BSc (Hons) Construction and the Built Environment

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    Key information

    Delivery type
    Graduate Apprenticeship
    4 years
    BSc (Hons)


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    Challenging global market conditions continue to dominate the building and construction industry. Key to success are skilled employees, who can manage complex construction project issues, a rare resource nowadays.

    The graduate apprenticeship programme is open to new or existing employees in Scotland of all ages and consists of 20% academic learning and 80% work-based learning.

    This graduate apprenticeship programme develops high-quality employees capable of playing key- and leadership roles in leading organisations across the construction industry, general contracting and consultancy.

    The Construction and the Built Environment GA is aimed at employment in the areas of Architectural Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Buying and Procurement, Construction Management, Estimating and Tendering, Facilities Management, Planning and Development, Programming, Project Management, Property Surveying, Rural Surveying, Valuation and Quantity Surveying.

    Graduates' skillset

    The Construction and the Built Environment degree is designed to produce graduates with:

    • competence in project and delivery management including the knowledge, skills, and professional competences necessary to begin practice as a professional in the construction and the built environment sector.
    • competence in the valuation of land and property (applies to those within the land and property sector only)
    • An understanding of appropriate solutions around the principles of design and technology
    • the ability to reconcile conflicting project objectives, finding appropriate solutions which recognise, cost, time, quality, life cycle aspects and sustainability
    • the ability to learn new methods, and technologies as they emerge and appreciate the necessity of such continuing professional development
    • Apply and understand relevant laws – describe standards, regulations and their consequences across the sector
    • an understanding of business management concepts, such as data management, business finance and business strategies
    • the ability to confidently work both as an individual and part of a team to develop and deliver solutions within construction and the built environment
    • an understanding of the importance of applying negotiation, effective work habits, leadership, and good communication with stakeholders
    • the ability to take responsibility for obligations for health, safety, welfare environment and quality issues
    • Understand the need for and maintain a commitment to a high level of professional and ethical conduct, recognising obligations to society, the profession and the wider environment

    The primary focus of the Construction and Built Environment graduate apprenticeship programme is on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills outcomes sought by employers.

    Design and technology

    • Technology of buildings including materials
    • Principles of design & construction
    • Detailed pathology of buildings and the related defects, causes and remedies
    • Sustainability

    Business management

    • Law
    • Data Management
    • Business finance and accounting
    • Business strategy and management

    Project and delivery management

    • Measurement
    • Project management
    • Project planning
    • Project execution
    • Project risk assessment and management
    • Commercial management
    • Valuation of Land and Property (this outcome applies to those within the Land and Property sector only)

    Professional practice

    • Comply with overarching professional standards
    • Exercise responsibilities in an ethical manner
    • Maintain current awareness of sustainability and environmental considerations
    • Maintain sound theoretical understanding of current and emerging professional practice
    • Apply knowledge of health, safety, welfare, environment and quality

    Personal and interpersonal

    • Communications
    • Personal attributes
    • Professional attributes
    • Team working

    Course content

    Year 1

    Eight mandatory courses. Two each in Semesters 1 and 2. Four work-based courses taken across the full academic year i.e., in Semesters 1, 2 and 3 and apprentices use this time to perform the work based activities and gather or construct the required evidence.

    Semester 1

    • Introductory Economics
    • Shaping Tomorrow Together A

    Semester 2

    • Shaping Tomorrow Together B
    • Enterprise and its Business Environment

    All semesters

    • Construction Technology 1
    • Global Challenges 1 (GA)
    • Construction Modelling
    • Cost Control Principles

    Year 2

    Eight mandatory courses. Two each in Semesters 1 and 2. Four work-based courses taken across the full academic year i.e., in Semesters 1, 2 and 3 and apprentices use this time to perform the work based activities and gather or construct the required evidence.

