BlogWSUWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU

WSU Construction Management - Fact Sheet

Envision a career as a construction manager or a building surveyor in the future? Interested in the idea of designing and creating useful sites and facilities? Well, we’ve found the perfect degree for you — WSU Construction Management.

Feast your eyes on a degree that’s designed to put you on a direct path to construction and building management. Below, we’ve laid out everything there is to know about the course, the units, assessments, faculty and culture. 

If you’re interested, keep reading! 

What is a Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU?

The Bachelor of Construction Management is your one way ticket to the building industry. It’s a 4-year undergraduate degree that builds on your skills, lays the foundations for construction success and solidifies your career in the industry (puns very much intended). 

As a student, you’ll be gaining an extensive understanding of construction technology, construction economics, construction law and construction project management. So, basically, you’ll get to know it all!

You’ll also get to specialise in your degree by choosing particular electives to focus on quantity surveying or building surveying — but we’ll get to that in more detail later. 

“Construction Management, it’s four years if you do it full-time. So, I did two years full-time and three years part-time, because I was working full time.

 

“It’s pretty much a combination of structural engineering subjects, business subjects and a bit of business law. It also includes industry required hours. It’s a bit of a vague course that jumps across a few different disciplines.” — Stefan Slosu, Bachelor of Construction Management Graduate at WSU 

Honours

The Honours component is built into this degree at WSU. In your fourth and final year you’ll have the option to complete one of two big end of year projects.

To graduate with Honours in Construction Management at WSU, you’ll need to complete either the Construction Research Project or Construction Thesis but we’ll dive further into this later. 

Career Paths

WSU Construction Management - Quote

There’s going to be plenty of construction-related positions waiting for you once you graduate. Some of those may include:

    • Construction Manager 
    • Project Manager 
    • Site Manager 
    • Contract Manager 
    • Quantity Surveyor 
    • Building Surveyor 
    • Estimator 
    • Facilities Manager 
    • Building Economist 
    • Property Manager or Developer 
    • Building Consultant 

The great thing about the Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU is that the degree is full of industry standard components so that employment once you graduate is almost inevitable.

It’s a program that’s accredited with the Australian Institute of Building and once you’ve finished your 4 years, you will accumulate a total of 1200 hours of practical work experience. So, you can pretty much rely on the fact that WSU will provide you with competitiveness, employability and career flexibility. 

Core Units for this Degree

To successfully graduate from the Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU, you’ll need to complete a total of 320 credit points. Credit points are basically the university’s way to measure the workload of a particular subject.

You’ll be able to compare and contrast particular subjects’ workload based on their number of credit points. At WSU, the majority of your subjects are worth 10 credit points each. This means that you’ll be typically taking 4 classes each semester to be on track to graduate in 4 years. 

The Bachelor of Construction Management is a relatively prescriptive degree. You’ve got about 6 possible elective spaces throughout your program which means that you can choose whatever subject you’d like.

For the most part though, your degree is already set out for you. This means you’re basically guaranteed to find a solid group of friends that you’ll stick with throughout your 4 years. It also means that we can go through some of the subjects you can expect right now! 

First Year

In your first year of studying you’ll be developing a foundational understanding of the various layers that make up the Bachelor of Construction Management! You’ll be taking classes like: 

    • Residential Building 
    • Drawing and CAD 
    • Construction Communication 
    • Construction Work Safety 
    • Non-Residential Building  
    • Building Science 
    • Contract Administration 
    • Environmental Building Design 

For example, in Residential Building, you’ll be gaining an insight into the regulations and construction techniques involved in low-rise residential buildings in Australia. You’ll be getting to know the general building process, environmental issues, surveying techniques and the various structure elements.

Whereas in Environmental Building Design, you’ll cover the relevant and significant issues and opportunities involved in building facilities that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

Second Year

Here’s a look at your second year subjects! You’ll find yourself studying:

    • Civil and Substructure 
    • Building Measurement 
    • Accounting Information for Managers 
    • Building Estimates and Tendering 

Excitingly, this year will also be your first chance to choose 2 elective subjects to study. But here’s the catch: you can either choose to study electives or graduate with a specialisation by taking the set subjects for Quantity Surveying or Building Surveying.

Either option is viable, though a specialisation may be slightly more appealing to employers. You can take a deeper look at your options by scrolling to the bottom of this page! 

Building Measurement is a second year subject that’s all about the techniques and methods used to measure, quantify and prepare bills of quantities for construction in residential areas. In this class you’ll be getting an idea of what it’s like to work as a quantity surveyor. 

Third Year

In third year, you’ll be starting to progress to the more advanced parts of Construction Management. You’ll be studying the following subjects:

    • Building Superstructure 
    • Construction Project Management 
    • Building Law 
    • Construction and Scheduling 

Again, in third year you’ve got the option of taking 2 elective subjects or the subjects that are required in your chosen specialisation. The choice is yours! 

In Construction Project Management, you’ll be developing an understanding of the various appropriate methods used to manage projects in construction, so it’s a class very much focussed on career prospects. You’ll cover the major practical and theoretical areas of construction management. 

Fourth Year

Your final year! By now you’ll be going through the finishing touches before you face the working world. You’ll be doing classes like:

    • Construction Economics 
    • Residential Building Project
    • Construction Research Methods 
    • Envelope and Services 
    • Complex Building Project 
    • Construction Research Project or Construction Thesis 

Residential Building Project is a class that focusses on the practical experience involved in the construction industry. You’ll be participating in group work on construction planning and management, regulatory control and client liaison to ensure that you’re ready for the real construction world. 

