Property Development and Planning with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
K25F
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:
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If you are interested in property and planning, and aspire to gain chartered surveyor or chartered town planner status, our Property Development and Planning with Foundation Year course will provide you with the skills you need to achieve this.

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

What's covered in the course?

This course reflects the changing professional context of planning, land and property development, and the connections between the range of professions active in managing the built environment.  Some of the content is shared with our other professionally-accredited built environment programs, so you will receive a varied and comprehensive education focused towards relevant professional employment.  Understanding professional requirements, standards, ethics and behavior are important throughout the course – and your working life.

You will assess how property development can affect individuals and groups, examining the process and outcomes.  The financial aspects of property development and management are covered. You will also look at how town planning can facilitate appropriate development: development plans, policies and projects, as well as examining the physical, technical, legal, environmental and political factors affecting development decisions. You will develop your awareness of the complexities and variety within and between different communities, as well as evaluating community participation and empowerment.

You will build skills in managing yourself and working with others, including those from related professions, to identify and achieve the best outcomes for clients, communities and places.  You will meet professionals currently working in practice, who contribute to the course and help ensure that you get the most up-to-date ideas and information.  You will be encouraged and supported to become a student member of a relevant professional body, to join in its activities and events, and to become a confident professional.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course content has been developed in line with the requirements of two professional bodies, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
  • You will also learn key transferable professional skills, such as time management, communication and teamwork. 
  • Guest speakers, field trips and research-informed teaching will give you valuable industry insight and prepare you for a successful career. 
  • It’s an exciting time to study in Birmingham – the city is undergoing huge regeneration. This means that there are many opportunities, now and in the future, for those with built environment qualifications.

This course is open to International students

School of Engineering and the Built Environment

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Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) 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.

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level BB or 80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. Including 12 technical credits at Merit or Distinction. Must already hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade C or higher or the equivalent at application point.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma D*D or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma MMP - 80 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum H3/D1 taken from three subjects).

Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects. Higher levels to include Mathematics at Higher levels.

Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher

Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CDD.

Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).

Must be from Technology, Science, or Computing related subjects

Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 80 UCAS points 
Other qualifications
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/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2019/20
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Additional Requirements

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.

International Students

Entry requirements here

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years £12,300 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

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.

Applying through UCAS
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 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
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 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Foundation Year

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Built Environment Context and Practice
20 credits

The Built Environment is a complex, unpredictable and unique in its own way. This module aims to provide an introductory platform towards understanding the elements and factors that influence the built environment, which support shaping the context of built environment. This module will also walk you through different built environment professions.

Download the full module specification

Building Technology
20 credits

Within the built environment, many traditional and modern techniques are being incorporated in order to cope with the nature and functional requirements of a building. This module aims to draw focus upon high level elements that are present in every building including building structure, enclosure, materials and environmental factors. Building on the knowledge that you developed from “Built Environment Context and Practice”, this module compliments the importance of different professions within the built environment

Download the full module specification

Quantitative Methods
20 credits

The use of numbers within the built environment is inevitable, unavoidable and impactful in many ways. This module aims to provide an overview over the use of quantitative methods within the built environment and their relationship to different scenarios and identifying their value allowing you to develop the necessary foundation skills. This module acts as a preparatory stage in terms of both enhancing and developing your mathematical and quantitative abilities before commencing to Level 4. It also develops your awareness of the quantitative-related matters within different professions.

Download the full module specification

Foundation Computing
20 credits

The use of computing and technology have become an essential part in our daily routines. This module aims to focus on many of the daily utilised computing technologies such as ICT, programming, graphics and effective use of visualisation tools. It then draws the attention towards built environment computing technologies, demonstrating how different professions utilise it to communicate, exchange and interpret information. Regardless of the built environment profession that you aim to specialise in, this module embeds computing technology-related knowledge that will support you at different levels during your degree.

Download the full module specification

Academic and Personal Study Skills
20 credits

Academic and personal study skills are essential elements which should be applied in order to be successful in Higher Education. This module aims to help you in developing basic research skills, academic writing and reflection skills. These skills are inevitably important and will support your transition to the higher education levels of study associated with your chosen degree programme.

Download the full module specification

Independent Practice

During the journey within higher education, developing your independent study is an essential skill to support shaping the knowledge to become more useful and applied within practice. This module aims to provide you with necessary skills and tips that should support you to work independently within your discipline and to successfully apply project management tools and techniques to a mini project related to your subject discipline.

Download the full module specification

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Introduction to the Built Environment
20 credits

This module explores how key ‘actors’, including professional bodies, landowners, developers, investors, politicians, members of the public, and the state, etc. influence the development of the built and natural environment.

