Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £10,500 *
International Fees £14,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Commercial managers play a key role in the commercial and financial success of construction projects, by monitoring activities to ensure projects are delivered on time, on budget and on quality. Our innovative course delivers the people and project management skills, professional and technical knowledge required to tackle the technical, organisational, commercial, legal and financial issues that can arise.

Fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), this course will be of interest if you are a graduate in or with previous construction-related employment and if you are seeking a senior position in the field of commercial management.

It will develop your awareness of the importance of construction projects to clients, and the context within which projects are procured and undertaken, in particular the economic, financial, corporate, legal and regulatory constraints. You'll gain greater knowledge and understanding of the theories, concepts, principles, techniques, and intellectual and practical skills needed for effective procurement, financial control, risk assessment, supply chain management and more.

Our central London location and numerous industry contacts – which include client organisations, public and private Tier 1 consultants and contractors and Tier 2 consultants, contractors and suppliers – enable us to invite practising professionals to contribute regularly to the course and to give guest lectures. You will have the chance to apply your skills and knowledge to real-life practical problems through case studies and site visits. When possible, we also visit construction sites in London so you can see how developers overcome some of the issues associated with developing in a challenging environment like the centre of a large metropolis, such as traffic and transportation.

Top reasons to study with us

  • 20th in the UK and 3rd in London for Building (Source: Complete University Guide 2020)
  • Fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • Part-time course recognises the significant challenges of combining postgraduate study with full-time professional employment
  • Delivered by a multicultural and international teaching body, who come from professional practice and/or regularly publish in top international journals
  • Take part in site visits to major construction sites and infrastructure projects in the UK
  • Active student-run Construction Society that organises trip and socials, which in 2020 included visiting the mega development in London on the old Battersea power station site
  • Previous students have attended the week-long Constructionarium at the CITB training facility, building scaled down versions of various structures, from start to finish, and including setting out, creating formwork, steel fixing and pouring concrete – as close as we can get to a working construction site
  • Option to take part in the International Building Challenge, a joint activity between the University of Westminster and Saxion University of Applied Science in Enschede, Netherlands, involving students from both institutions as well as universities in Belgium, Russia and Germany

Course structure

This course aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding to organise, plan and manage construction, financial and contractual arrangements, whether working in-house for a construction company or as part of a construction management consultancy. It provides a challenging, stimulating and professionally relevant course of study which is directly related to the procurement and financial management of construction projects within this rapidly changing industry. 

We examine the broad commercial considerations when managing construction projects and the strategic and organisational aspects. You will study seven core modules and choose one optional module.

Topics covered include: accounting; assessment of financial viability; budget planning, monitoring, and forecasting; estimating, tendering and procurement; cash-flow forecasting; contract administration, valuation, variations, disputes, claims and negotiation; risk management and value management; supply chain management; business development and planning. 

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. 

Core modules

The module will investigate current relevant topics as well as the broad concept of Commercial Management and the role of the Commercial Manager. Commercial considerations for the optimization of financial performance in an external and internal context including the successful commercial management of construction projects.

20 credits

Identify a topic directly related to construction management which will provide a basis for a research study. Develop explicit research goals. Devise an appropriate research methodology. Undertake the research study and produce a dissertation or work-related project.

40 credits

The key principles of construction project planning from initial briefing to managing the construction process. Analysis of management systems in the context of successfully coordinating and delivering a construction project. Monitoring and control systems.

20 credits

This module will investigate strategic management issues in relation to organisations that commission and deliver construction projects.

20 credits

The module is designed to provide the student with the ability to rationalise the economic and financial environment within which the construction industry operates, and to understand what strategies firms must adopt to be successful.

20 credits

The key stages in the procurement cycle for construction projects. Critical success factors, client requirements, the statutory and legal framework UK & WTO/GATT, procurement and contract strategies, tendering practices, procurement governance and sustainable procurement.

20 credits

The module will investigate the management of uncertainty and risk in a construction project environment, examining both qualitative and quantitative techniques.

