Building Surveying

BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: K230

Start dates: September 2023 / September 2024

Full time: 4 years, including 1-year work placement

Part time: Please contact us for details

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of the Built Environment

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Building surveyors get involved in every stage of a building’s life – design, construction and management. So to succeed in your career, you’ll need a huge range of skills. Skills to survey buildings, to assess materials, predict costs and lead others. We’ll give you all that and more.

A key part of this course is the work placement year. As it’s compulsory, it means employers have a guaranteed pool of talent, so we get top businesses coming back each year to offer you a spot. And it means we can focus on helping you develop the skills you’ll actually use in the working world.

The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Building. You can become a student member of these industry bodies. However, unlike many accredited courses, we believe you shouldn’t be limited to one pathway. The construction industry is so broad that we designed the course for you to try your hand at a range of specialisms. Our construction courses share content in years 1 to 3 so you can change course up until year 4.

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Oxford Brookes University Building Surveying, BSc Hons degree course students on a construction site

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Connect with employers

    We have great links with big names and specialist companies who offer placements and send in staff to share their experience with you.

  • Fast track your career

    We find that our graduates are ready to progress quickly in the workplace thanks to our focus on essential skills and their experience of the work placement year.

  • Keep your options open

    The first 3 years are shared with Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying so you can learn a range of skills and even switch courses.

  • Expert teaching team

    Our staff are qualified and experienced in a range of fields. You’ll learn from surveyors, architects, civil engineers – and outside experts too.

  • Multiple field trips

    Site visits are essential to see things in practice. You’ll visit construction projects in Oxford in your very first week. In the second year, we’ll go to Europe.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

    • Chartered Institute of Building
    • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Course details

Course structure

We designed the course with employers to make sure you develop the skills you need for the workplace. In Year 1, modules like Introduction to Construction Practice get your industry knowledge up to speed. All your classes this year will be shared with Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying, so you’ll learn about those specialisms too.

In Year 2, you’ll start to learn the more advanced and practical skills you’ll need for your placement. As well as building on your general knowledge, you’ll study Building Pathology and Inspection so you can start to specialise in building surveying.

Year 3 is your placement. We have a wide range of options for you to pick, recent students have been placed with:

  • Carter Jones
  • Ridge and Partners
  • McBains
  • Godfrey-Payton.

Many providers allow you to work on rotation so you can learn about different teams within the business.

In your final year, you’ll bring all your new knowledge and experience together and learn specialist skills like Conservation & Restoration. You’ll also complete a dissertation to explore a topic in more depth.

Building Surveying, BSc Hons degree course student in the library at Oxford Brookes University

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to develop your personal, professional and study skills.

Our teaching methods include:

  • demonstrations
  • tutorials
  • practical work
  • role plays
  • simulations
  • problem-solving exercises
  • presentations.


We use a variety of assessment methods, including:

  • coursework
  • assignments
  • laboratory and field practicals
  • class and web-based tests
  • oral presentations
  • group work examinations.

Field Trips

There are a number of one-day UK field trips during the course to aid knowledge and understanding through live projects.

In Year 2 there is a mandatory European field trip aimed at broadening the understanding of construction design and management outside the UK.

For field trip costs see Tuition Fees. 

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Construction CIT 1 (15 credits)

    In this module, you will delve into the realm of construction communication and emerging information technology. Through hands-on practice, you will develop skills in both manual and computer-aided drawing, essential tools for conveying construction plans accurately. Furthermore, the module will acquaint you with communication and information technologies (CIT) that play a pivotal role in modern construction practices. You will learn how to utilize database management systems to manage, coordinate, communicate, and share project information efficiently.

    By the end of this module, you will be capable of preparing 2D technical drawings using computer-aided design tools and adhering to industry conventions. You will also become adept at independent problem-solving and information preparation, all while harnessing the power of contemporary information technology for the enhancement of construction processes.

