Digital-savvy Quantity Surveyors

Most engineering and construction projects, whether it be a building, bridge or highway, involve quantity surveyors. Quantity surveyors are responsible for project planning and costing, ensuring that a project meets its financial and delivery outcomes. Quantity surveying is an ideal career for those wishing to combine their engineering aspirations and management ambitions, with opportunities to work in a variety of industry sectors including construction, oil and gas, and heavy industries. Despite the global pandemic, quantity surveyors remain in demand due to rapid economic growth and development within Asia and the neighbouring regions, and demand is expected to pick-up further as the pandemic subsides.

  • Highly-Established Programme

The BSc Quantity Surveying (QS) programme offered at the University of Reading in the UK has a long and established track-record. The School of the Built Environment is ranked #3 in the UK for ‘Building’ in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. The BSc QS programme is also offered at the University of Reading’s international branch campus in Malaysia, which occupies a state-of-the-art complex located in EduCity Iskandar, Johor. The programme in Malaysia follows the same curriculum and students receive the same University of Reading degree but at a significantly more affordable 40% of the estimated cost versus studying at the UK campus.

  • Industry-ready Graduates

The university prides itself on preparing industry-relevant and high-employable graduates that are expected to be future leaders in the industry. The programme in Malaysia has an excellent track-record of employability and industry engagement; even in the midst of the global pandemic, 100% of students were able to secure industry placements. Dr Bruno Lot Tanko, Head of the School of the Built Environment at the Malaysia campus, pointed out that, as with most industries, digitalisation is where the future is. “Projects are increasingly reliant on Building Information Modelling (BIM). What used to be documented manually in paper drawings is now being transferred into the computer, where much of the surveying analyses can be automated. This does not mean that the job of the surveyor will be automated away! Far from it, it means that quantity surveyors need to be digital-savvy. Not only will surveyors need their essential set of hard and soft skills, they will also need to be proficient in BIM and the use of BIM tools to enhance the delivery of project outcomes. In fact, those with digital skills are especially sought after in the job market, and can expect to see their careers grow the fastest”.

  • Construction Revolution 4.0

Much more than just simply a 3D modelling tool, BIM is now seen as revolutionising the industry in an increasingly digital world, giving rise to what is being hailed as the ‘Construction Revolution 4.0’ era. At the same time, emerging digital technologies such as virtual reality (VR), 3D printing, as-built modelling derived from laser scanning, digital twin, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, are also advancing the capabilities of what is possible with BIM. At the core of all this is digital information. The industry is now rapidly evolving beyond 3D in the direction of nD BIM, which means that BIM has the endless capacity to capture, process, analyse and share project data across multiple project stakeholders instantaneously.

Students studying the QS degree on the Malaysia campus gain knowledge and experience of digital construction and BIM as an integral part of the curriculum. For example, in the first year, the module “Information and Communication – CE1CIC2” is designed to teach students about the importance of information representation, communication, and digital technologies in the construction of building projects while also providing them with practical skills. In Year 2, students learn how BIM is applied to create a smart construction environment for real-time, methodical planning and management of construction projects. In Year 3, students take a module called “Digital Technology Use in Construction-CE3CDT” to learn how digital technology and collaborative information modelling projects like the UK BIM agenda impact and shape construction processes.

The modern, state-of-the-art campus in Malaysia offers students some of the best facilities to support an enriching learning experience. Students benefit not only from a spacious Learning Resource Centre and classrooms equipped with the latest audio-visual technology, but also a dedicated BIM lounge. The BIM lounge provides students with access to advanced facilities such as AR and VR tools, 3D printers and 3D laser scanners. A variety of advanced BIM software is also available such as Google SketchUp Pro, Autodesk Revit, Navisworks, Solibri Model Checker, iTWO costX, Cubicost and Bluebeam, to support 3D, 4D, and 5D modelling. Students are not only trained with the skill of developing fundamental 3D BIM models, but are also taught to build 4D BIM models for predicting and monitoring the project schedule as well as performing clash detection for the project models. In addition, our students are exposed to manual and automatic quantification, known as 5D BIM. At a more advanced level, students work collaboratively with their group members to create a BIM execution plan and develop a unified BIM model in an interdisciplinary team collaborative environment.

Upon graduation, and in recognition of their digital skills, students are also awarded an additional CostX certificate jointly issued by University of Reading Malaysia and Exactal, a dimensioneering company and makers of the industry-leading CostX BIM-based estimating software. This certificate further enhances the employability of graduates and ensures employers that their hires not only have strong technical and soft skills, but also the required digital skills that are now essential to remain competitive in the industry.

  • Global Professional QS Mobility

Complementing the digital skills that they develop on the programme, graduates also benefit from global professional mobility that enables them to be recognised as a quantity surveyor in other countries.

The BSc QS programme in Malaysia is accredited and recognised by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Board of Quantity Surveyors Malaysia (BQSM) and the Pacific Association of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS). PAQS accreditation includes recognition from over 10 further professional bodies covering countries such as Australia, China, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand. This makes the programme one of the most widely-accredited in the world, which would particularly benefit those planning to work overseas now or in the future.


Students with STPM, A-level, UEC or equivalent qualifications can apply for direct entry to the BSc QS programme. SPM, IGCSE and equivalent holders can first enrol onto the 12-month International Foundation Programme (IFP) where, upon meeting all the requirements, they have the choice to study the QS degree either at the campus in Malaysia or Reading UK. The next entry point for the degree and IFP is in September 2021. High Achievers Scholarships valued up to RM33,840 are available for those with excellent academic standing (subject to T&Cs).

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