Specialist Contracting

Subject ABPL90333 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 06-Mar-2015 to 01-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 17-Mar-2015
Census Date 10-Apr-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 15-May-2015

This subject runs on a biennial basis in semester 1.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours


Admission into one of the following courses:

MC-ARCH Master of Architecture
MC-ARCH2Y Master of Architecture (200 points)
MC-ARCH3Y Master of Architecture (300 points)
MC-LARCH Master of Landscape Architecture
MC-LARCH2Y Master of Landscape Architecture (200 points)
MC-LARCH3Y Master of Landscape Architecture (300 points)
MC-CM Master of Construction Management
MC-CONMG2Y Master of Construction Management (200 points)
MC-CONMG3Y Master of Construction Management (300 points)
MC-PROP Master of Property
MC-PROP2Y Master of Property (200 points)
MC-PROP3Y Master of Property (300 points)
MC-URPL Master of Urban Planning
234AA Master of Design
234AH Master of Design (Heritage)
373AA Graduate Diploma in Planning and Design

Or approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Matt Stevens


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Web: http://edsc.unimelb.edu.au/
Email: edsc-enquiries@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

Organised as an advanced seminar, the aim of this subject is for students to synthesise both macro and micro views about the specialist contracting sector and produce a professional business planning document focussing on strategy and operations. Specific areas covered are the rationale of the specialty contractor’s role along with various trade and management methodologies. By blending theory (literature) and practice (case studies), the subject reviews the reasons for the existence of this specialist sector as well as the impact it has on product design, technological progress and adoption, project coalitions and contractual systems.

Students capture information and data through industry and formal research, class exercises, readings and lectures in order to write a planning document for a specialist contracting firm. The subject will be taught in a formative approach so students will build on foundational concepts then progress to apply specific practices. The aim of this subject is for students to understand and synthesise current contracting processes to create a sustainable specialist firm.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To clarify the extent to which the construction industry operates with specialists, and articulate the reasons behind this organisational structure;
  • To introduce students to specialised fields in construction, subcontracting, and subcontractors’ practices;
  • To familiarise students with terminology and protocols of specialist work in construction;
  • To articulate the impact specialists have on the construction process; and
  • To research current practices and issues in specialist contracting.
  • Professional business planning document equivalent to 5000 words (90%) focussing on strategy and operations of a hypothetical specialist construction contractor. Students will use outside research, class readings and lectures as part of the research into writing this document. The document will be delivered to the lecturer in the following stages and be cumulative and formative in nature:
  1. Abstract and outline (5%) due in week 3.
  2. 1000 words (10%) due in week 5 - previous deliverable will be incorporated into this deliverable.
  3. 2000 words (15%) due in week 7 - previous deliverable will be incorporated into this deliverable.
  4. 3500 words (25%) due in week 9 - previous deliverable will be incorporated into this deliverable.
  5. 5000 words (35%) due in week 11 - previous deliverable will be incorporated into this deliverable.
  • Class presentation of 10 minutes (10%) held across weeks 10 to 12, of each student’s fictional company strategic and operations plan.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to identify the need for specialists and subcontractors.
  • Ability to engage with specialists and subcontractors effectively.
  • Ability to oversee an integral planning and construction process.
  • Ability to read and understand socio-technical circumstances in construction.
  • Ability to appreciate the impact of specialists’ and subcontractors’ work.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Building
Building Systems and Trade Specialties
Corporate Management
Cost Management
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects
Project Management

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