We speak to Professor Alison Cotgrave, Associate Dean (Quality Assurance and Enhancement), Faculty of Engineering and Technology at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) about the range of construction- and housebuilding-related courses and qualifications available at this well-respected and high-ranked institution.
Please tell us about LJMU and what housebuilding-related courses it runs.
LJMU Department of Built Environment dates back to 1835. The Department runs a suite of foundation, undergraduate, post graduate taught and post graduate research programmes covering the disciplines of Quantity Surveying, Building Surveying, Real Estate, Construction Management, Facilities Management, Building Services Engineering, Architectural Engineering and Architectural Technology.
Most of the programmes run on full- and part-time pathways and also have validated degree apprenticeship routes. For full-time programmes there are also study abroad opportunities that allow students to study one of six semesters overseas. Most programmes also allow the opportunity of a 48-week industrial placement. Civil Engineering programmes are delivered by the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture is delivered by the School of Art and Design. However there is a lot of collaboration between these areas. Therefore LJMU covers all of the major disciplines in Built Environment within its programme portfolio.
Is construction a very popular sector for student applications – housebuilding in particular – and what qualifications do people need to apply?
Construction Management recruits approximately 30 students per year but the Department has aspirations to increase numbers so more students can benefit. Most students apply with A level or BTEC qualifications (112 UCAS points is the entry qualification), however a number of students, including part-time, enter the programme at Level 5, having studied an HNC qualification at LJMU or at one of the Further Education colleges.
The home programme is a generalised programme that will allow graduates to specialise in estimating, planning and programming, site engineering, purchasing, site management etc. and is more geared to the construction of multi-storey and large-span commercial buildings. There is also a significant focus on facilities management and refurbishment. Housebuilding is mainly covered in Level 4 and the focus is the technology of building houses, rather than the management of this process. This is why the bespoke programme developed with Coleg Cambria gives Redrow a programme that is more focused on their educational needs.
What do you think is the appeal of construction courses?
Fantastic career opportunities in a critically important sector to the UK, an engaging programme of study and placement opportunities with brilliant employers. We would like to see more of a gender balance in the students we recruit as the course currently attract more male than female applicants.
Do part-time (PT) courses attract a very different audience?
Yes – PT are all employed by a construction organisation, they tend to be more mature students,
What work experience opportunities can students expect and/or be encouraged to seek?
Most students undertake summer work and virtually all on construction management will do a 48-week supervised placement. Work-related learning activity is threaded through the curriculum via real life case studies used for projects, industry guest lectures, site visits etc.
What’s the career potential for someone who qualifies from one of your courses?
Fantastic – BUE programmes have some of the highest graduate-level employability in the University. Average salaries are also much higher than in less vocational subjects.
What should potential applicants do if they are interested in starting the LJMU September 2018 courses?
Apply through UCAS or they can come through clearing.