2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
The effective assessment and care of our built environment through a professionally informed approach.
Building surveyors are concerned with the provision of expert advice on all aspects of design, construction, maintenance and repair of buildings and the conservation of the built heritage. Much of their work involves the assessment of the condition of buildings and specifying remedial work to be undertaken.
The work of the Building Surveyor is wide ranging and involves both site and office based activities.
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The degree programme in Building Surveying provides the specialist knowledge and skills necessary to enter the Building Surveying profession at graduate level with a view to completing the Assessment of Professional Competence to gain professional membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Course content is aimed at providing an understanding of the roles and purposes of building surveying and its relationship with other disciplines within the industry. In addition to core areas of technology, maintenance management and building conservation, professional practice skills are further developed through integrated project work in all years of the programme.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Find out more about placement awards
This full-time course is normally of 4 years duration, however, depending on previous experience and qualifications gained, some level of exemption may be available.
Each academic year comprises 2 semesters with 120 credit points taught in each academic year, normally 6 modules of 20 credit points. Each credit point represents ten hours of study with approximately 25% being in the form of lectures/tutorials/directed study, the remaining time being used for independent study.
The programme incorporates a range of teaching methods to encourage students to adopt a knowledge seeking attitude; to build up confidence in their own ability to learn to make reasoned judgements based on available evidence and to incorporate a practical-based dimension to their studies. The teaching and learning methods are designed to offer both academic and subject progression from Level 4 through to Level 6. In conjunction with the respective learning methods at each level, students are encouraged to adopt a student centred approach to their learning, through directed reading and individual research of projects and case studies.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This module develops some of the professional skills of a surveyor working in the Built Environment. The theory and principles of measured building surveying and site surveying are established to provide the student with the skills required in a practice based environment. Practical skills in the measurement of building and land are developed.
The module presents a wide-ranging overview of the impact of public & private development, statutory legislation, procurement, building design and construction on UK industry and society. It presents the background to the development of professional and industry norms and also challenges a number of orthodoxies.
Module study includes a review of the roles and responsibilities of property and construction professionals in a complex sector, as well as the nature of professionalism in an era of climate emergency.
This module provides a general introduction to construction technology with specific emphasis on the sustainable construction of small-scale, low-rise buildings.
The module also introduces the factors that affect and systems that control the internal environment of domestic buildings.
This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of governance and the legal framework in contemporary society. Students examine the interrelationship between governance actors, the legal system and social policy for advancing sustainable development and improving social, economic and environmental well-being.
The modern day built environment professional is required to communicate effectively utilising electronic tools with the rest of the project team. This has been mandated by the UK Cabinet Office Construction Strategy, by European Commission procurement regulations and is being followed across the world. This module develops an understanding of the key drivers and barriers to fully implementing Level 2 BIM and points towards the development of level 3 BIM working in the near future. The module develops the foundational skills for internationally recognised BIM Level 2 for the contemporary and future built environment professionals.
This module will provide students with a basic understanding of fundamental material science and a comprehensive understanding of the composition, microstructure, and engineering behaviour of materials used in construction applications. The module will also allow students to identify and describe the form and function of various structural elements, to understand the requirements for strength, stability and performance of structures and structural materials and gives an introduction to the design of structural elements.
The module enhances the understanding of functions, principles and sustainable methods in the design and construction of buildings, and develops greater awareness of the role of building technology and its interactive nature. Teaching methods include lectures supported by tutorials and case studies.
This module covers introductory design of sub-structures, super-structures, and their elements made from; timber, steel, reinforced concrete, masonry, and aims to develop an awareness of the design and production imperatives involved in practical construction situations.
This module introduces the student to the role of Chartered Building Surveyors in the Property Cycle, together with the RICS Regulatory framework therein associated. It introduces building survey principles for residential and commercial buildings. It also introduces the student to legal issues and procedures associated with property ownership, occupation and disposal.
This module highlights the challenges that exist within the construction industry regarding environmental conservation and illustrates how these challenges can be met. Emphasis is placed on developing student awareness of how traditional building and construction activities need to be altered to respond to the new emerging sustainability and natural resource use agendas facing surveyors.
This module will develop the students understanding and experience in the procedural and practical requirements of Project Development. It will allow the students, working in teams, to manage client expectations, realise their role within a professional team and manage the practical and other responsibilities involved in group project work. Students will gain experience in the design, surveying, technical & legislative facets of non- domestic renovation projects. The module will also provide an opportune time for students to relate to their own employability skills within a Building Surveying context.
Heat, air and moisture transport and storage in buildings has the potential to impact significantly on the design performance of buildings and durability of building fabric as well as the comfort and wellbeing of the building occupants. This module will establish how the impacts develop in buildings and how these impacts can be assessed and evaluated.
This module will consider the fundamental principles and rules of the law of real property. Specifically, the module will consider: the distinction between real & personal property; co-ownership; leases & business tenancies; licenses & estoppel; trespass & control of access to land; adverse possession; private planning & freehold covenants; easements & incorporeal hereditaments and mortgages.
Factors associated with the form and selection of contract in procuring building work
associated with property will be detailed.