The final task that you’ll be completing in this degree is up to you! You’ve got the choice to work on a Research Project which will involve working in a group to undertake practical research into a particular technical, managerial or economic issue involved in the construction industry.

Your other option is a Construction Thesis which is a large individual written report based on the literature and research designed that you’ll submit in the Construction Research Methods.   

Is there a built-in internship program? 

Yes! We mentioned it before but you’ll undergo a whopping 1200 hours of industry-based experience. So, it’s a lot but it’ll be so valuable once you graduate!

WSU will help you manage the load by offering the program with flexible and condensed timetables so that you can get involved in cadetships and other Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) activities. 

 

How to Get into a Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU

To be eligible for guaranteed entry into WSU’s Bachelor of Construction Management program, you’ll need a minimum ATAR of 70. Since WSU understands that a single rank has no way of indicating your full potential, there are plenty of alternative entry pathways if you didn’t quite get the ATAR. 

Pathway Programs 

There’s a wide scope of alternative application pathways at WSU. One of the main providers is The College.

It’s designed for domestic and international students who didn’t quite get the marks or meet the eligibility criteria. The College offers combinations of Diplomas and Bachelor degrees, Extended Diplomas as well as University Foundation Studies.

If you successfully complete one of The College’s programs, you’ll basically guarantee yourself a spot in the second year of a Bachelor’s degree. 

As a potential Construction Management student, your best bet when it comes to choosing a course offered at The College would be the Diploma in Building Design Management. You’ll be well on your way to graduating in no time!  

Assumed Knowledge 

While the Bachelor of Construction Management at WSU doesn’t require any prerequisite subjects, there’s an expectation that you’ve graduated high school with HSC level Maths and English. This is so you’ve got the foundational knowledge to make the uni content that much more manageable.

If you didn’t study Maths in the HSC you could always look into taking particular electives throughout your degree to hone in on those skills. 

Scholarships 

WSU offers a wide range of opportunities when it comes to their scholarships on offer. Whether you’re a potential, current or international student considering the prospect of studying Construction Management at WSU, there’ll be a scholarship for you.

These scholarships are awarded for a variety of different reasons. If you’ve been disadvantaged in some way during your studies, WSU wants to hear about it. The same goes for those who have excelled academically. 

All you need to do now is register your interest by submitting an application once you’ve browsed the current scholarships that WSU has on offer right here. 

What’s the Teaching Format?

WSU uses the semester system to teach its classes. So, you’ll be undergoing your studies in two main sessions with a decent break in between.

This means you’ll get a chance to refresh, relax and get some professional experience on your breaks!

As a Bachelor of Construction Management student you can expect to learn all the necessary content in lectures, tutorials and a couple practical classes (depending on the kind of class). With this in mind, you can expect to be on campus for about 12 hours each week. 

Class Structure

WSU Construction Management - Class Structure

Lectures

Lectures at WSU will usually have around 100 to 200 students in each session and will last between 1 to 2 hours.

These are pretty passive classes where you’ll spend the majority of the time listening, taking notes and planning questions for future tutorials. There’ll usually be a lecturer (either a tutor or guest speaker) up the front of the theatre explaining the content through a presentation. 

Tutorials

Tutorials pretty much emulate the structure of a high school class. So, you’ll be in a small room with around 20 other students for about 2 hours.

You’ll get to facilitate discussions, ask your tutor questions and get involved in some group work to get your head around that week’s content. 

Practicals

As the name suggests, these are your hands-on practical classes where you can apply the theoretical knowledge that you’ve gained throughout your degree. Not all of your classes will have one of these — it’s more for the particularly physical classes.

Practicals are similar to tutorials in the way that there’ll be around 20 students working on projects for about 2 hours. 

Assessments

Your assessments will vary greatly throughout your degree and will be dependent on the kind of classes you do. For example, sometimes you’ll have an exam to test your theoretical understanding of construction management while other times you’ll get to practically demonstrate your knowledge of sustainable building methods and safe working environments.

You’ll always be involved in assessments that develop valuable and transferable skills that you’ll maintain throughout your construction management career! 

Skills That You Refine and Learn

WSU Construction Management - Skills

In this degree you’re basically guaranteed to gain plenty of essential skills that will help you secure that dream position.

Your interpersonal skills are going to be paramount. Throughout your degree and beyond you’ll be learning the best ways to effectively and efficiently manage clients, chat to builders and liaise with businesses and homeowners.

Your job as a construction manager will mean that your day will be filled with calls from potential clients. This also means that your communication and organisation skills will need to be top notch so that projects get underway speedily and accurately.  

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

The Construction Management cohort are a part of the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment.

Not only will you have access to accomplished Construction Management professionals but you can feel even more comforted by the fact that researchers and tutors in Engineering and Design are just one step away! 

The other budding construction managers in your year group are a bunch of friendly, welcoming and supportive students who you can count on for studying tips, exam help and friendly banter. 

Societies and Clubs 

If you’re someone that values a uni social life then WSU could be your perfect uni! You’ll have over 130 different clubs and societies to choose from, meaning you’ll get plenty of chances to meet new people and get involved in uni life.

Whether you’d like to become a member of an industry-based professional group, a friendly social society or a political club, WSU has got your back. 

Take a squiz for yourself right here! 

Resources

Another valuable feature of any degree at WSU is that, as a current or future student, you have access to a plethora of student help services, academic assistance or IT help.

You could also book a session with a counsellor or just a one off mental health chat with someone you trust. You can take a look at these services right here. 

Wondering what the pros and cons of this degree are? Check out our article here!


Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect! 

 

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