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Building Surveying BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time K261 2017
4 years full time including sandwich year K230 2017
5 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

Building surveyors are involved in all aspects of property and construction, from supervising large mixed-use developments to planning domestic extensions. Specialisms include the maintenance and care of buildings (eg building design, refurbishment or alteration) and resolving disputes between neighbours or landlords and tenants. Studies include technology, building design, building pathology, surveys, management, law, professional practice and heritage buildings.


The course is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Our surveying degrees also carry full accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) under its university partnership scheme.

What you will study

Sustainable building design is key to this course. In Year 1, you will explore the principles of design aesthetics, examining what makes a building well or poorly- designed. You will use both sketching and computer-aided design packages, learning to appreciate the design process, the relationship of buildings to the environment and the need for design innovation and sustainability.

Year 2 examines building construction, and how and why they fall apart - a key component of the chartered building surveyor's knowledge base. This knowledge is applied to the Building Maintenance and Management module, in which you will learn how to keep buildings in use, and is developed further in the Year 3 module, Building Design and Application. You will also study the particular challenges associated with historic and heritage buildings in The Existing Built Environment module.

The course provides business and legal knowledge relevant to the property and construction industries, enabling you to advise clients of legal and financial implications resulting from treatments of buildings. Alongside gaining knowledge, you will develop and practise skills such as: presenting yourself; working in teams; writing reports; debating current topics; and applying IT to your discipline. You will also learn how to initiate and execute simple research projects.

The course culminates in Year 3's major group project, along with an independent research project.

You may study this course full time over three years, as a sandwich course over four years, or part time over five years.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module aims to introduce you to the principles of professional building surveying and the work undertaken by building surveyors within a wide arena of professional practice. You will initially develop an appreciation of the nature and structure of the property and construction industries and gain an understanding of the role of the building surveyor within that industry. The module reviews key stages of the building process, analysing the roles and responsibilities of building surveyors and their interrelationships with other construction professionals. The module is delivered by a series of lectures and workshops supported by short site visits. It is assessed by in-class tests and a report or essay.

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  • This module provides you with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the history and development of planning theory and practice and an understanding of the ways in which urban developments have taken shape over time. Through a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials combined with site visits, which may include a short residential field trip, you learn about the urban form and the nature of sustainable development, together with how legislation and changing occupation and investment requirements influence building design including aesthetics. You are also given the opportunity to acquire design and drawing skills and by the end of the module you should be able to produce a simple residential scheme designs based on practical scenarios. Assessment is through coursework which includes in-class tests, a practical field trip study and a design project.

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  • This module introduces you to construction methods and structural behaviours as they apply to residential buildings; you also learn the basic concepts of building performance and how to undertake detailing of a buildings. A key component of the module is an introduction to building pathology and how and why building components fails. No prior knowledge of construction is required and the module is taught by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials supported by site visits where applicable. You will be assessed by the production of a portfolio of technical drawings which they will develop during the teaching year and an examination.

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  • This introductory module gives you a thorough grounding in both the basics of organisational management and the legal context in which property and construction operates. Lectures introduce you to the principles of English law and its relationship with European Union (EU) law; to the nature of business and other organisation structures, such as charities and professional bodies. A series of scenario exercises, which may involve a site visit, supported by tutorials, helps you through the learning process. Assessment is by coursework comprising both group and individual elements and a timed computer-based test.

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Year 2

  • The module aims to extend your knowledge and skill in construction technology including services from the basic types of construction to framed and more complex commercial structures. By the end of the module you should have developed a critical knowledge of building types, be able to interpret drawings, produce sketches and appreciate the reasons for the selection and use of different construction materials and services solutions. The module is taught by lectures and tutorials and assessed by a report and drawn portfolio.

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  • This module aims to develop your appreciation of building design related to function and to place this within a strong knowledge of the law and regulation that controls design decisions. On a broader level, the module will also consider how a building relates to its location and it will consider the social, economic and environmental consequences of design; you also develop your skills of building appraisal so that they can diagnose building defects and their causes, including relating to design.

