University of KwaZulu-Natal Construction Studies



University of KwaZulu-Natal Construction Studies

Vision: To be an innovative transdisciplinary construction education programme that forms 21st century professionals and engages in community based research providing sustainable solutions


Mission: 
Aspire to be the premier internationally recognised South African construction education programme that adopts innovative approaches to teaching and learning and bridges gaps between various built environment disciplines, and responds to African challenges through collaborative trans disciplinary community based research informed by principles of sustainable development and green building


Our Construction Studies program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in construction or construction-related fields through an immersive, integrative, collaborative and transformational education. Graduates will be able to manage both construction projects and also the business of construction. The curriculum is interdisciplinary and provides a broad knowledge base in business, engineering, and construction sciences.

The program facilitates and encourages student collaboration across other disciplines within the School of Engineering which prepares students for the collaborative nature of the building professions and equips them with the skills for success in construction management and administration and a broad range of construction-related fields.

Our website has a variety of information about our program and curriculum. It also features student projects and alumni updates. We encourage you to schedule a visit so we can meet with you, discuss our program in more detail, show you our facilities, and introduce you to our students and staff.



Study Construction Studies

The Construction Studies program includes general foundation courses in mathematics, science, and business. Construction-specific courses cover construction health and safety, passive and active systems, structures, surveying, construction contracts, scheduling, health and safety, construction and project management, financial management, and construction law.

Industry-standard software and technology helps students balance technology skills with the soft skills of collaboration, decision-making, and management. Students are not only educated in the current technologies, they are equipped to maximize new and developing technologies and pair them with traditional skills. We are leading the charge in incorporating construction technology in education.

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Entrance requirements:
All Matriculants must qualify for the following minimum requisites to enable them to become part of the BSc Construction Studies Degree:

  • Mathematics – Level 4 (50% – 59%)
  • Physical Science – Level 4 (50% – 59%)
  • English – Level 5 (60% – 69%)

Minimum APS score must be a minimum of 33 Points.

Apply now!

This field offers 2 career paths:

  • The Quantity Surveyor

    A quantity surveyor is a professional consultant that a building owner (who is the client) hires the servicers of should he wish to invest in property. The quantity surveyor is expected to advise the client, architect and engineer on all financial and contractual matters that come to rise from the beginning of the construction project right through to the end.

    Quantity surveyors specialize in the financial department for the building industry, they are the experts of cost planning and control, contracts, tendering, negotiation procedures and budgets.

    Following is a range of services that quantity surveyors offer:

    1. Estimating and cost advice – Quantity surveyors provide clients with such advice during all stages of the development of a project. This helps in making correct decisions.
    2. Cost planning – Clients have to be kept on the light about what the quantity surveyor plans to do with the money in the project and the client has to be assured that they are receiving value for the one that they pay.
    3. Providing advice on property development – The quantity surveyor provides the client with pre-design feasibility studies that involve technical and/or economic investigations. This gives the client the opportunity to give their input as to whether, and how the project to proceed.
    4. Providing advice on tendering procedures and contractual arrangements – There are different forms of contracts and the choice of which form of contract to be used on the project will depend on the nature of that project. The quantity surveyors, in collaboration with architects step in to advise the client about these contracts and to help the client choose the appropriate and advantageous one.
    5. Providing advice on different types of contract such as negotiated, lump-sum, managed and cost plus contracts. Package deals, turnkey offers, etc. are included as well.
    6. Preparation of budgets and prediction of cash flow.
    7. Valuation for monthly payment certificates.
    8. Valuation of work in progress
    9. Preparation of final accounts
    10. Dispute resolution
    11. Managing the maintenance of immovable assets
    12. Participating n community development
    13. Researching on topics related to building/property economics

    Other service provision such as:

    • Preparing material list
    • Quantity surveying services in respect to civil, mechanical and electrical work
    • Providing advice on property economic aspects, project management and fast track construction
    • Participate in all other forms of dispute resolution such as evaluation, conciliation, mediation and arbitration.
    • Industrial development
    • Negotiate rates and prices with contractors
    • Act as a principal agent
    • Value buildings for insurance purposes
  • The Construction Manager

    The Construction manager is a professional that is hired by the client to provide services such as organizing the effort, developing the management plan, monitoring the participants’ progress against the plan and identifies actions that are to be taken should there be a deviation from the plan.