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
This module investigates the performance requirements of buildings, including environmental impacts and the technology required to ensure that the requirements are met.
The influence of building regulations and construction codes on the achievement of performance requirements is evaluated.
The Research and Dissertation module provides the opportunity to explore in-depth an area of particular significance relating to the course of study. Students are responsible for collating information necessary for the selection and execution of the dissertation. They are required to critically evaluate the practicality, availability of reference material and access to individuals or records. Clear aims and objectives must be established, together with the methods to be used to attain these objectives. The dissertation is a mechanism that underwrites and supports analytical and evaluation skills, logical thought, and the ability to communicate effectively in terms of verbal and written material.
This module will provide the student with theoretical and practical knowledge of the processes involved in the conversion and adaptation of the built environment. Building visits and case study analysis will review design strategies in conversion and refurbishment, conservation and adaptation of buildings, integration of services, use of materials and construction detailing.
This module provides an opportunity for the building surveying student to utilise skills, techniques, knowledge and information drawn from other modules of both the building surveying and quantity surveying programmes and to apply these in a structured manner to the investigation and resolution of work based scenarios and related problems.
The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the procedures and techniques used in the financial control and management of construction projects. It also explores the synergy between the economy and the construction industry and the implications on critical decision making with relation to design and cost planning of construction projects. There is a key focus on value engineering of projects to achieve best value design facilitated with modern design thinking with regards to building occupation and the whole life value of the project.
This module will provide students with the practical knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in building analysis, repair and conservation of existing buildings of all types.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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The A Level requirement for this course is BBC to include Grade B in one of the following subjects : Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, Technology (including Environmental Technology, Environmental Science, Digital Technology, Technology & Design, Design & Technology), Geography, Life and Health Sciences (single or double award) Applied Science or ICT.
Providing the subject requirement is met, applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A-level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:
BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Construction, Engineering, Land Use and Surveying and Land Administration or Applied Science with overall award profile DDD.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Construction, Engineering, Land Use and Surveying and Land Administration or Applied Science with overall award profile DMM.
A levels with
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical Combinations do not satisfy the subject entry requirement for this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A levels in the required subject(s).
The subject requirement must be met.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
112 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of 4 subjects at Higher Level and 1 subject at Ordinary Level. Higher Level subjects must include 1 subject at H3 grade from Physics, Maths, Technology, Chemistry, Biology or Engineering. The overall profile must include English and at Grade H6 (HL) or Grade O4 Ordinary Level. If Maths is not being offered at Higher Level grade O4 at Ordinary Level is also required.
The Scottish Highers minimum requirement for this course is BBCCC to include one subject from Maths, Technology, Chemistry, Biology or Engineering.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCD to include one subject from Maths, Technology, Chemistry, Biology or Engineering.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile Minimum 25 points (12 at higher level) to include grade 4 in HL Maths and another HL science subject. Grade 4 in English Language is also required in overall profile.
An overall mark of 63% in a Science, Science and Technology Access course.
GCSE Mathematics and English Language at grade C or 4.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
HNC in Construction requirement is overall Distinction to include 75 level 4 credits at Distinction for year one entry.
HND in Construction, Engineering, Land Use and Surveying and Land Administration subject the requirement is overall Merit to include 45 level 5 credits at Distinction for year 2 entry.
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in Construction Engineering with Surveying, Building Technology and Management or Architectural Technology with an overall mark of 50%, and minimum 50% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants will normally be considered for year 2 entry to the linked Honours degree.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C or 4 (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.
Most students enter into Year 1, however if evidence of previous relevant study exists you may be considered for entry to later years. Transfer may also be available between part-time and full-time modes of study. Each year of study on the part-time mode equates to 1/2 a year of study on a full-time mode. Transfer to full-time study would normally be at the end of years 2 or 4.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
Most graduates are employed in professional surveying practices, government or commercial organisations.
This course also provides an ideal foundation for graduates who wish to undertake postgraduate study or research within the Ulster University or other academic institutions.
Work placement is taken in year 3 of the course. The Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) is awarded for successfull completion of placement.
Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for the purpose of graduate membership.
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School of the Built Environment Prize - Best student in Level 5 Building Surveying £50.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
“During my placement year I worked for a major Health Trust. I found the year to be incredibly beneficial in terms of both my personal development and the exposure to a range of problem solving activities presented in maintaining the portfolio of buildings.”
Fintan (Final Year)
“My placement role has had a profound effect on me. The skills and knowledge I have acquired have been incredibly beneficial for my final year studies and my future career as a Chartered Building Surveyor.”
Adam (Final Year)
“The course allowed me to embark on a great career and find the right job. The stresses of University and the subsequent search for employment are worth it in the end. You have to find the job. The job won’t find you. BE PROACTIVE”
Stephen (Graduate Project Leader, Houses of Parliament)
“The Building Surveying degree is so varied it opens up so many opportunities in all facets of the construction industry”
Daniel (City & Country, Graduate Building Surveyor)
“Achieving a good degree in BSc Building Surveying gave me the platform to continue to Postgraduate Study, which allowed me to specialize in an area of Surveying I perhaps could not have done otherwise.”
David (Surveyor, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Africa & Asia Pacific Area)