    The module is delivered through a series of lectures but particularly a week-long residential field trip which enables you to gain practical experience. Assessment is through group and individual coursework.

  • Building Maintenance and Adaptation
  • This module introduces you to computer-aided design (the current AutoCAD version) and provides opportunities to gain practice under guidance of CAD and REVIT in order that you may develop proficiency in its use. You will also gain an understanding of the fundamentals of structural behaviour of common building elements and a working knowledge of environmental science principles and material properties. The concept of BIM (Building Information Modelling) will also be introduced during this module. The module is taught by lectures and practical sessions and typically assessed by a design project of practical exercise and individual portfolio which must include structural calculations.

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Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

  • This module integrates knowledge and skills you have previously acquired in the complete suite of modules of this programme. The module provides the opportunity for the advanced practical application of building surveying knowledge and skills via the examination of a particular a typical practice scenario through to detailed proposals regarding a solution to that problem. The module is delivered by keynote lectures and workshops and a short residential study trip. Assessment is by major project and individual reflective essay.

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  • This module provides you with a critical understanding of the heritage agenda as it affects the built environment. You will study the legislative and regulatory protection of heritage assets and explore the current debates surrounding such buildings including the potential and actual conflicts between the drive for de-carbonisation and the needs to respect their social values and economic contributions. You also study historic building materials in order that you can advise on appropriate updating and adaptation to alternative use, taking account of environmental considerations, legislative requirements and wider societal impacts. The module is taught through lectures, seminars, workshop discussions and visits to heritage buildings and is assessed through coursework which may include a report and exhibition and a synoptic examination.

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  • This module builds on your existing knowledge of the law and professional practice related to your subject-specific route. It further develops your analytical and critical skills when encountering legal and professional practice problems. Your knowledge of professional liability law is developed, together with other aspects of professional practice, ethical, legal and due diligence requirements. This module also ensures you have developed a holistic understanding of sustainability as it applies to built environment professional practice. This module is taught by a series of lectures and practical skills-based application seminars. Assessment is by coursework assignments, one of which normally includes oral argument and debate.

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  • In your final year of study, this module provides an opportunity for you to initiate, design and execute a small-scale research project under supervision. You will have the opportunity to study, in depth, a relevant topic you find particularly stimulating.  You will also further develop and practise the research skills you acquired at earlier stages of your studies..

    In undertaking the project you should demonstrate knowledge and competence in reviewing literature and in using one or more of a range of research methods to collect and analyse data and draw well-founded conclusions. You will be supported by a series of lectures in research methods, plus individual one-to-one supervision.

    Assessment is by submission of an interim assessment and the completed project. An oral defence, either at the interim stage or at final submission, will form part of the process, thereby checking your understanding and assessing your ability to articulate your ideas and knowledge.

    If you are studying part time, you may undertake a project that relates to your workplace if deemed appropriate.

    The project will give you an opportunity to synthesise all your learning from the programme and is the final 'capstone' project. This project, together with your capstone project in your route-specific module and the Year 2 major project ensures you have integrated your learning and have developed a particular skill and expertise relevant to your future employability.

    Read full module description


Becoming a chartered surveyor

To qualify as a chartered surveyor, you must:

  • gain a RICS-approved academic qualification, such as a degree from Kingston University; and
  • successfully complete structured training, which ends in an assessment of your competence to practice (APC).

We are actively involved in APC, including preparation courses, and several staff members are RICS assessors. This means that Kingston University can help you from the start of your undergraduate degree right through to your registration as a chartered surveyor.

RICS is the leading source of land, property, construction and related environmental knowledge. The organisation:

  • supports 120,000 members worldwide;
  • promotes best practice;
  • represents consumers' interests; and
  • provides impartial advice to society, businesses, governments and global organisations.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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