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Delivering excellence in construction through creativity, innovation and best practice.


Study Construction Business and Project Management at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

Tuition fee for 2015/16: £5,150 (total)

The master's programme in Construction Business and Project Management is a series of linked postgraduate awards offered both full (one calendar year) and part-time (three years) within the School of the Built Environment. Appropriately qualified construction personnel are able to study this increasingly important discipline to master's level.

The programme has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and is considered to be one of the finest of its kind in the world.

It is designed to allow students to master the twin tracks of managing both a construction project and a business organisation.

These competencies are in such high demand that our graduates have found many career opportunitiies around the world in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The curriculum has been designed specifically with the following groups in mind: graduates and professionally-qualified architects, builders, building service engineers, civil engineering, quantity surveyors, structural engineers and town planners. The Programme may be entered at various levels, depending on qualifications, ability and experience. Satisfactory completion at one award level allows progress to higher levels.

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About this course

In this section


The construction industry is changing rapidly in response to global and national pressures. Significant drivers exist to enhance industry performance (excellence), productivity, competitiveness, customer focus, innovation, sustainability, business improvement, effective management and delivery of projects / programmes, sharing best practice, partnering, conflict resolution, integration and stakeholder satisfaction leading to the creation of greater national wealth. This has produced a dynamic backcloth against which public and private sector organisations must operate.

Construction firms responsible for design, building and maintenance are seeking increasingly highly-qualified employees who can respond to the exacting demands today’s client makes of the industry. Complex and diverse construction projects must be executed with speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The process of construction must be organised and managed with greater efficiency by all those involved, especially given the increasing use of non-traditional procurement systems, modern methods, prefabrication and computer-based information flow.

Change can only be initiated, managed, designed and delivered through the work of individuals who work within construction. Engagement and ownership of the change process is essential if strategic goals are to be achieved. Senior construction personnel must perform well as managers – yet rarely are appropriate theories, skills and techniques of modern management, included in their early professional education and training.

This Programme provides a vehicle for individuals to further develop their knowledge and understanding and a cluster of key skills/competencies that will enhance your ability to deliver both project and business objectives. Additionally individuals wish to progress with their career and develop their professional skills. This Programme will do so and help develop future leaders of the construction industry.


The master's programme in Construction Business and Project Management is fully consistent with the University and Faculty Teaching and Learning mission statements.


To offer a linked postgraduate course which is intellectually coherent, academically challenging, progressive in nature (with appropriate exit points) and has vocational relevance.

To contribute to the development of management in the construction industry generally but, more specifically, in the context of devolution, integration and globalisation. This will take place through the study of relevant theoretical concepts and critical reflection on their application, which will enable managers to better understand and develop your own practice.

To maximise the multi- and interdisciplinary teaching and professional strengths of the Faculty's staff in the modules offered on the course.

To be innovative in teaching, learning and assessment strategies and build on existing good practice identified on current postgraduate certificate/diploma and masters courses from which this programme derives.

To produce the leaders of the construction industry of the future.

To provide an opportunity for graduates and professionals within the construction industry to enhance their Construction Business and Project Management knowledge and skills through the application of appropriate methods and techniques.

To promote professional development by reading for a higher degree in Construction Business and Project Management, and provide an advanced educational basis for further qualifications.

To encourage professional integration within the construction industry


For the award of Master of Science in Construction Business and Project Management, you will have:

  • gained a general understanding of the fundamental tenets of management through your study of core disciplines (organisation and management, business management and finance, project management) and a more specialised comprehension of your chosen options;
  • acquired the necessary skills to undertake both independent and peer group learning; in the case of the former this will demand reviewing literature, data collection and the integration of theory and practice necessary for managerial reports, academic assignments and student presentations; in the case of the latter this will require working as part of a group to undertake the same tasks and possible assessment by peers;
  • developed skills in communication, teamwork, problem solving, organisation (time management and task management), personal (self-awareness and self-appraisal) skills and information technology which will allow you to engage in interactive learning and the dissemination of information based on the acquisition and application of knowledge in your specialist area;
  • applied and integrated your knowledge of the core disciplines and option choices to a better understanding of the issues arising in the construction sector generally and in the sector or service in which they are employed. Specifically this will entail you developing new theoretical and empirical perspectives and “testing” ideas for validity and robustness on peers and module tutors;
  • the ability to critically reflect on existing management practice and suggest change in your areas of expertise; real-life topical managerial problems will provide the substance for case-study material in which analytical and conceptual skills acquired during the course will be utilised to improve practice.


The Learning Outcomes of the Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma are that, on completion, you should:

  • have increased capacity for understanding the concepts, complexities and issues relevant to Construction Business and Project Management through a rigorous study of selected topics;
  • have an enhanced ability to apply knowledge and skills in identifying, analysing and solving management problems within the construction firm, projects and the construction process;
  • improve your professional performance by encouraging the development of professional judgement, skills, attitudes and personal attributes such as leadership, assertiveness and creativity.

The additional Learning Outcomes of the Master of Science Degree are that, on completion, you should have:

  • gained experience of a supervised in dependent investigation of a problem of current Construction Business and Project Management concern, using relevant research methodology.
  • the capacity to carry out a comprehensive literature search, to design a suitable methodology to investigate a problem, to describe it, to analyse data, to evaluate the results of your investigation and to produce reasoned conclusions.
  • developed the ability to present, through your dissertation, arguments in support of your conclusions.


