Quantity Surveying with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
K24F
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

Want a career in the construction industry? Study our BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying with Foundation Year degree.

With our quantity surveyor training, you will work collaboratively with tutors, practitioners, theorists and designers who will equip you with everything you need to help shape the future of the built environment.

About the Foundation Year

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?

Today’s construction industry is facing the challenges of globalisation, climate change, demanding clients and a complex regulatory framework. The growing importance of technology and integrated delivery plays an increasingly important role in the industry.

This surveying course will give you the skills to deal with these challenges and more. With innovation at the core of the programme, you will learn through creative problem solving and working with our industrial partners. You’ll also develop the intellectual and practical competencies required by professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

You’ll leave with a broad knowledge of the legal, technical, managerial, economic, social and environmental aspects of construction projects, and able to confidently manage both commercial and civil engineering projects.

This course is taught by experienced staff with a wealth of industry experience. A flexible approach to delivery allows construction professionals to study alongside their professional role.

You'll gain expertise in cost management, procurement and quantification skills. You’ll also develop expertise in risk management, costing techniques, design economics, buildability, procurement, ability to add value and an appreciation of people from different cultural backgrounds and construction disciplines.

“The energy of the campus was always vibrant and with the close proximity and close relationship between the various construction disciplines, there was a competitive edge that provided a healthy environment to studying.” James Funge

Why Choose Us?

  • Our Built Environment courses are placed 11th out of 59 institutions in the Guardian University League Tables 2018.

  • Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 92 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017.
  • We are an RICS approved Partnership Centre.

  • The average starting salary of a School of Engineering and the Built Environment graduate is £23,000 (DLHE 2014/15).

    In 2017, we are spending £6.5 million on improvements to our Millennium Point facilities so you’ll have even more access to dedicated, industry-standard equipment.

  • Strong links with employers such as Willmott Dixon allow you to apply what you learn in a practical context through work placement opportunities. You’ll also have the chance to work on live projects for clients.

  • It’s an exciting time to study the built environment in Birmingham – the city is undergoing huge regeneration. The Big City Plan, a 20 year vision covering every aspect of the built environment, is creating innovative redevelopments and opportunities.

  • You’ll use industry-standard equipment and benefit from regular site visits which give you a close-up view of professional practice and an industry perspective on your studies.

  • You will have the opportunity to take part in international competitions such as the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Design and Build competition, giving you an opportunity to apply your skills to real-life projects. Our students have an impressive track record in these competitions and have had the opportunity to travel to competitions in locations across the world including Dallas, Texas.

This course is open to International students

School of Engineering and the Built Environment

Discover the School of Engineering and the Built Environment

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Gleeds
  • Interserve
  • John Murray and Sons Ltd

And in jobs such as:

  • Graduate Quantity Surveyor
  • Assistant Commercial Manager
  • Quantity Surveyor

Course Accreditations

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

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
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 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 course 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
20 credits

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Download the full module specification

Residential Quantification and Cost
20 credits

In this module you will be introduced you to the core Quantity Surveying skill of quantification and cost. This introductory module provides you with an understanding of the procedures for costing, via the development of the skills of measurement and interpretation of construction drawings. You will apply the measurement principles, Industry standard descriptions and develop specifications to enable you to prepare and manage cost estimates.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

In order to complete this course 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.

During the module, you are required to develop your knowledge on issues that affect the choice of a procurement strategy by evaluating various projects and the best management and procurement approaches to be adopted. You will also learn about how the choice of procurement strategy will impact on time, cost, viability, quality and sustainability issues. Current issues influencing procurement, such as international markets, legislation and sustainable procurement, will also be covered

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.

Download the full module specification

Built Environment Commercial Technology
20 credits

This module will explore the wider implications of the key factors which affect the selection of both traditional and new building methods and materials used in the construction of new build commercial and industrial buildings and introduce environmental and mechanical services systems which need to be installed in these buildings.

Download the full module specification

Commercial Management
20 credits

This module aims to facilitate both knowledge and professional practices involved in commercial management at an undergraduate level. The module acts as a major platform for both the quantity surveying and construction management professions in preparing you for level 6.

Download the full module specification

Cost Management
20 credits

This module is pivotal in the curriculum as the ability to understand the process and techniques appropriate in cost planning in accordance with professional codes of practice and the RICS core competences is a principal role of the QS. As cost managers within the construction industry, you will need to demonstrate the ability to achieve a depth of understanding of how construction projects are cost managed at design stage and valued through the use of internal and external sources of information and cost data. This allows development of technical skills to a level, which will enable in depth knowledge of how the cost estimating and cost planning structure of projects can be applied to cost advice for both new build and refurbishment works.

