CEM15A-International Development in Construction A

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM10B Research dissertation CEM12B Business of Construction B CEM13B Principles and Practice of Project Management B CEM14B Construction Cost Management: Principles and Practice B CEM16B Renewable Energy Systems B CEM17B Sustainable Design and Management Principles and Practice B
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Tabarak Ballal

Email: t.ballal@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This is the key integrating module for the MSc International Development and Construction Management programme. It is based on the idea of integrating learning from core programme modules into a personal, coherent view of international development in construction. We will investigate the diverse perspectives that different modules bring to this study through two continuous pieces of work running in parallel throughout the programme. First, through the use of reflective writing based on observations of practice and lessons from core modules connected to a recognised professional skills framework. Second, the application of learning from core modules to a case study that explores specific issues in one geographical location of your choice, usually your home country.

Please note that there are three matching module description forms: CEM150, CEM15A and CEM15B. This is because the A and B versions are the flexible-modular equivalent of the full-time version. The flexible-modular equivalent runs over two years. The only difference between full-time and flexible-modular in relation to assessment is that the assignments for the 40-credit version are split across two years for flexible-modular students in two 20-credit versions. The differences in contact hours for these modules relate to the class contact hours.


The aim is to explore the changing nature of knowledge and practice in the management, policy and environment of the construction sector in relation to international development. These changes bring new opportunities and new challenges for the construction sector. We seek to apply the lessons from the core modules to a case study of one location and also to empower students to have ownership of their own professional development through reflective writing. This involves reflections on translating theory into practice and provides an opportunity for students to understand their own learning.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate different approaches to the cost management of construction development projects and to synthesise knowledge, tools and techniques from the core modules of the programme into a coherent framework for cost management in construction projects. Through the use of reflective writing, students will critique current construction cost management practice and explore the use of reflection in professional development. Students will apply the principles of clear and concise report writing and organisation of written material

Additional outcomes:

The assignments will give students the opportunity to develop skills in time management and problem solving and enhance the student’s ability to work and learn independently. The development of these skills is supported through seminars and tutorials related to the reflective portfolio and to the case study. Assignments and guided reading will enable students to connect inputs from the core modules and form a coherent view of international development in construction with reference to a specific working environment.

Outline content:

The content involves integrating activities designed to draw together the core modules in a way that is both applied and reflective. This involves continuous study and discussion in seminars encompassing the content of the construction cost management programme and its application. Students are required to use the tools and techniques acquired through the programme to articulate coherent arguments and produce an in-depth account of reflective learning. Over the duration of the programme, students compile a personal portfolio consisting of a series of reflective accounts of specific incidents that provide opportunities for translating theory into practice. They also build up a coherent case study applying their learning from core modules.

Global context:

Construction activity is related very closely to the place in which construction work is carried out. By making clear the specific practices and their contexts, students will understand that construction projects are context-dependent, with practice varying significantly around the world. There is an expectation in the assessed work that students make frequent comparisons of the workings of construction sectors in different parts of the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, workshops, seminars, case studies, reflective learning and guided reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 24
Tutorials 10 10
External visits 10 10
Guided independent study: 80 56
Total hours by term 124 76
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Practical skills assessment 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One integrating case study consisting of questions relating to core modules and one reflective portfolio, both carried out over the duration of the programme with submission after the end of the timetabled modules.

Formative assessment methods:

There will be a range of formative assessment methods embedded within the module delivery. Principally, the formative assessment feedback will take place during tutorial interaction as the students’ integrated projects evolve and progress. A central ethos of the module is iterative, intense student progression and formative assessments.

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:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: £50

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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