The course is offered in both a full-time and part-time pathway and each has a specific attendance pattern.

The part-time pathway requires all modules to be taken within three academic years.

Year One - (PgDip) - Class room attendance is required three days on a Monday.

Year Two - (PgDip) - Class room attendance is required three days on a Wednesday.

Year Three - (MSc) - Class room attendance is required three days on a Friday.

There are 12 teaching weeks per semester and attendance at oral presentations and workshops are required within the subsequent examinations period (3 weeks) .

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

Entry conditions

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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Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a degree or equivalent, or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning. The specific requirements for admission are detailed below:

Applicants should normally possess:

An Honours or non-Honours degree in an appropriate science, engineering or built environment discipline from a recognised educational institution from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard.


an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate in an appropriate science, engineering or built environment discipline from a recognised educational institution or an approved alternative qualification


satisfy the University’s general entry requirements including evidence of the required level of numeracy (GCSE grade C or equivalent);

You should normally have been employed in the construction industry for at least one year, after graduation, at an appropriate level (at a managerial or senior technical level).

Exceptionally, we will admit students with non-construction related qualifications provided they have significant industry / professional experience.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of the graduate qualities (including subject specific outcomes, specified by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

English Language Requirements

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.

Teaching and learning assessment

A range of teaching and learning methods are used to encourage the aquistion of knowledge and indepth understanding of the principles and practice relevant to our programme. A student centred learning approach is adopted that encourages and rewards logical and lateral thinking, whilst developing life long learning competencies.

The mix of designated learning outcomes specified for this programme informs our teaching and learning strategy. We strive to incorporate teaching methods that encourages individual reading, an investigative spirit, promotes synthesis of the many interelated subjects, allows for critical reflection and provides an opportunity to make reasoned judgements based on available evidence.

The teaching and learning methods are designed to offer academic and subject progression from semester 1 through to semester 3.

Teaching is delivered in lectures, case studies, tutorials, computer laboratory work, group work and seminars, complemented by visiting academics and professional practitioners.

Assessment methods chosen at programme and module level will enable you to demonstrate your achievement of learning outcomes, and enable you to be judged against specified assessment criteria.

A wide and flexible repertoire of assessment methods are utilised to match and underpin the knowledge, understanding and skills required in the Programme.

These include:

  • Essays
  • Investigative Reports
  • Reflective writing
  • Case studies
  • Seminar presentations
  • Role Play and Simulations
  • Oral Presentations
  • Poster Presentations
  • Dissertation

The method of assessment is influenced by various factors including, level of study, subject, and learning methods. Assessment techniques are selected to directly assess the intended learning outcomes of each module. A balance of work and examinations reflects the learning outcomes and the weighting of other components such as group work.

Assessment methods chosen at programme and module level will enable you to demonstrate your achievement of learning outcomes, and enable them to be judged against specified assessment criteria. The assessment will mainly focus on the learning outcomes.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or from the accreditation of prior experiential or certificated learning may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme of study provided that;

(a) they shall register as a student of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of a Master’s award, and at least 50% of the credit value of the award in respect of a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate award.

(b) no exemption shall be permitted from the Dissertation.

Transfer between other MSc/MBA programmes within the University is also permissible, with appropriate exemptions for relevant modules completed successfully.

Upon completion of the PgC/PgD/MSc there are ample opportunities for further study both within the Built Environment and beyond. In recent years, several graduates have progressed on to PhD studies, with some achieving employment as post-doctoral lecturing or research staff within our School.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Students who successfully complete this demanding programme will enhance their construction business and project management knowledge, skills and competencies, and in doing so, will offer employers what they, and their clients, need.

Whilst most of our postgraduates find employment at local and national levels (Great Britain & the Republic of Ireland), increasingly we see opportunities arise with international construction and client organisations. Alumini of the programme are working as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Butan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, the Caribbean, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Peru, Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Canada and the United States of America.

Others have opted to pursue a research path and have successfully obtained doctorates before embarking on an academic career.

Academic profile

The School is a research-led, informed and inspired centre for excellence in the built environment and is considered to have a significant international standing.

The School is active with respect to academic enterprise and knowledge transfer in the built environment. Academic enterprise projects support research in substantive and scholarly activities, and expand the portfolio of students learning in work-based environments.


All prospective students must make an online application via

When completing your application please ensure that you give full details of all your qualifications to date. It is also important that your personal statement fully reflects you commitment to the career path to which the programme relates.

Applicants must satisfy the general entry requirements above.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning (APEL), a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of the learning outcomes of the entry requirements may be considered as an alternative entrance route.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Association for Project Management (APM) presents an annual prize for the Best Overall Student on the MSc Programme

Quigg Golden present an annual prize for the Best Construction Law & Practice related MSc Dissertation.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) presents a prize for the best student on a post graduate course to a current member of the Institute.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.


Course Director: Dr Martina Murphy

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6599


Faculty Office

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6521



‘The course was invaluable in developing my business and project management knowledge and skills, and has contributed significantly to my career development’

Francis Marsh: Principal Project Manager - Health Estates

‘Since starting this MSc in Construction and Project Management I have been promoted four times from graduate, to a senior position – this course has been invaluable in progressing my career.’

Karen Crilly: Client Sponsor – Department of Justice