.
  • Have a real-world impact as you engage in industry-led group projects with genuine project briefs and clients. Guided by our panel of industrial advisers, you’ll develop the professional skills and networking to stand out in this sector.
  • Our course is fully accredited by the leading professional bodies recognised for building surveyors including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)  and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In Year 1, you'll develop your understanding of the principles of low-rise domestic buildings, including building technologies, services, construction methods, and materials of both new and existing buildings. You’ll also gain knowledge of construction and project management practices, preparing you to take on building projects of your own. An industry-led group project will see you work as part of a team to design an energy efficient housing development.
    Core modules
    • BLDG403 Building Science and Services

    • 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.

    • ATE402 Design Praxis and Technology

    • BLDG401 Fundamentals of Construction

    • BLDG404PP ICT for Architecture and Construction Projects

    • BLDG402 Principles of Economics and Management

    • 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
  • Delve more deeply into the principles of non-domestic buildings in Year 2, including building technologies, services, construction methods and materials. Advance your knowledge of building lifecycles, domestic building defects, diagnosis, and building condition surveying. Your industry-led group project will see you design and build, or retrofit, a complex high-rise building. Top it all off with a fully paid European field trip.
    Core modules
    • BLDG505 Building Services Engineering

    • BLDG504 Building Surveying Principles and Practices

    • BLDG506 Contract Procedures

    • ATE502 Integrated Design 2

    • BLDG502 Property development and refurbishment

    • 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.

    • BLDG501 Technology of Large and Innovative Buildings

  • Placement year
  • Take advantage of an optional year of paid professional training by undertaking an industry placement with a company in the UK or abroad. During your placement you will work alongside an experienced building surveyor, allowing you to put into practice the knowledge and skills gained in your first two years of study. The practical skills gained help prepare you for both the final year of your degree, and most importantly for entering the workplace after graduation.
    Core modules
    • FAPY302 Building Surveying and Construction Management 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
  • Cement your skillset as you build an in-depth knowledge of the diagnosis and solution of building defects. Develop an understanding of facility management, project management, team management, and risk management, and apply these skills through an industry-led consultancy project of a site development. Lead your own research project in a building surveying subject of your choice.
    Core modules
    • BLDG604 Building and Property Law

    • BLDG607 Building Surveying Professional Practice

    • BLDG602 Dissertation Project

    • BLDG605 Multidisciplinary Project 3

    • BLDG601 Research Methods in the Built Environment

    • BLDG603 Sustainable and Safe Construction

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
300 points from a minimum of two A levels.

International Baccalaureate
32 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

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.
You will be required to attend an interview.

Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact

English language requirements

Fees & funding

For all information about tuition fees, please visit our fees and funding pages.

Plymouth University 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.


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Information required by UCAS

Institution code
UCAS code
Campus code
There is no campus code
Application deadline
See UCAS website for deadline dates
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Open days

A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

Are you applying for a course starting this September? If you excel in your interview/audition you could be eligible for an unconditional offer.

We want to acknowledge your potential (as evidenced by your performance), as well as your commitment to us as an applicant. An unconditional offer allows you to focus on your upcoming examinations and begin planning for your Plymouth University career.

For more information please contact


The Times and Sunday Times University League Table 2015 ranks our construction and surveying courses sixth in the country for the subject area of Building.

The high ranking of our building courses nationally is testament to the huge team effort in delivering high quality teaching and research.

Industry-led group projects

Put your knowledge and teamwork skills into practice in professional industry scenarios, with a real client and project brief

Benefit from the expert advice of more than thirty industry professionals providing guidance via seminars and tutorials

Find out more about the industry-led projects

Industry placement

A placement year gives you access to professional knowledge, experience and contacts. It may even lead directly to employment.

Kick start your career with a year long paid placement in a leading construction company in the UK or abroad.

Find out more about placements

Fully-funded European field trip

Travel abroad to see how industry leaders across Europe work, their construction practices and the energy efficient buildings they construct.

Build stronger bonds with your fellow students and tutors as you explore the city.

Find out more about the fully-funded field trip

Graduate Profile - Oliver Werby

I was sold on Plymouth University after attending an Open Day there. I spent my placement year at Malcolm Hollis LLP in their Birmingham office and on the back of my placement year I was offered a job with their London Office.

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying and the Environment graduate Oliver shares his insights about his time with Plymouth University.

Read more about Oliver’s journey through to beginning his career

Plymouth University Building Society

PUBS is a society for those studying construction related degrees who want a head-start in the industry

With the student society for Environmental Building you can participate in site visits, guest lectures, socials and trips away

Visit the PUBS website for more information

Environmental Building with the School of Architecture, Design and Environment

Future buildings should consume less materials, be energy efficient, durable and comfortable, whilst also attractive and useful for society

Learn how to design, construct, upgrade and operate the buildings of the future with the Environmental Building discipline

Learn more about Environmental Building

Applicant buddies

Are you an applicant or thinking of applying to university? Do you want to speak to a current student about their experiences? We know that thinking about coming to university can seem a bit daunting, so we have a scheme to help - applicant buddies.

Dr Steve Butts, Associate Dean: Teaching and Learning

Chat to our applicant buddies