DA5047 - Contract Administration and Practice

What will I learn on this module?

The aim of this module is to build upon and ultimately practice the QS skills introduced to you at level 4. The common theme of the module will be to develop an understanding of the consultant's (Quantity Surveyor) role in managing or administering the contract between the client (employer) and the contractor on construction projects. You will be able to undertake (i) pre-contract activities including deciding on the type of procurement route and building contract and examination of priced tender documents and selection of contractors/consultants; and (ii) both agency and decision-making functions following commencement of a construction project. You will learn to carry out a range of standard contract administrative procedures.

You will explore topics such as:
• Procurement and selection of procurement methods
• Tender Processes including pre-qualification
• Tender Analysis (Examination of priced tender documents)
• Sub-contracting
• Interim Valuations & Payments
• Delays/ Extensions of Time
• Cash Flow Management
• Loss and Expense
• Variations
• Final Account Procedures
• Application of Financial Protection Measures
• Determination
• Retention of Title
• Professional Ethics

How will I learn on this module?

Most of your learning on this degree apprenticeship module will be in your workplace. You will gain a theoretical understanding of the topics through live (online or face-to-face) university sessions and online resources such as recorded lectures, videocasts, podcasts, electronic books, journal articles and websites. Your involvement in quantity surveying tasks will enable you to put the theory into context, thereby cementing your understanding. You will agree with your Workplace Mentor a Module Learning Plan (MLP) designed to achieve the Module Learning Outcomes via a series of directed workplace learning activities, such as shadowing a colleague, visiting a site or producing a poster.

Opportunities will also be provided for you to develop your understanding through peer and tutor interaction in discussion groups and research rich debates during live classroom or synchronous online seminars and workshops. You will be encouraged to draw on your own professional experiences to share best practice and contribute to debates.

Modules on your programme will typically span 11 weeks, with scheduled or directed activities each week, and one piece of summative assessment submitted in week 12 or 13. This may also be supplemented with up to one day of face-to-face interaction, if appropriate, at Northumbria University or a regional hub. In total the module will include around 11 hours of live ‘Seminars’ (synchronous classroom and online delivery via Blackboard Collaborate), 7 hours of recorded ‘Lectures’ (asynchronous online delivery via Blackboard or Blackboard Collaborate), 2 hours of ‘Tutorials’ (1-to-1 support from Workplace Mentor and Workplace Coach), and 40 hours of workplace learning activities. The remaining hours in the Notional Student Workload for the module are attributed to independent learning, with the estimated ratio of tutor-guided to student independent learning at 2:3 for a Level 5 module. This is indicative and will vary between modules.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your module tutor(s) will deliver an online module induction session and lead live sessions that enable you to interact with your tutor and peers. They will provide and direct you to essential and recommended online resources available via the University’s eLearning Portal and University Library. Outside of live sessions, they will provide advice and respond to questions via the eLearning Portal.

Your Workplace Mentor will support you in developing your Module Learning Plan. You will be provided with a guidance document that outlines the principles of workplace learning and provides examples of a large and diverse range of potential workplace learning activities. You may also discuss your Module Learning Plan with your Workplace Coach.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1: Critically evaluate the theories and procedures related to construction procurement & tendering and management of construction contracts/projects.
MLO2: Critically evaluate current pre- and post-contract administrative procedures and processes.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO3: You will be able to analyse procurement & tendering strategies, determining their appropriateness to construction project situations.
MLO4: You will be able to carry out a variety of practical tasks / activities required of the professional Quantity Surveyor in the pre-contract and post-contract stages of the management of a typical project / project.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO5: You will develop awareness of the importance of professional ethics in administering construction contracts / projects.

How will I be assessed?

You will be formatively assessed by the completion of the workplace learning activities identified in your Module Learning Plan. You will receive informal, often verbal, formative feedback from your Workplace Mentor, and sometimes from other colleagues and your Workplace Coach. You will also have the opportunity for formative feedback from your module tutor(s), particularly during Assessment Guidance sessions.

Your summative assessment will provide you with the opportunity to translate your workplace learning into a coherent output that demonstrates that you have achieved the module learning outcomes.

This will be in the form of a visual and verbal presentation and supporting file of evidence. You will be assessed on the quality of your professional advice, and your explanation of a number of practical functions of the practising Quantity Surveyor based on a set of scenarios.

The presentation may be made via either a live online session or a pre-recorded submission, with the possibility of face-to-face presentations if practical.

Having been introduced to presentation skills in the Academic Practice module and practiced them in Professional Practice 1 and in the workplace, you will also have the opportunity to participate in a practice presentation and Q&A session in a small group, and exchange formative feedback on both the presentation content and your presentation skills.





Module abstract

This module is an integral part of your Degree Apprenticeship programme, designed in collaboration with employers to meet the requirements of the Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship Standard and provide a solid skills base for career progression and professional qualification.

You will develop an understanding of the consultant Quantity Surveyor’s role in managing or administering the contract between the client and the contractor on construction projects. You will be able to undertake (i) pre-contract activities including deciding on the type of procurement route and building contract and examination of priced tender documents and selection of contractors/consultants; and (ii) both agency and decision-making functions following commencement of a construction project.

You will gain theoretical understanding through university sessions and online resources but as a Degree Apprentice, you will do most of your learning in the context of your quantity surveying role via a series of workplace learning activities agreed with your Workplace Mentor.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 Years Part Time

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy