School of Architecture, Design and Environment

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying and the Environment

Lay the foundations for a successful career as a building surveyor, as you build your knowledge and skills in the physical care, repair and refurbishment of buildings. The combination of lectures, field trips, site visits, tutorials and an optional year-long paid industry placement will prepare you for a range of potential routes in the construction sector including building surveying, quantity surveying, property management or building regulation.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Start date
September 2014
Course type

Key features

  • Launch your career – 90 per cent of graduates from this programme are in professional or managerial employment within just six months of graduation (
  • Our building courses were ranked sixth in the country in the The Times and the Sunday Times League Table 2015.
  • Explore the industry with site visits and field trips (including a fully funded European field trip), observing construction practices within and outside the UK.
  • Learn from leaders in their fields - our staff come from both industry and research backgrounds. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and have access to an exciting and diverse programme of visiting speakers.
  • Lead the way in the industry - the environmental focus of our course enables you to place yourself at the forefront of the sector, able to embrace the trend of stricter environmental and energy based legislation.
  • Gain valuable workplace experience with a paid year-long placement in a leading construction company in the UK or abroad. Our industry links will help you find a placement, boosting your studies with practical experience and cultivating the contacts that can lead to future employment.
  • Have a real-world impact as you engage in industry-led group projects with genuine project briefs and clients. Guided by our panel of industrial advisers, you’ll develop the professional skills and networking to stand out in this sector.
  • Our course is fully accredited by the leading professional bodies recognised for building surveyors including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)  and the Charted Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you will develop your understanding of the principles of low-rise domestic buildings, including building technologies, services, construction methods, and materials of both new and existing buildings. You’ll also gain knowledge of construction and project management practices, preparing you to take on building projects of your own. An industry-led group project will see you work as part of a team to design an energy efficient housing development.
    Core modules
    • ENBS121 ACAD Draughting

      You will develop an understanding of the importance of building drawings and modelling in building projects. You will develop the practical knowledge to represent buildings in 2D, 3D and BIM formats, to communicate design and construction information during the building design, construction and operation phases.

    • ENBS102 Building and the Environment

      This introductory module will introduce you to the current and forthcoming management, economic and financial practices of the construction industry, as well as the background to environmental legislation, at both UK and international scales.

    • ENBS122 Building Law

      The module will introduce you to the basic law concepts necessary to understand contracts and solve legal problems in the UK construction industry. This includes, among others, the basic legal system, administration of justice, contract law, the law of tort, and health and safety law.

    • ENBS123 Construction Applications Management

      You will be introduced to the management theories and techniques employed by leading UK organisations, including planning and programming, estimating, taking off, plant management, and procurement of materials in construction projects. The module is complemented by guest lectures undertaken by site and project managers in leading construction companies in the UK.

    • ENBS120 Construction Applied Mathematics

      You will gain an understanding of basic mathematical and statistical methods that will help you to successfully complete the rest of the modules in the degree.

    • MATS109 Construction Materials

      You will develop knowledge on the principal properties and performance behaviour of construction materials, with particular emphasis on high performance materials (durable, environmentally friendly, low maintenance etc). The theoretical classes will be complemented by laboratory-based sessions which will allow you to experience testing methods of construction materials used in the construction industry.

    • ENBS111 Domestic Construction

      Through lectures, workshops and student-centred learning activities, this module deals with contemporary and older domestic construction techniques in the UK. You’ll also build on your practical skills with a syndicate-based environmental house design project.

    • ENBS117 Environmental Building Science and Technology

      This module helps you appreciate, model and predict habitability and comfort in the built environment. It also introduces you to the nature and provision of domestic services.

    • SURV110 Site Surveying

      This module focuses on basic site surveying and the methods used in the construction industry.

    • FAPY100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

  • Year 2
  • Delve more deeply into the principles of non-domestic buildings in Year 2, including building technologies, services, construction methods and materials. Advance your knowledge of building lifecycles, domestic building defects, diagnosis, and building condition surveying. Your industry-led group project will see you design and build, or retrofit, a complex high-rise building. Top it all off with a fully paid European field trip.
    Core modules
    • ENBS203 Behaviour of Structures

      This module will introduce you to the concepts related to building structures, including structural behaviour, structural equilibrium, and building loads, necessary to design and calculate the requirements of real structures.

    • AB2FLT Building Field Trips

      As in Year 1 of the programme you will also undertake a series of construction site visits and field trips. In Year 2 these will focus on, non-domestic building developments and refurbishment projects. You will see in practice the materials, processes and managerial methods presented in the taught modules.

    • ENBS245 Building Surveying Principles and Practices

      This module aims to ensure you acquire and practice knowledge and skills that are essential to core building surveying practice. The module will help you gain knowledge of building pathology and forensics, including diagnosis of common building defects in domestic scale buildings, causes of building deterioration, development of a professional condition survey, and health and safety practices in remediating building defects.

    • ENBS234 Contract Procedures

      This module helps you appreciate project feasibility, procurement, contract administration and dispute resolution in the construction industry.

    • ENBS241 Development and Construction Refurbishment

      This module will introduce you to the reuse and adaptation of existing buildings, as well as provide a detailed understanding of the technical, environmental and regulatory aspects associated with building refurbishment and the retrofitting process. It includes basic knowledge of building condition surveying and the instrumentation and methods used. The module will also provide you with an understanding of planning and development procedures for existing building projects.

