postgrad16
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Hey

I am considering applying for a distance learning course at Northumbria (MSc in Building Surveying).

Can anyone tell me what it is like.

Are the facilities and support good for distance learning? Is it flexible for those in full time employment? How many hours should I expect to put in per week?
How many times should I expect to visit the campus?
Thanks!
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postgrad16
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: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! Thanks
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rld1987
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Hi- just wondering if you did decide to go to Northumbria? I am considering this course at the moment and would be interested in your feedback.
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postgrad16
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Hi,

Yea, I enrolled in the course. I am halfway through my second year now.

I find it challenging enough, it's a significant commitment especially if you are working full time as well.

The content of the course is mostly interesting especially if you have a background in construction. The most challenging par by far is the Dissertation that you have to complete by end of the second year. Other than that, you are assessed mainly on coursework you submit for each module. There's one exam which you can complete either at Northumbria or at an approved exam hall closer to home. I did the exam a few weeks ago and it wasn't too bad.

The support from the lecturers is fairly good but some prefer to put up course notes as PDFs rather than video of lectures which I find easier. The course content they provide is generally only the barebones and you are expected to research and read up on books and industry publications yourself to complete your coursework submissions, this is presumably the case with any Masters course though.

They say you should allow 20 hrs/week to complete the course, I'm doing much less than that on average but seem to be getting on ok. I'll honestly be relieved when im finished.

There is a similar course offered by CEM in London but I settled on Northumbria. I'm not sure which course is better but I understand both are accredited by RICS

Let me know if you've any particular questions. I can send you some examples of coursework or course content if you like
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rld1987
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Thank you for your reply, it's really helpful.I don't have a background in construction, do you think this is a problem/would cause a big disadvantage?If you could send me some examples of coursework tasks and content that would be a huge help. From reading the descriptions of the modules I feel like it would be interesting, but it would be helpful to see what is really expected. Also, for the dissertation how did you choose what to study? And has there been a large expense in terms of accessing additional reading materials? I remember having to spend a lot on books for my first degree!Thanks again for your help, and good luck with the final part of your course- not long to go now!
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postgrad16
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No problem.Yea, a background in construction definitely helps. I would imagine the course would be difficult without it and I'm not sure of your chances of getting accepted in the course if you don't have an undergraduate degree in the field. It might be best to contact the university first to check this.

If you want to message me your email address, Ill send you some documents to get a feel for it.

In relation to the dissertation, it's left up to the student to decide what to study. Most people seem to study some aspect of surveying/building that they have experience with in work. The dissertation has to include some amount of empirical research which means you have to find a case study on the subject and/or conduct surveys/questionnaires/interview/etc. Obviously, working in the industry would be a great help here in terms of getting access to case studies, industry contacts, etc.

There's no real expense involved in additional reading materials. A lot of what you need is available on the Universities online library for free. If there isnt a soft copy available, they will post you out the books free of charge. They also do inter-library loans if they dont have a particular book.The library service there is very good.
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JayM77
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(Original post by postgrad16)
No problem.Yea, a background in construction definitely helps. I would imagine the course would be difficult without it and I'm not sure of your chances of getting accepted in the course if you don't have an undergraduate degree in the field. It might be best to contact the university first to check this.

If you want to message me your email address, Ill send you some documents to get a feel for it.

In relation to the dissertation, it's left up to the student to decide what to study. Most people seem to study some aspect of surveying/building that they have experience with in work. The dissertation has to include some amount of empirical research which means you have to find a case study on the subject and/or conduct surveys/questionnaires/interview/etc. Obviously, working in the industry would be a great help here in terms of getting access to case studies, industry contacts, etc.

There's no real expense involved in additional reading materials. A lot of what you need is available on the Universities online library for free. If there isnt a soft copy available, they will post you out the books free of charge. They also do inter-library loans if they dont have a particular book.The library service there is very good.
Hi Postgrad16,

Everything you have written has been really informative. I guess you have finished now? How did it go?

I also don't have a background in construction. I have been looking at both the Quantity Surveying and Building Surveying distance learning course at Northumbria, but leaning towards the BS.

I have not managed to find part time work at a surveyors yet, but I think that would make it easier to complete the assignments set with an insight. Do you think it would be difficult completing this Masters without working in the field at the same time? Also, I have noticed one of the assignments is 'Coursework two, a report to critically evaluate the construction environmental impacts of your workplace and make recommendations on mitigation'. Is this a problem if you are not working? Can you just choose any workplace?

I am just worried about studying distance learning and not receiving enough support from tutors etc. I know someone who studied a degree distance learning and felt like they were left alone and when they queried what was required from assignments, it took ages for replies and when they came they were not that helpful (this degree wasn't at Northumbria!)
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tailend_
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(Original post by JayM77)
Hi Postgrad16,

Everything you have written has been really informative. I guess you have finished now? How did it go?

I also don't have a background in construction. I have been looking at both the Quantity Surveying and Building Surveying distance learning course at Northumbria, but leaning towards the BS.

I have not managed to find part time work at a surveyors yet, but I think that would make it easier to complete the assignments set with an insight. Do you think it would be difficult completing this Masters without working in the field at the same time? Also, I have noticed one of the assignments is 'Coursework two, a report to critically evaluate the construction environmental impacts of your workplace and make recommendations on mitigation'. Is this a problem if you are not working? Can you just choose any workplace?

I am just worried about studying distance learning and not receiving enough support from tutors etc. I know someone who studied a degree distance learning and felt like they were left alone and when they queried what was required from assignments, it took ages for replies and when they came they were not that helpful (this degree wasn't at Northumbria!)
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 "staff issues" meaning our deadlines became congested later in the year. We were not told about this until a week on the course. Very unprofessional and the course is badly organised. Even our assignment grades were late. Some exercises and spreadsheets for my QS module were apparently lost, and instead of replacing them, I was simply told they could not be found. I have learnt little to nothing to help me in my job to the point my boss has noticed I am not picking certain things up as he would expect.

Some staff are helpful but most are rude and blunt. It seems to be that as DL students we are nothing but a second thought and a nuisance to them. DL courses can be lonely at the best of times but when staff and the course leader take one week to reply or even ignore you, it makes this feeling worse. One point I sent a message asking something urgent about my assignment and the reply I got was three days after the deadline! Please avoid this shambles of a course and university while you can,

We have a Facebook page that includes Building Surveying students and they feel the same. WIsh I had enough time to tell you of all the problems rn but I am willing to answer any other questions!
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Amitzahavi
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Hi everyone. I am considering applying to the distance learning Computer Science MSc. Do any of you know anything about it?

I have tried contacting the university but they are very unresponsive and do not answer my emails. Is that a problem that goes on even after you start your course?

Plus, I couldn't for the life of me find the tuition for this course. Do any of you know what it is?

Thanks!
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