Our Building Surveying degree is founded on the core competencies of the profession, preparing you to embark on your RICS assessment of professional competence journey to full professional chartership.
Our programme matches the needs of industry, based on real-life building practice, building pathology, construction technology, and the legal framework for industry, risk management and building surveying practice.
The course not only encompasses the conservation, repurposing and adaptation of the existing built environment, but also embraces innovation, preparing you to contribute to the success of the profession and supporting the development of a sustainable society for the twenty-first century and beyond.
During this course, you will develop a range of academic and technical skills relevant to the building surveying profession. As in industry itself, this course demands a broad range of technical and creative skills.
Our course is fundamentally based upon the core competencies which are outlined by our accrediting partner, RICS, which gives you a good foundation for your future career. We focus on the core technical knowledge, such as building pathology, construction technology and sustainability, as well as the legal framework knowledge required for a career in building surveying.
We also believe that as the industry changes and adopts new approaches, we also, working with our industry partners, should give our students the opportunity to learn about the innovative changes which are impacting the industry today.
The course aims to produce building surveyors with a well-rounded ability to mix technical, creative and business skills, ready to join an equally fast-moving built environment. You will therefore be industry-ready and can look forward to a fulfilling and enjoyable career as a building surveyor.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
Our Built Environment courses are placed 11th out of 59 institutions in the Guardian University League Tables 2018.
In 2017, we are spending £8.7 million on improvements to our Millennium Point facilities so you’ll have even more access to dedicated, industry-standard equipment.
The average starting salary of a School of Engineering and the Built Environment graduate is £23,000 (DLHE 2014/15).
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate students starting in 2017 or 2018, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Are you planning to study an undergraduate degree course in a Built Environment subject? If so, you may be eligible for grant funding of up to £9,500 to help you during your studies at Birmingham City University.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subjects are covered.
BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2017/18|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any units awarded at Merit or Distinction|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points (2017 entry)|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points (2017 entry)|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
|Irish Leaving Certificate||B2, B2, B3, B3, B3|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||AABB|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points (2017 entry)|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 years||£9,250 per year (excluding sandwich placement)||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||PT||5 years||£1,542 per 20 credit module|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The first two years of all our undergraduate part-time routes are delivered as the HNC Construction. Once you achieve this interim qualification with a good merit profile, you then join the degree programme for a further three years. If you are considering part-time study, please first apply to the HNC Construction.
If you have already obtained a HNC qualification (or similar level of study), we may consider you for advanced entry onto the degree course and you should apply using the application form link below:
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Built Environment Technology 1
This module, for all of the built environment professions, introduces a range of concepts relating to the technology of construction. You will gain an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of construction, based on the example of low rise residential construction as this is relatively straightforward and gives you the opportunity to explore these issues appropriately.
You will be introduced to everyday materials, construction methods, building services and Building Regulation. You will gain an insight into the properties of materials and the basic scientific principles that apply to them. You will focus on construction materials and how they can be used to create a construction element and/or component (e.g. a floor, an external wall, a roof). In order to gain an understanding of the design process, you will create and present a virtual building model.
Professional Environmental and Materials Science
Environmental and materials science is an important area of study for all disciplines involved with the design, planning, development and management of the built environment. This module encourages you to consider how the properties, structures and performance of materials influence why buildings function. You will be encouraged to consider how these properties have an impact on construction from a design and practical use perspective. This module will enable you to develop innovative solutions for more robust, resilient, safe and sustainable buildings and structures.
Using directed learning exercises, you will produce a professional portfolio exploring issues including design technology, building methods, energy use and thermal effect. Many of these issues relate closely to the changing landscape of the sustainability agenda, which affects all built environment disciplines from planning and design to property management. In groups you will produce a final professional poster which will be presented to an industry panel.
This module will provide you with the basic legal concepts and principles you will need throughout your career in the built environment.
