Construction Management

MSc/PG Diploma in Construction Management (full time & part time)

Course Director: Dr Min An

1. Introduction
The programme aims are to develop the construction management skills of construction graduates to enable them to play leading roles in a professional capacity in the construction industry and academia, and to develop and deliver new areas of teaching in response to the changing managerial requirements of the construction industry for academics and practitioners in the UK and overseas.

The MSc/PgD in Construction Management has been run at the University since 1975. Several thousand students from both the United Kingdom and around the world have attended this programme. The School has an active Management Research Group and range of visiting lecturers which facilitate state of the art input to the programme on a wide range of construction and project management topics.

The programme is suitable for graduates employed in civil engineering design and/or construction and is primarily intended for early mid-career training to enable practising civil engineers and other professionals aspiring to high management positions in public and private organisations to upgrade their knowledge and develop management skills applicable to the construction industry. Graduates from other disciplines are welcome and the intake is gradually widening to take account of changes and developments in the industry.

Civil Engineering - Civil Engineering at Birmingham is housed in modern buildings which provide facilities for undergraduate Civil Engineering programmes, the postgraduate Master of Science and Postgraduate Diploma programmes, post-experience programmes and an active PhD research centre. We have well equipped laboratory and computing facilities and make a point of undertaking work in co-operation with industry. The majority of the academic staff have had professional engineering experience which is often continued by means of research contracts and consultancies with private and public organisations. We have an impressive record of publications in engineering and scientific journals.

The University of Birmingham - The University of Birmingham is a research leading University which has established an international reputation for postgraduate teaching and research. It is a campus university on a large self-contained site only 4 km from the city centre and is connected to it by frequent train and bus services. The student population is around 20,000 of whom some 7,500 are postgraduate students from 147 countries around the world choose the University og Birmingham. The University Library has a stock of over two million items with excellent reading room facilities. There is a comprehensive Language Laboratory available for self-instruction. A fully equipped Medical and Dental Care Centre on the campus provides facilities under the National Health Service. Recreational facilities on the campus include swimming pool, all weather running track and pitches, squash and tennis courts, gymnasiums and saunas and fitness rooms. The Housing Services Office assists with the provision of living accommodation in self-catering flats or private property. Once an offer of a place on the programme has been accepted, students will be sent details on how to apply for accommodation.

2. Objectives
MSc/PG Diploma in Construction Management provides a ground in the main disciplines and techniques and to develop personal skills of practical use in the management and implementation of construction and civil engineering projects.

The programme addresses the management of technical (engineering) techniques, the development of personal, interpersonal and project management skills, and provides a fundamental understanding of the social, economic, resource management and legal frameworks within which the construction project takes place. Generally, The purpose of the course is to prepare the student to make an effective contribution to the project management of the whole enterprise and environment in which she/he will work.

The content of the programme takes into account the dominant position of the engineer at every stage in the development of a civil engineering project. Since the engineer is normally chosen to fill a position with responsibility for technical, financial and contractual decisions and for the overall management and administration of a project, the programme is directed to satisfying these needs.

3. Programme Structure
Leading to Master degree, MSc (12 months – full-time, 24 months – part-time)
Postgraduate Diploma (8 months – full-time)
Postgraduate Certificate (4 months – full-time)

Both MSc and Postgraduate Diploma students take the identical taught part of the course in the September to May period. This is a combination of lectures with seminars, tutorials, workshops, coursework and site visits (subject to findings suitable sites). In order to achieve a MSc degree, students are required to undertake a major individual project in the May to September period. Diploma students do not take the individual project. The taught part of the programme consists of nominally 1200 student effort hours including some 400 contact hours of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. The individual project involves approximate 600 hours of student effort.

The MSc/PG in Construction Management programme may be studied in the 'full-time' or the 'part-time' mode. All students attend the same prescribed series of lecture programmes. Both modes begin at the end of September. Lectures, Seminars, Tutorials and Workshops are scheduled in the Autumn and Spring Terms. In the early part of the Spring term, Full time MSc students choose their research project in consultation with course supervisors and progressively develop in readiness for full-time research during the Summer Term and summer period. The project dissertation is submitted in writing and presented orally in late August or early September.

Before applying for the part-time option, please contact Mrs Jan Fasci ( for advice and information.

