KB5028 - Commercial Management

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about how the construction industry functions as a business and how finances are managed. In particular you will learn about different types of client and their decisions about how to go to the market and the process choices used by the industry to deliver projects financially and commercially. The topics of study will include:

• The development process and its participants;
• Development appraisal;
• Pre-tender estimating and cost control;
• Whole life costing and life-cycle assessment;
• Value management;
• Risk management;
• Commercial management and success of firms and projects;
• Ethics in commercial management and construction procurement;
• Performance measurement (sector and firm level);
• Measurement and quantification of construction work;
• Procurement, selection and contractual strategies;
• BIM, collaborative working and commercial management;
• Stakeholder management;
• Contractor and sub-contractor selection: methods, process and procedures;
• Bidding and winning strategies;
• Estimating practice in construction;
• Purchasing and sourcing; and
• Post-contract cost control.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through engaging with a series of lectures, seminars and independent learning. The lectures will cover the principles and application of theory relating to the commercial management of construction firms as well as individual projects. You will also be assigned tutor-guided independent learning materials in the form of case studies, reports and research papers which you will be expected to read and analyse before forming your own opinions which can be tested through discussion in seminars and through feedback from the tutor in class and through the assessment process. You will deal be expected to actively participate in seminars and workshops which will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the theory from the lectures, case studies, guided exercises, and appraisal of reports and research papers.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors shall guide you through the course by way of a series of lectures and seminars. The e-learning portal will be used to facilitate and support the tutor-directed learning activities. This will be carried out through the seminar programme in which students will carry out exercises and discuss the issues with the tutor. A limited number of online exercises and/or quizzes will be used periodically to evaluate students’ comprehension of theoretical concepts.

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:
1. Your coursework reports will indicate knowledge and an ability to analyse the development process, as well as its myriad participants including those who commission, supply & finance construction projects.
2. Your coursework reports will appraise the construction commercial environment, including the bidding process and good practice procedures, as well as the key components of tender prices.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. You will analyse different procurement strategies against a range of decision making criteria and project situations. You will use the best available evidence and research in order to make suitable recommendations.
4. You will develop identify key issues in post-tender contract administration as well as apply robust contractual procedures in order to meet commercial imperatives.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. You will analyse and reflect upon the values that underpin ethical and sustainable procurement in project delivery.

How will I be assessed?

The module will be assessed by two components equally weighted summative assessments, one in each semester.

The first summative assessment (50%) component will allow students to research and develop a solution for a scenario encompassing a range of key aspects commercial management of projects. An individually produced professional report will be the output required from all students. [MLO’s 1,2,3,4 & 5]

The second summative assessment (50%) component will allow students to research a specified range of key aspects in the commercial management of firms in order to develop a solution for a given scenario. An individually produced professional report will be the output required from all students. [MLO’s 1,2,3,4 & 5]





Module abstract

In the module you will learn about how to control and manage the financial transactions of an organisation whose aim is to make a profit by keeping costs to a minimum while maximising income. Since most decisions taken on one project will ultimately affect the organisations involved either positively or adversely, projects are at the centre of commercial management for the module.

Using up-to-date academic articles and industry reports, you will engage with current debates, evaluate case studies and review current developments in construction procurement and commercial management.
You will develop skills in the appraisal of schemes, calculation of project costs, budgeting and analysis of procurement challenges so as to contribute towards commercial success. Such skills will make you more employable as well as equiped for an excellent start to a successful career in construction, where companies increasingly employ and value graduates who have a sound understanding of the competitive nature of the business environment in which firms operate.

Course info

UCAS Code K251

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and 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.


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