REMF51-Understanding Construction: Procurement and Project Delivery

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Stuart Green


Summary module description:

The module aims to enhance students’ understanding of the processes and issues involved in the procurement and delivery of construction projects, particularly in the context of long term structural change in the UK construction sector. 


The focus of the module is on procurement from the construction client perspective and as a key element of successful project delivery/completion.  Coverage will include: procurement as a strategic business process; current procurement approaches; the legal and regulatory context; and the relationship of procurement to supply-side project organisation and practice.  In particular, the changing social, political and economic influences on construction procurement will be examined so that students understand the origins and nature of current practices.  New developments in construction procurement will also be addressed, and attention will be paid to sustainable procurement and the extent to which construction projects may be used for the purposes of social gain. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, it is expected that the student should be able to identify, understand and evaluate:

  • The role and status of construction procurement in supporting business/organisational objectives

  • Procurement principles and policies in the public and private sectors

  • The foundations of construction procurement practices, including:

    • the nature and significance of competitive tendering

    • the social and political context of construction, including attempts at industry reform

    • the economic drivers of supply-side organisation

  • Prevailing models/approaches, their respective uses and relative merits

  • The importance of risk and its allocation through contract strategies

  • The legal and regulatory context of construction procurement. 


Additional outcomes:

The student will also be expected to have developed:

  • An understanding of the wider project delivery context, including responsibilities and mechanisms for controlling key parameters of cost and time.

  • An awareness of current and likely future trends in construction procurement, including promising innovations with potential for future application

  • An appreciation of the broader strategic role of procurement, including how it may support more sustainable practice and development (including helping to deliver improved social benefit).

Outline content:

The module would be organised into four broad areas as follows:

  • Foundations, key principles and policies, including:

    • The tradition of construction tendering and the nature and significance of construction procurement

    • Foundations of modern construction procurement, including long term social political and economic drivers and attempts at industry reform

    • Principles and policies in the public and private sectors, including requirements for accountability, value for money, etc

    • The role of/need for regulation, and the regulatory framework

  • The business/organisational context, including:

    • Procurement as a strategic process for achieving business/organisational objectives

    • Approaches to analysing client organisations and ‘best value’ procurement options

    • Strategic briefing and the articulation of need/objectives, including the identification/management of conflicting project objectives

    • Commercial processes of structuring, negotiating and recording price and scope in contracts

  • Models, approaches and practices, including:

    • Characteristics of construction projects, the roles of various stakeholders.

    • Project organisation and complexity

    • Prevailing models of construction project procurement

    • The legal and contractual arrangements for construction procurement

    • Other matters, including design responsibilities and management

  • New developments, including:

    • Recent developments and new/emerging models of construction procurement

    • Procurement and sustainability

    • Construction procurement in the future

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, Tutorials, Problem-based learning (Case studies), Private Study, plus interactive mini-assessments in Blackboard

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

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:

Length of examination:

Not applicable

Requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Last updated: 20 September 2017

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