Building Surveying BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year, 4 years with placement)


January, September


Want to help shape the buildings we live and work in? Get on site and hands-on with this course accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Based in Chelmsford, you’ll learn a range of professional and technical skills, from converting and adapting buildings to performing surveys and valuations. You’ll be taught project management skills by experienced lecturers and practitioners in a multidisciplinary school alongside other construction professionals. Take an optional placement year and help build your career.

Full description


Skilled building surveying graduates are in demand, especially when they have experience of a variety of construction environments. When you graduate, you’ll have a wide choice of interesting careers, advising your clients on the potential and future use of their buildings.

A surveyor’s work is very varied; in the morning, you could be doing an inspection or supervising construction work on-site. In the afternoon, you could be writing reports in the office or advising clients on business tenancies.

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Our course offers a great platform from which to launch your career. It’s recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, so when you graduate you can do your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and qualify as a chartered surveyor.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • IT and Communications
    Students entering Higher Education will need specific study skills to enable them to maximise their learning potential and take advantage of opportunities available both in the academic setting and workplace. This module is intended to be both preparatory and supportive, building a strong foundation for learning and later development. You will gain Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills for information management and presentation purposes and will be encouraged to use contemporary ICT methods for research and for the production and presentation of reports, in a style suitable both for university coursework requirements and the commercial environment.
  • Elements of Construction Design
    This module is designed for students of construction, surveying and architecture to introduce them to some of the basic analytical concepts and processes involved in the design of structures. Students will develop analytical skills which will allow them to carry out basic structural calculations. Students will also be introduced to basic 2D drafting techniques using industry standard software. This will allow them to effectively interpret technical drawing and give them the skills which can be applied to their specialist discipline area in later modules. Skills in this medium are highly sought after in the construction industry. BIM will be introduced to the student and students will gain an appreciation of technology and the role of the designer in the construction process and have an understanding of the design process. The assessment for this module will take the form of a portfolio which will include CAD drawings and basic structural analysis such as bending moments, shear forces and reactions. It is important that sketches are used in the portfolio as a means of communicating the concepts.
  • Introduction to Civil Law and Legislation
    This module introduces you to the structure and processes of the English legal system, the sources of the law, and to basic legal concepts and skills you'll need to address more detailed legal issues later on. It's an essential foundation to the development of the legal skills necessary to give sound advice to clients in your professional career. You will focus in particular on the English Civil Law, as this is the branch of the law most relevant to you both in following modules and in professional careers after completing your course. Certain Criminal Law topics will be included where necessary, to understand or draw a distinction between processes in the two branches of the law. A key aim of the module is to develop your research skills, specifically in the field of legal issues affecting your work, together with your ability to analyse research material, and to marshal material and facts into cogent advice and reports.
  • The Built Environment Work Sector
    Investigate the environments in which the work sector operates, its performance within these contexts and factors that influence the operation of organisations. You will focus on the role of the professions in the built environment sector and opportunities for employment and career progression. You will then examine people in the environment and their attempts to control the development of society politically, socially and economically through land use in both organic and planned terms from earliest civilisation to the present day. You will discuss multicultural perspectives and issues within built environment and the complications of the present day structure of the building and development industry.
  • Elementary Survey Skills
    Develop the necessary site related survey skills for students entering the construction industry. You will gain a theoretical understanding as well as hands-on practice in the use of both traditional and contemporary instruments used to set-up and control the most common elements of construction. You will also learn the basic off-site calculations necessary to prepare the site, quality and/or survey documentation to meet specified tolerances and employer requirements. The skills you will gain here are expected from the most junior of site engineers and managers, so will be valuable for your future career.
  • Building Technology
    This module is designed for students of construction, surveying and architecture with little and/or no prior knowledge of building construction, services and material properties. You will learn the common materials and methods of construction of both new and traditional housing, by considering in turn each of the main elements of a building's structure. You'll also study the requirements of the internal environment, so as to understand how services installations contribute to user comfort. Other basic aspects such as the personnel involved, health and safety requirements and specialised terminology will be illustrated as appropriate to support this. You'll acquire knowledge related to domestic construction and be able to justify why different materials are used in the built environment.
  • Construction Economics
    You will gain an understanding of basic microeconomic and macroeconomic principles and how they impact on firms in the built environment. This allows you to develop an appreciation of the importance of the economy on the industry you choose to go into at the end of your studies. The learning experience combines formal lectures with workshops and tutorial discussion to provide a foundation of understanding.
  • Professional Surveying Practice
    Learn about the roles and work of the Chartered Surveyor throughout the development process, the history and background of the surveying professions and the RICS, along with the types of organisations in which surveyors are employed. You’ll then focus specifically on your chosen discipline and apply your knowledge to this.

Year two, core modules

  • Environmental Building Performance
    The main approach for this module is a scientific one, focusing on the analysis of a problem or set of problems, followed by the synthesis of a solution. Considerable emphasis is placed on the use of environmental criteria to assess a building’s thermal, visual and aural performance. You will explore a number of scientific methods, with a limited amount of practical experiment-based work; technical solutions for lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning a building; and the passive design features of a building.
  • Management Practice
    You'll gain an understanding of management concepts and their application in the construction industry. Your primary focus will be on developing practical and conceptual approaches to managing in a built environment firm. You'll start by focusing on the principles and processes of management and apply the concepts learnt to a practical context through case studies. You'll consider construction markets and organisations, their culture and structure, looking at staff and functional relationships together with chain of command and span of control. You'll demonstrate how the theory relates to practice and study management techniques and their application, considering work planning, monitoring and progress control. Computer software will be used to solve construction related problems. You'll also consider the importance of quality standards applied to the construction process. Finance plays an important part in the construction industry and you'll develop an understanding and working knowledge of budgets and cost control by undertaking financial problems and present solutions. The module will also consider management within a professional setting and issues relating to the unique nature of practice within the Built Environment.
  • Advanced Construction Technology
    You will develop a broad understanding of the way we build our commercial and industrial buildings. Leading on from the study of domestic construction, you will consider the functional requirements of single-storey industrial sheds and multi-storey framed structures in concrete and steel. In addition, you will examine the affects on the construction process of the latest legislation in relation to fire and health and safety. You will receive a great deal of guidance to help develop your skills.
  • Planning Procedures and Practice
    This module will develop your awareness of the administrative and legal framework within which land use planning operates. As a building surveyor there is a need to advise clients in both the private and public sectors of potential development and redevelopment opportunities. In this respect the building surveyor needs to gain a fundamental understanding of the social and economic forces which lie behind the local authority plan making and development control functions. It also provides an opportunity for you to explore the different roles of the modern day planner from strategic planning at national and regional level to development control issues at local level. You'll be introduced to the stages of the present planning system from application to determination by planning officers or planning committees. You'll also gain an understanding of the current planning appeals system to the Planning Inspectorate if there is a refusal to grant planning consent. You'll gain an insight into land use decision-making and public participation within this process and the involvement of the building surveyor. Finally you'll study the evaluation of planning strategy and the evaluation techniques employed. Modern planning practice is explored together with an examination of latest government initiatives proposed to create a more effective and faster planning process.
  • Property and Land Law
    Assimilate and consolidate legal principles required for practising surveyors and examine the different types of interests, both legal and equitable, within the built environment. You’ll enjoy a range of teaching and learning strategies, such as formal group lectures, seminars and tutorials with a series of class exercises. You’ll gain practical and valuable knowledge and insight into problems associated with the law of property.
  • Building Inspection and Analysis
    In this module you'll build on your learning from 'An Introduction to Technology' and 'Design and Professional Surveying Practice' using your skills to complete a typical condition survey (RICS Home Buyer Report). We'll focus on property inspection, recognition of defects in residential property and related matters such as non-traditional construction, assessing age of buildings, asbestos awareness and damage by trees to buildings. You'll also explore current health and safety legislation and how this affects the surveying of buildings together with an examination of data protection legislation and guidelines.
  • Valuations 1
    Explore main valuation methods and solve various valuation problems across a wide range of property types. You’ll examine recent changes within valuation practice and determine relevant and accurate valuation methodology in different situations. You’ll discover the property investment market at both local and national level and use practical examples to gain knowledge of the investment process. You’ll also examine the taxation systems as affecting the property and investment markets. You’ll determine the importance of business rates, the roles of the valuation officer and the appeals procedures. As well as group lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll take part in site visits where you’ll take part in measurement and record documentation to assist with accurate valuations. You’ll also put your knowledge to the test when you address a current commercial valuation problem and enable a potential client to make an informed choice about an investment opportunity.
  • Building Surveying Documentation
    This module will introduce you to the essential processes and documentation required by Building Surveyors to administer minor and intermediate building works in both private practice and the public sector. You will concentrate on traditionally procured contracts, where the client employs a professional to prepare contract documentation with which to appoint a contractor. This reflects the usual working practice of a Building Surveyor. You will also explore the current Building Regulations and other statutory controls, alongside the Construction Design and Management Regulations.

