Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Contract Practice and Administration

Course summary

Course code: BUIL1212
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Built Environment
Course Coordinator(s): Laura Elson


Pre and co requisites

Level 4 or equivalent


Quantity Surveyors are employed in the construction industry to provide advice and guidance on many diverse areas. Procurement is a key area where the QS will be required to give advice and a clear understanding of the procurement process and the varying procurement options available is essential. One of the primary functions of a Quantity Surveyor is to manage and control costs of construction projects. It is a core requirement that the QS manages the administration that surrounds the process of construction. The placing of tenders and the post contract administration is key to this process. Therefore knowledge of this process is essential. The course will investigate the pre and post contract role of the QS with emphasis upon both the client and contracting role.

• To develop an understanding of the nature and types of construction contract including their relevance and specialisms
• To observe and reflect on current trends in professional practice and contracting
• Examine the responsibilities and liabilities of the various parties involved in the design and construction process
• To provide an understanding of dispute resolution within the construction industry
• To develop an understanding of key dates and documents required within the administration of a construction contract.
• Produce creative solutions to problem based scenarios
• Improve presentation skills in a variety of media

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

• Understand the procurement process and the variety of procurement options available
• Understand the pre-contract processes and their administration
• Recognise and compare different cost control and accounting techniques used by the quantity surveyor
• Show an increased awareness of the post contract process and its administration
• Explore and reflect upon the need to provide clear advice to clients in a professional format
• Begin to analyse the contractual and financial positions and implications for all the parties involved in the construction contract
• Demonstrate a working knowledge of the standard forms of construction contract and their
• application to the construction industry.
• Demonstrate an understanding of contract administration in relation to the contract
• Show an understanding of the rights, duties and liabilities of various parties including the employer, sub-contractors, architects, engineers and surveyors within the contract.
• Explain the procedures for Alternative Dispute Resolution in relation to the construction industry.
• Appreciate the provisions of the Construction Act, and Health and Safety at Work Act where applicable to the administration of the contract
• Demonstrate an understanding of the procedures within the administration of the Contract and the importance of key date and key documentation

Indicative content

The course will explore the principles of contract law in the context of the parties within a construction project. The placing of the contract, including tendering, letters of intent, acceptance and the terms of the building contract will be covered. The main focus of this course is the standard practice and procedure of the Quantity Surveyor from both a consultancy and contracting point of view. Content the use of the JCT suite and the NEC contracts and will also include tendering and procurement procedures including tendering methods and procurement routes, placing contracts, possession, valuations, fluctuations, cost control, variations, preliminaries, bonds and collateral warranties, liquidated and ascertained damages, claims, extension of time and loss and expense, insurances, final accounts, insolvency and termination. Meetings and minutes, subcontract applications and certification, contractor applications, materials on site, contract works, cash flow forecasts, cost/value reporting and appointment of consultants. The course will also cover errors in production of Contract Document and the appropriate remedies as well as investigating typical adjustments to the standard form of contract and the subsequent effects, through a series of scenarios.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be delivered through lectures, seminars and discussion workshops related to the course. The course will be delivered by lectures supplemented by tutorials which will support the development of valid coursework solutions.


Portfolio - 50%
2500 Words or equivalent
A portfolio of formative assessments leading to typically one individual summative assessment(detailing) and one group summative assessment (principles and written items)

Exam - 50%
Two Hour Examination

Pass Mark 40%