You will be introduced to the structure and processes of the English legal system. This is the essential foundation of the legal skills necessary for the provision of sound advice to clients and colleagues in your career. In particular, you will focus on legal and regulatory frameworks which shape the design, development and management of buildings and places. You will explore the English legal system and how law is made and contract and tort law including nuisance, negligence and occupiers’ liability.
To put your skills into practice, you will be presented with scenarios and required to provide accurate, informed and professional advice to your client with reference to existing case law.
Introduction to the Built Environment
This module explores how key ‘actors’, including professional bodies, landowners, developers, investors, politicians, members of the public, and the state influence the development of the built (and natural) environment. You will explore the way in which politics, the economy, society, technology, law and the environment (PESTLE) all shape the built (and natural) environment.
You will also consider past, current and potential future trends that influence development, including significant issues such as resource availability and climate change and learn how development processes occur at different spatial scales and contexts.
In groups, you will work with industry, researching and presenting ideas about current thinking in relation to PESTLE and the actors involved with the development process. You will also develop your professional presentation, academic research and client care skills.
Integrated Digital Design: Residential
Digital construction is an integral component of the design, development and maintenance of modern residential development. Building information technology (BIM) is at the forefront of the movement towards total digitalisation of the built environment. This module aims to provide a foundation for you to successfully execute the BIM process by working across the different course disciplines on a project that simulates a residential project.
Students from each course (real estate, construction management, architectural technology, planning or building surveying) will execute multiple BIM data developments throughout the building’s lifecycle simultaneously. These individual developments will then be amalgamated to produce a federated BIM model that contains all coursework submitted for each group as a final bid report. The disciplines will broadly work on the following: real estate will focus on the marketability of the project based upon its BIM output; construction management and planners will consider planning and controlling the project; architectural technology students will focus on the redesign of the residential project according to appropriate building regulations; building surveying will produce an analysis of the building’s life cycle requirements for facilities management during occupancy.
Design and Surveying Skills
This module will provide you with a broad based introduction to built environment studies, and develop the skills you will need in observation, analysis, judgement and communication.
You will gain a clear understanding of how your decisions regarding technology, materials and design have an impact on the environment and develop the ability to communicate effectively using appropriate technical language and drawings associated with the practice of building surveying. You will also learn about the whole life structure and fabric of the built environment.
Integrated Digital Design: Commercial
This module builds on your learning in the first year Integrated Digital Design module and develops your understanding of working across different disciplines in a BIM environment, while working towards UK and international standards for sustainable construction.
You will work in a live BIM environment, with your work focused on an existing commercial building. You will explore specific tasks relevant to your discipline, in order to understand and manage the input of information to the model and produce industry standard outputs.
Advanced Design and Surveying Skills
In this module, you will focus on specialist professional development, building on first year Design and Surveying Skills module (or other approved study) to extend both your specialist computer aided design (CAD) skills and your design and surveying skills of sketching, technical drawing, photography, observational measurement, specification and financial and structural considerations
You will be introduced to advanced applications to develop and explore sustainability, urban streetscapes and building forms and engage with current image creation/transformation software to create advanced display material. You will have an opportunity to implement the professional skills needed for design and surveying, particularly sustainable design, and implement design decisions using 2D and 3D formats.
This module will develop your ability to assess clients’ needs. You will develop an understanding of how decisions regarding technology, materials and design have an impact on the environment and the whole life cycle of a building. You will examine design solutions for new build projects and for the alteration, adaptation, and extension of an existing building. You will also explore the project procurement process (administration of contracts, cost and quality control).
Your will also develop the ability to respond to the practical challenges presented by rapidly evolving technological, regulatory, social and economic demands of the industry, as they apply to both proposed and existing developments.
Built Environment Technology 2
This module builds on your knowledge of residential technology developed in the first year module Built Environment Technology 1 (or any other accepted prior learning). It will develop your understanding of commercial construction techniques and methods and provide you with an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of commercial construction.
In particular, you will learn about everyday materials, construction methods and building services. You will gain an insight into the properties of materials and the basic scientific principles that apply to them.
You will work on an existing virtual commercial building model, enabling you to appreciate the role of the designer and develop an understanding of the design process.