Download the full module specification

Built Environment Technology 1
20 credits

This module introduces, for all of the built environment professions, a range of concepts relating to the technology of construction. It provides you with an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of construction. We use the example of low rise residential construction as it is relatively straightforward and allows us to introduce and explore these issues appropriately.

Download the full module specification

Integrated Digital Design: Residential
20 credits

Digital construction is an integral component of contemporary design, development and maintenance of modern residential development. Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is at the forefront of the progressive movement towards total digitalisation of the built environment.

Download the full module specification

Professional Environmental and Materials Science
20 credits

Environmental and materials science is an important area of study for all disciplines involved with the design, planning, developing and management of the built environment. This module encourages you to consider how the properties, structures and performance of materials influence why buildings and structures function. You will be encouraged to consider how these properties impact construction from a design and practical use perspective. This module will therefore enable you to develop innovative solutions for more robust, resilient, safe and sustainable buildings and structures.

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Law
20 credits

This module is delivered to all of the undergraduate programmes in the built environment disciplines and provides you with the basic legal concepts and principles you will need throughout your professional career.

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Introduction to Valuation
20 credits

Valuation is a crucial skill across the built environment and is core to many professional pathways. This module introduces the theory of valuation as a set of principles, financial mathematics, methods and techniques employed for identifying and understanding economic concepts of value and worth in a property context.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Procurement
20 credits

In this module you will cover core areas required in designing and setting up a contract. It is designed to give you an understanding of the procurement process and how it can deliver on a range of benefits to clients, contractors and other stakeholders involved with the development process.

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Design and Development in the Built and Natural Environment
20 credits

This module critically discusses and applies the socio-economic, historical, environmental and governance context that shapes the design and use of buildings and structures to a real life development project. We encourage and support you to develop and apply a range of research techniques to evaluate design, costs, benefits and values of ‘good’ design; how to appraise the implications of different approaches to implementation, on-going use, management and quality of place; and produce a practice-based piece of work delivering a range of benefits to different users and communities.

Download the full module specification

Smart Policies and Plans
20 credits

This module encourages you to explore what a ‘good’ policy or plan with SMART objectives looks like, paying attention to both process and outcome. This is crucial to your full understanding of a planning system and the principles are relevant to any scale from local to international. This module explores the ‘vertical’ connections between different mechanisms / policies / plans and the ‘horizontal’ connections between spatial policy frameworks and other non-spatial strategies. In particular, it unpicks the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that guide development and investment, and the relationships between spatial planning and other strategies that inform public policy intervention, including politics, stakeholder behaviour, climate change policies / agreements, energy and transport infrastructure plans, housing strategies, and sustainable community strategies.

Download the full module specification

Integrated Digital Design for Complex Structures
20 credits

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides built environment professionals with the insight and tools to help plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. In this module, you will be encouraged to explore the potential of BIM in helping to understand the social, economic and environmental benefits associated with co-ordinated infrastructure and complex structure development.

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Building Pathology
20 credits

The module covers the basic requirements for property professionals engaged with the existing built environment to appreciate varying needs to clients in relation to property, to identify methods of construction, appraise the condition of a building, and make recommendations to achieve client’s aims. The module is designed to give you the opportunity for practical application of your learning to a relevant case study.

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Data and Decision Making
20 credits

This module provides an opportunity for you to develop and apply research skills in a property development, planning and real estate context. The module is an introduction into some of the data, techniques and approaches required to explore social, economic, environmental and technological change in a built environment context.

Download the full module specification

Year Three

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Integrated Master’s Group Project (MPlan only)
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed group project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, your group will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your group’s topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

You will be expected to work as part of a group but you will receive additional support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your groups chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

Download the full module specification

Individual Project (BSc only)
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon 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 the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.

Download the full module specification

Property Fund Management
20 credits

Property fund management is a relatively new core competence for the real estate and development (chartered surveyor) professional. It forms an important sector sitting above the physical property asset management layer. Accordingly, a comprehensive grounding in the principles and practice of property investment and finance is essential for this sector.

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Professionalism and Citizenship
20 credits

This module will focus on extending and providing appropriate evidence of your professional skills and development. Within an applied socially responsive framework, you will examine a range of issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial/development appraisal, design technology, legal and regulatory, health and safety etc. These will be covered in conjunction with other professional courses or your own discipline as appropriate, given that all built environment professions and recent reports such as the Farrell Review place increasing stress on interdisciplinary understanding and working.

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Drivers of Change
20 credits

This module introduces you to a range of the contemporary debates on the interrelationship between society stakeholders, space, technology and energy, and the environment and quality of life of different places at different spatial scales. Property developers and planners need an appreciation of contemporary drivers of social, economic and environmental change, if they are to influence and make effective decisions.