20 credits

Option modules

Developing critical conceptual knowledge of the design and construction stages and integrated management of both. Evaluating, devising and applying techniques for the design and construction projects, taking into account various factors such as user/client needs, function, structural behaviour, sustainability, buildability and aesthetics of a design and the technical requirements of its’ construction.

20 credits

The module considers the legal context within which construction projects are procured, managed and delivered in the UK and internationally. It will investigate the key areas of the law that affect contract management including Tort, Contract, Statutory Legislation and Dispute Resolution. Emphasis in standard building contracts.

20 credits

The selection, development and maintenance of effective and efficient teams throughout the duration of projects. The principles of team selection, group dynamics and appraisal. The process of identifying client requirements for team deliverables.

20 credits

Professional accreditation

This course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

Due to the complexity of valuing and costing construction projects, commercial management has developed into a technical discipline, most commonly undertaken by quantity surveyors. Often quantity surveyors progress to become commercial managers, with responsibility for a commercial team and reporting to the project manager. 

This professionally accredited course will provide you with the principal skills needed in a wide range of commercial-related roles in construction companies, government agencies, consultancy and project management. With further education and experience, you can progress towards full professional qualification with the RICS and CIOB.

Our graduates go on or continue to work in the construction industry, working for client organisations, consultancies, Tier 1 and 2 contractors, property developers, and others. 

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Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

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Expand your professional network

Study alongside students with experience of working in a variety of roles within the construction industry – from architects and engineers to surveyors or managers – building professional networks and learning about different disciplines.

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Meet leading employers

Our Annual Property and Construction Careers Fair attracts leading employers, which in 2019 included CBRE, Mace, Barratt Developments, Savills, Carter Jonas and Grainger. 

Industry links

Our course was designed with input from a range of industry professionals and, to retain currency and relevance, we receive ongoing feedback from the School’s Employability Advisory Board. Current members include practitioner representatives from the multinational construction, property and infrastructure company Lendlease, commercial property experts Chase and Partners, and CABE.

We are proud of our excellent industry links with a host of construction companies and key professional bodies, including RICS, CIOB and CABE. They enable us to host a highly successful Annual Property and Construction Careers Fair, which in 2019 attracted 40 employers including:

  • CBRE
  • Mace
  • JLL
  • Barratt Developments
  • Bouygues UK
  • Savills
  • Carter Jonas
  • Grainger

Immensely popular with our students, the fair provides a unique opportunity to meet with leading employers in the property and construction sector, learn first-hand about their organisations, secure work experience or receive guidance from a panel of speakers on the graduate scheme application process for some of the larger employers.

Job roles

This course will prepare you for roles such as: 

  • Quantity surveyors
  • Commercial manager
  • Construction manager
  • Project manager

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have found employment at organisations including:

  • Bouygues UK
  • Costain Group Plc
  • Gleeds
  • MACE
  • TFL
  • Turner Townsend
  • Wilmott Dixon

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

The central aim of the teaching and learning strategy is to promote the development and delivery of a sustainable built environment to meet the needs of clients both nationally and internationally. The principles of construction technology, professional practice, ethics, health and safety and Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, fundamental to the delivery of the built environment, are covered.

How you’ll be taught

This course is delivered via ‘blended learning’, which combines the discipline and structure of traditional regular attendance at the University with the flexibility of online study. 

Web-based technologies are used to ensure that you have access to course materials and, where appropriate, online lectures. You will be able to interact with tutors and other students, often in real time, via online tutorials. We provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. You also have access to a range of electronic resources including e-books, e-journals and online databases. 

The part-time course recognises the significant challenges of combining postgraduate-level study with full-time professional employment. However, please note that if you are studying part-time, you are still required to attend University on average one evening per week during the teaching semesters. These face-to-face contact sessions are used for activities which engage the students in the learning process.

