BSc (Hons)

Building Surveying

Develop skills including problem-solving and defect analysis

7D71UCAS code 3yrsfull-time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Our BSc (Hons) Building Surveying course offers the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, such as problem-solving and defect analysis, which are highly valued in the property profession. As a Building Surveying student, you will study and work with students of other surveying and civil engineering courses in a multi-disciplinary approach which reflects working relationships in industry.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Do fieldwork on real buildings
  • Use Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques
  • Opt to take a one-year work placement

What opportunities might it lead to?

Graduates will typically aspire to employment in a building surveying role with a route to RICS professional qualification. Building surveyors can also develop transferable skills suitable for employment in other roles.

Here are some routes our graduates may pursue:

  • Building Surveyor
  • Facilities Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Building Conservationist

This degree is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Once you complete your studies and have found your first job, you can begin training to become a Chartered Building Surveyor.

Deepu Prabhakaran, BEng (Hons) Construction Engineering Management student

Fieldtrips have always been very useful. They allow us to get the real feel of a problem when we see it for ourselves.

Deepu Prabhakaran, construction student

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18 entry: full time: £14,400 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Programme specification


Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Vocationally-focused courses which concentrate on both the practical and theoretical
  • An exciting environment to work in, with excellent facilities including technical labs and studio space
  • Enthusiastic, friendly tutors who bring the subject to life

Browse all courses in Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

Your first year will introduce you to the property profession and you will study the main principles of technology, law and economics on which building surveying practice is based. 

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Professional Development
  • Construction, Design & Sustainability
  • Design Objectives
  • Introduction to Law for the Built Environment
  • Property Economics and Financial Accounting

Year two

In the second year you will apply the knowledge and understanding you are developing to solving practical problems. 

Core units in this year include:

  • Professional Development (Health & Safety and People Skills)
  • Building Futures
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Planning Law and Practice
  • Procurement and Pre-contract Practice

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Introduction to Project Management Principles
  • International Built Environment Fieldwork
  • Institution-wide Language Programme


Year three*

In your final year you consolidate what you have already learnt by studying a set of subjects which emphasise the professional perspective of building surveying practice. You will also complete an individual project of your own choice of topic.

Core units in this year include:

  • Integrating Inter-professional Project
  • Research Methods and Individual Project
  • Contract Administration, Claims Management and Dispute Resolution
  • Energy Resources and Infrastructure
  • Surveys and Defects

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement). Our Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) can help you make the most from your employment opportunities.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and group work, and be fully supported throughout your degree. We promote many practical teaching methods as by its very nature 'property' requires a proactive, hands-on approach.

How are you assessed?

We guarantee sustained feedback to make sure your studies are on track. You will be assessed in a variety of ways, providing you with valuable skills and experience, including:

  • Written examinations
  • Web assessments
  • Essays and reports
  • Project presentations
  • A 10,000 word individual project
Emily Walsh

Tutor's view

Emily Walsh
Senior Lecturer, Civil Engineering and Surveying

The diversity of expertise supplied by a wide range of property professionals provides you with a unique opportunity to view the industry from a variety of perspectives. This multi-disciplinary approach gives you a flavour of the dynamic industry which awaits you on graduation.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Guest Speakers

We coordinate a series of lectures delivered by specially invited professional practitioners. The series provides you with an opportunity for business updates and a first-hand perspective on both local and international property environments.

Field Trips

Go on site visits and carry out fieldwork that will introduce you to the markets and environments in which you will eventually work. Also have the opportunity to go on overseas fieldtrips with past destinations including Barcelona, Paris, Turkey, Dublin and the Netherlands.

Port-eco House

This house, which is typical of many thousands found in the UK, is located on campus. In it we have installed environmental monitoring equipment and video cameras to enable in-situ studies of the building’s performance and the behaviour of its occupants. The data from these studies is used to enhance teaching and for individual projects. The building also serves as a case study for measured and defect surveys.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

We will provide you with hard hats and Hi-Vis vests. You will need to buy your own safety boots costing approximately £35.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Building surveying offers a variety of opportunities ranging from self-employment to roles in large multi-disciplinary organisations. The structure and content of our course is aimed at providing you with the core knowledge and skill which prepare you for the building surveying career you wish to take. The staff on your course will be able to advise you on how to progress into employment because of their professional links with the RICS and employers.

Roles our graduates can take include:

  • Graduate building surveyor
  • Trainee / assistant building surveyor
  • Graduate project manager
  • Trainee facilities manager

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make and, more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. Our Student Placement and Employability Centre (SPEC) not only helps you to arrange your placement, but also acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on anything and everything related to your employability, as well as assisting you in securing other types of work experience.

Our aim is to provide you with the opportunities to gain as much work-related experience as possible while you study with us. For example, you will get the chance to solve real-life practical problems as part of our partnership scheme with charities, local and global organisations. Or take the unit International Built Environment Fieldwork, an overseas fieldtrip which enables you to apply your skills in an international context.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Wednesday 5 July 2017

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