Construction FdSc

Part-time undergraduate (3 years)


January, September

Teaching times


Semester 1: Tuesday 9am-7pm
Semester 2: Thursday 9am-7pm


Are you looking to further your career in construction? Get an insight into building design, production, management and the technologies used in the industry with our CIOB-accredited course. When you graduate, you can go straight into work or do a top-up year to achieve an honours degree.

Full description


With your foundation degree you'll have career opportunities in areas such as construction management, building surveying or quantity surveying. You choose the focus of your learning during your course, so you’ll become skilled in the areas that you’re passionate about.

You might find that you enjoy studying so much that you’d like to continue rather than going straight out to work. Graduating from this course means you’d only have to do one more year with us to achieve a full honours degree.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • Introduction to Civil Law and Legislation
    This module introduces you to the structure and processes of the English legal system, the sources of the law, and to basic legal concepts and skills you'll need to address more detailed legal issues later on. It's an essential foundation to the development of the legal skills necessary to give sound advice to clients in your professional career. You will focus in particular on the English Civil Law, as this is the branch of the law most relevant to you both in following modules and in professional careers after completing your course. Certain Criminal Law topics will be included where necessary, to understand or draw a distinction between processes in the two branches of the law. 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.
  • The Built Environment Work Sector
    Investigate the environments in which the work sector operates, its performance within these contexts and factors that influence the operation of organisations. You will focus on the role of the professions in the built environment sector and opportunities for employment and career progression. You will then examine people in the environment and their attempts to control the development of society politically, socially and economically through land use in both organic and planned terms from earliest civilisation to the present day. You will discuss multicultural perspectives and issues within built environment and the complications of the present day structure of the building and development industry.
  • Elements of Construction Design
    This module is designed for students of construction, surveying and architecture to introduce them to some of the basic analytical concepts and processes involved in the design of structures. Students will develop analytical skills which will allow them to carry out basic structural calculations. Students will also be introduced to basic 2D drafting techniques using industry standard software. This will allow them to effectively interpret technical drawing and give them the skills which can be applied to their specialist discipline area in later modules. Skills in this medium are highly sought after in the construction industry. BIM will be introduced to the student and students will gain an appreciation of technology and the role of the designer in the construction process and have an understanding of the design process. The assessment for this modules will take the form of a portfolio which will include CAD drawings and basic structural analysis such as bending moments, shear forces and reactions. It is important that sketches are used in the portfolio as a means of communicating the concepts.
  • IT and Communications
    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. This module is intended to be both preparatory and supportive, building a strong foundation for learning and later development. You will 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.
  • Construction Economics
    You will 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 you choose to go into at the end of your studies. The learning experience combines formal lectures with workshops and tutorial discussion to provide a foundation of understanding.
  • Elementary Survey Skills
    Develop the necessary site related survey skills for students entering the construction industry. You will gain a theoretical understanding as well as hands-on practice in the use of both traditional and contemporary instruments used to set-up and control the most common elements of construction. You will also learn the basic off-site calculations necessary to prepare the site, quality and/or survey documentation to meet specified tolerances and employer requirements. The skills you will gain here are expected from the most junior of site engineers and managers, so will be valuable for your future career.
  • Building Technology
    This module is designed for students of construction, surveying and architecture with little and/or no prior knowledge of building construction, services and material properties. Students will learn the common materials and methods of construction of both new and traditional housing, by considering in turn each of the main elements of a building's structure. They will also study the requirements of the internal environment, so as to understand how services installations contribute to user comfort. Other basic aspects such as the personnel involved, health and safety requirements and specialised terminology will be illustrated as appropriate to support this.

Level 4 optional modules

  • Surveying Practice
    Gain an introduction to the roles and work of the three main surveying professions, Building Surveying (BS) and Quantity Surveying (QS). Firstly, you will get an overview of the surveying professions and a general knowledge and understanding of the history and background of the surveying professions and the RICS, along with the types of organisations in which surveyors are employed. You will explore the roles of the surveyors, together with an outline of their main activities. You will then focus on your chosen discipline. You will research and explore general knowledge and skills for your area. For Building surveying students, you will assess the roles of building surveyors in construction and property markets or produce presentation and construction drawings for a minor alteration. For Quantity Surveying, students you will assess the roles of Quantity Surveyor within the construction industry. You will then complete a practical timed assignment where you will demonstrate the specific knowledge and skills you have gained in your chosen surveying disciplines.

