CEM228-Construction Economics

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr John Connaughton

Email: j.connaughton@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module covers construction economics at three broad levels: Macro, dealing with the role of the construction industry in the national economy and the impact of macro-economic policies and developments on the property and construction sectors; Meso, focusing specifically on the size, structure and performance of the construction industry, and how it compares to other sectors; and Micro, covering the economic performance and behaviour of construction firms and the economics of construction projects, in their respective markets.

This module aims to provide participants with an understanding of how the conceptual framework of economic analysis can help to address a wide range of practical problems and questions encountered in the modern construction industry.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of this module, participants will have developed:
a) An understanding of construction as an important sector of the national and global economies, including how it performs as an economic sector in its own right and how it contributes to national wealth, health and well-being;
b) An understanding of construction as an economic process, including the nature of construction demand and how the construction market operates, as well as the economics of construction firms of different types;
c) An ability to use important economic analysis frameworks and tools for the appraisal of investment at the project level and at the level of competing construction approaches/technologies.

Additional outcomes:
Participants will also be expected to have developed:
a) An awareness of current and likely future trends in construction activity and output, and the underlying influences and drivers;
b) An understanding of the nature and sources of economic data for construction;
c) An appreciation of the uses and limitations of key economic data and indicators for construction

Outline content:
The module is organised into three broad levels of economic analysis/reporting, as follows:
• Macroeconomics – dealing with markets and trends at the global/national scale; the influence of national economic (fiscal and monetary) policy on construction; the nature of construction demand and current property investment preferences.
• Mesoeconomics – dealing with the construction sector, its structure and performance compared to other sectors of economic activity; how the construction market works and the importance of the price determination process; current and likely future trends in output, employment and prices.
• Microeconomics – dealing with the performance and behaviour of construction firms (contracting and professional service firms); the economics of development and construction projects; investment appraisal techniques and approaches.
In addition, lectures will cover the typical economic data requirements of practicing project/construction/construction cost managers, including uses and interpretation of available economic indicators and sources and limitations of data.

Global context:
While the Module has a strong focus on the economics of the UK construction sector, a global perspective is provided through case studies of international construction and reviews of construction industry structure and concentration in other major markets.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning methods will be a combination of formal lectures, workshop sessions, case studies, group discussions and private study. A feature of this module is the participation of a number of external lecturers who are expert practitioners in different aspects of construction economics, including analysis, forecasting and investment appraisal.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 3
Tutorials 3
Practicals classes and workshops 3
Guided independent study 73
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
To be reassessed by re-submission of coursework/assignment only. You are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 September 2018


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