MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying
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 careers. Our students are often recruited by international construction and quantity surveying practices. Graduates also develop careers across different sectors of industry and commerce. Ranked 1st (The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024) and 7th (Complete University Guide 2023) in the UK for Building. See our rankings for more information.
This course is delivered by the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, a leading body recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering. This is one of four such centres established at UK universities that jointly form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for the sustainable built environment.
January 2023 entry
The application deadlines for January 2023 entry are 1 December 2022 for EU and overseas applicants and 18 December 2022 for UK applicants. We guarantee to consider any completed applications received by the appropriate date. Unfortunately, we will not be able to consider any applications received after these deadlines for our January intake.
September 2024 entry
The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.
Flexible study options
This course can be studied full-time, part-time on campus. It can also be studied via Online Learning, ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family.
- Full-time: 1 year
- Part-time: 2 years
The MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for the purpose of graduate membership.
Heriot-Watt graduate Colleen McGhee talks about why she chose the MSc Commercial Management & Quantity Surveying.
For the MSc, students undertake 8 taught courses plus a research dissertation. Students on the Postgraduate Diploma programme take the 8 taught courses only.
Students study 7 mandatory courses and choose 1 optional course from a choice of electives.
|Semester 1||Semester 2|
|Contracts and Procurement||Quantity Surveying Financial Management|
|Value and Risk Management||People and Organisation Management in the Built Environment|
|Construction Technology||Construction Financial Management|
|Optional course||Innovation in Construction Practice|
Semester 1 optional courses
- Sustainability for Construction Professionals
- Environmental Geotechnics
- Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources
- Quantity Surveying Practice
- Urban Economy and Property Markets
- Macroeconomics, Finance and the Built Environment
- Spatial Planning
- Real Estate Appraisal and Finance
Contracts and Procurement
Aims 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 a construction contract 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.
Value and Risk Management
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.
Aims 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.
Quantity Surveying Financial Management
Aims 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.
People and Organisational Management in the Built Environment
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.
Construction Financial Management
Aims 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.
Innovation in Construction Practice
Aims to equip students with an overall knowledge of the latest technical, technological and managerial innovations for project delivery that are currently being introduced in the AEC industry, or that are still embryonic but will be widely used in the future. The topics covered include: construction industrialisation, Building Information Modelling (BIM), construction sensing, mobile computing, and visualisation. They are discussed in the context of and latest development in sustainability. This allows students to be fully ready for the evolution that construction-related disciplines will see in the short and medium terms.
A second objective is to increase awareness about the risks that new technologies and methods bring to construction management. Good practice for the management of innovation is also covered.
Dr Graeme Bowles is programme leader and is also an active member of the RICS as an APC Assessor.
Recommended textbook for background reading: Willis's Practice and Procedure for the Quantity Surveyor.
Masters (MSc) level entry applicants must have one of the following:
- Minimum of 2:1 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area
- Minimum of 2:1 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in a non-cognate subject area but demonstrates an interest in the discipline (supported by a personal statement, detail of work experience)
- Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered
PG Diploma level entry applicants must have an ordinary degree in a related subject area and relevant post qualification industry experience.
Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and possibly interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Recruitment.
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 Admissions Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. Please refer to English language requirements for further details.
Some applicants may be asked for alternative evidence in line with UKVI recognised English speaking countries. Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses 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. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.
All evidence of English language needs to be dated within two years of the commencement of study.
We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master's 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)
- Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
- Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.
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.