Level 5 modules

  • Environmental Services and Construction Technology
    You will 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 effect 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 effects on the construction process of the latest legislation in relation to fire and health & safety are examined. A great deal of guidance is given to you on skill development. Our module is delivered by blended learning, so good access to the internet is essential. You will be assessed by a series of online multi choice questions and a number of reports on the performance of buildings.
  • Construction Resource Management
    In this module you will learn the theories, skills and competencies needed to identify and manage the resources to operate a construction organisation and in particular the development process. You will develop a number of key management skills which enable efficient project and organisational situations to be changed. We will investigate how the macro-economic environment affects the way managers design micro-economic systems and from this manage resources, and use systems theory to help you understand how organisations function. You will examine supply chain management in detail, with case studies from other industries used as a focus for improving approaches adopted in construction. The way in which financial resources are measured, administered and reconciled in a systematic fashion is studied. You will also be given the opportunity to evaluate the significance of how the human resource is procured, retained and motivated.
  • Work-Related Learning in the Built Environment
    Negotiate a structured set of specific objectives related to the world of work and take additional responsibility for your own learning. This will allow you to explore knowledge or interest in a work related field of the built environment which are not covered in our standard set of modules.
  • Site Management and Safety
    Examine health and safety issues within the construction industry and their integration throughout the processes of design, tender award and construction. You will explore the roles of all parties involved, from both moral and legal viewpoints, as well as past and current attitudes. You will consider the safety record within the construction industry and identify health and safety legislation aimed at reducing accident rates. You will also focus on the process of hazard identification and risk assessment and learn to produce method statements following on from risk assessments. Finally, you will identify safe systems of work and relate theory to practice.
  • Surveying Practice 3
    Develop the skills to complete a typical condition survey, such as an RICS Home Buyer Report. You will 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 will explore current health and safety legislation and how this affects the surveying of buildings together with an examination of data protection legislation and guidelines. You will also gain a grounding in undertaking modern condition surveys and recognising defects in low rise residential buildings. By assessing a range of residential buildings of traditional construction and preparing a condition survey in similar format to that required under the RICS Home Buyer Report, you will demonstrates a sound underpinning knowledge of time management, health and safety, communication and research analysis. You will benefit from a mixture of teaching strategies from formal group lectures, group and individual tutorials and practical condition survey workshops.

