Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsIn 2017, 71 residents died when a fire engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 secondsBuilding materials such as unsafe cladding, insulation and inadequate fire doors were among the causes of this devastating fire. But how could this have been prevented? How do we ensure this doesn’t happen again? The evidence was there about the cladding, the insulation, the fire doors. The research was there, but we just didn’t pay attention to it. My name is George, I’m the module leader for this course. I’ve worked extensively in the construction industry in Asia, Africa and Europe and here, I bring my experience to you. In this course we will discuss the contemporary issues facing our industry. We will look at global perspectives, ethics and how methodologies underpin our research.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondsWe will hear from industrial experts and current PhD students giving their invaluable perspectives on contemporary issues in construction and how research drives change. Our comments section also enhances our learning by prompting discussion with like-minded professionals from all over the world. I encourage you to introduce yourself and share your experiences in our online community. Well defined research helps prevent tragic events like Grenfell, it opens our eyes to issues, aids our understanding and helps us to tackle problems improving our future.

Why is research important in construction?

In this video, Lead Educator Dr George Agyekum-Mensah uses the example of the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 in London to illustrate why construction research is important in a fast-changing and complex world.

This is the introductory two-week course for a program in Contemporary Issues & Research in Project Management which forms part of MSc Construction Management with BIM online degree at Coventry University delivered on FutureLearn.

This short course will give you the opportunity to experience what it will be like to study online with us.

Welcome to ‘Global Issues in the Construction Industry’

In this short course, discover how the academic research process can justifiably be applied to address the key issues faced by the construction industry today.

You will consider some of the contemporary issues that are important to construction globally and explore some of the tools and methodologies used to carry out research in today’s industry.

When we talk about the construction industry, we are referring to the following sectors:

  • industrial construction
  • heavy engineering construction
  • residential building construction
  • commercial building construction

This week

Through this week’s activities you will …

  • explore contemporary issues that affect the construction industry
  • address the importance of ethics
  • discover some of the considerations necessary when approaching novel research
  • be encouraged to select a topic that you think requires further investigation

Meet the team

Your Lead Educator on this course is Dr George Agyekum-Mensah, who is a Senior Lecturer in Quantity Surveying and Project Management in the School of Energy, Construction and Environment at Coventry University. His areas of expertise are in project management, quantity surveying and sustainable project delivery systems as well as innovation and automation in construction.

picture of lead educator Dr George Agyekum-Mensah

George is joined by Dr Daisy Nwaozuzu, who is an Assistant Lecturer in Research Skills at Coventry University.

picture of educator Dr Daisy Nwaozuzu

Nicola Fordham and Martin Clayden are the course Hosts and they will also be providing support during the course.

You can follow them by selecting the link to their FutureLearn profile page and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make.


Checking your progress …

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, select the ‘Mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your ‘To do’ list.

You can check your progress page by selecting the icon at the top of the step, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

Pre-course survey

Your feedback is really important to us. Please let us know more about your motivations for joining this course by completing FutureLearn’s short, optional pre-course survey. Your views will influence FutureLearn and Coventry University on how we can improve and support future versions of this course.


Your task

In the video, George shares what he thinks research can bring to construction.

Introduce yourself and tell us why you are interested in this course. Tell us if you have personal experience of how novel research has impacted positively in one or more of the construction sectors mentioned above. How do you think research can drive change in the construction industry?

Have a look at other learners’ comments. If you can relate to a comment someone else has made, why not ‘Like’ it or leave a reply? You can filter comments in a variety of ways including ‘Most liked’ and you can also ‘Bookmark’ comments.

If you want to see all the recent comments on the course, just select the Activity icon. If you’re following someone, you can filter this list to show only the comments of people you’re following or those comments that you’ve bookmarked.

To get the very best learning experience from FutureLearn, find out more from these 6 tips and tools for social learning and 5 more tips and tools for social learning. Don’t forget, whilst robust debate is encouraged, it’s important that you follow the FutureLearn Code of conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.

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This video is from the free online course:

Global Issues in the Construction Industry

Coventry University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: