Picture of Student surveying a building

MSc/Graduate Diploma

Building Surveying

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Architecture and the Built Environment
Masters: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time. Graduate Diploma: Nine months full-time plus seven months by block release (total 16 months), or 21 months part-time by day release plus seven months by block release (total 28 months).
Full-time, part-time, part-time day release; block release for all.
Programme leader:
David Hardwick
Key fact:
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.

Page last updated 10 November 2017


This postgraduate Building Surveying course 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. You can achieve this by completing the Graduate Diploma then continuing onto a full Masters by completing the dissertation, or directly enter at Masters level (please see 'Entry Requirements' for more information). Both qualifications are fully accredited as postgraduate route ways to the desired chartered status.

UWE Bristol developed both course routes 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.

Real-world input

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

You will 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 practice. You will be able 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 practice 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

Accreditations and partnerships:



For the Graduate Diploma you will study the following Level 2 and 3 modules over one year full-time, or over two years part-time by day-release. Upon completion of these you will then progress to the M level modules.

Direct entry Masters students start with the level 3 Modules.

Level 2

  • Analysis of Building Defect (15 credits) - Investigating how buildings deteriorate, and exploring the range of investigative and reporting techniques a building surveyor uses.
  • Building Surveys and Professional Consultancy (15 credits) - A closer look at the building surveyor's role and the range of professional services he or she may be engaged in, along with the practical risks involved and the procedures for mitigating such risk within appropriate professional standards.
  • Residential Refurbishment and Maintenance (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.

Level 3

  • Commercial Development (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.
  • Procurement and Contract Law (15 credits) - A study of the legal issues arising from the administration of construction contracts.
  • Conserving Buildings and Places (15 credits) - An introduction to the ideas, principles and practices of conserving the built heritage. It includes an academic consideration of conservation values.

Level M (Masters)

  • BS (Building Surveying)Integrating Project (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.
  • Estates and Strategic Management (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 in Operation & Maintenance (15 credits) - Examine the role of BIM for building and asset operation and maintenance, and the challenges of BIM-Facilities Management (FM) integration.
  • Dissertation (60 credit) - MSc students also take the dissertation module. Successful Graduate Diploma students can also apply to add the dissertation module and achieve a full MSc. This module will equip and guide you to undertake independent research on issues and topics relevant to construction and the built environment.

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 can study the Level 2 and 3 modules over one year.

Part-time students take the Level 2 and level 3 modules in separate years so they attend one day a week over two years.

The Masters Modules are delivered in blocks starting in the summer immediately after their Level 3 modules are completed in order that the Graduate Diploma is completed by the end of December.

Direct entry Master's students can complete their studies in one year or spread them over two years, starting with Level 3 modules in the first year and Master's modules in the second.


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. The UWE Bristol 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.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.


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 UWE Bristol provides 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.


MSc - Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee7000
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)583
International-Full Time-Award Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1042
Offshore-Full Time-Award Fee12500
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1042

Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 


Entry requirements

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, which you can top-up to an MSc by completing the Dissertation.
  • If your degree is related to Building Surveying, you would start on the Graduate Diploma (without needing to do the Pre Enrolment Learning), which you can top-up to an MSc by completing the Dissertation.
  • If your degree is related to Building Surveying and you have two years' postgraduate professional experience, you would start on the MSc.

See 'Structure' for more information on what you would study. Full details of entry requirements continues below.

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. 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 £500 for the learning materials and assessment.

The PEL takes around three months to complete but as it is distance learning this can vary. To allow adequate time, entry onto the PEL normally closes at the beginning of July each year. If you aim to start the Graduate Diploma course in September it is best to apply by early Summer and sooner if possible.

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.

Grad Dip

We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above.

Applicants whose degree is not in or another closely related subject will usually be asked to complete the Pre-Enrolment Learning (see above).

We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirement, 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.


We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above in architecture, architectural technology, construction management, quantity surveying or another closely related subject.

Applicants will also be expected to have two years' professional experience in construction or surveying since completing their degree.

For further information

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