What does Construction Economics and Management entail?
The study of construction studies, quantity surveying, construction management and property studies at UCT comprises a combination of disciplines associated with the built environment, including management, law, economics, science and technology.
While any construction project requires the expertise of specialists such as architects and engineers, successful physical execution depends on the expertise of those with the appropriate management skills, a command of cost planning and cost management techniques, and a thorough understanding of the administrative and legal aspects of building developments.
Two three-year undergraduate programmes are offered by the department leading to the degrees of BSc in Construction Studies and BSc in Property Studies, following which students may qualify to complete a fourth year of study to obtain a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management, a BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying or a BSc (Hons) in Property Studies.
The department is also involved in funded research projects covering a wide range of topics related to the construction industry. While most of this research is carried out by members of staff, students become involved through assignment work and the final year dissertation.
Recognised as one of the leading academic departments of its kind in the country, UCT's Department of Construction Economics and Management offers degrees, accredited both locally and internationally by professional institutions. The study of construction studies, quantity surveying, construction management and property studies at UCT typically entails a combination of fields associated with the built environment, namely management, law, economics, science and technology.
Aim of the undergraduate degrees within the department of Construction Economics and Management
To educate graduates with the requisite theoretical, entrepreneurial and business skills that will ensure their leadership positions within the construction, property and built environment industries. The curriculum is balanced between academic and practical disciplines thus ensuring that graduates meet the education requirements of the various professional councils, and they acquire skills that will remain useful throughout their careers.
The department offers two undergraduate degrees:
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Construction Studies
The BSc in Construction studies equips students with the knowledge and expertise to occupy a broad range of managerial positions within the construction industry. During their three years of study, students learn about design, construction and the latest engineering technologies, while gaining a solid grounding in subjects such as economics, statistics, human resource management, commercial and contract law, costing, surveying and professional communication. Practical exercises are an integral part of all three year's curricula.
Skills acquired from the programme
Upon completion of the BSc in Construction Studies programme, the graduate is qualified to:
- execute construction management planning and set out buildings;
- use specialist computer software for computer-aided design presentations, scheduling and information processing;
- manage and prepare tender and contractual documents related to construction;
- estimate costs and undertake financial management of construction projects;
- manage the construction of buildings and related infrastructure;
- manage the human resources aspects related to a construction project;
- understand and evaluate economic issues concerning the construction sector and the construction firm at both a micro and macro level;
- understand the time value of money and apply discounted cash flow techniques for evaluating alternative property investments; and
- communicate with construction professionals concerning spatial concepts, financial issues and construction assembly problems.
Property Studies (BSc)
The BSc in Property Studies provides graduates with a broad knowledge base appropriate to the property industry including finance, economics, property law and relevant communication and computer skills. The students are also educated in the specialist areas of property valuations and managing the entire property development process. More specifically this would entail evaluating and structuring finance for property developments, assessing risk, valuing property assets, managing property portfolios, facilities management programmes, and managing the procurement of buildings.
Skills acquired from the programme
Upon completion of the BSc in Property Studies programme, the graduate is qualified to:
- perform various analytical functions such financial analysis and statistical testing;
- employ the latest computer equipment for the collection, analysis and presentation of information;
- manage tender and contractual documents related to the construction industry;
- appraise and evaluate land and buildings, produce drawings and represent information graphically;
- control the financial management of property developments;
- value property for various purposes using a number of methods and produce valuation reports;
- consider and evaluate economic issues concerning the property sector and the property firm at both a micro and a macro level;
- understand the time value of money and its application to capitalisation;
- apply discounted cash flow techniques in the evaluation of alternative property investments;
- communicate with property and construction professionals about spatial concepts, financial issues and construction assembly problems;
- work as part of a team and assume a leadership role if called upon to do so;
- be mindful of ethics within the context of codes of professional conduct and legal liability;
- formulate practical solutions to problems and employ appropriate conflict resolution interventions; and
- frame research questions, identify, collect and collate primary and secondary data sources and have an understanding of quantitative analysis methods.
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