Quantity Surveying

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Quantity surveying and construction management is a varied and interesting career. All construction projects must be carefully planned. That’s true whether you are building a house or a Luas line.

Quantity surveyors formulate a budget and ensure a project costs don’t spiral. They assess each stage of the process and examine costs relating to materials, labour, taxes, and so on.

Building surveyors monitor the structural health of buildings for possible defects. They oversees maintenance and conversion projects when desired or required. Building surveyors often work in tandem with a building services engineer, who has responsibility for designing, installing, and maintaining a building’s internal systems.

Construction managers plan, organise, and manage the overall building project. They focus on resources such as finance, labour, plant, and materials.


There are several dedicated Quantity Surveying courses in Irish higher-level education. A Quantity Surveying course will cover subjects such as:

  • Construction Economics
  • Project Cost Management
  • Contract Law
  • Construction Law
  • Contract Administration
  • Land Surveying

Projects form a major part of all courses. Many also require students to undertake an extensive period of work experience.

Health & Safety and Environmental Sustainability are increasingly important elements of a Quantity Surveying degree.

Four-year Building Surveying degrees covered topics such as Building Technology, Building Design & Performance, and Building Conservation/Renovation.

Building Services Engineering is available to study at Cork, Dublin, and Waterford Institutes of Technology. Students learn about the mechanical, electrical, and construction aspects of building systems.Energy efficiency is a particularly important consideration throughout the course.

You can do Construction Studies and Construction Management as a degrees or higher certificate. Construction and Construction Management courses include subjects such as Construction Technology, Site Surveying, Drawing & CAD, Measurement & Costing, Quantity Surveying, and Legal Studies.

The one-year, Level 5 Certificate in Construction Technology is a good foundation for all of the above courses and careers. Students learn key skills such as Building Construction, Mathematics for Engineering, Materials Science, Health & Safety, and Mechanics, as well as receiving work experience.

The Work

Quantity surveyors, building surveyors, service engineers, and construction managers work for construction companies and property developers. However, they may also work in government departments, specialist surveying companies, or as independent consultants.

Quantity surveyors are often referred to as building accountants. Their main concern is cost control before, during and after construction. They begin managing costs from the feasibility stage of a project and continue to do so right through to tendering and construction. When a building project is complete, they may prepare tax depreciation schedules. They must approve payments to suppliers and employees, and prepare bills.

The construction manager oversees everything that happens on the building site. This can mean hiring and supervising building staff and subcontractors. They also manage specific projects, purchase or rent equipment and materials, and ensure each step in the process takes place efficiently and on time. They may also implement new technologies, and making sure the building fulfils health and safety or environmental requirements. Some construction managers can specialise in a particular area, while others oversee the whole project.

Did you know?

London’s Olympic Stadium includes 6,500 cubic metres of concrete recycled from previous Olympic venues. Planning was therefore both environmentally conscientious and respectful of Olympic history. Pretty impressive!

Further Resources

Society of Chartered Surveyors

Construction Industry Federation



Whichcollege.ie is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.


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