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MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying

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    Key information

    Mode of delivery
    Start date
    September, January, May


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    The online Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying degree equips you with the educational requirements for RICS membership and industry skills.

    Our Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying course is designed to meet the needs of the financial management and quantity surveying sectors. The degree offers a solid theoretical base, combined with a strong focus on industrial relevance. This means that you'll quickly be able to make a positive contribution to the success of your working environment, and the development of your own professional career. Our students are often recruited by international construction and quantity surveying practices. Graduates also develop careers across different sectors of industry and commerce.

    Degree duration

    The fastest a MSc can be completed is in 2½ years. The maximum completion timeframe is 8 years. On average, most students complete an MSc in 3-4 years.

    Delivery of online degrees

    Our up-to-date and progressive course materials are made available online through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE links you with our expert academics and course materials through videos, webinars, articles, journals, assessments and discussion boards. Tutors will provide you, by phone, Skype or email, with academic support similar to that received by our on-campus students.

    To find out more about time requirements, support and exams, view our How online learning works page.

    Studying an Online MSc Commercial Management & Quantity Surveying Degree

    Heriot-Watt graduates, Richard Ette and Olivia Anderson, talk about their experience of studying a MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying degree online.

    Course content

    Year 1

    For the MSc, students undertake 8 taught courses plus a research dissertation. Students on the Postgraduate Diploma take the 8 taught courses only.

    Heriot-Watt Online students must first take exams in two entry courses, Advanced Construction Technology and Value & Risk Management. Based on the results from these courses students continue on the degree at MSc or at PG Diploma level. Students study 7 mandatory courses and choose 1 optional course from a choice of electives.

    Degree structure

    • Advanced Construction Technology
    • Value and Risk Management
    • Quantity Surveying Financial Management 
    • Construction Financial Management 
    • Construction Practice and Information Technology
    • People and Organisation Management in the Built Environment
    • Strategic Commercial and Contract Management
    • Sustainability for Construction Professionals
    • Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources
    • Urban Economy and Property Markets
    • Research Dissertation (CPMQS)

    Detailed degree guide

    Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

    • Fundamentals of cost control in construction projects
    • Fundamentals of measurement as covered in chosen courses
    • Fundamentals of management as covered in chosen courses
    • Fundamentals of procurement and contract as covered in chosen courses

    Programme options will provide students with the opportunity to study:

    • Core aspects of cost control and value in design and construction of buildings
    • Principles of financial management in construction projects
    • Principles of management approaches in practice
    • Principles of project, contract and procurement

    Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

    • Appreciate the link between design, cost and procurement
    • Analyse and solve quantity surveying cost control problems
    • Integrate quantity surveying principles with the principles of management to enable a holistic approach to solving construction project issues
    • Integrate interdisciplinary built environment knowledge and analytical skills to enable a holistic approach to solving costing issues in construction projects

    Approaches to Teaching and Learning

    The overall approach in the programme teaching and learning is student-focused, which is designed to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and development.

    Programme learning objectives ensure transmission of core knowledge relevant to each course. The level of competency required provides the academic rigour appropriate to Masters programmes. This is achieved through traditional methods of teaching and learning, and can be summatively assessed in examinations.

    Programme leaning outcomes come from overarching Discipline themes. Achievement of them demonstrates skill and mastery of the subject at advanced level and requires students to make value judgements relevant to quantity surveying through reasoned application of core knowledge. This is achieved through student interaction with integrated project work which is assessed by assignment. The requisite competencies related to Subject Mastery are acquired and developed through lectures, tutorials, group work and integrated design project. The design project reinforces the development of subject-specific skills through a co-ordinated set of projects ensuring an interdisciplinary approach to developing professional skills.

    Approaches to teaching and learning are continually reviewed and developed with the aim of matching them to the abilities and experiences of students, with regard for the subject area. Specific details about teaching and learning methods are provided in the appropriate course descriptors.

    Assessment Policies

    The assessment policy for the programme incorporates a range of assessment types. Continuous assessment during some courses and summative assessment at the conclusion of courses both contribute to the overall assessment and are used to formally measure achievement in specific learning outcomes. Understanding, knowledge and subject-specific skills are assessed by coursework assignments, integrated design elements and written examinations. Approaches to assessment are continually reviewed. Specific details about methods of assessment are provided in the appropriate course descriptors.

    Dr Graeme Bowles
    "The postgraduate Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying programme is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and will equip you with the necessary technical, business and financial management skills to pursue a career as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, working for a contractor, government or client consultancy. The MSc will give you a career advantage and high-level analytical skills which are useful to the profession."
    Dr Graeme Bowles,
    MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying

    Fees and funding

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees
    Status Per course [footnote 1] Dissertation/Project [footnote 1]
    UK / EU / Overseas GBP1480 GBP1910
    1. The tuition fees listed are for courses starting between September 2023 and August 2024. Fees normally increase annually. Find out more about our tuition fees.

    Additional fee information

    Financial support

    Tuition fee loans are available to Scottish distance learning students on some taught postgraduate courses. Find out more from the Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

    Scholarships and bursaries

    We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Each year, hundreds of students enhance their educational experience through a variety of Heriot-Watt and externally funded scholarships, including opportunities funded by the University's generous alumni community, based all over the world.

    View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

    Entry requirements

    For MSc level entry applicants must have:

    • Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area.
    • Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.

    For PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:

    • Third class honours degree in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area PLUS 2 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level completed post qualification.
    • Cognate or semi-cognate ordinary degree PLUS 3-4 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level following graduation.
    • Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.

    There is no entry at PG Certificate level except through exceptional agreement with approved learning partners.

    Non-graduating study at masters level:

    • Entry is based on CV or on formal academic qualifications or graduate (or incorporated) membership of a relevant professional institution.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    We are committed to providing study opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For more information on RPL, please contact the Online Admissions Team ( ahead of application. We can only consider requests for RPL at the time of application to a course of study. 

    English language requirements

    If English is not the applicant's first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

    Applicants who have previously successfully completed programmes delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree programme. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

    We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

    • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
    • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
    • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Ranking (Building, Complete University Guide 2023)

    We are ranked 1st in Scotland and 7th in the UK for Building in the Complete University Guide 2023.

    Flexibility and affordability

    Study at a time and pace that suits you, and even while you work. HW Online offers pay-as-you-study courses and fees inclusive of exams and study materials, meaning you can focus on success, not extra costs.

    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Online events

    We host online events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to speak to our academic teaching staff, meet students, find out what it is like to study using our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and discover how to enrol.

    Lifelong connections

    Upon completing your studies you will automatically join the UK's oldest alumni association The Watt Club, with 147k members worldwide.

    Study options Edinburgh - Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying

    Our MSc in Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying is also available to study at our Edinburgh campus.

    Study Options Dubai - Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying

    Our MSc in Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying is also available to study at our Dubai campus.

    Study options Malaysia - Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying

    Our MSc in Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying is also available to study at our Malaysia campus.

    We are accredited by the following organisations

    At Heriot-Watt University we develop degrees that are relevant for the world of work. We work with Professional bodies and Institutes to gain appropriate Accreditations and Professional Memberships for your industry. Find out below how this degree aligns to industry.

    RICS logo

    Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

    This graduate apprenticeship is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) meaning that apprentices are on a pathway to becoming Chartered construction professionals. Depending on the individual's career development, this is most likely to be through the Quantity Surveying and Construction pathway or the Project Management pathway.

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