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A complete guide to construction management degrees

Discover how a construction management degree could propel your career forward, and get tips on how to apply, entry requirements, and online degree options.

Construction manager

Are you a natural leader who enjoys the hustle and bustle of a building site? Do you want to be responsible for the planning and execution of exciting building projects including housing developments, historic regenerations and civil engineering?

Well then, construction management could be the perfect career for you. A blend of project management and building development, this career will see you working on a range of projects, utilising many skills and managing various teams. 

A construction management degree will prepare you for senior positions in construction management, meaning you can bag the most well-paid roles and oversee projects from start to finish.

What is construction management?

So, how exactly can we define construction management? Essentially, it’s the process of planning, coordinating and overseeing construction projects, making sure that everything happens as it should at every stage of development. 

As construction manager, it’s your job to make sure things happen on time, within budget, and meeting quality and safety standards. A large part of this involves managing a large team and collaborating with stakeholders such as architects, contractors, surveyors and the clients themselves.

Depending on who you work for, the construction projects you manage might vary. Examples of building projects you might lead include residential housing estates, commercial or urban developments, city infrastructure, regeneration projects, and civil engineering works – such as roads, dams and bridges. You may want to specialise in one of these areas, but more commonly, you’ll work across different project types throughout the duration of your career.

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What does a construction management degree involve?

There’s plenty to learn in the field of construction management, and a specialist degree on the subject is what will give you the skills to actually lead projects, rather than just work on them. You’ll study general project management principles, such as organisational, planning and budgeting skills, and you’ll also cover more specific specialisms.

You’ll learn about construction project contracts, the different employees you’ll find on a construction site, and how to always prioritise health and safety. Other topics you’ll explore include environmental law, sustainable construction techniques, and blueprint reading. As you can tell, there’s a lot to know!

Example modules

Below, we’ve got some example modules you can expect to study on a construction management degree.

  • Project Management
  • Construction Technology
  • Cost Estimation
  • Safety Management
  • Architectural graphics
  • Construction materials and methods
  • Surveying
  • Construction soils and foundations
  • Electrical systems for buildings.

Skills you’ll learn on a construction management degree

You’ll pick up a wealth of hard and soft skills on a construction management degree. While some of them will be transferable, interpersonal skills, others are more specialised and specific to the work you’ll carry out on site.

Hard skills:

  • Proficiency in project management software
  • Project forecasting and reporting
  • Knowledge of construction methods and materials
  • Financial and cost management
  • Risk management.

Soft skills:

  • Communication 
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership and team management
  • Flexibility
  • Negotiation
  • Delegation.

Types of construction management degree

The exact features of your degree will depend on the institution you study with, but typically, undergraduate degrees include a placement year within the construction industry, providing you with the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience. 

There are also plenty of master’s programs in construction management, designed for people who may already have some experience in the field but want to be at the top of their game. Below, we go over the most common degree types.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management. This undergraduate program covers all of the fundamentals of construction management, for newbies.
  • Master’s Degree in Construction Management. Postgraduate courses offer more advanced knowledge and specialised skills for those aiming for higher managerial roles.
  • Diploma and Certificate Programs. These are shorter courses designed for professionals seeking to enhance their skills or transition into construction management.

How long does it take to get a construction management  degree?

Everyone has different amounts of time they can commit to university study – perhaps you’re already working on a construction site, and need to keep working while you earn your degree. That’s where an online degree can be a saving grace, allowing you to study in the evenings from home while you earn your salary and gain valuable experience in the day. 

Below we’ve listed the average lengths of time it takes to get a construction management degree, depending on whether you study full or part-time.

  • Bachelor’s degree: 3-4 years
  • Master’s degree: 1-2 years 

Entry requirements for a construction management degree

Wondering whether you meet the requirements for a construction management degree? While they vary slightly, undergraduate degrees tend to ask for between 96 and 112 UCAS points, though it doesn’t usually matter whether you did A-levels, BTEC, a diploma, or other level 3 qualification. Most programs also want you to have gained at least a grade 4/C in English and Maths at GCSE.

To get onto a master’s program, you’ll need an undergraduate degree under your belt already (at 2:2 or above), in a relevant subject such as engineering, architecture or built environment.

Below, we dive into some must-haves and good-to-haves when it comes to applying for a construction management degree.


  • Relevant academic qualifications
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Maths and physics knowledge
  • Ability to work under pressure.


  • Management internship
  • Work experience in a business or on a construction site
  • Knowledge of construction technologies
  • Project management software skills
  • Understanding of the legal and financial aspects of construction.

How much does a construction management degree cost?

If you’re worried about degree costs, don’t give up just yet. In the UK, students receive a student loan that covers their tuition fees and helps with living costs, and you only have to start paying it back once you reach a certain income.

