There are two modes of delivery for the MSc QSCM: full time on campus or
distance learning, and there are two entry points - September or
Extensive online learning material is provided to all students via the
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) - our own intranet site to which
students have access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Module leaders can be contacted via the VLE, e mail, telephone and
Intensive Study Periods - all students attend four intensive
study periods during their programme each being around three days long.
Students and staff enjoy these intensive sessions as they are able to
share experiences and knowledge as well as renew friendships and make
connections within the industry and the distance earning students get
the opportunity to meet face-to-face with staff.
The organisation and the collaborative nature of these intensive study
periods is always praised by our students who particularly like the
site visits, workshops and guest lectures from industry experts.
European Field trip -To expose our students to the international
nature of the construction industries, we also run a week long
subsidised fieldtrip to Europe (usually Holland) every year in January.
Feedback shows our students highly value this opportunity get to know
how construction in other countries works to different management
Applied or Problem-Based Learning - We have responded to requests
from industry to make our postgraduate education more practical and
industry focused by using an ‘applied’ approach to learning, sometimes
called “Problem-Based Learning” or PBL. This approach encourages
learning by allowing you to actively puzzle through problems that are
adapted from complex real-life situations. We use our links with
industrial practitioners to help devise these problems and, as
construction problems often cross discipline boundaries, they require
research and collaboration to find their solutions. This leads to a
more exciting and relevant student experience.
People, Leadership and Organisations: aims to develop your
knowledge and understanding of how behavioural and organisational
issues influence project performance.
It includes an overview of management approaches, an exploration of the
issues around understanding self and understanding others, team theory
and leadership, communication, conflict theory and resolution, conflict
resolution strategies and learning from experience in project
environments and also conflict and negotiation in the context of
personal and cultural differences.
To a large extent the module adopts a problem based learning (PBL)
approach. Here, PBL is facilitated through problem solving exercises
that are based on prominent case studies and game play exercises.
Project Planning, Control and Risk: prepares you to manage
projects within the built environment through the use of advanced
planning and control techniques. You will learn and apply a range of
skills in project planning, scheduling, monitoring and control that
includes cash flow and capital expenditure analysis, value management,
risk and opportunity management and the use of software-based decision
support tools as used in industry.
Managing Technology for Sustainable Environments: Technological
innovations and how they are managed are key elements in the
development of our built environment. This module introduces these as
considerations that should be made at the inception and briefing stages
of a project, not as afterthoughts. It also recognises that
construction is not devoid of the human dimension - the contexts within
which a construction project is situated, including influences of
climate, culture, and surrounding and supporting infrastructures are
also important. Thus you don’t study developments of technology in
isolation, but as part of a continuously innovating industry. In this
respect, managing Building Information Modelling (BIM), developments in
off-site construction and Low Carbon Construction are covered as part
of the module.
Quantity Surveying Practice: The financial management of project
design and construction, whether for client or contractor, is an
essential skill in the construction industry. This module helps you to
develop this skill. It is designed to initially develop your
understanding of the fundamental principles for building and civil
engineering measurement. You will gain a good understanding of the
standard methods of measurement such as NRM2 and CESMM4, develop
quantity take-off skills and understand the key roles and
responsibilities of a professional quantity surveyor with particular
reference to the construction tendering process and use of BIM.
Examination and production of costs associated with a range of
construction operations and projects are covered in the latter part of
the module. You study the principles and methodology in the computation
of construction costs throughout a project’s life cycle, including
relevant commercial factors and risk. This involves identifying and
assessing all direct and indirect costs related to construction works
as well as developing an understanding of the factors to be considered
at tender adjudication.
The module also equips you to administer and manage building contracts.
A wide range of contractual issues are discussed including: payment
valuation, variation assessment and claims evaluation. You learn and
apply a range of skills in basic contract law and tort, identifying and
choosing alternative procurement methods, dispute resolution techniques
used in construction and supply chain and commercial management.
Professional ethics and employers’ protection mechanisms such as
performance bond, guarantee and insurance provisions under common
contract conditions are also explored.
Applied Research Methods provides you with the fundamentals of
research design highlighting the difference between qualitative and
quantitative research paradigms and demonstrates how data can be both
gathered and analysed and how deductive arguments can be used to
produce valid generalisations from data. It also provides you with an
overview of particular research techniques such that they can choose
and develop those tools most appropriate to their particular research
The dissertation follows on from Applied Research Methods and
aims not only to generate new knowledge or insights but also to develop
your capacity to undertake rigorous research, to plan and execute an
extended project and to communicate complex ideas effectively in words
and graphically. By conducting your own primary research, you work with
a supervisor from within the department to produce an original piece of
work of publishable quality.
Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our
quality assurance framework, modules available may differ from
those shown here.
Teaching and learning
Teaching, learning and assessment methods are to a considerable degree
shaped by the use of the applied learning approach. This leads to a
more challenging and industrially relevant course than the traditional
Learning takes place through groups of students puzzling through
problems, often adapted from real situations with much of the
complexity and context intact, using published resources, or reference
to experts who are available to offer advice.
In full-time mode, the delivery of new material is weekly with
intermediate tutorial or seminar sessions. The intensive study weeks
and a European field-trip, wherein students in both modes of study come
together, complement this delivery pattern.
For the distance learner, the virtual learning environment is the
primary mode of delivery. Communication with distance learning students
will be supplemented by email, Skype and telephone.
Approach to assessment
Assessment is 100% coursework, which includes a great variety of types of work, including quizzes taken remotely on Moodle (Brookes online learning environment). Material can be downloaded from our virtual learning environment and closed discussions can take place. It also enables on campus and distance learning students to remain in contact with each other.
There are a number of field trips and site visits which take place
mainly during the intensive study periods.
The European field trip is compulsory and organised by the School.
Students pay £100 towards the costs. Fees for the study periods are
inclusive, but distance learners would need to budget for travelling to
the University, and for accommodation and food.
The programme attracts students from diverse backgrounds and locations.
Our students hail from as far afield as Nigeria, Russia and India, with
backgrounds ranging from the recently graduated, to employees of small
local companies, to fully established managers in large international
construction companies. This diverse group brings a plethora of
individual responses to the applied learning approach that is at the
core of our course delivery.
Typically distance learning students are employed in many different
countries by a range of organisations from both the private and public
sectors. By coming together in the intensive study periods, they have
the opportunity to share their experiences in order to gain a broader
understanding of the industry and the range of challenges that
Construction Project Managers face. Correspondingly our full time
students benefit from contact with the distance learning students,
whilst our distance learning students benefit from the inclusion in a
learning culture that the full time students bring.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes