Tuesday, May 17, 2016

MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management: Q&A with Damilola Ekundayo

Building on the success of our MSc programmes in construction, the School of the Built Environment has introduced two new postgraduate programmes this year which will sit alongside the existing MSc Project Management in the Built Environment and the MSc Construction Project Management.

The new programmes (both available for September 2016 entry) are:
MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management 
MSc Building Information Modelling and Management 

I had a chat with the Subject Leaders for both programmes...and here is the first Q&A with Damilola Ekundayo about the MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management (MSc QSCM):

Dami (Subject Leader for MSc QSCM) in front of the JHB Building

First of all, I asked Dami to sum up the new MSc QSCM in one sentence...

The applied learning approach, flexible delivery structure and specialist modules including BIM make this professionally recognised MSc QSCM ideal for high calibre students with ambitions to pursue a career as a leading Quantity Surveyor/Commercial Manager. 

Accredited by the RICS...

...and the CIOB

Then I asked a few more questions about Dami himself, and the programme he leads...

1. What did you study at university? 
I’ve always wanted to be an accountant but in a varied working environment. I was fascinated by construction growing up so a degree in a related area had its appeal. Coupled with recommendations from family and friends I ended up studying Quantity Surveying as an undergraduate, many years ago. After some experience working in the industry, notably on large construction and infrastructure projects, I decided to undertake a Master's degree in Construction Management at the University of Reading. Aided by my industry experience I finished as the best graduating student, with a grade of Distinction, and won a CIOB Certificate of Excellence Award. On completion of the MSc course I went back to work in the industry. I have a postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle and I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

2. How did you find your way into Construction (QS) at Oxford Brookes?
I worked for some years in the construction industry as a quantity surveyor and project manager both in the UK and abroad before joining academia. My varied industry experience, working with one of the UK’s largest contractors, a consultancy practice and a property developer at different points, led to my professional qualifications as a member of the RICS, CIOB and APM. Having previously taught at Northumbria University in Newcastle and Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford I immediately took up the opportunity to work at Oxford Brookes University which is a leading modern university and one of the top providers of built environment research and education in the country.

3. What do you enjoy most about your subject?
I enjoy the application of theory to practice and the joy of seeing structures being built in a collaborative setting. However it is the variety that makes the subject most enjoyable for me! A quantity surveyor may work with different professionals and establishments and their time is split between office based duties and site visits. Also the quantity surveying profession has always reinvented itself and adapted to the changing marketplace and the construction industry in particular.

4. Why did you decide to start the MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management?
Quantity Surveying is a well-established profession as it is a founding discipline of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University is a dynamic and multidisciplinary environment with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching and research and strong industry links in the professional fields of construction, real estate and planning. There is a burgeoning need for highly skilled quantity surveyors in the UK, especially as the construction industry recovers from the recession. Similarly, quantity surveyors’ diverse skill sets and specialist attributes are constantly in high demand in the global marketplace. Current demand for professionals with financial management skills in construction outstrips supply. The newly launched MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management (QSCM) in the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University has been designed to fill the skills gap.

5. Who is the MSc QSCM for?
Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the MSc QSCM is aimed at both cognate and non-cognate graduates. Non-cognate graduates working in construction or interested in taking advantage of the excellent job opportunities can undertake the MSc QSCM as a conversion Masters programme en route to becoming a chartered Quantity Surveyor. It will also equip cognate graduates and professionals in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) with the skills to become industry leaders in the management of project costs.

6. How does the MSc QSCM fit together? 
The MSc QSCM is specifically designed to meet the needs of anyone seeking to build on their studies in construction, further their career or pursue a career change in the financial management of project design and construction, whether for client or contractor. We have established a very good reputation in the industry with our current undergraduate programmes in construction project management and QSCM. The MSc QSCM has thus been designed as a sister programme to our equally successful, existing suite of postgraduate programmes in construction and BIM. These include the MSc Project Management in the Built Environment (PMBE), MSc Construction Project Management (CPM) and MSc Building Information Modelling and Management (BIMM).

7. How is the MSc QSCM taught? 
The MSc QSCM has been developed with practitioners in the industry and informed by the competency frameworks of the relevant professional bodies. It is designed to deliver a flexible and innovative programme of study through its intelligent use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students can switch between open-learning and full-time modes of study and the programme brings together both open and full-time learners. The core modules are entirely self-contained so that students may enter the programme at different times of the year. Each of the core modules is designed around ‘learning packages’ delivered through a problem-based learning approach. This applied learning approach is achieved through guided working on real-life or reality-based problems as experienced in the construction industry. An extremely effective way of teaching, it is also more interesting and engaging than the traditional ‘study and examination’ approach.

8. And finally, what about links with industry?
Through collaboration with governing bodies, advisors from industry, and use of specialist guest lecturers, the academic content of the programme is continuously reviewed to maintain its relevance to industry. Moreover, through delivering the core modules as a series of learning packages, the MSc QSCM also positions itself to meet current continual professional development (CPD) needs of internationally recognised institutions such as the RICS and CIOB, which accredit built environment programmes.

More information:
If you want to find out more about the programme, take a look at MSc QSCM on the Oxford Brookes University website.

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