Surveying FdSc

Part-time undergraduate (3 years)


January, September



Take your first step towards a career as a chartered building or quantity surveyor, by studying FdSc Surveying part-time at ARU. This foundation degree gives you the grounding to progress onto our accredited honours degrees in Quantity Surveying or Building Surveying.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


This course is designed to prepare you for a quantity surveying or building surveying job in the construction industry. You might find yourself working in a construction organisation, in the estates department of a larger company, or for a specialist consultancy organisation.

Our foundation degree also offers a progression route (with 50% or higher overall grade) to our BSc (Hons) Building Surveying or BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying. 195 credits will be awarded on progression. Both our BSc courses are accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), putting you on the track to chartership after you graduate.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Year two, core modules

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Year three, 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.
  • Construction Procurement
    Examine the process of procurement and tendering for construction works, analysing the decisions made throughout the project life cycle which affect the commercial strategy used to procure the project. We'll consider traditional 'selective competitive tendering' procedures for the full range of contractual arrangements; the content and impact of published reports and legislation; and the development of team-working, partnering, PFI, PPP and other arrangements in the procurement process for construction works in the UK. We'll analyse the application of research and statistical analysis to bidding and marketing, and the concepts of risk and uncertainty throughout the process, in the context of deciding an appropriate commercial strategy for any particular project. We'll also compare UK procedures with those in the EU and USA, considering their main features and differences.
  • Individual Research Project
    This module will develop your comprehension of the totality and implications of the development and design process, and to train you to make an informed judgement on these issues. You’ll be required to carry out a holistic appraisal of a project, exploring the complex inter-relationships related to the client, site, planning, design, construction processes, post construction processes, health and safety, environment, financial and legal issues. Typical projects may require you to demonstrate knowledge and skill in structural design, transportation studies, hydraulics and drainage, construction/project management skills. Part of the module will involve studio teaching which includes formal group lectures, group seminars and individual tutorials. Site visits are also arranged where appropriate to support your knowledge and understanding of practical issues. Your supervision will be provided by a team of academic and Industrial supervisors who will assess your written reports and oral presentations.

Year three, optional modules

  • Construction Contract Law
    This module will develop your understanding of the legal context of your work, specifically in the field of construction contracts. You'll develop skills within the framework of the legal principles of common law contracts, and get the knowledge and analytical skills relevant to standard forms of building contract. We'll cover the essential features and principles of creating a legally enforceable contract, and the principles of breach and remedies. We'll generally concentrate on the provisions of the Joint Contract Tribunal Standard Form of Building Contract 2005, although you'll be required to analyse and draw comparisons between the provisions in the various available standard forms of construction contract where appropriate.
  • 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.
  • Quantity Surveying Practice I
    Take typical scenarios and problems encountered during the construction process and analyse and define problems, develop a range of standard and innovative solutions then provide professional advice to clients. You’ll focus on the development and provision of professional, industry-standard solutions and create reports, documents, letters, etc. and communion output produced by professional surveyors. You’ll develop your professional and developmental skills, including personal, interpersonal, professional practice and business skills that are essential to all quantity surveyors. You’ll also focus on ethical issues, professional responsibilities, liabilities and rules of conduct.
  • 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.


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

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


UK students starting 2022/23 (Year 1)


UK students starting 2022/23 (Year 2)


UK students starting 2022/23 (Year 3)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity, or 60 credits per year). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period, or for more credits. All fees are for guidance purposes only. Your offer letter will contain full details of credits and fees, or you can contact us if you'd like more information.

Additional costs

General stationery and calculator – £100

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK students 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 students

Most new UK undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This also applies to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who have citizens' rights following Brexit.

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.

Entry requirements

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Teaching options

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our students can choose to study face to face on campus or online only. They're also able to change their mode of delivery on given dates in each trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a safe and inclusive environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2021, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. 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 2021-22.

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.

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