Construction Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is Construction?

Construction is the process of making something, the occupation of building or the way that something is put together, typically a large structure. Construction comes from the word ”construct,” which means ”to build.”

In terms of engineering, construction is the activity of putting together different elements, using a detailed design and plan, to create a structure for a certain location. Broadly, there are three sectors of construction: buildings, infrastructure and industrial: Building construction is usually further divided into residential and non-residential.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Construction courses in the following subject areas:

  • BSc in Construction Management – Gain the education and training necessary for entry into the construction and property industry at Construction Manager Technologist level.
  • BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management – A study of the construction process of any built environment.
  • Measurement & Construction Economics – A study of the concepts of achieving value for money in building with a focus on cost solutions for fireproofing materials.
  • Diploma in Construction Law – The study of law as it relates to the construction industry.
  • Carpentry & Construction Studies – Familiarise yourself with the work environment of the building industry and to prepare for the world of work.
  • Sustainable Energy and Construction Technology – A study of environmentally sustainable building and construction technology.
  • Construction and Engineering Technology – An introduction to the fundamentals of green building technology.
  • Construction: Project Management – Develop Construction Project Management knowledge and skills.
  • Traditional Stone Wall Construction Skills – Gain the knowledge, skill and competence to build a range of traditional stone walls from plans working under supervision.

Studying Construction in college

There are many Construction courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience, volunteering to participate in extra-curricular activities, planning and managing your own projects, or getting involved in industry-sponsored initiatives

While not all employers of construction managers ask for work experience in construction, it’s strongly advisable to get practical experience and first-hand knowledge. You can contact employers directly to ask for work experience or shadowing if you demonstrate some understanding and enthusiasm for their project.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future

Career options

After completing a course in Construction you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of construction and building regulations and laws.

Most career opportunities in construction are found in the private sector, within large, global employers and local SMEs. Typical employers are construction companies and contractors, specialist sub-contractors, property development and house-building companies.

Some construction managers work for consultancies and may be brought in to oversee specific areas in which they have expertise. A smaller number of opportunities exist within the public sector, for example with infrastructure companies such as water, electricity, gas and transport providers. With experience as a construction manager, you could progress to become a project manager, contracts manager or a senior manager/department head. With additional training you could move into specialist fields such as building inspection or health and safety.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday, but it is common to have overtime around project deadlines.

Certain projects may require you to work at night or over public holidays due to constraints of the site, for example, when a railway line or train station is not in operation. You may have to travel between sites and may need to travel long distances, sometimes staying away from home. If you go into construction management, your time will be split between working on-site and working from an office, which may be in temporary premises on the site or may be a client’s office.

When working on-site in any position and in all weathers, you will wear protective and high-visibility clothing, which should be provided by your employer.

Related jobs include:

  • Building services engineer
  • Construction manager
  • Consulting civil engineer
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Engineering geologist
  • Mining engineer
  • Site engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Water engineer
  • Architect
  • Architectural technologist
  • Estate agent
  • Estates manager
  • Facilities manager
  • Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
  • Housing manager/officer
  • Landscape architect
  • Town planner
  • Urban designer
  • Building control surveyor
  • Building surveyor
  • Commercial/residential surveyor
  • Estimator
  • Minerals surveyor
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Rural practice surveyor

Further study

After completing a course in Construction you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as construction management, building management, building studies, project management, engineering or surveying.

FAQ

Are there different types of construction?

Almost all construction projects can be broadly categorised into one of three types of projects:

  • Buildings and houses – buildings include both residential homes and commercial skyscrapers. Building projects may involve renovations on existing buildings or building from scratch.
  • Public works – roads, railways, water and wastewater distribution and purification systems, damns, and bridges.
  • Industrial-type structures – Industrial projects include refineries, pipelines, power utilities, manufacturing plants, and telecommunication infrastructure.

Where can I study Construction?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest structure in the world for over 3,800 years, standing at 138m tall at its highest point. It was the tallest building in the world from the time of its completion around 2560 BC to 1311 AD. Currently, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world at 828m, but no building has held the title for as long as the Pyramid once did.
  • During WWII, thousands of women worked construction jobs; between 1940 and 1945, the female labour force grew by 50%. After the war ended, up to 85% of women wanted to keep their jobs, effectively paving the way for women in the labour force.
  • During the Technological Revolution and the Second Industrial Revolution, Henry Bessemer invented a method to mass-produce steel called the Bessemer process. Before, it used to take a full day to convert three to five tons of iron to steel, but with the invention of the Bessemer process, it only took under 20 minutes.
  • A French postman named Ferdinand Cheval spent 33 years of his life picking up and collecting stones whilst he was delivering mail. With the stones he collected throughout the years, he decided to create ‘La Palais Ideal’ in Hauterives. The building is now considered a piece of ‘naïve art’ and was made a cultural landmark in 1969.
  • The photo of 11 men eating lunch atop of a skyscraper in 1932 became incredibly famous and commercialized – with no Photoshop or editing. The photo was taken on the 69th-floor months before the construction of the skyscraper was completed. It wasn’t until 2003 that the person who took the incredibly famous photo was identified as Charles Ebbets.

Mariza Halliday

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