    Expertise applicable to virtually any project includes:

    1. Project scope development – A construction manager has to develop a written scope that is understood by all people participating in the project.
    2. Permitting – This is associated with acquiring permits to perform certain work where required. They secure the needed permits and licenses for projects.
    3. Cost estimating – Ensuring that the construction process is within the set budget
    4. Contract administration – Construction managers interpret and explain contracts and technical information to other professionals.
    5. Collaborating with architects, engineers and other construction specialists.
    6. Quality control – Quality assurance is designed throughout the design process.
    7. Select subcontractors and schedule and allocate and coordinate their activities.
    8. Comply with legal requirements, building and safety codes and other regulations.
    9. They are in charge of labor related issues, including supervising the hiring and firing of employees.
    10. Consideration of material, systems and process alternatives.
    11. Respond to work delays, emergencies and other problems.
    12. Report work progress and budget matters to clients
    13. Matching construction spending to available funds
    14. Contracting and project delivery systems
    15. Design acquisition and management
    16. Dispute avoidance and resolution
    17. Cost and schedule control
    18. Cash flow management
    19. Milestone cost estimating
    20. Code compliance review
    21. Constructability review
    22. Document control
    23. Risk management

    Construction inspection
    Construction mangers keep track of the construction process so that it easy to detect when there are problems. They instruct supervisors and keep track of the progress of construction operations such as the arrival and utilization materials, supplies, tools, machinery, equipment and vehicles.



    • Construction managers are responsible for the planning, designing and construction phases of the project.
    • The owner of the project has options to make use of any of the form of contracts that are available for use in the construction industry, the construction manager then steps in to give contractual advice that is in the interest of the owner and the project.

    Bursary Opportunities

    The following are the potential bursaries that you can apply for, when stydying towards a construction studies career path:

    Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA)

    • CETA assist in developing of great individuals who are into construction by providing them with bursary funding so that they will be able to acquire skills in construction.
    • This bursary covers the tuition fee and books that are prescribed for that course.
    • Accommodation is only considered only under specific conditions
    • Bursary doesn’t automatic renewed each year but it depends on the progress of each student
    • If student needs to repeat a module or year, he/she will have to do that on their own cost.
    • Once students are done with their studies they are required to work for south African construction company based in SA
    • If student decides to for another company, then he/she is required to repay the bursary cost plus interest.
    • Website: www.ceta.org.za

    Power Group bursary

    • Power group is a construction bursary that sponsors students who are currently studying construction and building related at any university and also at university of technology.
    • Students who can apply are those who are studying: construction, building science and construction, engineering and quantity surveying.
    • You can apply online for the bursary at: www.powergrp.co.za

    Aveng Grinaker LTA bursary

    • Aveng Grinaker LTA is an engineering and construction group with experience in building, concrete, as well as civil grounds, electrical and mechanical engineering.
    • It is also part of the Aveng group along with Aveng engineering, manufacturing, steel and mining.
    • Bursary is given to students who shows leadership qualities, innovative and practical qualities and also disadvantaged students will be given first preference
    • Students who are studying towards quantity surveying, construction management and civil engineering can apply for this bursary
    • You can apply for the bursary before the 4th of February annually
    • Completed application forms are to be emailed to: [email protected] or you can deliver them directly to their offices: 204 Rivonia Road, Morningside, South Africa, 2158

    WBHO bursary

    • WBHO is one of the largest south African construction companies which is also listed on the JSE
    • It deals with the following disciplines: civil engineering, construction of hospitals, hotels, office blocks, sewage works and many more.
    • For a person who want to pursue a carrier in the built environment field, WBHO is the best company to join
    • Bursary will be awarded to students who are currently studying towards or are applying to study towards the following carries: construction management, quantity surveying, building science and civil engineering
    • There is a compulsory work training for students during June/July and they will also be required to do vacation work during holidays.
    • Students will also be required to undertake work back contact whereby they will be working for the company for an equal duration as the bursary.
    • Applicant must be a South African citizen, full time student and minimum average of 60%
    • Students who want to apply for this bursary may do so by downloading application forms and they must be emailed to: [email protected]
    • Closing date in the 1st of June every year

    Murray and Roberts bursary 

    • Murray and Roberts is one of the best construction and contracting company across South Africa, with focus in construction markets, oil and gas, power and energy and industry and mining.
    • They offer services like: civil, electrical, mechanical, mining and process engineering, building and construction and services pf materials to construction industry.
    • Bursary only sponsors second years’ students and on wards and it covers; annual registration tuition, examination fees, prescribed textbooks and accommodation and meals.
    • The bursary is renewed in each semester and it is based on academic performance and it is renewed annually.
    • It is awarded on academic merit but it also has preference for disadvantage racial group.
    • Work back obligation is required for this bursary, where students will be allowed to work for the company for an equal duration as the bursary.
    • Bursary is awarded for the following fields: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Building/ Construction Management
    • Students who apply for this bursary must be the South African citizen or permanent resident, study full time, must have matric with science and mathematics, must be able to provide current academic results and must be accepted by the tertiary institution.
    • You can apply for bursary online: www.murrob.com/careers-bursaries.asp
    • There is no closing date

    Contact details:
    Ms Bilkiss Alladeen
    [email protected]
    031 260 2687

    Physical address
    Discipline of Construction Studies
    Centenary building
    Howard College. UKZN
    Mazisi Kunene Road
    Glenwood, Durban,
    4041