4. Programme Content
The dates of terms and semesters are published well in advance and are available on the University Diary web-site at

For the 2008-09 Session the dates are as follows:

•    Term 1: 29 September 2008 - 12 December 2008
•    Term 2: 12 January 2009 – 27 March 2009
•    Term 3: 27 April 2009 - 19 June 2009

For the 2009-2010 Session the dates are as follows:

•    Term 1: 28 September 2009 – 11 December 2009
•    Term 2: 11 January 2010 – 26 March 2010
•    Term 3: 26 April 2010 – 18 June 2010

5. Examinations
Formal University Examinations are normally held during the week immediately before the commencement of the Spring and Summer terms. This will be confirmed nearer the time. Submission of thesis - End of August/Beginning of September

6. Modules
The programme is structured into six taught modules plus an individual project:

- Human Resources in the Construction Industry
- Construction and Project Planning
- Contract Procedures
- Project Management

• MODULE B: FINANCE AND CORE SKILLS (20 Credits) (Semester 1)
- Finance Management
- IT, Research & Management Software

- Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment
- Construction Life Cycle
- Case Studies and Assessment Methodologies

- Lean Construction, etc
- Advanced Management Technology
- Principles of Risk Management & System
- Project Risk Assessment & Case Studies

- Managing People
- Managing Quality
- Managing Money
- Group Projects

- Waste Management
- Concrete Technology
- Temporary Works

- The objective of the MSc Project is to give the opportunity to investigate in depth, critically appraise and report an approved topic of the student's choice in an area related to construction management.

Teaching and supervision of the programme is provided by specialists within the University and by visiting lecturers. Great emphasis is placed on ensuring that all aspects are as integrated as possible, and on maintaining a suitable balance between academic and practical instruction.

A large proportion of the teaching is done through seminars, workshops, tutorials and small group teaching. Workshops covering a wide range of topics are designed to facilitate personal character development, interpersonal and presentation skills, and a deeper understanding of 'management' topics are included. Student centred learning is adopted as appropriate in many modules.

6. Assessment
A student's performance is assessed by written examinations (January and May) and individual coursework. The research project report is submitted and presented (end of August/early September) for assessment. Students must normally reach a satisfactory standard in the written examinations to be permitted to proceed to the individual project.

Transfer between Postgraduate Diploma and MSc is possible upon completion of the Diploma for a Diploma student who satisfies the MSc requirements. The Diploma may be awarded to an MSc student who fails to complete the individual project.

7. Admission Requirements
Applicants for admission to the MSc should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a good first degree or other approved qualification at equivalent level. Applications from holders of non-engineering degrees will normally only be considered if they have relevant post-graduate experience in the industry. Overseas or EU applicants should also note that an English Language qualification may be required if your first spoken language is not English. The University of Birmingham offers short term English language training for overseas students, if required, to attain minimum entry proficiency.

Applicants with CEng qualifications or equivalent, but without a degree, are invited to apply.

A decision on admission can be made quickly if full information is supplied with the application. References are important, and these should be from people well acquainted with the applicant’s academic and professional abilities.

7. Fees and Finance
The fees for the programme can be supplied on request. Please contact

Students have been funded by organisations including the British Council, European Community, Overseas Development Administration (UK), World Bank and the Association of Commonwealth.

Universities and other governmental and non-governmental departments provide funds for training awards, and should be contacted through the appropriate regional centre and/or the Student Financial Support Office in the Academic Office of the University.

Overseas applicants who wish to be considered for a British Government Technical Co-operation Training Award must ensure that they are officially nominated by their Governments to the local office of the British Council or the British High Commission or Embassy.

Governments of developing countries (with which the United Kingdom has Technical Assistance programmes) wishing to nominate students for the course should do so through the British Council, High Commission or Embassy in the country concerned, from whom application forms may be obtained. Completed forms are normally sent to the candidate's Head of Department for forwarding to the appropriate Ministry for consideration. If the application is supported, the form will then be forwarded to the relevant British Representative in the country concerned.

Overseas Organisations wishing to sponsor their own staff should contact their local British Council Office.

8. Accreditation
MSc/Pg Diploma Construction Management course has been approved by the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institution of Highways and Transportation, and Chartered Institute of Building. This counts towards chartered engineer status. Individual enquiries should be referred to the CIOB.

9. Career Prospects
Construction Management course has been designed specifically to meet the needs of employers to allow maximum career opportunities. Graduates from this course are normally employed in a wide range of sectors in both public and private including construction and project managers, project planners, surveyors, estimators, consultants and technologist, either in the UK or overseas. Today a career as a professional construction and project manager offers excellent prospects for both genders.

10. Contact Information
Further details can be obtained from the Postgraduate Admissions Administrator, Mrs Janet Fasci, who can be contacted at:

Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom
Tel: (+44) (0) 121 414 5089
Fax: (+44) (0) 121 414 5051


Dr Min An
Director of MSc/PgD Cpnstruction Management
Reader in Project and Transport Risk Management
Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom
Tel: (+44) (0) 121 414 5146
Fax: (+44) (0) 121 414 3675

Course length
9 months to 24 months