  • Introduction to Construction Practice (15 credits)

    In this module, you will be introduced to the dynamic workings of the construction sector and the pivotal factors driving successful project delivery for diverse clientele. Also, you'll explore the diverse landscape of construction activities, ranging from new developments on untouched sites to the intricate interplay of replacements, extensions, and alterations in existing built environments. Additionally, you will delve into pre-contract cost management techniques, including cost planning based on the New Rules of Measurement (NRM). 

    By the end of this module, you will possess a comprehensive grasp of the construction industry's intricate operations, procurement processes, and economic principles. Moreover, you will be adept at applying essential cost management techniques and utilising key industry resources for accurate cost estimates, making you well-prepared to contribute effectively to construction projects and their successful outcomes

  • Building Design and Construction 1 (15 credits)

    Discover the principles of building design and construction in this introductory module. This module takes you through the key stages of residential building design, from the initial concept and client's brief to the selection of finishes. Emphasis is placed on developing your understanding of construction technology by exploring the appropriate use of building materials, design details, and construction techniques. You will also be introduced to the concept of client care, the formation of professional relationships, and the professional standards expected of a Chartered Surveyor. Furthermore, this module will provide you with an understanding of inclusive environments, considering the diverse needs of users and differentiating between legal requirements and ethical considerations in residential building design.

  • Foundation in Construction Law (15 credits)

    This module serves as your introduction to the realm of law, with a specific focus on contract law and tort law. This module aims to provide you with foundational knowledge in these areas, emphasising contract formation, property torts, and statutory laws relevant to the built environment. By doing so, it lays the groundwork for more advanced studies in construction procurement, quantity surveying, and building surveying at levels 5 and 6.

    By the end of this module, you will develop a solid understanding of civil obligations within the legal framework of England and Wales. Furthermore, you will explore the statutory regulations that have a direct impact on the construction industry. Research skills are a fundamental component of this module, equipping you with the ability to effectively utilise primary and secondary legal sources.

  • Integrative Project I (15 credits)

    This module helps develop crucial skills for the construction industry. You will explore construction management from various perspectives, including planning, technology, sustainability, climate change impacts, and commercial management. An essential component of the module is the integration of sustainability and climate change considerations into construction management. You will apply the processes of analysis and reflection to real-life projects, exploring ways to incorporate sustainable practices and address climate change impacts. Additionally, you will develop a solid foundation in basic mathematical techniques, enabling you to tackle discipline-based problems with confidence. 

    On successful completion of this module, you’ll develop problem-solving abilities with basic maths techniques and construction management software. Moreover, through group work and seminars, you’ll learn to thrive in team environments, prepared for collaborative professional settings

  • Quantity Surveying Practice I (15 credits)

    Throughout this module, you will embark on a journey to grasp the fundamental principles that underpin building measurement, equipping you with the knowledge and capabilities needed to effectively quantify building works. A strong emphasis is placed on the Rules of Measurement. You will learn how to navigate project documents, including drawings and related materials, to execute precise measurements of building quantities. 

    By the conclusion of this module, you will have cultivated a profound understanding of measurement principles, a mastery of the standard method of measurement, and a practical ability to perform building quantity measurements effectively. 

  • Introduction to Building Services (15 credits)

    In this module, you will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to effectively collaborate with professionals from various disciplines specialising in building services, from design and supply to installation and commissioning. You will delve into the underlying scientific principles and calculation methodologies essential for understanding how to minimise fuel and power consumption. A core focus of this module is sustainability, emphasising renewable systems for achieving low or zero carbon footprints and energy-efficient solutions. 
    By the end of the module, you will understand the vital role of building services in cost management and project delivery, emphasising the importance of collaboration and coordination with specialists. 