Download the full module specification

Commercial Quantification and Cost
20 credits

This module will further develop your core Quantity Surveying skills of quantification and cost. During the module you will measure steel structural frames and In situ concrete construction. You will apply the measurement principles, Industry standard descriptions and develop specifications to enable you to prepare and manage cost estimates for more complex work and drawings. This module directly relates to earlier work in your previous studies and will feed forward into your level 6 modules.

Download the full module specification

Year Three

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

Contract Practice
20 credits

Further deepening your knowledge and understanding of contract law and procurement, this module will provide you with the hands on experience of designing and executing a contract, which is a core requirement of you, as a construction professional. This module will introduce you to the various forms of contracts and the responsibilities of the people involved in executing a contract.

Download the full module specification

Project Management
20 credits

This module will provide you a critical perspective on the nature, and a number of essential aspects of construction projects together with the approaches and techniques to manage them.

The module will establish construction projects as an organisational entity, and highlight the two main approaches to the management of projects. The first one is the functional management approach which is largely based on structured techniques and methods, and the second one is the organisational management approach which sees management as an ongoing social and organisational process. You will be introduced to both approaches, and shown how to use them in a balanced way for the successful management of construction projects. While the organisational management approach to project management will provide you the intellectual skills that you need for project management, the functional management approach will equip you with the technical skills.

Download the full module specification

Civils Quantification and Cost
20 credits

This module is the final module in helping to develop your core Quantity Surveying skills of quantification and cost. This module will test your ability to understand the management procedures and techniques appropriate in pricing a tender document in accordance with the RICS/CIOB.

You will be required to work as managers gaining an in-depth understanding of how design and construction projects are tendered and valued through the use of internal and external sources of information. You will develop technical skills which will enable in-depth knowledge of how pricing structure of projects can be applied to cost control by tendering companies.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

Individual 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.

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

Various assessment methods will be used in this programme to address the different needs of individual modules, including exam, essay, portfolio, individual/group presentation, and dissertation. Written and/or oral feedback and feedforward will be provided through Moodle, email, and group/1-2-1 tutorial.

A personal tutor and dissertation supervisor will be assigned to each student for tailored support. You will also be able to access other support at university, faculty, school and programme level (e.g. BCU library, student support tutor, Centre for Academic Success, EDS, SAP and Graduate+).

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.

Student stories

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts had the opportunity to take part in two Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) competitions during his second year studies. After being part of the winning team at a competition in Reading, he travelled to Dallas, Texas, to take part in a second competition in a team with students from Auburn University in Alabama, which he also won.

Read Matt's Story

Trips and visits

You will take part in visits to construction sites to put theories into context and gain valuable insight.

There are also walking tours around Birmingham itself to take in the city’s own diverse architecture.

International Opportunities

You’ll have the opportunity to study in the USA. Our exchange programme with Auburn University in Alabama gives you access to the latest industry advances, including Building Information Modelling – skills that UK employers are crying out for.

Praise from external examiners

This course is accredited by the following organisations:

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

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.

Further Study

Students are encouraged to progress to postgraduate study within the school which provides a range of relevant Master’s programmes. Details can be found on the courses section of the website.

Student stories – James Funge

James Funge has built an international career in the construction and civil engineering sectors

Enhancing your employability skills

The course gives you a thorough understanding of the construction technology relating to a wide range of building and civil engineering projects.

You’ll also understand the time, cost and quality implications associated with project procurement, as well as the relevant legislation relating to industry.

As a student you will get access to the latest GIS, BIM and CAD software, surveying equipment and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, allowing you to hone the professional skills any construction employer would value.

You’ll be a strong project manager and confident with business management systems. These skills are highly valued by employers.

The opportunities with companies such as Birmingham-based Willmott Dixon, a leading independent construction and property company, have increased confidence, ability and skills.

You’ll also develop a range of transferable skills such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills and meeting deadlines. And thanks to the unique nature of the course, you’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.

Placements

The delivery of the course is complemented by a range of visits to construction sites where you will be able to appreciate theory in context.

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.

Graduate jobs

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Gleeds
  • Interserve and
  • John Murray and Sons Ltd

And in roles such as:

  • Graduate Quantity Surveyor
  • Assistant Commercial Manager and
  • Quantity Surveyor

Inter-professional project

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:

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

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our quantity surveying course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

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.

Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as levels, theodolites and measuring tapes.

We couple this with the more traditional, office-based facilities.

Computer Assisted Taking Off

Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.

Computer Assisted Design (CAD)

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.

Surveying equipment

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.

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.