Surveyors work in a variety of different settings including people's homes, the sea bed, roads and motorways, collectables and large construction sites. They are also responsible for the protection of the environment in which they are working.
Quantity surveying is primarily centred on construction and the management of the costs and budgets of large projects. From the moment a plan is drawn until a large construction project has been completed, a quantity surveyor is likely to be involved in a legal, technical and financial capacity. The functions of a quantity surveyor are broadly concerned with the control of the cost on construction projects, the management and maintenance of the budget, valuations and any legal matters arising through the course of the project. They are required to make sure that the project remains profitable and efficient.
Quantity surveyors need to be highly numerate, commercially aware, professionally trained and great communicators. The job requires a combination of technical, financial and legal knowledge. There are a couple of routes into the profession. Most people will undertake a higher education qualification followed by a period of training within a relevant organisation. However it is possible to train on-the-job with the help of professional bodies such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or the Chartered Institute of Building. Both organisations play leading roles in the training, development and accreditation of surveyors and courses in surveying.
Example areas of study
Courses in quantity surveying vary in their content and structure. Some courses will have a sandwich year where you can undertake a year in industry where you can gain valuable experience in quantity surveying and learn relevant skills. Each course will have different teaching styles and different modules, so you will need to check with the institutions that you wish to apply to for up to date information. Some areas you may study include:
- Construction technology
- Business and construction economics
- Construction law
- Building technology and services
- People and information management
- Facilities management
- Estate management
- Architecture and design appraisal
- Professional development
- Computer-aided design
- Value engineering
- Feasibility studies
- Planning law
- Risk analysis
- Estimating and valuation
- Substructures and drainage
- Floors and roofs
- Commercial management
- Conversion and refurbishment
- Property development
Some career possibilities
With a qualification in quantity surveying career possibilities include contracting or private quantity surveying, building surveying, construction management or consultancy, accountancy and financial services management or estate management. International opportunities may also be possible within the field.
What do I need to get on a course?
You will need to check with the institutions that you wish to apply to for the full entry requirements as these will depend on the type and level of the course that you wish to study.
- UCAS Tariff: 150 - 300 points, preferably including mathematics
- A-levels: CC - AAA preferably including mathematics
- SQA Highers: CCCC - BBBB
- SQA Advanced Highers: BB preferably including mathematics
- Irish Leaving Certificates: CCCC - BBCCC preferably including mathematics
- International Baccalaureate: 24 - 32 points
- European Baccalaureate: 66%
- BTEC National Diploma: MMM - DDM in a relevant subject
For your application or interview, evidence of the following may be useful:
- A keen interest in the construction and management of large projects
- Demonstrable numerical ability and organisational skills
- Some construction or other relevant experience
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*