  • Building Design and Construction 2 (15 credits)

    Take your understanding of building design and construction to the next level in this advanced module. Explore the construction of more sophisticated buildings found in larger residential, commercial, and public settings. Dive into the collaborative process of developing sustainable complex buildings, utilising innovative building materials, design details, and construction techniques. This module will also emphasise the interaction between statutory regulations, compliance frameworks, and the design process. Moreover, you will explore inclusive and sustainable environments in the context of larger-scale building design, addressing the diverse needs of users and promoting environmental responsibility.
    This module expands your expertise, equipping you with advanced principles and skills necessary for the design and construction of complex, sustainable buildings. 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Design and Administration (15 credits)

    This module aims to equip you with a deep understanding of the design process and effective contract administration. Throughout the module, you will explore various stages of the design process, interpret client requirements, and assess the impact of statutory regulations on building design. By evaluating different methods of specifying building works and comprehending the tender process, you will develop practical skills directly applicable to the industry. Additionally, you will gain insights into the roles and responsibilities of the contract administrator, the ethical considerations surrounding contract administration, and the duties of the certifier.
    Overall, the "Design and Administration" module offers a holistic learning experience that will empower you with a diverse skill set, critical knowledge, and practical experience necessary to excel in the design and administration aspects of the construction industry, setting you on a path towards a successful career.

  • Construction Technology I (15 credits)

    In this module, you’ll develop your knowledge and skills in land surveying, construction techniques and material technology. Emphasis will be placed on setting out building structures, which will be reinforced via practical sessions every week.  
    Collaborative work is an essential component of this module. You will participate in group practical exercises, allowing you to enhance your teamwork skills. Moreover, you will engage in individual problem-solving tasks, further developing your analytical and critical thinking abilities.

    By the end of this module, you will have a solid understanding of land surveying principles, the ability to execute setting-out operations, and knowledge of construction materials and their properties. Additionally, your information handling abilities, research proficiency, and analytical thinking will be advanced, enabling you to excel in the field of construction technology.

  • Construction Procurement and Law (15 credits)

    This module offers comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the procurement processes, contract forms, and legal aspects involved in the construction industry. You will explore various tendering procedures, contractual relationships, and relevant laws, including the implications of the Disability Discrimination Act. Developing legal reasoning skills, you will learn to apply legal principles to construction-related problems and conduct research using appropriate legal sources. The module emphasises best practice procurement, collaboration, and partnering approaches. 

    By the end of this module, you will possess a solid understanding of construction procurement processes, legal considerations, and contract administration. You will be equipped to apply legal reasoning, evaluate procurement methods, and communicate effectively in a construction context.

  • Building Pathology and Inspection (15 credits)

    Embark on a comprehensive exploration of building defects and interventions in this intermediate module. Discover the underlying principles of building performance, materials science, and the maintenance of buildings. Gain a holistic understanding of defects, their causes, and the selection of appropriate repair strategies. Throughout this module, you will delve into the physical properties of building materials and explore mechanisms of failure and decay. By studying real-world case studies and practical examples, you will develop skills in safe survey methods, data collection, and diagnosis of defects. Gain proficiency in utilising specialised surveying equipment and non-destructive techniques.


  • Integrative Project II (15 credits)

    This module is designed to offer you a unique opportunity to apply and synthesise the knowledge and skills you've acquired from both basic and advanced modules, as well as other relevant sources. This application takes place within the context of a large-scale development proposal situated on an active urban development site. 

    In this module, you will work collaboratively in teams to craft a sustainable project proposal. This proposal will be presented through a slide presentation and a comprehensive report. Your project will demand the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge, requiring you to delve deeply into diverse approaches to project development and critical evaluation. Additionally, you will create a Building Information Modeling (BIM) model linked to a project program for a specific building within the broader development presented in your report.

  • Construction Practice and Procedure (15 credits)

    In the Construction Contract Management module, you will acquire comprehensive knowledge and skills to effectively manage contracts in the construction industry. You will focus on post-contract activities, including payment valuation, claims evaluation, and variation assessment. The module also emphasises the significance of complying with construction regulations and ensures your readiness for the industrial placement year.

    Upon successful completion of this module, you will possess the necessary expertise to effectively manage construction contracts, navigate regulatory requirements, and ensure professional and ethical practices in contract administration.

