Building Surveying BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)


January 2017, September 2016

code: K230, K231

Available in Clearing 01245 686868


Want to build your way to success in an exciting, varied area of construction? Our Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited course provides the expert knowledge you need for a career in building surveying. You’ll learn a range of technical and professional skills, including how to convert and adapt buildings, and perform surveys and valuations. This course has been validated to include an optional Sandwich Placement year in industry.

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For more information about Sandwich Placement opportunities, please contact the Placements Team.

Full description

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Skilled building surveying graduates are in demand, especially when they have experience of a variety of construction environments. When you graduate, you’ll have a wide choice of interesting careers, advising your clients on the potential and future use of their buildings.

A surveyor’s work is very varied; in the morning, you could be doing an inspection or supervising construction work on-site. In the afternoon, you could be writing reports in the office or advising clients on business tenancies.

Our course offers a great platform from which to launch your career. It’s recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, so when you graduate you can do your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and qualify as a chartered surveyor.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Introduction to Civil Law and Legislation
    This module introduces surveying and real estate students to the structure and processes of the English legal system, to the sources of the law, and to those basic legal concepts and skills which you'll need to address more detailed legal issues in later modules. It's the essential foundation to the development of the legal skills necessary in the provision of sound advice to clients in your professional career. The module will focus in particular on the English Civil Law, as this is the branch of the law most relevant to you both in subsequent law modules and in professional careers after completing the surveying degree course. However, certain Criminal Law topics will be included where these are necessary to understand or draw a distinction between processes in the two branches of the law. The essential purpose of this module is to benefit you if you have not had the opportunity to study law previously. It will provide guidance to you on information, materials and sources to equip you with a basic understanding of the nature and structure of the English legal system, Parliament and law making, the court structure and precedent, legislation and case law, and legal terms and language. You'll be guided to legal sources and materials, and will be taught how to research law appropriate to your studies, using both published references and internet resources. A key aim of the module is to develop your research skills, specifically in the field of legal issues affecting your work, together with your ability to analyse research material, and to marshal material and facts into cogent advice and reports. Whilst this introductory module will focus on the English law, it will provide an insight into the growing importance of the European context affecting English law.
  • Learning and Practical Skills Development (HE and Work)
    Foundation Degree students entering Higher Education will need specific study skills to enable them to maximise their learning potential and take advantage of opportunities available both in the academic setting and workplace. The module is intended to be both preparatory and supportive, building a strong foundation for learning and later development. You'll gain Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills for information management and presentation purposes and will be encouraged to use contemporary ICT methods for research and for the production and presentation of reports, in a style suitable both for university coursework requirements and the commercial environment. The module will enable you to gain experience in applying the elementary surveying techniques of levelling and linear measurement, both for detail acquisition and setting out. The relevant mathematical skills will be introduced and developed contextually. Final survey drawings will be produced and annotated. You will be introduced to basic 2D drafting techniques using a powerful set of tools. Skills in this medium are highly sought after in the construction industry. You'll develop and maintain a reflective learning log to support this module and their continuing studies, the reflective log to be used as the basis of your PDP submission.
  • An Introduction to Technology and Design
    This module is designed for students of construction, surveying and architecture that have little or no prior knowledge of building construction, services and material properties. You’ll learn the common materials and methods of construction of both new and traditional housing, by considering each of the main elements of the buildings' structure. You’ll study the requirements of the internal environment, and build an understanding of how services installations contribute to user comfort. The personnel involved, health and safety requirements and specialised terminology is illustrated to develop your learning. You’ll also gain an insight into the behaviour and properties for a variety of materials commonly used in the construction of buildings and civil engineering projects, including their basic scientific principles. You’ll get an appreciation of the role of the designer in the construction process and have an understanding of the design process. You’ll learn through weekly videos, and workbooks as well as formal lectures and group tutorials.
  • Construction Economics
    You'll also gain an understanding of basic microeconomic and macroeconomic principles and how they impact on firms in the built environment. This allows you to develop an appreciation of the importance of the economy on the industry in which your career will be located. The learning experience combines formal lectures with workshops and tutorial discussion to provide a foundation of understanding. You'll also be expected to read not only text material but also web based source material to gain an appreciation of current issues and debates. You should be able to demonstrate in your assessment that you have undertaken your own research following guidance from the module leader.
  • Professional Surveying Practice
    Learn about the roles and work of the Chartered Surveyor throughout the development process, the history and background of the surveying professions and the RICS, along with the types of organisations in which surveyors are employed. You’ll then focus specifically on your chosen discipline and apply your knowledge to this.

