Msc Building Surveying - Northumbria or CEM Watch

postgrad16
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Hello,

I am living outside the UK and looking to study for a MSc in Building Surveying through distance learning.
There appears to be two UK colleges that offer accredited courses for this; Northumbria University and The College of Estate Management, Reading.

I intend to apply to both but I am unsure which would be the better choice. The fees are roughly the same.

Northumbria seems to be a bigger, better known college while CEM seems to specialise in the property/construction field especially through distance learning.

Has anyone here attended either of these colleges or studied with them through distance learning. Which would be considered better colllege? Which would have better support for distance learning students?

Many thanks
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postgrad16
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:bump::bump:
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postgrad16
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Sorry to be shamelessly bumping this again but I'd be very grateful for any information as I am due to make a decision soon!
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Stu337
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Hi postgrad16, I'm looking to start with either of these, did you apply and what was your experience?

Thanks
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postgrad16
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Hi Stu,

I applied to both courses at the time and received placement offers to both.

I chose Northumbria over CEM.

Northumbria is a larger more general university while CEM is more specialised. I chose Northumbria as I thought a qualification from a larger, more well-known uni would be worth more. I also thought that, being a bigger institution, they may have better online services. I don't know if I made the right or wrong decision to be honest.

In relation to my course, I am almost halfway through. The earlier modules were fairly straight forward but they seem to be getting more difficult as we progress. The biggest challenge is the dissertation which you start halfway through Year 1. The course is challenging if you are working full-time, but that could probably be said for any part-time Masters course. In terms of delivery of the course, some of the tutors just provide PDFs/slides with email support from them if you need it. I found this a little disappointing as I find video tutorials more engaging than just just being expected to read a pdf document. Some tutors do publish video tutorials though.


Hope that's of help. Let me know if you've any further questions...
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Stu337
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Hi postgrad16,

That's great thanks for your reply.

The one thing that puts me off CEM is that there are exams for every module, which adds quite abit more stress. And as you say it's already challenging when you're working full time. But if I go with Northumbria I'll have to wait until next September (it's only a September start now) instead of March for CEM.

It's interesting to hear about the course delivery for Northumbria, as I would also prefer video tutorials, and I'll look more into how CEM do it.

I think all in all it probably won't make a massive difference to employers as they are both RICS accredited courses. But still wonder whether Northumbria is a better choice as it's a larger establishment. The main reason I want to do it this way is to try to gain relevant work experience to supplement my studies, instead of just finishing a full time course with no experience.

Good luck with your studies!

Thanks again.
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postgrad16
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No problem, good luck with whatever you chose!
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kaynebuild
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(Original post by postgrad16)
Hi Stu,

I applied to both courses at the time and received placement offers to both.

I chose Northumbria over CEM.

Northumbria is a larger more general university while CEM is more specialised. I chose Northumbria as I thought a qualification from a larger, more well-known uni would be worth more. I also thought that, being a bigger institution, they may have better online services. I don't know if I made the right or wrong decision to be honest.

In relation to my course, I am almost halfway through. The earlier modules were fairly straight forward but they seem to be getting more difficult as we progress. The biggest challenge is the dissertation which you start halfway through Year 1. The course is challenging if you are working full-time, but that could probably be said for any part-time Masters course. In terms of delivery of the course, some of the tutors just provide PDFs/slides with email support from them if you need it. I found this a little disappointing as I find video tutorials more engaging than just just being expected to read a pdf document. Some tutors do publish video tutorials though.


Hope that's of help. Let me know if you've any further questions...
Hello Postgrad,

I have an interest in doing this course also, how did it go for you now that you have completed?

The appeal is the distance learning method and being able to work at the same time. I was also considering CEM but I have heard some negative reviews about the course and its delivery.

In terms of the modules and assignments on the course how did those go. You mention in a post that the exams are held in approved centres, where are these located? As this is a question which I cant seem to find the answer for at the moment.

If you are still around I would a reply

thanks
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postgrad16
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(Original post by kaynebuild)
Hello Postgrad,

I have an interest in doing this course also, how did it go for you now that you have completed?

The appeal is the distance learning method and being able to work at the same time. I was also considering CEM but I have heard some negative reviews about the course and its delivery.

In terms of the modules and assignments on the course how did those go. You mention in a post that the exams are held in approved centres, where are these located? As this is a question which I cant seem to find the answer for at the moment.

If you are still around I would a reply

thanks
Hey,

I am still doing the course, have another 6 months or so to complete. All has been relatively straight forward so far but I have a feeling it will get more difficult as I must complete dissertation before finishing.

I couldn't find much info on the CEM course when I was choosing so I'm not sure which one is better.

I have managed to pass all modules so far. There is only one exam, the rest of the modules are assessed via submitted assignments which range in difficulty. I think the marking depends hugely on the tutor, I got great result on assignments I thought I did poor in and barely passed some that I thought I did well in.

You have the choice to do the exam in a British Council venue if you don't want to travel to Newcastle. If you google British Council, I think they venues all over the world.

Anything else, let me know!
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kaynebuild
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(Original post by postgrad16)
Hey,

I am still doing the course, have another 6 months or so to complete. All has been relatively straight forward so far but I have a feeling it will get more difficult as I must complete dissertation before finishing.

I couldn't find much info on the CEM course when I was choosing so I'm not sure which one is better.

I have managed to pass all modules so far. There is only one exam, the rest of the modules are assessed via submitted assignments which range in difficulty. I think the marking depends hugely on the tutor, I got great result on assignments I thought I did poor in and barely passed some that I thought I did well in.