    Semester 1

    • Surveying and GIS
    • Commercial Law

    Semester 2

    • Business Skills
    • Building Services Technology

    All semesters

    • Cost Modelling and Measurement
    • eConstruction
    • Construction Technology 2
    • Employability and Professional Skills

    Year 3

    Eight mandatory courses. Two each in Semesters 1 and 2. Four work-based courses taken across the full academic year i.e., in Semesters 1, 2 and 3 and apprentices use this time to perform the work based activities and gather or construct the required evidence.

    Semester 1

    • Safety Management and Site Establishment
    • Procurement and Contracts

    Semester 2

    • Design for Construction
    • Innovation in Construction Practice

    All semesters

    • Business Management in the Built Environment
    • Design Cost Planning and Control
    • Measurement and Cost Evaluation
    • Construction Technology 3

    Year 4

    Four mandatory courses, two each in Semesters 1 and 2. A dissertation and design project undertaken across the full academic year i.e., in Semesters 1, 2 and 3.

    Semester 1

    • Quantity Surveying Practice
    • Cost and Value Management

    Semester 2

    • Construction Information Management
    • Sustainable and Intelligent Buildings

    All semesters

    • Dissertation
    • Design Project

    Dissertation: Applied research project to investigate in depth an organisational or project based issue for the purpose of process improvement. The dissertation involves problem scoping, literature review, collection and analysis of case study data and formulating conclusions and recommendations.

    Design project: A major project which consolidates many of the professional and technical skills developed through the apprenticeship programme This involves a construction technology appraisal of a work based project, and a cost management or project management option depending on the professional development of the apprentice

    Entry requirements

    Year 1

    • SQA Highers at ABBB or equivalent; 
    • A-Levels at ABC or BBB; 
    • Scottish Baccalaureate Pass; 
    • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points. 
    • Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering in conjunction with SQA Highers at AAB. 
    • A combination of qualifications totalling 96 SCQF credits at level 6, or Minimum 126 UCAS points 

    Year 2

    • SQA Advanced Highers at BB and SQA Highers at AAAB; 
    • A-Levels at ABB; 
    • HNC in a Construction-related subject with A in the graded unit; 
    • HND in a Construction-related subject with B in the graded unit; 
    • A suitable Modern/Technical Apprenticeship; 
    • Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction; 
    • Int. Baccalaureate 35 points; 
    • A combination of qualifications totalling 96 SCQF credits at level 7
    Megan MacDonald
    "Being able to gain more experience of problems and challenges that occur onsite gives me first first-hand experience of understanding how to overcome these. Learning in class is extremely beneficial but learning on the job helps give a wider knowledge base."
    Megan MacDonald,
    Construction and the Built Environment BSc (Hons)

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Internationally renowned as a leader in construction research and education, we offer your employees the vital skills versatility required by an increasingly dynamic industry. Our active links with the construction industry ensure a high-quality education that is firmly grounded in the real world.

    Ranking (Building, The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024)

    Ranked 1st in the UK for Building by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

    Ranking (Construction, Surveying and Planning, Guardian Good University Guide 2023)

    Ranked 1st in Scotland and 7th in the UK for Construction, Surveying and Planning by the Guardian Good University Guide 2023

    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.

    Graduate apprenticeship success stories

    Read our graduate apprenticeship partners' success stories who are already seeing the benefits.

    Clubs and activities

    At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

    Edinburgh Campus facilities

    At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

    Health and wellbeing

    Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

    Heriot-Watt Student Union

    There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

    Living in Edinburgh

    Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

    Sport facilities

    Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

    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.

    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.

    Register your interest in Graduate Apprenticeships

    Places are in high demand, and offered on a first come, first served basis to qualified employees – so please register your interest right away.

    If you are an employer, please complete the contact form to our GA team and we will contact you to discuss a detailed plan for your company.

    If you are already working, ask your manager to get in touch with us by completing this web form.

    If you are looking for an employer who could employ you and put you forward for the GA programme, you can find vacancies with current partner companies.

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