KA6004 - Advanced Construction Economics

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how to apply economic theory and concepts in evaluating large scale public, private and commercial sector development and construction projects. The module will build upon your knowledge on basic economic concepts learned at level 4 and project economic evaluation and estimating knowledge acquired at level 5.

You will study a range of topics that will enable you to achieve this:
• Economic theory and concepts applicable to property development
• Development appraisal of private sector development projects,
• Economic evaluations of large scale development projects such as infrastructure using Cost Benefit Analysis,
• Evaluating commercial development project on a cradle to grave basis using Whole Life Costing concepts.
• Application of the whole life concept in private sector led investment projects and concept of Public Private Partnerships and latest developments in private financing of large scale development projects.
• Sustainability as a universally accepted fundamental concept is evaluated in large scale development projects applying the concepts of Economic Sustainability & Carbon Management, and Building Resilience in the construction projects.
• Role of ICT and e-Business enabling technologies in the construction industry and its application in economic evaluation techniques and development of the commercial viability of construction firms.

On completion of this module the knowledge and understanding acquired forms part of the broader contextual framework for the study of quantity surveying.

You will develop, throughout this module, academic and professional skills relating to the use and evaluation of data; effective communication; self-direction and personal responsibility; and the role of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility within businesses.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminar/workshops, and independent learning. The lectures will cover theories, concepts and real life examples that will enable you to tackle a series of guided exercises conducted through smaller group workshop/seminar sessions. You will work on these during workshops/seminars and hands-on sessions in Northumbria’s computer labs, which are fully equipped with the latest industry-standard software. A minimum of one industry expert guest lecture for each semester will be provided within the module to supplement your knowledge on industry practice and practical perspectives.

If you are in employment your workplace will be the main learning environment, in effect acting as a framework for advanced construction economics. However, tutor support will be available via drop-in sessions throughout the module study period. If you are in employment it is recognised that there is the need for modes of blended learning delivery, experiential assessment, and opportunities to combine work and study through independent study, embedded learning opportunities, and relevant communications technologies. Lecture capture will be used to elaborate on the content contained in any teaching material along with audio recording and notes to support presentations on key topics.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

We will guide you through exercises during the timetabled sessions. The University’s eLearning Portal offers remote access to materials and aids for reinforcing your learning. There will be a good degree of individual support provided to students during workshop/seminar sessions for students requiring greater level of attention. Further face to face support can be provided to students who require further formal guidance outside of scheduled lectures and seminar/workshop sessions.

If you are in employment your workplace will be the main learning environment, however, tutor support will be available via drop-in sessions throughout the module study period. The eLP, telephone and email will be used as a means of communication once the initial briefings have taken place and work-based visits will be made by tutors if appropriate.

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 examine economic theories relating to economic resources, scarcity of resources, supply & demand, utility, economies of scale and others to property development and construction.
• MLO2: Critically evaluate and distinguishing choices in development proposals for both public and private sector developments considering both aspects of profitability, maximisation of welfare and sustainability.
• MLO3: Critically analyse the role of information communication technologies in the development of construction enterprises and the construction industry.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO4: Critically analyse and apply the concepts of value for money and whole life costs in economic evaluation of elements, components or projects.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Demonstrate the capacity for independent, evidence based thinking decision making and reporting.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: tasks embedded within the module seminar/workshop sessions and software laboratory sessions provide formative feedback immediately upon completion. This timely feedback will assist in consolidating your learning as you move through the module.

Summative assessment: this module is assessed by a single coursework (100%).

Coursework is a report that requires carrying out a detailed development appraisal for a private sector investment. It will enable you to demonstrate your understanding of basic economic theories, use of development appraisal techniques, and the ability to carry out market research in filtering appropriate type of data and information sources. This coursework is has a value of 100% and tests all module learning outcomes.

Coursework will be submitted, assessed and feedback provided to you online. Summative feedback will be provided to the group.





Module abstract

This module will give you an essential foundation in advanced quantity surveying functions applicable for public, private and commercial sectors of the construction industry. Modern quantity surveyors are often consulted on procurement related advice for large scale development and construction projects where their knowledge in advanced construction economics tools and techniques provide the basis for such advice. These include evaluating large scale infrastructure projects such as high speed rail networks, motorway construction, to commercial building project and community development projects. Development clients seek quantity surveyors advice in analysing financial feasibility and increasingly the sustainability characteristics of projects.
The modules builds on basic knowledge constructs from Construction Economics (level 5) and QS Practice & Procedure (Level 4) modules to provide a greater understanding and practical application of an array of project evaluation techniques. You will also critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning in completing the problem-based coursework (30%) for the module. The main element in assessment (70%) will be a ‘final examination’ testing your ability to apply economic evaluation techniques to real life simulated scenarios.

If you are in employment your workplace will act as a framework for advanced construction economics to develop your skills and knowledge.

Course info

UCAS Code K240

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

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