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Urban Design Practice in Context
20 credits

This is a design-led module, allowing you to implement and practice advanced design skills in response to a small-scale design project. This module is underpinned by a series of lectures relating to the history and theory of urban and architectural form and design; and time is also devoted to studio-based and lab work that helps develop and enhance your design enquiry and creative drawing / model-making skills. The module also encourages you to explore the wider role of, and connections between, design theory & practice, governance, planning and how innovative design strategies might be used to resolve complex issues associated with contemporary urban challenges.

Download the full module specification

Year Four (MPlan only)

Our MPlan Property Development and Planning course enables you to combine three years of undergraduate study with an additional fourth year at postgraduate level, helping you to stand out from the crowd upon graduating.

In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Individual Honours Project
40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon 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 the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

Download the full module specification

Placemaking
20 credits

This module will develop your understanding of spatial planning through engagement with the ideas about the creation and management of ‘place’ in different economic, environmental, historical and social contexts. Placemaking is a holistic and global concept that applies to built and natural environments, and it is central to successful spatial planning. Placemaking relates to ‘urban design’, but has also a wider theoretical focus less design and more geography based.This module will allow you to appreciate, at first hand, the processes that contribute to create high quality and inclusive places. The assignments will enableyou to work on a placemaking project in answer to a client brief. Where possible, this will be a real-life project.

Download the full module specification

Tools for Managing Sustainability
20 credits

The assessment and management of environmental impact is an increasingly important part of development and sustainability. This module is designed to give you exposure to key concepts and methods related to this area of work. It is designed to meet the requirements for the RICS ‘environmental management’ and ‘environmental assessments’ competencies.

The module takes a practical approach to the development and implementation of management and decision making tools. You will be introduced to the theory and methodology behind these tools and will then be expected to actively engage in the practical application of some of the ideas discussed and reflect on their appropriateness.

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Transitions for Sustainable Futures
20 credits

This module gives an overarching view of sustainability design and management issues and the different ways in which many of the major challenges facing society are being approached. It is designed to meet the requirements for the RICS ‘management of the built environment’ competency and part requirements for the ‘management of the natural environment and landscape’ competency.

This module is concerned with creating (re-)development strategies, and providing reasoned advice for implementing projects at the neighbourhood level for the 21st century. It is undertaken within the framework of a programme of student workshops to encourage sharing of experiences and developing supportive working relationships. 

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Professional Practice
20 credits

The module enables you to understand the importance of working within the boundaries of established professional best practice. It focuses on the skills and competencies that are required in practice to meet professional standards and expectations. This includes ethics; stakeholder analysis; business presentation skills; negotiation; conflict management, team working; reflexivity etc. The module is designed to encourage action research and develop your capacity to address the changing needs of the built environment professions and the wider industry, giving you currency within the market.

Download the full module specification

Course breakdown

This course will provide you with the knowledge of the processes, procedures and practices required for the effective design, management and finance of sustainable places. We will ensure you have the skills and understanding to help design, create and maintain places of good design and high quality. 

With the prospect of accelerated climate and environmental change, the world needs modern developers, planners and decision-makers, who can help negotiate these challenges for the benefit of society as a whole.

The course is structured so as to introduce you to the theory, processes and tools relevant to the planning and development professions. You will look at real-life case studies, engage in practical work and participate in workshops to help strengthen and enhance your skills.

The assessment strategies for each module reflect the skills you need to acquire for employment. You will prepare essays, evaluations, verbal presentations, posters, planning reports, design presentations, group work, role play scenarios and exams. 

Later stages of the courses are designed to develop your critical and reflective capabilities, and to make the links and relationships between the various spatial dimensions of planning.  The emphasis is on interactive learning, including student-led workshops, role-plays and simulations to achieve deeper learning and understanding.   

Further study

We offer PhDs relating to individual staff research interests and the research strategy of the Centre for Resilient Environments, but research degrees do not carry professional recognition.

Attendance requirements

There are 24 weeks of teaching in each academic year.

Full-time

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.

Part-time

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.

Trips and visits

There will be regular site visits to enhance your learning experience.

Enhancing your employability skills

We are committed to practice-led learning and teaching that will provide experiences of the world of work through a range of activities, which could include work placements/internships, voluntary work, live projects, problem-solving, case studies, site visits, and opportunities to interact with visiting professionals, including our own successful graduates. 

These modules respond directly to accrediting professional bodies’ requirements for professionalism and employability, including professional ethics, and these are therefore embedded in a broad range of modules.