Level 5 optional modules

  • Measurement
    This module introduces an understanding and appreciation of quantification and measurement through the various stages of the development process of a building project. You will develop skills in interpreting drawn and written information and of presenting that material in appropriate quantified descriptive form to facilitate the analytical processes necessary for accurately assessing the cost of construction works. You will cover the knowledge, skills and competences necessary to quantify a range of construction and civil engineering work in accordance with the relevant standard forms of measurement from project initiation through to design completion. You will be expected to interpret and apply the principles and rules contained within the appropriate measurement rules and demonstrate an understanding of the need to quantify work at the various stages of design development.
  • Analysis and Control of Production Costs
    In this module you will develop an understanding and appreciation of the production of costs associated with a range of construction operations and projects. You will study the principles and methodology in the computation of construction costs throughout a project’s lifecycle, including relevant commercial factors and risk. This will involve identifying and assessing all direct and indirect costs related to construction works as well as understanding of the factors required to be considered at tender adjudication. You will also gain an understanding of the measurement and pricing of maintenance and repair work involved in the running and upkeep of buildings using relevant measurement rules and recognised good practice.
  • Project Administration
    Learn how to manage and administer a building contract from a legal and economic standpoint. You will learn how contracts are constructed, interpret their contents and manage the more routine legal and financial aspects through the completion of a contract and its final account. Learn through problem solving and case study activity that simulates a live project and the likely circumstances that arise. We ensure what you learn has direct application to practice and will give you valuable employability skills.
  • Continuing Personal and Professional Development
    This module will enable you to understand your own need for continuous personal and professional development and understand and apply principles of evaluation, quality assurance and quality improvement leading to the evaluation and improvement of your own wider professional practice. You will also prepare a personal strategy for self-development. This will include identifying individual personal characteristics as a basis for a self-development programme that should include ideas about career development. A range of learning and teaching strategies are used which include workshops, seminars and tutorials. This module will enable you to focus on your individual development needs.
  • Surveying Practice 2
    Develop your awareness of the administrative and legal framework within which land use planning operates. As a manager there is a need to advise clients in both the private and public sectors of potential development and redevelopment opportunities, and you will need to gain an understanding of the social and economic forces behind the local authority plan making and development control functions. You will 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 will look at the stages of the present planning system from application to determination by planning officers or planning committees and gain an understanding of the current planning appeals system to the Planning Inspectorate if there is a refusal to grant planning consent. And you will gain insight into land use decision-making and public participation within this process and the involvement of the real estate manager. Finally, you will study the evaluation of planning strategy and the evaluation techniques employed, as well as modern planning practice together with an examination of latest government initiatives proposed to create a more effective and faster planning process. You will take part in a variety of teaching strategies including formal group lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials and role-play exercises. Throughout the module you will gain confidence in communication skills, presentation skills, team work and planning.
  • Construction Planning and Programming
    Examine the process of production planning for construction works, analyse the use of production planning techniques and how they may aid the construction process. We will investigate production planning techniques such as programming of the works using bar charts, method statements and resource scheduling. You will also prepare cash flow forecasts based on your production programmes and the effect that such forecasts may have on the project. This module is project based and of a practical nature, giving you the practical experience of using the above project planning techniques in a 'live situation'. You will be given the opportunity to react to simulated events during the project life cycle such as delays and disruptions to the works.
  • Site and Engineering Surveying
    Discover both traditional and contemporary advanced survey techniques and capture, manipulate and utilise field data for both horizontal control and detail acquisition. You will gain experience in the theory and practice of traditional traversing and curve ranging techniques alongside contemporary practices. You will also gain hands on experience in advanced contemporary surveying equipment, such as theodolites and total stations, for data capture and for setting out. You will also gain an understanding of how remote surveying by extra-terrestrial systems has evolved and of how a variety of control systems relate to the Ordnance Survey National Grid. Finally, you will learn how to acquire data and sorted and processed it both manually and electronically to convert it into a format suitable for CAD output. You will produce and annotate your final survey drawings using AutoCAD and present them in a style appropriate to industry.
  • Work-Based Learning (B) in Built Environment
    Build on the work you covered in Work Based Learning in Built Environment and continue to explore how work and learning interact. You will further analyse and evaluate industrial structures, industrial roles and functions, and industrial self-awareness. You will identify your likes, dislikes, successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses and review the opportunities and threats of professional membership. Following on from this, you will produce an action plan including an assessment of potential professional membership routes which will enable you to plan how and over what timescale you intend to improve your identified areas for development. You will make use of RAPID/PDP systems (knowledge and skills base) in providing evidence, which will be organised within a portfolio.

Depending on module choice, you could progress to our BSc Building Surveying, Quantity Surveying or Construction Management. More information about module pathways is available under Entry Requirements.


Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help measure your progress. Besides exams, you’ll be assessed on your project work, case studies, reports, workplace assessments, presentations and role-plays.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

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

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2019/20 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Important fee notes

The course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs 

General stationary and calculator - £100

Additional costs for Constructionarium

You will be asked to make a contribution of £250 towards the cost of food and accommodation. You will also be asked to provide your own safety shoes or boots and warm outdoor clothing. Other personal protective equipment will be provided.

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

International students

You must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit or sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

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.

If you would like to continue on to our BSc (Hons) Building Surveying, BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying or BSc (Hons) Construction Management you will need to complete specific pathways for each course. To find out which modules are required in each pathway download our module pathway PDF below.

FdSc Module Pathways for Progression

International students

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

Please note that this course is not suitable for international students who require a Tier 4 visa as it is taught part-time. We welcome applications for other available courses.

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.

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

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