Construction Management

structural engineering construction site

Construction Management is the overall planning, co-ordination and control of a project from beginning to completion. Construction Project Management is aimed at meeting a client's requiement in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project.

Construction Management professionals undertake a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Specifying project objectives and plans. Defining the scope, budget and schedule for a project
  • Setting performance requirements and selecting project participants
  • Employing procurement methods to maximize the efficient use of resources (labour, materials and equipment
  • Co-ordinating and controlling the planning, design, estimating, contracting and construction
  • Developing and implementing effective communications and mechanisms for avoiding and resolving conflicts among those participating in the project

The Construction Management programme offers graduates study leading to the Master of Engineering degree. The focus is on professional programmes that successfuly combine theory and application with a strong emphasis in applied management. The master's programme is an advanced curriculum designed to allow students to tailor a portion of the specialisation requiremens to meet individual interests and goals.

A Bachelor's degree in Engineering is the preferred entry qualification, but candidates with other relevant degrees and/or suitable work experience will also be considered for admission to a PGCertEng, with the right to transfer to the MEngSt or ME if they perform well in the PGCertEng.

Prospective candidates should first complete and submit the postgraduate study application form, describing their qualifications, employment history, intended study programme, and including their research interests if intending to enrol for a PGCertEng, MEngSt, ME or PhD.

Once your application has been reviewed, you will be informed regarding your eligibility. Following this, you can then formally apply to enrol. If your qualifications are from overseas and the Department considers you eligible, you will then need to apply for 'ad eundem statum' admission

The current demand for highly skilled Construction Managers is high, not only in New Zealand but also overseas. There is an overwhelming shortage of people with the appropriate CM knowledge and skills. Giving the increasing emphasis on creating new infrastructure, housing, and commercial growth there will be an increasing global shortage of Construction Managers in years to come.

The programme is designed to cater for a wide variety of students, including practising construction management professionals around NZ and recent graduates (including overseas graduates) wishing to acquire or upgrade their knowledge and skills or whom want to make the next step in their careers. Our programme uses a variety of teaching methods and we co-operate with a good pool of accredited academic staff and professionals to give the course its national and international relevance to the industry.

  • Project management
  • Procurement processes
  • Risk management
  • Cost estimation
  • Management of labour, materials and equipment
  • Infrastructure asset management

2018 – Semester 1

  • ENCM678 Special Topic (Principles of Contract Negotiations)
    All contracts typically include a negotiation process. Good negotiating skills are essential for establishing good relations, avoiding costly conflicts and delays. Topics covered in the course are principles of negotiating, keeping negotiation positive and professional, negotiating contract changes and delay claims, reading and interpreting types of communications and recognizing and neutralizing dirty tricks.
  • ENCM630 Project Management, Planning and Control Techniques
    Introduction to best practice thinking on project management by considering the individual phases of a construction project lifecycle. The context of project management in the construction industry, its structures and evolution are covered as well as management of risks arising from uncertainty.
  • ENCM620 Construction Procurement and Contract Administration
    Elements of construction procurement systems drive the construction contract administration requirements for a typical construction organisation. The relationship between construction law and the responsibilities of the project owner, designer and constructor is examined. The particulars of various project delivery methods will provide a background for the ability to apply specific project context to typical contract administration problems.
  • ENCI601 Risk Management
    Risk management has become a central aspect of modern construction and engineering industry and is used to identify, assess, and prioritize risks within a business. This course covers basic concepts and processes of risk management, assessment, evaluation, and risk communication.

2018 – Semester 2

  • ENCM610 Construction Management
    Construction managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of a construction project. They are required to keep within schedule and budget of a project; managing any delays or problems encountered on-site during construction. This course sets out to develop a clear understanding of how construction organisations function and how people can be managed effectively to achieve business success.
  • ENCM671 Special Topic (Design Management)
    Effective design management is the key to a successful construction project. This course provides the skills to set up a fully co-ordinated approach that allows for efficient and accurate planning at the beginning of the construction process, reducing cost variations during construction, and establishing the groundwork for upfront cost certainty of the end product.
  • ENCM682 Research Project
    Special project in Construction Management Engineering



You can study for the following qualifications:

  • Certificate of Proficiency - COP - do a single course for professional development or to 'try out' the programme
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering - PGCertEng (CM)1,2 - advanced training for candidates. The PGCertEng (CM) involves four 15-point courses. This can be completed in half a year for full-time study or up to 2 years when studying part-time.
  • Master of Engineering Studies - MEngSt (CM)1,2 - an advanced taught master's degree with no thesis requirement. The MEngSt (CM) involves eight 15-point courses (a small 30-point research project may be selected). This can be completed in one year for full-time study or up to 4 years when studying part-time.
  • Master of Engineering - ME (CM)1,2 - a mix of course work and a thesis to develop independent problem solving skills through supervised research. The ME (CM) involves three 15-point courses plus a 120-point research project and thesis.
  • Doctor of Philosophy - PhD - the highest academic degree on offer at UC, done by research only

1The CM programme is a postgraduate specialisation in the Civil and Natural Resources Engineering department. The degrees are engineering degrees with an endorsement in Construction Management except for the COP and PhD.

2Other courses may be chosen as part of the qualification (PGCert(CM), MEngSt(CM), ME(CM)), depending on approval of the programme director.

Note: 120 points is considered to constitute one year of full-time study.

Construction Management courses are taught in 'block mode' so participants can study (part-time) while remaining in employment.

A course taught in block mode; typically involves:

  • Attending two 2-3 day blocks
  • Reading background material and completing assignments
  • Project work and assignments that can be finished after the study blocks
  • An examination at the end of the course (exam locations outside Christchurch are possible)

Support is provided for off-campus students via our library distance service and on-line teaching content system. Many working professionals opt for part-time study towards a degree. All degrees can be completed in both full-time as in part-time study.

To view the Engineering Studies Construction Management.

Various academic staff members are involved in construction management but the programme also hosts a number of regular visiting professors, including Neil Allan and Doug Gransberg. Furthermore the courses also have various guest speakers from the construction industry in New Zealand and academia from around the world.

For advice

Eric Scheepbouwer

Senior Lecturer
Civil & Natural Resources Engineering E404
Internal Phone: 92254

Brian Guo

Director of Studies (Construction Management)
Civil & Natural Resources Engineering E412
Internal Phone: 94639

Daniel van der Walt

Civil/Mechanical Rm E406
Internal Phone: 93276

Jennifer Clayton-Smith

Postgraduate Administrator
Civil/Mechanical L4 Rm E426
Internal Phone: 93398

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