Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Construction Law and Practice

School of Science, Engineering and Environment


Distance Learning


Two year

Next enrolment

September 2019

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In a nutshell

Construction law and practice affects stakeholders working across the international construction sector. This course will provide you with the legal knowledge and commercial awareness required to perform your current role more effectively or to move into a specialist role in construction law.

The full master's award is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing exemption from their academic entry requirements, as well as ensuring that you are educated to the highest industry standards.

There is also an LLM route available for this course.

You will:
  • Learn how to conduct and communicate legal analysis with confidence and accuracy in relation to any aspect of mainstream professional construction practice
  • Learn how to examine construction practice from a legal perspective, to include detailed consideration of construction contracts, tortious and multi-party liability, insurance, dispute resolution, procurement, and the environment
  • Be able to assist individuals in taking effective roles in specialist construction law departments or firms
  • Learn how to promote high quality research in areas of law relating to construction, including a high level of legal analysis.

students accepted

This is for you if...


Learn how to promote high quality research in areas of law relating to construction, including a high level of legal analysis.


You would like to build on your existing knowledge and experience in order to operate more effectively in areas of construction practice which involve construction law

Course details

All about the course

This course is studied part-time by distance learning. Admission onto the course is in September.

The master's award consists of four core modules. The PgDip requires the completion of all four core modules. The PgCert requires completion of two core taught modules. All modules are delivered over a 15 week period and are assessed entirely through coursework.

Distance learning study:

A 30 credit taught module is studied in each semester for the first sixteen months. Assessment of these modules is driven by real-world problems aligned to your workplace and job role. Teaching is based around a virtual learning environment supported by interactive online sessions. In the final two semesters you undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits which is also delivered online and incorporates extensive tutor engagement and support.


Fundamentals of Construction Law

This module will cover:

  • Common law underpinning construction contracts
  • Source, rationale and nature of key terms (Scope, cost, quality, time, variation)
  • Contract formation
  • Implication of terms
  • Mistake, frustration, breach, causation and loss

Construction Contracts – Operation and Administration

This module will cover:

  • Operation and administration of Standard Form Contracts (SFCs)
  • Comparison between SFCs
  • Consideration of key terms in SFCs
  • Role of the Contract Administrator
  • Impact of the industry specific legislation on construction contracts

Liability and Complexity in Construction Law

This module will cover:

  • Legal complexities and commercial risks
  • Design liability
  • Limitation
  • Sub-contracting
  • Contribution and contributory negligence
  • Insurance
  • Insolvency

Dispute Resolution – Law and Practice

This module will cover:

  • Dispute resolution procedures
  • Management of dispute resolution procedures
  • Statutory adjudication in the UK
  • Arbitration
  • Decision drafting


This module allows you to develop a research proposal with clear aims and objectives related to your study. You will undertake critical analysis of existing research and engage in various forms of recognised research in order to produce a sustained, sophisticated, and logical argument in the form of a written dissertation. MSc students complete the MSc module supervised by specialist staff from the School of the Built Environment whilst LLM students are ordinarily allocated a supervisor from a more legal background.

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 examine the responsibilities of employers, contractors and construction professionals together with the problems raised by the complexities of construction, design liability and insurance. Construction contracts and the law underpinning them, together with a wide range of standard form contracts are studied to assess and manage risk. You will also study the complex issues arising from the multiparty nature of the construction process and the particular challenges of international construction, together with the uncertainties that can arise from the passage of time and latent defects.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment.

We want to transform quality of life and the wellbeing of future generations by nurturing professionals and researchers empowered to create an inclusive, sustainable future. From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shape 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.

Our facilities

Our carefully designed studios provide an inspiring environment to develop ideas, work collaboratively and share best practice. We also have workshops which house high specification equipment, including laser cutters and 3-D printers, to help you bring your ideas and concepts to life.

The School of the Built Environment is also home to the unique Energy House – the only fully climate controlled research facility in the world. Built in 2011, this full sized two bedroom terraced house is built 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.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

On this course, you’ll gain the legal knowledge you’ll need to perform your current role more effectively or to move into a new role relating to construction law. Construction law and practice affects professionals throughout the construction industry.

A taste of what you could become

A surveyor

An architect

An engineer

A project manager

A construction manager

And more...

Career Links

The full master's award is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing exemption from their academic entry requirements.

The School of the Built Environment enjoys excellent links with the local, national and international construction industry. This course meets the needs of the industry by providing formal postgraduate level education for built environment professionals in the vital and complex area of construction law.

Guest lecturers from industry with expertise in relevant areas are invited to give lectures throughout the duration of the course, enriching your learning experience.


What you need to know

English Language Requirements

International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 with no band below 5.5 is proof of this

Which qualifications do I need?

Applicants to the MSc must have a minimum of:

  • A second class undergraduate honours degree in a relevant discipline, or
  • A second class undergraduate honours degree in an unrelated discipline and significant relevant work experience within the built environment, or
  • A recognised appropriate professional qualification such as RICS or CIOB

Applicants to the LLM must have a minimum of:

  • A second class undergraduate honours qualifying law degree, or
  • A recognised appropriate professional legal qualification

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

We do not require references provided that you have the standard academic entry requirements. If you do not, then we will ask you to complete the Accreditation of Prior Learning process referred to above.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Distance learning 2019/20 £1368 (UK/EU) per module, £1815 (INTERNATIONAL) per module
Additional costs

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

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Enrolment dates

September 2019

September 2020