Work placement (optional placement year)

  • Work Placement Engineering and the Built Environment
    Your Work Placement module cover a period of 38 weeks. It's a pass/fail module which does not affect your progression from level 5 to level 6 of your course. If you started your course in September, you'll commence your placement at any point from 1 July to 30 September. If you started your course in January, you'll commence your placement at any point from 1 February to 31 March. The module is designed to give you an opportunity to analyse and evaluate industrial organisational structures, industrial roles and functions and industrial self-awareness. It covers human relationships, team relationships, problem evaluations, solutions and analysis and an evaluation of an industry/business sector. The aim of the module is to allow you to use the academic skills developed during your first two years of university study to support learning during your work placement. The module aims to give you experience of work in an industry and/or business environment including familiarisation with a professional work environment. The module will be underpinned by employability skills training, reflective assessment and support from academic tutors. You'll be expected to reflect on your experience orally and in writing, and demonstrate how you have applied theory and learning to date in a work-based environment. The assessment aims to support and develop your ability to demonstrate your professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer while also learning key communication and personal skills.

Year three, core modules

  • Building Surveying Practice I
    This module will develop your understanding of inspection and reporting procedures for schedules of dilapidations on commercial premises. In this context 'dilapidation' is a legal term relating to the law of 'waste' and applies in situations where a party has an obligation (for example under the terms of a lease) to keep a property in good repair. The case law and legislation pertaining to all dilapidation activities will also be covered in this module. We'll identify a suitable building for you to inspect and prepare a schedule of dilapidations as part of your assessment. You'll develop your analytical skills, to identify the causes of defects and the necessary remedial action required. You'll also learn to prepare a detailed dilapidation schedule for the use of clients and their legal advisers in situations where the client already leases or has a lease of the building. Health and safety considerations for the building surveyor is another important aspect of our module both in terms of building inspection and advising the client on compliance with relevant health and safety legislation including CDM Regulations.
  • Building Surveying Practice II
    This module will develop your understanding of inspection and reporting procedures relating to building surveys (sometimes known as ‘structural surveys’), party wall awards and alternative dispute resolution methods commonly used by the building surveyor. We'll identify a suitable commercial building for you to inspect and prepare a building survey as part of your assessment. You'll develop your analytical skills to identify the causes of defects and the necessary remedial action required. You'll also learn to prepare a detailed building survey report for the use of clients and their legal advisers in situations where the client wishes to purchase or lease a building. Professional guidance on party wall work both in acting for the ‘building owner’ or ‘adjoining owner’ as indicated under the Party Wall Act 1996 will be studied, and you'll examine the relevant duties under the act and become familiar with the different types of party wall upon which advice may be necessary. We'll also investigate excavations near neighbouring buildings, and alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and use of an independent expert.
  • Conversion and Adaptation of Buildings
    Study a real-life building and investigate the principles of developing a holistic approach to the adaptive re-use of buildings. You will develop an understanding of user needs in relation to economic re-use of existing buildings by extending, adapting, altering and conserving buildings. You will need to be aware of the concepts of conservation, restoration and preservation along with the realities of extension, conversion and adaptation options for existing buildings in order to optimise long-term sustainable economic viability of buildings. You will consider appropriate and creative technology and their impact upon economic appraisals. You will complete an in-depth case study either individually or as a group. You will also study the impact of modern design concepts, landscaping, low energy, environmental and sustainability issues to meet enhanced user-needs. You will need to research and contextualise architectural history, together with the components and materials of construction previously incorporated, to consider and justify future life-cycle options. It will be important for you to acquire a range of analytical skills to measure existing and proposed building performance from a number of standpoints and be in a position to make recommendations after short-listing a range of re-use options to be considered by a building owner. Your case study will involve a real-life building (or range buildings) in need of economic regeneration and enhancement, in order to advise the ‘client’ on potential options through a written report, an illustrative portfolio and a succinct design-pitch to illustrate and justify your recommended design proposals.
  • Project Evaluation and Development
    The module provides the student with the opportunity to explore the various issues that need to be evaluated when considering a building development from inception until final completion and retention and/or disposal of the building. The context and content of this module integrates knowledge and skills obtained from previous management and design modules. It examines them in a holistic manner and explores their complex inter-relationships. Issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial appraisal, design technology, legal, health and safety and environment will all be examined within a theoretical and practical framework. The module develops the student's ability to comprehend the totality and implications of the development process and to make reasoned value judgements as to its potential feasibility. This is achieved by a detailed examination of local planning policies for the site coupled with a financial analysis of the proposed scheme by use of traditional and modern forms of valuation techniques. The module also focuses on project appraisal, pre construction processes, construction and post construction processes, marketing disposal and evaluation. The module is project based with studio teaching which is undertaken by various strategies such as formal group lectures, group seminars and individual tutorials. Site visits are arranged where appropriate to underpin student knowledge and understanding of practical issues. Joint staff and student criticisms and presentations occur throughout the delivery. Employability skills Students will assess a site for future development opportunities in a manner that satisfies a potential client's need in terms of financial reward, design, procurement, management and cost in use or final disposal of the completed project. Students will improve their communication skills both in terms of report writing and oral presentations to their peers and tutors. Analytical skills will be developed through employment of financial appraisal and risk management strategies.
  • Property Marketing and Management
    Develop your awareness of the nature and role of property management and analyse principle types of estates and factors underlying their management. Explore the need for efficient management of real estate in terms of lettings, maintenance and repair and landlords obligations. You’ll investigate the detailed statutory and contractual setting of landlord and tenant and management of both commercial and residential property. You’ll focus on estate policy, management practices and competencies. You’ll develop an awareness of the contribution that information technology has made within property management. You’ll gain understanding of the need for and implementation of effective property marketing gain an appreciation of the underlying principles of estate agency practice and legislation.
  • Major Project (Surveying)
    This module represents the culmination of your development through learning on your course. It provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to undertake a substantial original study to investigate a subject, issue, or problem and to produce a usable outcome. You'll carry out an original piece of work that may be either an expert study or a research study. Advice will be offered on choosing a research topic and producing a proposal in a briefing session delivered towards the end of the academic year prior to that in which you'll undertake the dissertation. You'll conduct your research under the supervision of an academic member of staff but the early part of the module in semester one is also supported by taught classroom sessions. These taught sessions enable you to develop research and study skills in respect of reviewing and analysing literature, developing a research question, collecting, presenting and analysing data, and managing the research process. In addition to the taught sessions, a minimum of four supervision tutorials will take place during the academic year in which the module is studied. It's your responsibility to make contact with your tutor to arrange appointments. 10% of the marks for the dissertation/major project are for attendance and performance at these tutorials which must be recorded in an appendix to the dissertation.

