The course

Delivery
Online learning
Course award
MSc
Location
Online
Entry date
September, January, May

Rated 1st in UK for Building by The Complete University Guide 2020, the online Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying programme equips you with the educational requirements for RICS membership and industry skills.

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Overview

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.

The Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying course is delivered by the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design.

Flexible study options

This course can be studied via Online Learning, ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. Visit our How online learning works pages to find out more. It can also be studied on-campus full-time or part-time.

Programme duration

Online Learning: 2½ - 8 years

Accreditation

The MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for the purpose of graduate membership.

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Course content

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

Heriot-Watt Online students must first take exams in two entry courses* of the programme,  Construction Technology 3 and Value & Risk Management. Based on the results from these courses students continue on the programme at MSc or at PG Diploma level. Students study 7 mandatory courses and choose 1 optional course from a choice of electives.

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
Online entry courses* Online entry courses* Online entry courses*
Construction Technology 3 Construction Technology 3 Construction Technology 3
Value & Risk Management Value & Risk Management Value & Risk Management
Mandatory courses Mandatory courses Mandatory courses
Contracts and Procurement Construction Financial Management Construction Financial Management
  Construction Practice and Information Technology Contracts and Procurement
  People and Organisation Management in the Built Environment People and Organisation Management in the Built Environment
  Quantity Surveying Financial Management  
Optional courses    
Sustainable Design and Development    
Real Estate Economics    
Sustainability in Civil Engineering    
Spatial Planning    

Course descriptions

Please find below the course descriptions. For more information on courses, please contact the Programme Leader.

Construction Technology 3

(mandatory & online entry course)

The overall aim of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the different elements that make-up a building so that they can communicate effectively with construction professionals in the design and construction of buildings. Subjects include:

Structural Requirements for Buildings; Substructure Design – Foundations; Substructure Design – Basements; Structural frames and suspended floors; Superstructure - External walls and cladding Superstructure – Roofs; Services in Buildings; Offsite construction; Low carbon construction.

Value and Risk Management

(mandatory & online entry course)

The course aims to introduce the concepts of value and risk management, apply them to strategic and tactical problems and illustrate their tools and techniques through case study. The syllabus covers:

VRM and the construction procurement process, An Introduction to Value Management, Value Engineering - Function Analysis and other VE tools, Risk, uncertainty and the construction industry, Risk and procurement of PPP projects, The Risk Management framework., Sources, events and effects of project risk, Tools and techniques of Risk Management, Risk response and mitigation, Client Briefing, A Review of North American Practice.

People and Organisational Management in the Built Environment

(mandatory)

This course aims to develop a high level of interdisciplinary understanding about complex organisational and personal management processes and how important they are in underpinning technical skills to deliver high quality services as a professional. Students will learn about and explore management theory and practice and will have a chance to reflect on their own personal development in a synoptic way. This will be valuable in terms of career development, as management competences and self-reflection are increasingly sought in practice.

Topics covered by the syllabus include: What is management and why is it important for professional practice? Good and bad examples of management and their effect on individuals, organisations and service delivery. A critical evaluation of management theories. In depth understanding of the complexities of team building, organisational culture, recruitment and selection, staff appraisal, motivation, leadership, communication, co-ordination, and managing change and diversity.

Contracts and Procurement

(mandatory)

The aim of this course is to help students understand advanced procurement practices, the situations in which their use is appropriate and the contractual principles upon which they are based. The course will also introduce students to the mechanisms used by a typical standard for of construction contract (from the JCT05 suite) to control the risk exposure arising from the liabilities of contracting parties created by the contract and common law, as well as the flow of money and information between contacting parties. Subjects covered by the syllabus include:

Introduction to Construction Project Procurement; Procurement Arrangement Options; Construction Contract Use in the UK; Principles of Contract Law; Partnering; Procurement through Public Private Partnerships; Claims; Negotiating; Managing Conflicts and Disputes; Towards Better Contracting Practices.

Quantity Surveying Financial Management

(mandatory)

The aim of this course is to develop the experience and capability of graduates in relation to the built environment. The objective is to enhance the students’ understanding of the cost and measurement practices and the organisation and processes of the cost control and development process in the construction industry.

Construction Financial Management

(mandatory)

The aim of the course is to enable students to appreciate and make an intelligent contribution towards the managerial and financial aspects of construction companies in general and construction projects in particular. This includes developing awareness and understanding of the need for financial planning and monitoring and the cost control process. The following subjects are covered within the course syllabus:

Financial management and control in contracting; corporate strategies in construction; financial management at company level; cash flow forecasting; costing; cost/value reconciliation at project level; production of financial accounts for construction companies; corporate analysis and ratio analysis; economic comparison; profitability measurement; construction plant financial appraisal; development appraisal techniques.

Construction Practice and Information Technology

(mandatory)

The overall aim of this course is to provide an insight into the development of information systems in the construction industry. The course will help students to evaluate the use of modern ICT means and their impact on business performance in construction; study relevant IT concepts and appraise its applicability to construction process re-engineering and develop adequate research skills in reviewing and preparing academic publications. Subjects covered by the syllabus include:

Management Information systems for integrated work environment; Electronic Documents Management; Development strategy for information systems; Introduction to IT Infrastructure and EDI; E-business in construction; Building Information Modelling (BIM); Mobile computing in construction; Smart/Intelligent Building and Information systems and Knowledge Management.

Programme leader

Dr Turker Bayrak, CIOB, is an Architect and Construction Manager with industry background. He has research interests in Construction IT and has teaching experience in Site Management, Design, Health and Safety, Automation, Project Management and Construction Technology subjects.

Additional information

Recommended textbook for background reading: Willis's Practice and Procedure for the Quantity Surveyor.

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 (egis-idl-apps@hw.ac.uk) 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:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Online learning students

Please note that online learning students who access their studies online will be expected to have access to a PC/laptop and internet.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry
Status Per course Dissertation
UK / EU / Overseas £1400 £1800

Additional fees information

Students pay £1400 per course and £1800 for the Dissertation. This programme consists of 8 courses (modules). MSc students are also required to submit a Masters dissertation.

For questions about Heriot-Watt Online fees, please contact hwonlineapps@hw.ac.uk

Financial support

Tuition fee loans of £5,500 are available to Scottish distance learning students on taught postgraduate courses. Full-time distance learning postgraduate students can also access a £4,500 living cost loan. 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. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

Additional scholarship information

Fully funded scholarships for some of the courses contained within the MSc are available to people living and working in Scotland. To find out more information visit the Skills Scotland Scholarship page.