Extensive use is made of ‘enquiry-based learning’, whereby you’ll work collaboratively to tackle complex scenarios you may encounter in the workplace, which helps you gain a much deeper understanding of the material. Furthermore, you develop high-level intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation, the skills needed to tackle complex problems in real life. 

You’ll be given opportunities to take part in site visits to major UK construction sites and infrastructure projects, and gain valuable insight from current practitioners, which in the past has included guest lectures from Great Portland Estates, The Portman Estate, The Crown Estate, Lendlease, Mace, GoReport and RICS. 

How you’ll be assessed

Using a wide range of techniques, you can expect to be assessed on the learning outcomes of your course in core modules through coursework in the form of essays, reports, presentations, case studies as well as time-constrained in-class tests and exams.

We try to make assessments as practical and relevant as possible, incorporating the type of work required by future employers, for example writing strategic reports.

In the Building Pathology module, for example, students inspect a real building, identify defects, explain the cause and recommend remedial work, as if reporting to a client.

Why study this course?

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Enhance your digital literacy

Enhance your digital literacy and computer skills with industry-standard computer-aided design (CAD) software for 2D and 3D drawing and BIM modelling (AutoCAD and Revit), access to BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) to cost construction and refurbishment work and used in coursework, use of U-value software to model the energy use of domestic buildings and use of Government-approved SBEM software to model the energy use in commercial buildings.

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Combine theory and practice

Link theory to global practice through real-life case studies, guest lectures, field trips and construction site visits.

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Taught by experts

Expert staff will share their professional experiences of working for the biggest building surveying firm in the UK, a range of private practice quantity surveying consultancies, a residential development company and university estates department.

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

Visit our open days page

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in a related subject area, and be in, or have been in, relevant employment in a professional or managerial capacity. Relevant degree disciplines include construction, architecture or civil engineering. Alternatively, you may hold membership of a recognised construction-related professional body achieved through examinations and/or professional interview, and have professional or managerial experience in a construction-related post. Exceptionally, consideration will be given to applicants who lack standard qualifications but have significant relevant professional or managerial experience.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in a related subject area, and be in, or have been in, relevant employment in a professional or managerial capacity. Relevant degree disciplines include construction, architecture or civil engineering. Alternatively, you may hold membership of a recognised construction-related professional body achieved through examinations and/or professional interview, and have professional or managerial experience in a construction-related post. Exceptionally, consideration will be given to applicants who lack standard qualifications but have significant relevant professional or managerial experience.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

More information

Student work

Our students have an opportunity to take part in the week-long international Building Challenge, a joint activity between the University of Westminster and Saxion University of Applied Science in Enschede, Netherlands.

Bringing together students from both institutions, as well as universities in Belgium, Russia and Germany, you’ll spend around 40 hours working in mixed international teams on a real assignment, using the different approaches of architecture and construction in different cultures to come up with new creative ideas for renovation of the built environment.

Past assignments have included transforming office spaces to residential purposes and restoring a historical timber-framed building.

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Learn new skills

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Develop critical evaluation skills

Learn to critically evaluate strategies to ensure climate resilience in building refurbishment.

Figure with connections

Improve your problem-solving skills

Improve your problem-solving skills to recognise building defects and recommend solutions suitable for commercial clients.

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Gain extra qualifications

We provide access to free online courses in Adobe and Microsoft Office applications, as well as thousands of specialist courses on LinkedIn Learning.

Westminster Business School blog

Read our blog and get an insight into life and studies at Westminster Business School.

Visit the WBS blog

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £10,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.

International tuition fee: £14,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

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Course Location

In the heart of London, our Marylebone Campus is home to the Westminster Business School and our Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. Specialist workshops, dedicated digital and architecture studios, and our extensive Marylebone Library offer students everything they need for academic success.

Marylebone Campus is opposite Baker Street tube station and within easy walking distance of Regent's Park and Marylebone High Street.

For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Westminster Business School

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education based in the heart of London and its political, media and financial services scene.

We are a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Centre of Excellence, recognised by professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and APMG International. 

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

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[email protected]

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