Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Digital Construction with Foundation Year

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




Four year

Five year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

Creating and delivering construction projects is a fascinating and complex business, demanding high levels of collaboration between people from a wide-range of different professional disciplines.  In recent years, the construction process has been revolutionised by the exponential increases in technology and software. Construction companies and consultancies need professionals to help them make sense of the digital options, to embed these seamlessly into their working practices and to seek out new efficiency innovations. 

The Digital Construction with Foundation Year course is an excellent route if you’re from a non-industry background, new to higher education, or seeking to develop your career in a new direction. Providing immersion in construction, surveying and design techniques, the foundation year pathway is designed to help you meet the prerequisites for our BSc (Hons) Digital Construction degree.

Salford is a great choice for studying construction. We’re consistently ranked in the world top 100 universities for architecture and built environment study (QS 2019), located at the heart of one of the largest property and construction market outside of London. With our industry-focused learning approach, you’ll visit local projects and receive live briefs that enhance your real-world knowledge and understanding. You'll be educated to the highest industry standards, studying a range of modules that will develop your professional, technical and interpersonal skill set.

You will:
  • Develop competence in essential areas of built environment professional practice
  • Build technical, analytical and problem-solving skills, ready to progress to the honours degree
  • Gain hands-on experience using built environment-focused IT equipment and software
  • Build your confidence by strengthening team working, communication and study skills
  • Be ready to progress on to the BSc (Hons) Digital Construction degree

This is for you if...


You’re passionate about developing and shaping the built environment


You want to study digital construction but don't meet the Honours degree entry requirements


You're returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction

Course details

All about the course

Digital Construction with Foundation Year is delivered over four years via a programme of practice-focused modules. The introductory foundation year will build your understanding of situations and solving problems in the built environment, whilst also developing your practical and communication skills. On successful completion of the foundation year, you'll progress on to the full honours degree.

For a further three years of study - or four, if you choose an industry placement, you'll cover construction-focused modules about constructions methods, informatics, LEAN delivery and the legal framework. You’ll use management and planning software tools, such as BIM and CAD. Staying true to the collaborative nature of the construction industry, you’ll work in groups to complete projects and problem-solving activities.  In your final year, you'll demonstrate the knowledge you’ve gained by completing a research-based dissertation.

Foundation year

IT and Study Skills

This module is designed to equip you with a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that ensure the student is likely to be successful in their chosen route of academic study on a course within the School of the Built Environment. You will develop the ability to understand what and how they are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for your own learning.

Introduction to Built Environment Professional Practice

This module will allow you to create an awareness of key professional roles within the built environment sector and the responsibilities associated with the differing roles. It will provide you with an opportunity for investigative work to be undertaken via a case study or series of case studies to explore the nature of the built environment professions. You will develop awareness of the key professional skills required by the differing identified discipline areas. The module will also promote the on-going development of oral/written communication, team working and inter-personal skills.

Introduction to Design Practice

The aim of this module is to provide you with an appreciation and understanding of architectural design and the factors that influence it. You will gain an understanding of architectural design in the context of the overall building procurement process, and be introduced to the role of ICT as an essential tool in built environment professional practice. Through this module you will begin to develop your expertise in commonly used built environment design representation software applications.

Professional Practice Project

You will explore the concept of the practitioner and the alignment the personal and professional development. Using a project scenario, you will gain awareness of contemporary issues and developments in the built environment sector and understand their significance and impact on your future professional conduct.

Year one

Technology 1

You will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to describe, explain, evaluate, compare and apply building construction techniques and materials used in typical low-rise, domestic type buildings, with a focus on contemporary construction techniques. You will develop a systematic understanding of the sustainable practices involved in building construction.

Introduction to Law and Regulatory Frameworks

You will be introduced to English law and relevant statutory requirements for studying for vocational qualifications in the construction and property professions. The module also introduces you to the workings of the English legal system, to the law relating to contracts and to the regulatory framework affecting the use, management and development of land, in particular, planning, building control and the CDM regulations.

Economics and Management

You will develop an understanding of basic economic concepts and principles and of the economic environment, in which the construction and property sectors operate. The module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of the construction environment within which you will operate as well as management and organisational theories in the construction and property context.

Environmental Science and Services

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the interactions between a building and its internal and external environments. You will learn about the principles involved in building heat transfer, occupant thermal comfort, illumination and acoustics. You will explore the need for mechanical and electrical engineering services in the building envelope and develop an understanding of typical building services systems technology.

Data Theory for Construction

You will learn the core principles of digital systems and data management and develop an understanding of how to derive robust meanings from a wide range of different data sets. You will have opportunities to analyse and manipulate data using current technologies and to learn digital skills which are fundamental for the construction professional.

Computer Aided Design

You will gain the competence to identify and use appropriate ICT tools that are applicable for building surveying and basic design.

Year two

Lean and Offsite Production Management

Through this module you will be able to understand the role and responsibilities of the production manager in the context of the UK construction industry. You will develop knowledge and understanding of the key organisational management principles and issues involved in lean theory and its applications in design, production and operations. You will be able to demonstrate how risk management processes apply to production management practice. On this module you will evaluate current and future production processes and methods by which the production manager can control resource efficiency, quality, safety and environment. You will also develop knowledge and understanding of the implementation of offsite construction for an efficient and effective implementation of construction projects.