    • ENBS248 Energy, Science and Services

      This module will expand your knowledge of building services gained in Year 1. Focusing on the design of building services and the assessment of building energy demand of non-domestic buildings, you will develop an understanding of innovative building services, energy monitoring and control systems, and energy generation and storage. Laboratory-based sessions will allow you to gain practical knowledge of building performance assessment equipment and energy measurement and monitoring equipment.

    • ENBS250 Environmental Economics for Construction

      This module will present you the basic economic and financial management techniques used to critically analyse the cost of a project and its financial feasibility.

    • FAPY200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the Level 1 module (FAPY100), this module continues to support you with the search for your placement and preparation for the placement itself.

    • ENBS243 Technology of Large and Innovative Building

      In this module, you’ll acquire essential knowledge – and explore concepts – associated with the construction technology of large and innovative buildings.

  • Placement year
  • Take advantage of an optional year of paid professional training by undertaking an industry placement with a company in the UK or abroad. During your placement you will work alongside an experienced building surveyor, allowing you to put into practice the knowledge and skills gained in your first two years of study. The practical skills gained help prepare you for both the final year of your degree, and most importantly for entering the workplace after graduation.
    Core modules
    • FAPY302 Building Surveying and Construction Management Placement

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • Cement your skillset as you build an in-depth knowledge of the diagnosis and solution of building defects. Develop an understanding of facility management, project management, team management, and risk management, and apply these skills through an industry-led consultancy project of a site development. Lead your own research project in a building surveying subject of your choice.
    Core modules
    • ENBS333 Building Surveying Practice

      This module addresses a detailed appreciation of the core activities undertaken and managed by practising building surveyors, including diagnosis and remediation of building defects, facility management, and other professional services provided by building surveyors.

    • ENBS319 Building Surveying Project 2

      This is primarily an industry led group project module which will encourage you to integrate the knowledge and skills developed on the programme. You will be working in a multidisciplinary group on a real development project. As a building surveyor, you will undertake those tasks relevant to your discipline, such as the analysis of the building lifecycle or the facility maintenance plan.

    • ENBS331 Dissertation Project

      The research dissertation is a piece of research work that will enable you to explore in depth a construction management topic of your interest. A lecturer with experience and interest in your topic will guide you through the research process. The dissertation creates an opportunity for you to draw on all the knowledge you have gained from previous years of studying construction management and your optional industry placement year.

    • ENBS328 Professional Practice

      In this module, you’ll continue to develop your understanding of professional practice. Coupled with self-research, you’ll visit external professionals to undertake critical appraisals of management methods. You’ll also benefit from formal lectures, as well as talks by an industry guest speaker.

    • ENBS338 Property and Environmental Law

      This module addresses the legal issues surrounding the construction industry, regulating land and the environment.

    • ENBS332 Sustainable and Safe Construction

      This module focuses on deepening your knowledge of fire safety, environmental impacts on, and from, construction, and general health and safety issues faced by modern construction professionals.

    Optional modules
    • MATS311 Building Conservation

      A major part of the construction industry, this module introduces you to architectural conservation and its various approaches and processes.

    • ENBS330 Development Management

      This module will provide you an understanding of the processes that drive construction development and its place within the overall economy. You will learn the characteristics of master planning and regeneration projects and the different stages in the lifecycle of a property. You will also develop the skills to appraise development projects and identify and assess the risks and uncertainty involved.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

UCAS Tariff
300 points from a minimum of two A levels.

International Baccalaureate
30 points 

All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact

Mathematics and English Language grade C

Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered.
Second year entry possible with a good HNC/HND or equivalent.
Equivalent qualifications and industry experience can be considered.
You will be required to attend an interview.

Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact the Institution direct.

Fees & funding

Home/EU £9,000 International £11,500

Plymouth University provides a wide range of financial support to help you during your time with us. For more information regarding tuition fees and scholarships and bursaries please visit .

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.


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Open days

A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.


The Times and Sunday Times University League Table 2015 ranks our construction and surveying courses sixth in the country for the subject area of Building.

The high ranking of our building courses nationally is testament to the huge team effort in delivering high quality teaching and research.

Industry-led group projects

Put your knowledge and teamwork skills into practice in professional industry scenarios, with a real client and project brief

Benefit from the expert advice of more than thirty industry professionals providing guidance via seminars and tutorials

Find out more about the industry-led projects

Industry placement

A placement year gives you access to professional knowledge, experience, contacts and even the possibility of leading directly to employment.

Kick start your career with a paid year-long placement in a leading construction company in the UK or abroad.

Find out more about placements

Fully-funded European field trip

Travel abroad to see how industry leaders across Europe work, their construction practices and the energy efficient buildings they construct.

Build stronger bonds with your course mates and tutors as you explore the city.

Find out more about the fully-funded field trip

Graduate Profile - Oliver Werby

I was sold on Plymouth University after attending an open day there... I spent my placement year at Malcolm Hollis LLP in their Birmingham office and on the back of my placement year I was offered a job with their London Office.

BSc (Hons) Building Surveying and the Environment graduate Oliver shares his insights about his time with Plymouth University.

Read more about Oliver’s journey through to beginning his career

Plymouth University Building Society

PUBS is a society for those studying construction related degrees who want a head-start in the industry

With the student society for Environmental Building you can participate in site visits, guest lectures, socials and trips away

Visit the PUBS website for more information

Environmental Building with the School of Architecture, Design and Environment

Future buildings should consume less materials, be energy efficient, durable and comfortable, whilst also attractive and useful for society

Learn how to design, construct, upgrade and operate the buildings of the future with the Environmental Building discipline

Learn more about Environmental Building