Year three, optional modules

  • Facilities Management
    During this module you will learn what makes an effective facilities management organisation. You will investigate how large organisations develop an effective property strategy and implement planned and preventative maintenance programmes. You will also examine whole life asset management and the production of facilities audits. By the end of this module you will have an awareness and understanding of the role of facilities organisations and its function in the support of business in achieving the key business objectives.
  • Valuations 2
    This module is designed to examine both traditional and contemporary valuation techniques in a manner that critically analyses various approaches to solving more detailed valuation problems. You will explore the requirements of the RICS red book, Appraisal and Valuation Standards particularly in relation to the valuation of company assets. You will also focus upon the procedures and valuation applications that are required when compensation awards are assessed under various statues. These include the Landlord and Tenant Acts, Leasehold Enfranchisement, Housing Acts, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation, Town and Country Planning Acts and various Taxation and Finance Acts.


Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help you and your tutors measure your progress. Besides exams, these may include project designs, presentations, role-play, essays, report writing and group work.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Additional study information


This course gives you the opportunity to take a work placement between years 2 and 3. You’ll get experience of seeking and securing a job and working in an industry relating to your course. You’ll also get the practical experience and industry contacts to benefit your studies and enhance your long-term career prospects.

Although they can’t be guaranteed, we can work with you to find a placement, using our contacts with a large number of employers. You’ll have regular contact with one of our course tutors and be supported by a supervisor from your placement company. Together they’ll monitor your performance and give you feedback.

To find out more about placement opportunities, email us at

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


Placement year


Additional costs

General stationary and a calculator - £100
Travel expenses to survey sites around Chelmsford - £60

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK students (and EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021) can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes EU students starting a course before 1 August 2021.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Similar courses that may interest you

Building Surveying BSc (Hons)

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Surveying FdSc

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Apply now

UK and EU students

Apply for 2021

UCAScode: K230, K231

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International students

Applicants from outside the UK and EU, apply to ARU

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01245 68 68 68

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+44 1245 68 68 68

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