You have the choice to do the exam in a British Council venue if you don't want to travel to Newcastle. If you google British Council, I think they venues all over the world.

Anything else, let me know!
Hi Postgrad

Many thanks for the quick response, seems like you enjoying it too and you are nearly there!

I appreciate the comment on the British Council exam centres so will look into that.

I did a cognate degree at undergrad level so I have some background academically. Just out of interest what did you do at undergrad level was that on campus or distance learning?

I'm trying to establish if the distance learning route would be sufficient though i understand as at this level of study independent level is the bulk of the course.

Lastly you have been very helpful in responding, do you have any snippets of module info/pdfs to whet my appetite?

Many thanks again.
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postgrad16
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(Original post by kaynebuild)
Hi Postgrad

Many thanks for the quick response, seems like you enjoying it too and you are nearly there!

I appreciate the comment on the British Council exam centres so will look into that.

I did a cognate degree at undergrad level so I have some background academically. Just out of interest what did you do at undergrad level was that on campus or distance learning?

I'm trying to establish if the distance learning route would be sufficient though i understand as at this level of study independent level is the bulk of the course.

Lastly you have been very helpful in responding, do you have any snippets of module info/pdfs to whet my appetite?

Many thanks again.
No problem, I know what it's like trying to chose a course with limited info.

I previously did an undergrad degree in civil engineering on campus at a different college. I have been working in building construction and surveying since so I had a good knowledge base going into this course. I would imagine it would be difficult if you didnt have a background in buildings/construciton.

Honestly, I do find it challenging studying remotely from the college as you are left to your own devices. If you are working full-time as well, it can be difficult to apply yourself and put in the hours required. It's a two year commitment so it is a hard slog. The tutors and lecturers are available to contact by email/phone/skype if you wish and there are student facebook discussion groups set up so you can interact with the others.

If you'd like to message me an email address, I'd be more than happy to send you through some example of the course material.
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Joe_Simmons
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(Original post by postgrad16)
No problem, I know what it's like trying to chose a course with limited info.

I previously did an undergrad degree in civil engineering on campus at a different college. I have been working in building construction and surveying since so I had a good knowledge base going into this course. I would imagine it would be difficult if you didnt have a background in buildings/construciton.

Honestly, I do find it challenging studying remotely from the college as you are left to your own devices. If you are working full-time as well, it can be difficult to apply yourself and put in the hours required. It's a two year commitment so it is a hard slog. The tutors and lecturers are available to contact by email/phone/skype if you wish and there are student facebook discussion groups set up so you can interact with the others.

If you'd like to message me an email address, I'd be more than happy to send you through some example of the course material.







Hi,
I have read your posts and found them very informative.
I have been accepted on the course at northumbria, however I have no background in this discipline or industry. After reading your posts, I am worried that I will need some background in this field.
Will the tutors give guidance with essays regarding reading material and to start from the very basics? Does the teaching reflect that the student has no background in the built environment? What is the support like at the university?
My application reflected that I have no background in the built environment.
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JayM77
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(Original post by Joe_Simmons)
Hi,
I have read your posts and found them very informative.
I have been accepted on the course at northumbria, however I have no background in this discipline or industry. After reading your posts, I am worried that I will need some background in this field.
Will the tutors give guidance with essays regarding reading material and to start from the very basics? Does the teaching reflect that the student has no background in the built environment? What is the support like at the university?
My application reflected that I have no background in the built environment.
I am also looking to find this out too! I am thinking about applying for September 2018 start. Have you managed to find anything out?
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tailend_
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Hello, I am just finishing my first year of the Surveying Msc but I do the Quantity Surveying course. I would advise anyone to avoid this course! There is little to no support, for example, our first module assignment - we were given a reading list of one book. We all assumed that this was a mistake and emailed to ask if there was more to come, or alternatively if more books could be recommended. We were told the one book was all we would be given and as postgraduate students, we should be able to find sources ourselves! this is worst as the course is designed to allow people that have not been in education for a while or even those that have no academic background. Then for another module, the materials were released 6 weeks later due to
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holyhead
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Is there anyone else that is currently on this course? How are you finding it? How much guidance is given? Is someone who has not worked in the industry and is returning to study after few years in for a shock?
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Stu337
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Yes I'm half way through this course as well. It's not good in terms of its delivery and support but it is flexible as it's distance learning. You just have to be disciplined! Go for it if you want to do it but consider CEM and Leeds Becket as well as they do similar options.
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holyhead
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Thanks for your reply. Do you know how CEM compares? Seems to be quite exam heavy. How demanding is the Northumbria coursework?
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Stu337
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It's quite demanding if you work full time as well, but is doable. The main reason I chose Northumbria is because it is 100% assignment based. UCEM used to be linked to Reading uni, but not anymore and does it's own degrees. Northumbria is about middle (ish) of the uni league tables I think. It probably won't make a great deal of difference in the long run which one you choose as long as the course is RICS or CIOB accredited as work experience will supersede this.

The key however is to gain work experience whilst doing the course so that you are in a good employment position on completion.
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jonesie1992
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Hi All,

I'm also looking to take up this course in September as a career change. How have those doing it more recently found it? On average how many hours a week are required on top of work so that you can meet deadlines and keep on top of the material - whilst I have a passion for the industry I don't want to lose my social life for the next two years.
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MLT0295
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Iv also applied to start this course next year in January, as they seem to do a lot of in takes during the year now. Would anyone on the course be able to tell me how accessible resources are such as books etc? And if you don’t mind I’d appreciate being able to have a look at some materials from the course if at all possible! Many thanks!
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