This module will develop your understanding of the theory and practice of Facilities Management and Building Information Modelling (BIM) and explore how these subjects contribute to the successful design, specification and management of existing buildings.
You will develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving in order to make well informed decisions at both design and operational stages within the commercial built environment. You will develop a range of knowledge relating to the day-to-day operational issues of building management.
The main topic areas you will cover are: The Facilities Manager role; the purpose of facilities; Building Information Modelling (BIM); corporate, legal and regulatory requirements; the agenda for sustainability and environmental guardianship; issues with listing and other restrictions; the efficient collaboration process between stakeholders; management of data
BIM and Facilities Management
This module covers the requirement for property professionals engaged with the existing built environment to appreciate the varying needs of clients in relation to property, to identify methods of construction, appraise the condition of a building, and make recommendations to achieve a client’s aims. You will have an opportunity to apply your learning to a relevant case study to develop your practical skills.
This module relates to 3 of the 6 key competencies of the RICS Building Surveying pathway: Building Pathology, Inspection and Measurement of Land and Property.
Professionalism and Citizenship
In this module, you will focus on extending and providing appropriate evidence of your professional skills and development. The aim of the module is to introduce you to key contemporary social thinking within the built environment, centred on community, built environment diversity and inclusivity issues.
You will gain an appreciation and understanding of the principles, tools, methods and processes of consultancy and professionalism and how these link to a wider citizenship agenda. You will explore practice-based learning through a ‘hands-on’ group-based consultancy assignment with a real client organisation. You will be required: to deconstruct and negotiate a consultancy project in a situation where initially there may be a lack of clarity, high ambiguity, intense uncertainty and unusual data; apply a range of frameworks to structure analytical thinking; apply techniques to complete the research; and demonstrate effective communication skills in delivering the final results to the client.
Urban Design Practice in Context
This design-led module provides the opportunity for you to implement and practice advanced design skills in response to a small-scale design project that seeks to deliver a range of benefits for different user groups. This module is underpinned by a series of lectures relating to the history and theory of urban architectural design. You will also spend time on studio-based and lab work that will develop and enhance your design enquiry and creative drawing and model-making skills. You will also explore the wider role of design theory, governance, planning and how innovative design strategies might be used to resolve complex issues associated with contemporary urban challenges.
This is a chance to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide on your topic, which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material.
The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider its relevance to your future academic or professional development.
You will be expected to work independently, with additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress, extra support will be available which may take the form of group seminars, workshops or online materials.
Building Surveying Professional Skills
This module is designed to prepare you for employment and help you commence the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) professional training programme. It will draw together the key aspects of professional practice, legal and regulatory compliance, design, specification and costing.
Commercial Building Pathology and Surveying
This module is designed to enhance your existing skills in the core technical competencies of building surveying: building pathology, inspection, and legal and regulatory compliance as applied to commercial and industrial buildings.
You will learn about the key pathological aspects of identification, analysis and formulation of solutions, as well as exploring identification and employment of the most appropriate survey methods. You will also consider how analysis of the legal implications in the condition and use of a building enable a coherent approach to providing clients with professional advice.
If you have completed a Foundation/HND course and want to study this degree with us in 2017, you may be able to start in Year two/three (level 5/6). Please be aware that the modules for a Year two/three start will be different to the ones listed above. You will need to download the 2016/17 programme for more information on which modules you will be studying.
Just like the building surveying industry, this course will require you to develop a demandingly broad range of technical and built environment knowledge.
The assessment methods used reflect the course philosophy, with a particular focus on the ability to produce consistent work in line with the high standards and competencies RICS expects.
The first year of the course focuses on developing your fundamental skills and knowledge in the residential area of the built environment. You will explore the traditional areas of the built environment gaining an insight into how your future role is relevant to it. You will be introduced to the innovations of a modern construction project through the Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment, the requirements of the law and an understanding of the key technology relating to residential built environments.