Year two, core modules

  • Management Practice
    You'll gain an understanding of management concepts and their application in the construction industry. Your primary focus will be on developing practical and conceptual approaches to managing in a built environment firm. You'll start by focusing on the principles and processes of management and apply the concepts learnt to a practical context through case studies. You'll consider construction markets and organisations, their culture and structure, looking at staff and functional relationships together with chain of command and span of control. You'll demonstrate how the theory relates to practice and study management techniques and their application, considering work planning, monitoring and progress control. Computer software will be used to solve construction related problems. You'll also consider the importance of quality standards applied to the construction process. Finance plays an important part in the construction industry and you'll develop an understanding and working knowledge of budgets and cost control by undertaking financial problems and present solutions. The module will also consider management within a professional setting and issues relating to the unique nature of practice within the Built Environment.
  • Planning Procedures and Practice
    This module will develop your awareness of the administrative and legal framework within which land use planning operates. As a real estate manager there is a need to advise clients in both the private and public sectors of potential development and redevelopment opportunities. In this respect the real estate manager needs to gain a fundamental understanding of the social and economic forces which lie behind the local authority plan making and development control functions. It also provides an opportunity for you to explore the different roles of the modern day planner from strategic planning at national and regional level to development control issues at local level. You'll be introduced to the stages of the present planning system from application to determination by planning officers or planning committees. You'll also gain an understanding of the current planning appeals system to the Planning Inspectorate if there is a refusal to grant planning consent. You'll gain an insight into land use decision-making and public participation within this process and the involvement of the real estate manager. Finally you'll study the evaluation of planning strategy and the evaluation techniques employed. Modern planning practice is explored together with an examination of latest government initiatives proposed to create a more effective and faster planning process.
  • Environmental Services and Construction Technology
    You’ll gain an insight into the scientific basis of the environmental performance and construction of buildings and their services. The main focus is on the introduction of modelling tools that can be used to simulate a building's performance and its affect on the environment. The main approach adopted is a scientific one, focusing on the analysis of a problem or set of problems, followed by the synthesis of a solution. Considerable emphasis is placed on the use of environmental criteria to assess a building's thermal, visual and aural performance. A number of scientific methods are explored and there will be a limited amount of practical experiment based work. A number of technical solutions is explored for lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning a building. The passive design features of a building are explored. This second level module is also designed to give you a broad understanding of the way we build our commercial and industrial buildings. It is intended to lead on from the study of domestic construction to considering the functional requirements of single-storey industrial sheds and multi-storey framed structures in concrete and steel. In addition, the affects on the construction process of the latest legislation in relation to fire and health & safety are examined. A great deal of guidance is give to you on skill development. Our module is delivered by blended learning via WebCT, so good access to the internet is essential. You’ll be assessed by a series of online multi choice questions and a number of reports on the performance of buildings.
  • Property and Land Law
    Assimilate and consolidate legal principles required for practising surveyors and examine the different types of interests, both legal and equitable, within the built environment. You’ll enjoy a range of teaching and learning strategies, such as formal group lectures, seminars and tutorials with a series of class exercises. You’ll gain practical and valuable knowledge and insight into problems associated with the law of property.
  • Building Inspection and Analysis
    In this module you'll build on your learning from 'An Introduction to Technology' and 'Design and Professional Surveying Practice' using your skills to complete a typical condition survey (RICS Home Buyer Report). We'll focus on property inspection, recognition of defects in residential property and related matters such as non-traditional construction, assessing age of buildings, asbestos awareness and damage by trees to buildings. You'll also explore current health and safety legislation and how this affects the surveying of buildings together with an examination of data protection legislation and guidelines.
  • Valuations I
    Explore main valuation methods and solve various valuation problems across a wide range of property types. You’ll examine recent changes within valuation practice and determine relevant and accurate valuation methodology in different situations. You’ll discover the property investment market at both local and national level and use practical examples to gain knowledge of the investment process. You’ll also examine the taxation systems as affecting the property and investment markets. You’ll determine the importance of business rates, the roles of the valuation officer and the appeals procedures. As well as group lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll take part in site visits where you’ll take part in measurement and record documentation to assist with accurate valuations. You’ll also put your knowledge to the test when you address a current commercial valuation problem and enable a potential client to make an informed choice about an investment opportunity.