The average cost of an undergraduate degree in the UK is £9,250 per year, but this is less in Northern Ireland, and free in Scotland. As you probably expect, you’ll pay much higher fees as an international student. Master’s degrees cost anywhere between £12,000 and £25,000, but will depend on whether you study full-time or part-time. 

Funding options for construction management degrees

Degrees don’t come cheap, but fortunately there are various funding options available to you as a construction management student. Besides student loans, there are scholarships and grants out there for postgraduate courses, and some institutions even offer financial aid packages or payment plans. 

You may also be able to get sponsorship from an employer in the construction industry, or at least work part-time on a construction site to support your studies.

Where to look

How to get into a degree in construction management

So what are the practical steps you need to take? To apply for a construction management degree in the UK, you’ll need to submit an application through UCAS for undergraduate programs, or apply directly to your chosen university for postgraduate degrees. 

One essential aspect of your degree application is writing a personal statement, as this is your chance to sell yourself as an ideal candidate for a construction management degree. You’ll need to include details about your qualifications, motivations, experience and aspirations, and we have even more tips for you below.

Personal statement tips

  • Explain why you want to study construction management. Talk about your specific interests in the field, why you think you’ll be a great construction manager, and make sure your passion comes across.
  • Highlight your relevant experience. Give details about any work experience, school projects or construction sites you’ve worked on, or management positions you’ve held.
  • Be honest. Show off your accomplishments and qualifications but don’t over-embellish, and remember to be yourself.
  • Offer personal insights and learnings. Demonstrate that you’re up-to-date with current construction knowledge (for example, sustainable materials), and show that you’ve gained new skills or knowledge from your past experiences working or managing projects.

How will you be assessed on a construction management degree?

On an actual construction site, you won’t usually be writing essays or completing exams, so your degree will reflect the different realities you’ll face. Most construction management degrees assess you through practical assignments, presentations and group projects as well as exams and written work. So, whatever your strengths and weaknesses are, you’ll be able to prove your aptitude for construction management.

How difficult is a degree in construction management?

How difficult your construction management degree is will depend on the kind of person you are. Do you enjoy leading projects and managing people? Are you highly organised and responsible? Are you interested in the practicalities of building projects?

If so, you will probably enjoy your construction management degree. The difficulty of a construction management degree can vary depending on an individual’s background and aptitude in related subjects like mathematics and business. It also requires a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application, making it challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Job satisfaction and prospects for construction managers

While some people could find working as a construction manager stressful, there’s a lot to like about this career path. As you’ll soon discover, salaries are good, and no day is the same. Sometimes you’ll be planning and scoping new projects in the office, sometimes you’ll be at meetings with various stakeholders, and other times you’ll be in the middle of the action on a construction site. Such a diverse role means that you won’t be easily bored, and you’ll get to dip your toes into lots of different specialist areas.

More good news – the demand for skilled construction managers is high. This year’s industry forecast from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) states that the construction industry needs to hire 250,000 more workers to meet rising demands, and this means that construction managers will be all the more important. On Indeed, there are currently 1,124 construction manager job openings.

What can you do with a construction management degree?

We’re guessing you already know that you can become a construction manager with this degree. But did you know that’s not your only option?

First, it is worth pointing out that a degree in construction management is highly specialised, and this can make it difficult to switch career paths entirely. However, there are other careers  in the construction industry that make use of these specialised skills, management experience and building expertise. So, let’s explore your options.

  • Project Manager
  • Site Engineer
  • Consultant
  • Cost Estimator
  • Real Estate developer
  • Facilities Manager
  • Quantity Surveyor.

Salary prospects: How much do construction management graduates earn?

Since construction management is highly specialised and requires a great deal of responsibility, salaries are suitably high. According to nearly 900 reported salaries on Indeed, the average salary for a construction manager in the UK is £56,365. Salary may not be the most important thing, but it’s certainly a persuasive factor!

Keep in mind that starting salaries are more likely to be around £30,000, but that’s more for those who have just completed an undergraduate degree. If you’ve done a master’s too, your salary will be on the upper end of the scale. 

Why choose a degree in construction management?

Have we convinced you to go after a construction management degree yet? Let’s summarise the benefits and perks that come with this career, so you can be sure of yourself before taking the leap and applying for a degree.

  • Higher salaries for degree holders
  • A degree can help you build a network
  • Excellent career advancement opportunities
  • Diverse workload day-to-day
  • Highly transferable skills and experience
  • Positive impact on communities.

Get an online construction management degree with FutureLearn

Ready to take control of your future and maximise your chances at securing senior construction manager positions? Becoming a construction management graduate is easier than ever with our flexible online degrees on FutureLearn. Studying online makes it significantly easier to balance all of your life commitments and work towards your dream career without putting everything else on pause.

Take a look at our online construction management degrees below, and get ready to study anywhere, anytime. Both of these master’s degrees are just 1-2 years long, and you’ll be studying with the highly respected Coventry University.

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