  • Construction Technology 2 (15 credits)

    In this module, you will delve into the intricacies of structural design, analysis, and on-site construction processes. Building upon your previous studies, this module aims to equip you with a deeper understanding of construction technology, preparing you for your upcoming industrial placement and paving the way for further advanced studies.

    Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to critically analyse structural design and the behaviour of various building materials/components, as well as apply the core principles of structural mechanics. Overall, you will have gained a comprehensive understanding of the systematic nature of the building process, giving due consideration to regulatory, health and safety, and sustainability requirements. 

  • Construction Communication and Information Technology II (15 credits)

    Building upon the foundation laid in prerequisite modules, this module focuses on the multidimensional representation of building information, supporting diverse construction applications across project teams. You will expand your knowledge and skills in the utilisation of BIM systems to enhance construction project delivery. Additionally, you’ll explore the interrelationships between information from various sources and learn to employ industry standards and protocols for effective information management. Through comparative analysis, you will select and evaluate alternative BIM systems, determining their suitability for specific project requirements. By applying advanced BIM design techniques, you will generate and control project information, ensuring accuracy and consistency. Furthermore, you will develop proficiency in organising and managing project details, fostering effective collaboration among project stakeholders.

Year 3 (placement year)

Compulsory modules

  • Work placement year

    The compulsory work placement, taken in Year 3, provides a valuable learning experience and is an important part of the course, consolidating your knowledge and preparing you for your final-year studies. During this year you will work in the construction industry for a minimum of 36 weeks. Oxford Brookes has strong links with a variety of construction-based employers ranging from local house-builders to international construction companies. Work experience opportunities are broad; from managing the restoration of a country manor house to the commercial and project management of a multi-million-pound city office development. If you are a part-time student working in the industry in a suitable capacity, you will be exempt from industrial placement.

Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Building Surveying Dissertation (Double) (30 credits)

    In this module, you will embark on a transformative research journey that enables you to delve into the diverse fields of building surveying. Engaging in original research, you will learn to think independently and critically, employing a logical approach to navigate the challenges of your research journey. The module will nurture your research capabilities, equipping you with the necessary tools to collect, analyse, and interpret data to address your research question effectively.

    By the end of this module, you will acquire a range of invaluable skills and knowledge. You will master the art of presenting and communicating your ideas effectively, honing your ability to articulate complex research findings with clarity and confidence. By undertaking a critical review of existing research and authoritative sources, you will identify gaps in knowledge, allowing you to contribute to the growth of the building surveying field. 

  • Building Surveying Law (15 credits)

    Immerse yourself in the realm of Building Surveying Law and gain comprehensive knowledge essential for building surveyors. Explore the intricate aspects of landlord and tenant law, delving into the legal framework of leases, dilapidations, and associated licences. Develop a strong foundation in land law, enabling you to navigate legal, economic, and practical considerations in the field. Throughout this module, you will analyse the complexities of development projects, including planning law, environmental concerns, and land rights. Gain the skills to assess and apply legal knowledge in diverse scenarios, considering multiple stakeholders' interests. Engage in sessions that foster professional ethics and an understanding of the building surveying professional's legal and ethical landscape.

  • Advanced Building Surveying Practice (15 credits)

    In this module, you’ll have the opportunity to further develop core skills to reinvent buildings by enhancing your ability to identify, critically assess and solve building surveying issues. You’ll also consider the scope and format of building insurance documentation, perform building cost assessments and incorporate a variety of key building surveying practices into written reports and presentations.

    By the end of this module, you’ll build a strong competency in the world of building surveying, gaining knowledge of inspection techniques for residential and commercial properties as well as a critical appreciation of the regulatory requirements of the field. The module’s pragmatic approach will help you apply theoretical ideas to real-world problems, preparing you for a successful career in building surveying. 

  • Conservation and Restoration (15 credits)

    In this module, you will explore the unique requirements of historic buildings and structures, discovering the factors that influence their performance and continued use. Beginning with an examination of conservation movements' history, you will delve into conservation philosophy, legal frameworks, and terminology used in practice. Through case studies, site visits, and architectural history study, you will develop proficiency in identifying materials, construction periods, and typical defects associated with different building types. Throughout the module, you will conduct independent research, engage in directed fieldwork, and effectively communicate your knowledge through formal presentations. Additionally, you will gain insights into traditional building materials and techniques, such as timber and masonry, and understand the importance of "breathing" buildings through the lime cycle.

  • Advanced Procurement and Dispute Resolution (15 credits)

    Procurement is an essential component of the construction industry and this module is designed to provide you with an enhanced understanding of procurement routes, various forms of litigation and key conflict avoidance practices. The module takes a dynamic approach to learning, giving you an opportunity to conduct independent research alongside group projects that require collaborative problem solving. A mock construction adjudication setting will be used to facilitate an in-depth exploration of core concepts.

    By the end of this module, you will demonstrate a solid understanding of how the procurement process works as well as how disputes can be minimised. This module will develop your ability to work collaboratively alongside other soft skills like critical thinking, academic presentation and research literacy.

  • Facilities and Maintenance and Management (15 credits)

    This module delves into the management of buildings and facilities for organisations where real estate is not their core function, such as offices, hospitals, airports, and universities. With a focus on Facilities Management (FM), the module aims to familiarise students with the key aspects of this role and its impact on supporting core business operations.

    By the end of this module, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the various roles and responsibilities of estates and facilities managers throughout the entire life cycle of a built asset, including building surveying, project management, and compliance management. You will learn to analyse and formulate organisational frameworks for delivering FM services, exploring both in-house and outsourced procurement strategies

  • Project Management Studies (15 credits)

    Successful project delivery depends significantly on the competence of the Project Manager and the efficiency of project management processes. This module aims to introduce you to key project management knowledge areas and prepare you to handle the multi-organisational and temporary nature of construction projects, as well as the complexities of the external project environment. Beginning with an overview of project management and leadership theories, this module explores various techniques for motivating project teams and managing project stakeholders effectively. 

    By the end of this module, you will have developed a deep understanding of project management, considering various topics within established project management frameworks and standards. You will be capable of managing stakeholders in a way that aligns with their requirements and ensures both stakeholder satisfaction and project objectives are met. 

Optional modules

Innovation in Management and Technology (15 credits)

In this module, you will learn about vital technological systems that affect the construction sector as a whole. This module offers an in-depth exploration of key factors in the building industry like global climate change and Building Information Modelling  (BIM) and aims to provide an understanding of how new technologies and innovations are brought about. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of modern management systems and techniques as well as how to plan ahead using avant-garde business models. 

By the end of this module, you will gain an advanced understanding of a variety of business management and strategic tools and techniques. You’ll also be able to critically assess the productivity, efficiency and overall effect of new innovations within the industry.

Quantity Surveying Studies (15 credits)

This module is designed to build upon your foundational quantity surveying skills acquired in previous modules. Throughout this module, you will expand your expertise by delving deeper into the principles of the RICS new rules of measurement for building works (NRM2), with a particular focus on measuring drainage, mechanical, and electrical services in building projects. In response to contemporary industry demands, the module will equip you with knowledge of how Building Information Modelling (BIM) is applied to generate building quantities. 

By the end of this module, you will be proficient in assessing different tendering methods in construction, measuring quantities for both building and civil engineering projects, estimating and analysing building unit rates, and utilising various sources of cost information.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


You’ll finish the course with a broad range of skills – and plenty of experience too. We believe our graduates are quick to adapt to working in industry and have a good chance of progressing faster than other employees just starting out.

Thanks to the shared modules of our courses, you’ll have knowledge of other specialisms in the building industry. So you can easily change roles whenever it suits you.

Graduates from our construction courses are working on private, public and commercial projects in the UK and around the world. They’re working at large employers as well as smaller specialists. Recent destinations include:

  • Balfour Beatty
  • CBRE
  • Crossrail
  • Gardiner & Theobald
  • Morgan Sindall
  • Ridge and Partners
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • Turner & Townsend
  • TfL.


Student profiles

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

Applications are welcomed from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
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 page.