Your skills will be developed further in your second year, with specialist modules and more challenging projects. You will learn more about commercial technology and surveying practice and experience working collaboratively with students from other courses. You will also develop specialist skills in building pathology, advanced design skills and facilities management. Your level of understanding of the built environment will increase as you start to learn about commercial structures within the built environment.
Your final year will see you refine your skills and realise your full potential. You will undertake surveys and prepare for your RICS Accreditation of Professional Competence through a series of events which are designed to prepare you for your first steps in industry.
There are 24 weeks of teaching in each academic year.
A typical week on this course will include 12 hours per week of contact time over two to three days, plus 15 to 25 hours of self study.
A typical week on this course will include six to nine hours per week over one day, plus 10 to 20 hours of self study.
Sam gained a BSc (Hons) degree in Building Surveying from Birmingham City University in 2012. Upon graduating university, Sam joined Savills in June 2012 with the intention of becoming a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the Autumn of 2014. His experience has been gained through a diverse client base including those from the public and private sectors.
Sam is based within the Birmingham commercial building consultancy team where he has gained a broad range of experience within the commercial property market through his building surveying role.
The surveying course content was extremely beneficial in providing Craig with the necessary skills to put him on the path to become a chartered surveyor, and has provided him with a sound grounding for him to develop as a surveyor.
Our accreditations from these bodies show employers that you have the level of knowledge and skills they need when you graduate.
RICS is the world's leading professional body for setting standards in the surveying industry.
It has members all around the globe delivering knowledge and serving the public interest at a local level. In their work, they draw on RICS' ever-growing range of globally applicable and regionally specific standards and guidance.
Accreditations shall be renewed in accordance with the accreditor’s standard review process and subject to the University maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
On completion of this course, students have continued on to study our MSc Building Surveying.
At course completion, there is a high level of interest for further study. This relates to the need to continue to research and practice, as a core activity, but also recognises statistical evidence in 2014 from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills which noted that someone with a Master’s degree earns on average £9,000 more per year than someone with a degree qualification, which, when coupled with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2014) observation that one in seven jobs will require a postgraduate qualification by 2022, indicates that postgraduate study to employability is increasingly significant.
There will be regular site visits to enhance your learning experience.
Our graduates have a thorough skillset, understanding complex legal issues, building design, contract administrative procedures, building maintenance and business systems.
Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market. Getting work experience in building surveying can be challenging, so we encourage you to be agile and engage with the broad range of opportunities available. We support you through our virtual learning environment, Moodle, where we have a dedicated page which is regularly updated with potential opportunities for experience, placement opportunities and employment offers for students at all levels of your degree.
The University is eager to recognise students have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate, and thus it offers a range options for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work in industry.
You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.
The University has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.
There are a range of opportunities for student to gain industry experience, examples of student activities include:
Building Surveying graduate Jessica Van Rensberg secured a placement with Willmott Dixon. “It was extremely rewarding, I gained lots of experience,” she said. “I learned how a commercial construction site is run and gained experience with sub contractors on how to engage with people on a day to day basis.”
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Former graduates have progressed into roles with a variety of different organisations including Knight Frank, Malcolm Hollis, Savills, Faithful+Gould, and several smaller independent practices.
Several have also continued their career away from the UK, with some of our students now working across Asia and Europe.
The Inter-professional Project is a final year module in which you apply the skills you have developed over your course to a live project for an industry client. Our students’ recommendations have informed council policy and the design of high-profile developments.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Building work on our new Conservatoire began in the summer of 2015 – and is scheduled for completion in summer 2017. This, along with the construction of a new city centre accommodation block, means our students have access to their very own building sites.
We couple this with the more traditional, office-based facilities:
Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as levels, theodolites, measuring tapes.
You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.
You'll reap the benefits from the experience of our professional staff.
Senior lecturer Sue Hayhow is a former associate partner of Lawrence and Wightman who moved into Social Housing, managing large regeneration projects in the West Midlands.
Sue is a member of RICS and has been training and assessing young surveyors since 1994. She's recently been a judge for the RICS regional awards.