Construction management courses

Dan Mason, Editorial manager
April, 2019

Available at undergraduate and postgraduate level, construction management courses give you the expertise to oversee a major project through from planning to completion

To be a construction manager you'll need leadership and organisational skills, and an in-depth knowledge of how construction projects work. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the project you're leading is finished on time and on budget to the required standard.

You'll supervise operations, collaborate with other professionals such as architects and surveyors, and ensure that tradespeople and contractors make progress as expected. Your duties will extend to buying materials and equipment, hiring staff, inspecting work in progress, checking design documents and maintaining communication with clients.

Starting on £26,000 to £33,000, construction managers can earn £70,000 or more at senior and chartered levels. Find out more about the role of a construction manager.

You can get a head start by taking an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in construction management. Look for construction courses accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), as that provides a mark of quality that employers will recognise.

Construction management degrees

There are many construction management degrees available at undergraduate level, usually classified as BSc (Bachelor of Science). Often these include an industry placement year, which is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience on the job - although bear in mind this means it will take four years to gain your qualification rather than three.

Entry requirements vary depending on the institution. Most stipulate that you should have at least two A-levels or equivalent - sometimes demanding that one of these is in maths or a science subject - as well as good GCSEs in maths and English.

For some courses you'll need a minimum of 96 UCAS points in total, while others expect 104 or even 112. Check with your chosen university before applying. Meanwhile, mature students who don't meet the minimum requirements, but already have significant industry experience, may also be considered.

To develop the skills needed to become a construction manager, you'll learn about topics such as:

  • project management
  • the built environment
  • planning and procurement
  • managing costs
  • sustainability
  • relevant legislation
  • construction technology
  • health and safety.

Different universities run different compulsory and core modules, but all courses accredited by the CIOB will cover the essentials. You'll usually be expected to complete a dissertation or major project in your final year.

Graduates from BSc degrees in construction management go on to careers as construction managers, project managers, estimators, town planners, and in building control and maintenance. Explore more property and construction jobs and find out what you can do with a construction management degree.

Another option at undergraduate level is to study for a foundation degree in construction management (FdSc). These courses last two years and are equivalent to two thirds of a BSc degree. This may suit you if you don't meet the entry requirements for the full degree or you aren't sure whether you want to commit to a three-year course.

Foundation degrees tend to be more vocational, and part-time study is often available for those already working in the industry. You can top-up a foundation degree to a full degree later if you want to. Learn more about foundation degrees.

Search and apply for undergraduate construction management courses through UCAS.

Postgraduate construction management courses

If you want to achieve an accredited construction management qualification but didn't study a course at undergraduate level, don't worry - the subject is widely available as a postgraduate course. The most common courses are Master of Science (MSc) degrees in construction management or construction project management.

To win a place on a Masters, you'll typically require at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. As a guide, The University of Manchester describes a similar subject as 'the built environment, relevant engineering, science or management disciplines'.

For some courses a 2:2 will be sufficient, while a number of universities don't demand that you previously studied a relevant subject as long as you can demonstrate that you have an interest in the construction industry. Mature students with experience on the job may also be eligible.

Masters degrees generally take 12 months to complete when studied full time - though part time and distance learning variations are available too. They deliver intensive training in the theory and practice of construction management.

Example compulsory modules include:

  • contracts and procurement
  • construction financial management
  • sustainability and environmental management
  • managing smart construction projects
  • economic, legal and political framework.

You'll often be given the choice of some optional modules, allowing you to specialise in your favoured subjects. You will also have to write a dissertation or major project.

Tuition fees for MSc construction management courses are typically between £7,000 and £9,000 but can rise to more than £10,000 in some cases. You may want to consider a postgraduate loan to support your study.

Apply for postgraduate courses via the websites of the universities you're interested in. Search for postgraduate courses in construction management.

If you want to study for a shorter postgraduate course and you aren't interested in writing a dissertation, many universities offer their construction management courses as postgraduate diplomas. These may be more suited to those already in work. Find out more about postgraduate diplomas and certificates.

Whether you decide to study construction management at undergraduate or postgraduate level, the skills and knowledge you gain should put you in an ideal position to start your job search.

Find out more

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