Year three, core modules

  • Building Surveying Practice I
    This module will develop your understanding of inspection and reporting procedures for schedules of dilapidations on commercial premises. In this context 'dilapidation' is a legal term relating to the law of 'waste' and applies in situations where a party has an obligation (for example under the terms of a lease) to keep a property in good repair. The case law and legislation pertaining to all dilapidation activities will also be covered in this module. We'll identify a suitable building for you to inspect and prepare a schedule of dilapidations as part of your assessment. You'll develop your analytical skills, to identify the causes of defects and the necessary remedial action required. You'll also learn to prepare a detailed dilapidation schedule for the use of clients and their legal advisers in situations where the client already leases or has a lease of the building. Health and safety considerations for the building surveyor is another important aspect of our module both in terms of building inspection and advising the client on compliance with relevant health and safety legislation including CDM Regulations.
  • Building Surveying Practice II
    This module will develop your understanding of inspection and reporting procedures relating to building surveys (sometimes known as ‘structural surveys’), party wall awards and alternative dispute resolution methods commonly used by the building surveyor. We'll identify a suitable commercial building for you to inspect and prepare a building survey as part of your assessment. You'll develop your analytical skills to identify the causes of defects and the necessary remedial action required. You'll also learn to prepare a detailed building survey report for the use of clients and their legal advisers in situations where the client wishes to purchase or lease a building. Professional guidance on party wall work both in acting for the ‘building owner’ or ‘adjoining owner’ as indicated under the Party Wall Act 1996 will be studied, and you'll examine the relevant duties under the act and become familiar with the different types of party wall upon which advice may be necessary. We'll also investigate excavations of near neighbouring buildings, and alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration, mediation, use of an independent expert and adjudication.
  • Conversion and Adaptation of Buildings
    Study a real-life building and investigate the principles of developing a holistic approach to the adaptive re-use of buildings. You’ll develop an understanding of user needs in relation to economic re-use of existing buildings by extending, adapting, altering and conserving buildings. You’ll need to be aware of the concepts of conservation, restoration and preservation along with the realities of extension, conversion and adaptation options for existing buildings in order to optimise long-term sustainable economic viability of buildings. You will consider appropriate and creative technology and their impact upon economic appraisals. You’ll complete an in-depth case study either individually or as a group. You will also study the impact of modern design concepts, landscaping, low energy, environmental and sustainability issues to meet enhanced user-needs. You’ll need to research and contextualise architectural history, together with the components and materials of construction previously incorporated, to consider and justify future life-cycle options. It’ll be important for you to acquire a range of analytical skills to measure existing and proposed building performance from a number of standpoints and be in a position to make recommendations after short-listing a range of re-use options to be considered by a building owner. Your case study will involve a real-life building (or range buildings) in need of economic regeneration and enhancement, in order to advise the ‘client’ on potential options through a written report, an illustrative portfolio and a succinct design-pitch to illustrate and justify your recommended design proposals.
  • Project Evaluation and Development
    Examine all issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial appraisal, design technology, legal, health and safety and the environment within a theoretical and practical framework. You’ll develop your ability to comprehend the totality and implications of the development process and to make reasoned value judgements as to its potential feasibility. You’ll examine local planning policies for the site, coupled with a financial analysis of the proposed scheme using traditional and modern forms of valuation techniques. You’ll also focus on project appraisal, pre-contraction processes, construction and post-construction processes, marketing, disposal and evaluation.
  • Property Marketing and Management
    Develop your awareness of the nature and role of property management and analyse principle types of estates and factors underlying their management. Explore the need for efficient management of real estate in terms of lettings, maintenance and repair and landlords obligations. You’ll investigate the detailed statutory and contractual setting of landlord and tenant and management of both commercial and residential property. You’ll focus on estate policy, management practices and competencies, as well as types of building contract used within the UK construction industry. You’ll develop an awareness of the contribution that information technology has made within property management and will explore some of the typical management software available. You’ll gain understanding of the need for and implementation of effective property marketing gain an appreciation of the underlying principles of estate agency practice and legislation.
  • Major Project (Surveying)
    This module represents the culmination of your development through learning on your course. It provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to undertake a substantial original study to investigate a subject, issue, or problem and to produce a usable outcome. You'll carry out an original piece of work that may be either an expert study or a research study. Advice will be offered on choosing a research topic and producing a proposal in a briefing session delivered towards the end of the academic year prior to that in which you'll undertake the dissertation. You'll conduct your research under the supervision of an academic member of staff but the early part of the module in semester one is also supported by taught classroom sessions. These taught sessions enable you to develop research and study skills in respect of reviewing and analysing literature, developing a research question, collecting, presenting and analysing data, and managing the research process. In addition to the taught sessions, a minimum of four supervision tutorials will take place during the academic year in which the module is studied. It's your responsibility to make contact with your tutor to arrange appointments. 10% of the marks for the dissertation/major project are for attendance and performance at these tutorials which must be recorded in an appendix to the dissertation.


Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you and your tutors measure your progress. Besides exams, these may include project designs, presentations, role-play, essays, report writing and group work.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

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Additional study information


This course gives you the opportunity to take a work placement year between years 2 and 3 of your studies. You’ll get experience of seeking and securing a job and working in an industry relating to your course. You’ll also get the practical experience and industry contacts to benefit your studies and enhance your long-term career prospects.

Although they can’t be guaranteed, we can work with you to find a placement using our contacts with a large number of employers. You’ll have regular contact with one of our course tutors and be supported by a supervisor from your placement company. Together they’ll monitor your performance and give you feedback.

To find out more about placement opportunities, email us at

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


Fees statement 

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2017/18 are currently set at £9,000. These fees are regulated by the UK government and may increase in line with government policy. There is a possible increase for the 2017/18 intake of 2.8% which would put the fees at £9,250.

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

Entry requirements are for September 2016. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online