Graduate Diploma Building Surveying

Entry year
Course code
Architecture and the Built Environment
Two years full-time or over three years part-time by day-release.
Full-time, part-time, part-time day release; block release for all.
Programme leader
David Osborne

Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants. If you would like information about our alternative courses which has been developed and enhanced to replace it, please visit the Architecture and the Built Environment page.

Page last updated 2 June 2020


Obtain an RICS-accredited qualification, heighten your career prospects and develop your managerial and technical skills. The course boasts excellent industry links and high employability levels.

Accreditations and partnerships:

The Graduate Diploma in Building Surveying is an innovative course for graduates who wish to follow an accredited route towards qualification as a Chartered Building Surveyor and/or Chartered Building Engineer. This course is fully accredited as a postgraduate route way to the desired chartered status.

UWE Bristol developed this course route through extensive consultation with local and national employers, to offer a comprehensive programme of study. Our links with the profession, locally and nationally, help us maintain a high employability record and ensure you are best placed to advance your career.

Real-world input

The course's teaching staff includes Chartered Building Surveyors with many years' experience, and you'll benefit from part-time visiting practitioners and speakers. The course also draws upon the research and consultancy carried out in the department.

You'll have access to a coherent programme of study in building surveying, underpinned by staff research and consultancy that reflects and answers the needs of professional practise. This will enable you to become an effective member of a building surveying team within a relatively short period.

We encourage you to examine the link between theoretical concepts, research outputs and the practise of building surveying, while developing your academic skills within a professionally defined framework. You will also develop an excellent understanding of the multi-disciplinary and multi-professional nature of building surveying.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



For the Graduate Diploma you will study the following modules over two years full-time or over three years part-time by day release.

Year one

You will study:

  • Management of Residential Refurbishment Projects (Level 2: 30 credits) - Explores the design, construction and social issues that influence  refurbishment and redevelopment of residential property in the private, social housing and public sectors
  • Professional Consultancy and Contract Administration (Level 2: 30 credits) - The Role of the Building Surveyor in providing a range of professional services including the practical risks involved and procedures for mitigating such risk to appropriate professional standards as well as examination of the legal issues and responsibilities arising from the administration of contracts
  • Building Pathology (Level 3: 15 credits) - A core area for Building surveying - investigating the pathology of how buildings deteriorate, exploring the range of investigative and reporting techniques and protocol a building surveyor uses
  • Commercial Development (Level 3: 30 credits) - Here we look at the issues affecting design, selection criteria and performance characteristics in design, construction, and services. We explore the economic and market influences on the feasibility of property development schemes
  • Conserving buildings and places (Level 3: 15 credits) - An introduction to the ideas, principles and practices of conserving the built heritage. It includes an academic consideration of conservation values
  • Integrating Project (Level M: 30 credits)- This module looks at refurbishment of commercial property from a practical perspective on how to achieve clients' challenges, and in consideration of the management issues related to such works. Where possible, this is delivered jointly with practitioners and real-life situations, giving you valuable real-world insights and experience.

Year two

You will study:

  • Estates and Strategic Management (Level M: 15 credits) - A study of the management of an organisation's built estate assets in relation to their corporate goals, considering various environmental factors
  • Building Information Management (BIM) in Operations and Maintenance (Level M: 15 credits) - Examine the role of BIM for building and asset operation and maintenance, and the challenges of BIM-Facilities Management (FM) integration.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching methods vary between modules, but include lectures, project work and tutorials.

We provide a friendly, supportive learning environment. Our teaching staff are all involved in research or professional practice, so you learn directly from the latest academic and business developments.

See our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

Study time

Full-time students study the modules over two years (two days a week for year one and the equivalent of one day a week for year two) .

Part-time students study the modules in separate years, so they attend one day a week over three years.


Assessment is through a balance of coursework and examinations. Examinations are held in either January or May/June. Coursework comprises a variety of essays, reports, surveys, design projects, teamwork and progress tests.

We encourage you to undertake 'formative work' to prepare for assessment. This will not count towards your module marks, but the feedback you receive will help you improve your performance.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by both the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

Both postgraduate routes satisfy the academic requirements for entry to the RICS. You must spend a minimum of two years in practice, and pass the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) set by the RICS before you can achieve full membership.

You can become a student member of the RICS while you study, and part-time students can start the APC if in relevant employment, subject to RICS regulations.


The course includes a range of activities. These have included a two-day residential team-building and induction programme, a range of lectures from visiting practicing professionals and the RICS Regional Training Advise and also visits to appropriate construction sites and other relevant locations to enhance the learning experience.

Please note, the trips and events change annually according to availability and course relevance.

Study facilities

You may 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 to support teaching and research. There is also an audio-visual group that provides support for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording.

The Department has invested significantly in on and offline computer-based resources to support modules - especially those available through distance learning. Frenchay Campus library gives you 24/7 access to a vast number of journals and databases, and many computer labs are also open around the clock. The department's suite of computer rooms supports software for word processing, data analysis, spatial analysis, computer-aided design and other specialist software.

Student Advisers are available for pastoral support and general advice.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources


Careers / Further study

Building Surveying encompasses a wide range of activities related to design, construction and property management. Whilst emphasis is often 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.

Both routes of study we provide are regarded highly by existing and potential employers, and our employability record is excellent. Our graduates often go straight into employment, or use their newfound skills and knowledge to enhance their current roles or move into management positions with existing employers.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 


We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2020. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Entry requirements

We normally require an honours degree at 2:2 or above.

The point at which you enter the course will depend on your qualifications and experience:

  • If your degree is unrelated to Building Surveying, you would complete the Pre Enrolment Learning before starting on the Graduate Diploma
  • If your degree is related to Building Surveying, you would start on the Graduate Diploma (without needing to do the Pre Enrolment Learning)

Related subjects for the purpose of the criteria above include Architecture, Architectural Technology, Construction Management and Quantity Surveying.

We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirements, but who do have relevant professional experience or qualifications. In your application, you should describe in detail your professional experience and qualifications.

As this is a vocational course, applicants are expected to show through their application that they have an understanding of the profession, and are advised to gain work-shadowing or similar experience before the course starts.

Pre-Enrolment Learning

If you do not have a related first degree and/or relevant work experience you will not have the required knowledge of domestic construction, law, economics, environmental science or materials science, and will need to undertake Pre-Enrolment Learning 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. If required to undertake the Pre-Enrolment Learning, you must pass the assessment before joining the Graduate Diploma Building Surveying course. There will be a fee of around £500 for the learning materials and assessment.

The PEL takes a minimum of 12 weeks of study. If you aim to start the Graduate Diploma Building Surveying in September it is best to apply early, to allow sufficient time for completion of the assessment and subsequent processing of your application, and by no later than 31 May.

If you think you need to do the PEL you should apply for the course in the usual way. If you are given a conditional offer subject to completing the PEL, acceptance of the conditional offer will start the process of enrolment onto the PEL course.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

How to apply

Read more about postgraduate applications

For further information