MSc Building Surveying

Entry year
Course code
Architecture and the Built Environment
MSc Building Surveying: One year full-time; two years part-time. MSc Building Surveying (with preparatory studies): 2 years full-time; 3 years part-time.
Full-time; Part-time, starts September
Programme leader
Kevin Burnside

Page last updated 13 April 2021


Obtain a 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 MSc 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.

You don't need a specific undergraduate degree or related professional experience to do study this course. It's offered with preparatory studies to cater for students whose undergraduate degree is not in building surveying or a closely related subject area, and/or who do not have at least two years professional experience in construction or surveying.

UWE Bristol has developed this course through extensive consultation with employers, in order to offer a comprehensive programme of study. Our links with the profession, locally and nationally, help us maintain a high employability record.

This course is fully accredited as a postgraduate route way to the desired chartered status.

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. This will enable you to become an effective member of a building surveying team within a relatively short period.

On the course, 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'll also develop an excellent understanding of the multi-disciplinary and multi-professional nature of building surveying.



Year one

Pathway 1 (MSc Building Surveying)

You will study:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Pathway 2 (MSc Building Surveying with Preparatory Studies)

You will study all the above modules, plus:

  • 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.

Both MSc Building Surveying and MSc Building Surveying with Preparatory Studies:

You will study the following modules. (These will constitute Year two for MSc Building Surveying with Preparatory Studies):

  • 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 in Operation & 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
  • Dissertation (Level M: 60 credits) - 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
  • 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.

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, however it will 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 full glossary of learning and teaching terms

Study time

MSc one year full-time and two years part-time

Full-time students study all the modules in Year one. Attendance for full-time students is over three days per week.

Part-time students study the Level three modules in Year one and Level M modules in Year two, attendance being the equivalent of one day per week.

MSc with Preparatory Studies two years full-time, three years part-time

Full-time students study the Level two and three modules in Year one with two days attendance a week and Level M modules in Year two with the equivalent of one day attendance per week.

Part-time students study the Level two in Year one, Level three modules in Year two for one day a week and Level M in Year three for the equivalent one day a week.


Assessment is through a balance of coursework and examinations. Examinations are held in either January or April/May. 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

Both courses are accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

Both courses satisfies 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.


This course includes a range of lectures from visiting practicing professionals and the RICS Regional Training Adviser and also visits to appropriate construction sites and other relevant locations to enhance the learning experience.

Study facilities

We have 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.

Our Department of Architecture and the Built Environment has invested significantly in online and offline computer-based resources to support modules - especially those available through distance learning. Find out more about our department facilities.

The 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 that 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 to move into management positions with existing employers.


Supplementary fee information

Please note that the MSc with Preparatory Studies contains an additional 60 credits of study and as a consequence will be a total of 240 rather than the usual 180 credits. The additional credit requirement is reflected in the published fees information.


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 related to Building Surveying and you have two years' postgraduate professional experience, you will start on the MSc
  • If your degree is related to Building Surveying or you do not meet the professional experience criteria, you will start on the MSc with Preparatory Studies

Applicants whose degree is not related to Building Surveying will be required to some pre-reading before starting the MSc Building Surveying with Preparatory Studies course.

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 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.

English language support

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

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