The University also has its Graduate+ programme, which is an extracurricular awards framework that will enhance the subject-based skills you’ll develop on the course with broader employability skills. Graduate+ will help you with CV writing, crafting personal statements and interview techniques, as well as helping you to source jobs.

Placements

We are developing a range of optional placement opportunities.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

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.

More about Graduate+

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:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus. We offer a wide range of technology to help you with your studies.

We have an ongoing strategy to upgrade and further develop our well-equipped laboratories. These plans are supported by global technology providers such as PTC and Technosoft. These two companies alone have recently donated more than £11 million worth of computer aided design, product lifecycle management and knowledge-based engineering software.

In addition, more than £750,000 worth of capital investment has been made in upgrading our engine emissions test facilities, environmental laboratory and thermodynamics equipment.

Test Cell Facilities

The key features of our test cell include:

  • 340 kW fully transient dynamometer
  • Full exhaust gas analysis both pre and post after treatment system
  • Ammonia slip analyser, EGR CO2, THC and non-methane HC

Exhaust Analysis

The key features of our exhaust analysis facilities include:

  • Signal Group Analysers in 3 racks with heated sample systems
  • Sierra BG-3 particulate mini-tunnel
  • AVL 415S smoke meter

Environmental Lab

The environmental lab is part of the Centre for Low Carbon Research (CLCR) and is home of the bioenergy and bioprocessing research group at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

The suite is divided into three main areas a wet lab/pilot facility a fully equipped analytical suite and a microbiological lab. This newly refurbished facility offers state of the art analysis and testing of environmental samples as well as scientific evaluation of lab scale and pilot scale technologies and processes.

More about our facilities

Our staff

Our academics have worked alongside small, medium and large companies and bring to the table expertise from within the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, ICT, environmental and health sectors.

Claudia Carter

Reader in Environmental Governance / Associate Professor

Environmental Values journal cover Claudia is Associate Professor in the field of interdisciplinary environmental research and environmental governance. Her research relates to climate change and sustainability adopting social-ecological systems thinking/approaches. A poignant area of interest are the opportunities and barriers to 'low-impact' living and the emergence of transition initiatives/towns and degrowth movement. Claudia studied geography and environmental management and for many years worked in academic and applied research on environmental policy and management, environmental values, public and stakeholder engagement, critical evaluation, and interdisciplinary research approaches. She joined Birmingham City University in 2011 as a researcher and lecturer teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students. Since 2011 she has been Associate Editor (Socio-Economics) of the journal Environmental Values.

Current/recent research projects include (i) development of PARTICIPOLOGY, a resource to engage people in participative planning, decision-making and training using a board game format; (ii) work packages 9 and 10 of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) Follow-On programme focusing on assessing and developing tools to take account of the Ecosystem Approach in decision-making; and (iii) collaboration in the Rural Economy and Land Use programme (RELU) - funded project 'Managing change at the rural-urban fringe'.

Past posts included Project Leader/Social Scientist at the Forestry Commission's Research Agency - Forest Research (Farnham, England; 2006-2011); Researcher in the Socio-Economic Research Group (SERG) of the Macaulay Institute (Aberdeen, Scotland; 2002-2006), Research Associate in the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge (1998-2001). For more information about Claudia's work and current research, please contact her via claudia.carter@bcu.ac.uk.

Beck Collins

Dr Beck Collins

Senior Lecturer

Dr Beck Collins currently teaches across all undergraduate courses in the School of the Built Environment, as well as MSc Construction Project Management and MA Planning Built Environments.

Beck was awarded her PhD in “Local Projects for Sustainable Energy – Exploring the Nature of Success” in 2014, and is interested in local approaches to installing sustainable energy. This could be as social housing refurbishment projects, community renewable energy projects and so on.  Beck is particularly interested in questions of governance, systems intervention, behaviour change and projects for change, that sustainable energy throws up. 

Beck explores this both in her research and in practice – Beck has worked on local authority energy efficiency programmes and is also a volunteer Director of a Community Energy Company which is looking to install renewable energy in Birmingham.

Beck also brings all these research and practice based insights into the classroom, where she lectures on sustainability and research methods topics.

Professor Peter Larkham

Professor of Planning

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society, Peter teaches on postgraduate courses in built environment subjects, and has contributed to a number of academic journal papers and other publications. He also supervises at PhD level.

Amanda Mundell

Senior Lecturer

Amanda is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment and teaches on post-graduate and undergraduate programmes. Her teaching experience is supported by 2:1 law degree (specialising in Planning and Environmental Law), a post-graduate professional qualification (Legal Practice Course), along with 15 years relevant practical experience with a Local Planning Authority in their Legal and Development Control Sections.