Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management FdA | Middlesex University London
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Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management FdA

Learn about the course below
October 2019
2 years
Blended delivery via online sessions and on-campus workshops
£12,000 (UK/EU) *
£12,000 (INT) *
Degree apprenticeship students pay no fees for this course
Course leader
Neville Webb

The foundation degree Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management, has been specifically designed to provide the opportunity for progression from Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships in Construction as well as from other construction sector-related Level 3 qualifications. The programme will also be suitable for those who have significant experience of working in the construction industry but wish to progress to construction operations manager job roles.

Why study the FdA Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management at Middlesex University?

The principle of work-based learning is to build courses around the working and training practices of particular industries, sectors or employers so that the learning that occurs every day as part of your normal training and practice, can be assessed and recognised in an academic framework without the need for unnecessary duplication. In this way, the degree makes it possible, for the first time in the UK, to gain a foundation degree at the same time as completing the requirements for a higher apprenticeship and professional body membership.

Those who successfully complete the foundation year will be able to progress to the final level of one of the following work-based honours degrees:

This course is work-based and all candidates must be employed in the sector to complete the programme (to gain the Higher Apprenticeship, candidates must be employed as an apprentice). The foundation degree has also been recognised as a direct route to associate membership through the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Project Management pathway. Usually, people completing qualifications need to gather evidence of competency through significant further experience of work prior to applying for professional body membership, but with this work-based programme this evidence is gathered as you complete the course rather than afterwards.

Studying for this foundation degree will give you the opportunity to gain academic credit and a qualification based on your technical and practical experience, skills and early career practice wherever you are in the UK.

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What will you study on the FdA Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management?

This foundation degree includes the knowledge and practical skills you will need to be a construction operations manager. The integrated approach to learning will also enable you to achieve the higher apprenticeship without the necessity of completing another qualification such as an NVQ. What you do in your workplace will be assessed as part of the foundation degree and the assignments you complete will be based on what you do at work.

Level 4

Study Period 1Study Period 2Study Period 3

Skills for Work-based Higher Education
(15 credits) - Compulsory

Construction Management 
(15 credits) - Compulsory

Science and Materials
(15 credits) - Compulsory

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills 1
(15 credits) - Compulsory

Site Surveying
(15 credits) - Compulsory

Construction Technologies 1 
(15 credits) - Compulsory

Choose two optional modules from a range of topics such as Building Services, Sustainable Construction, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Learning from Professional Courses 1.

Level 5

Study Period 1

Study Period 2

Study Period 3

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills 2 
(15 credits) -  Compulsory

Choose two optional modules from a range of topics such as Facilities Management for Construction Managers, History of Architecture, Advanced Materials, and Learning from Professional Courses 2.

Law and Contracts
(15 credits) -  Compulsory

Construction Technologies 2
(15 credits) -  Compulsory

Environmental Technologies
(15 credits) -  Compulsory

Project Management
(30 credits) - Compulsory

How is the FdA Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management taught?

The learning, teaching and assessment approaches used throughout your programme will encourage you to be actively involved in your learning and to co-operate with other students. Your tutors will aim to give you prompt and constructive feedback on your learning as well as opportunities to reflect upon and learn from that feedback.

You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches, making full use of a workplace mentor and your local branch of the RICS. The work-based modules are all designed to include a degree of negotiation concerning the specific approach to learning, teaching and assessment adopted between you, your employer and your tutor.

Blended learning approaches aim to put you at the centre of your development where you are engaged in all aspects of your learning and assessment. Your programme will require your participation in learning activities and engagement with your peers both individually and collaboratively. Learning activities may therefore occur both within and outside the workplace.

The programme will be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools through myUniHub (e.g. online workshops, blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc.) which will allow you flexible access to a diverse range of resources and learning materials as well as collaborative tools with which you can engage and learn with your peers. Not confined by time and space you will be able to take part in online discussions and learning activities from wherever you are studying. Your tutors will provide specific support for your use of the virtual learning platform through myUniHub and the Web Helpdesk will be available provide support when you need it.

By engaging with e-learning you will also be developing skills that are highly valued by employers. These include, but are not limited to: working flexibly, communication, understanding of IT, team working and creating shared understandings based on quality resources and access to global expertise. The University's Learning Resource Centre has a designated Work-based Learning librarian to assist with resourcing and supplying learning support material. Learning resources are available through myUniHub or through the Library 'Libguides' resource area. Access to resources such as essay writing, avoiding plagiarism, referencing techniques etc. are available through myUniHub.


The evidence of the achievement of competencies, technical skills, knowledge and understanding specific to the role of construction operations manager is provided through the completion of work-based projects. This integrated approach means that both knowledge and competence are assessed through the submission of various appropriate kinds of project work. However, the outcomes of work-based projects are also formatively assessed by employers with specific reference to the competencies they also need demonstrating. Workplace mentors will confirm that specified competencies have been demonstrated and will supply the necessary feedback to inform how the candidate might further develop their level of competency.


Assessment is an important aspect to your programme, it is an integral part of learning and it is referred to as formative or summative. Formative assessment is developmental in nature and is designed to give feedback to students on their performance and how it can be improved. Summative assessment is designed to measure the extent to which you have achieved the intended learning outcomes specified in programme modules resulting in an appropriate grade that represents your learning achievement.

Assessment may also involve self, peer or group approaches, for example, you may be asked to self-assess your own work indicating areas where you can see you have room to improve. Peer assessment could be in the form where students, individually or as groups, offer feedback on one another's work. The student may also be asked to demonstrate their ability to work as part of a team.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the FdA Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management support your career?

This exciting new programme will enable you to study for a foundation degree while you are undergoing professional training to become a construction operations manager.

A construction operations manager plans, directs and coordinates construction projects, both residential and commercial, working on a construction site carrying out site management, project management and environmental technologies. Construction operations managers must be skilled at communicating with others, as they work closely with different types of people, such as property developers and construction laborers. A construction operations manager is also known as a construction manager.

This programme has also been recognised for direct access to Associate Membership of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) through their Project Management pathway.

  • Dane Mumford

    Foundation Year in Professional Practice in Construction Operations Management

    Dane started the foundation degree as a self-employed bricklayer and developed over two years of the programme as a trainee site manager. Within ten months of completing the programme, Dane was promoted to assistant site manager. Here is his view of the course:

    I feel I have learnt how a construction project is produced from the very beginning including the proposal, cost and design considerations, to the location and how we as a construction team programme and sequence the tasks involved. The information within the course has given me the insight and appreciation of how many professionals are involved in the process too.

    I have gained the knowledge and understanding of my responsibilities in my role as an assistant site manager through my studies with the modules set out through the foundation degree. The modules have demonstrated to me how we must support our actions in our career by way of reference, research and it's improved my academic approach with peers in the work place.

    The foundation degree has helped me gain my current position in my job as an assistant site manager. In year one of the course I was working as a subcontracting bricklayer. In the beginning, the course seemed overwhelming but after completing the first module and receiving feedback from my tutor gave me the confidence to stick at the course and see it through. I felt the more I completed the easier it became and noticed my academic writing and research material referencing improved. By the end of the course I had applied and started working as a trainee site manager and within ten months received a promotion to assistant site manager thanks to the support from the foundation degree. It has also helped me improve the way I present myself professionally and communicate with colleagues. It has given me the confidence to push myself and explore unfamiliar territory within the industry.

    Taking the course has given me confidence to reach unthinkable goals within the industry, from working on the tools along side site management to joining them was something that I didn't think was achievable with my academic background but the support and benefits from the foundation degree have exceeded my expectations and now feel that the sky's the limit in my career.

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