Multidisciplinary Project

This project will provide you with an opportunity to work in multi-disciplinary teams and to enable them to perform in a role/discipline in the context of a team based project. It will promote reflection on individual and team working and the multi-disciplinary nature of built environment projects. You will practice and further develop both discipline based and generic key skills required by a built environment professional. It encourages self-reflection and enable you to further your personal development plan, that aligns the learning needs and career aspirations and the requirements of the business sector and the professional institutions. You will also further develop written/oral communication, team working and inter-personal skills.

Technology 2

You will enhance your knowledge and skills to describe, explain, evaluate, compare and apply building construction techniques and materials used in typical medium to large span single storey buildings and multi-storey industrial/commercial buildings. You will develop an understanding of both historic and contemporary construction techniques for medium to large buildings. You will learn to identify and critically review alternative construction technologies, and make informed decisions and recommendations.

Procurement and Administration

This module enables you to explore and differentiate the principal types of procurement systems and associated contracts used in the UK, you will also explore the fundamental procedures related to contract administration.

Digital fluency and informatics

You will learn the application of data capture processes and exploitation mechanisms within the context of the construction process.  You will develop competence in the theory and practice of knowledge management, and how to efficiently deploy information to improve and enhance knowledge systems.

Critical Thinking for Construction

The modern work-place demands adaptive, flexible and clear-sighted critical thinkers.  In the context of construction relevant scenarios which raise a host of complex, ethical and commercial issues, you will develop modes of thought and analysis which will equip you to tackle the challenges of an ever-changing future professional landscape.

Year three

Discipline Research Project

You will develop your knowledge of good research practice through the completion of a written research proposal and a research document. You will also develop data analysis skills through the collection and critical appraisal of different sources of data.

Improving Digital Capacity

You will have an opportunity to undertake a critical analysis of a construction company, and to generate a requirement for an improved digital solution to an ongoing business need.  You will learn theories relevant to people based and digital change management and synthesise these to critically evaluate and provide a digital improvement plan.

Introduction to Design & Delivery Systems

You will develop knowledge and understanding of tools, techniques and key issues in construction project delivery using Building Information Modelling (BIM). On completion of the module you will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of integrated project delivery and its impacts upon improved design co-ordination and information management and exchange amongst project stakeholders.  You will also be able to critically appraise the business need for integrated project design and delivery systems and the benefits and impacts of integrated project delivery upon project management practice, as well as describing and critically evaluate the use of BIM tools in relation to integrated design and delivery systems.

Construction Application Development

Building on your digital and construction knowledge, you will identify an aspect of construction practice which may benefit from a digital tool, and then develop that digital tool, reflecting upon how this may contribute to process improvement.

Virtual Environments

You will develop the capability to evaluate Virtual Reality (VR) technologies and apply appropriate approaches for the presentation of complex 3D data sets. You will learn to critically evaluate current applications of VR and develop solutions for use in the built environment. You will also develop competencies in the management and manipulation of multi-media data sets.

Sustainable Design and Construction

You will develop comprehensive recognition of the principles of sustainable design and their application in the practice of construction. The module content aims to reinforce the relationship between sustainable design and construction processes.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


You will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods, including:

  • Studio projects, both individual and in groups
  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Directed study
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment)


You will be assessed using a range of suitable methods, including:

  • Design projects
  • Essays
  • Case study analysis
  • Precedent studies
  • Examinations

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.



Salford is home to the unique Energy House – the only fully climate controlled research facility in the world. Built in 2011, this full-scale two-bedroom terraced house is inside an environmental chamber that can replicate almost any weather conditions. It is fully furnished and packed with a vast array of sensors that can monitor a wide range of variables.


Think Lab is our futuristic research environment. It leads the development of advanced technology platforms for smart city applications, collaborative engineering, industry collaborations, simulation and gaming applications, and interactive training and learning.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


As you progress and complete the full honours degree, you'll graduate with exciting and rewarding careers opportunities ahead of you.

Skill sets developed throughout this course are in high demand, both in the UK and internationally. You will be highly-sought by employers, and prospects are excellent. You can expect to work in a wide-range of organisations, including contractors and consultancies across both the public and private sectors. 

Our construction alumni have progressed to work with leaders in the field of digital construction and with leading construction industry organisations both locally and internationally, including Lend Lease, Kier, Laing O'Rourke, Simons Construction Ltd and Skanska.


You might find you want to learn more about the built environment, so we offer a range of specialism postgraduate study options to help you take your career and interests even further. Salford graduates and alumni will also receive a significant fees discount. 

A taste of what you could become

A project manager

A construction technologist

A construction project manager

A BIM specialist

and more...

Career Links

This course is extensively informed by collaboration between the university’s academics and industry partners from the built environment. Our experienced teaching team maintain strong links with the architecture, engineering and construction sectors, both local and international.

This collaboration with the professions ensures a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, as well as career networking opportunities. You will benefit from field visits, practitioner-led lectures and real-world problem-solving work developed for and by industry.  



What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

Successful completion of the foundation year can lead to direct entry onto one of the following honours degree courses: 

Applicants must satisfy both the University’s General Entry Requirement and the specific entry requirements.


Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Maths at grade D/level 3 or above

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below

UCAS tariff points

64 points

A level

Typically two grade Cs

BTEC National Diploma

MPP (BTEC Extended Diploma), MM (BTEC Diploma)

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID K512

Institution S03

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