Master of Construction Management

Course MC-CONMG3Y (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 061198J
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 300 credit points taken over 36 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Valerie Francis


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

As of 2015, this version of the Master of Construction Management program (MC-CONMG3Y) is no longer running and has been replaced by MC-CM.

Construction Management at the University of Melbourne is understood in the broadest possible way, as a discipline ideally incorporating any area of technical endeavour that seeks to improve our ability to manage the industrial structure, the fabrication and procurement process, and the output of building. In line with the mission of the Melbourne School of Design, graduate studies in Construction Management at the university are conceived to integrate the present requirements of professional training and education with the future needs of the industry, domestically as well as internationally. To this end, the Master of Construction Management at Melbourne rests as much on practice as it does on theory: it is a professional degree for graduates who not only want to gain employment in the construction industry but also want to contribute, intellectually, to tackling its social, technological, financial and environmental challenges.

In order to enable highly qualifying, true postgraduate instruction in the discipline, the Master of Construction Management provides students with the possibility to organise their studies and concentrate their curricula in seven different areas of specialisation:

  1. Building
  2. Cost management
  3. Project management
  4. Building systems and specialties
  5. Corporate management
  6. Policy making
  7. Research and development

Some of these areas are there to provide graduates with solid foundations for a future career in construction or construction academia, whereas other areas have been designed for students coming back from industry, who are interested in further developing their expertise, strategically, by accessing knowledge frameworks not yet broadly available in practice. Each area has its own list of core and selective subjects, chosen from a pool of offerings common to the program.

Depending on their specialisation, graduates are expected to work with general construction companies, quantity surveying organisations, project management firms, trade specialists and specialised consultants, institutional bodies and research institutions.

Learning Outcomes:


Graduates of the Master of Construction Management Degrees will:

  • Be able to demonstrate a high level of technical understanding of the design of buildings and associated construction processes and solutions;
  • Have an understanding of a broad range of management theory underpinning its practical application in the delivery of construction projects to meet the client’s cost, time, aesthetic, functional and operational requirements;
  • Recognise and understand how projects are evaluated, structured and delivered in terms of risk allocations and contractual obligations;
  • Be problem solvers, able to research, analyse, evaluate and discuss a wide range of construction technologies and management strategies applicable to the practice of construction management;
  • Understand the principles and practices of managing, motivating and leading people who work in construction project teams.


Graduates of Masters of Construction Management will have a mix of technical, interpersonal, professional, business and management skills relevant to the successful delivery of a building construction project. These will include:

  • Technical skills to plan and undertake construction-related activities associated with various building types and systems;
  • Cognitive and creative skills to evaluate and research traditional and alternative construction methodologies and processes;
  • Cognitive, technical, interpersonal, communication and technical skills that demonstrate the ability to synthesise complex information then plan, organise, lead and control a construction project to completion within cost, time and quality parameters;
  • Technical and communication skills to generate contractual and construction documentation for building construction projects in order to inform construction workers, managers, consultants and/or clients of their roles and responsibilities and project performance;
  • Communication and technical skills to avoid conflict, manage risk and monitor project progress.

Application of Knowledge and Skills:

Graduates of Masters of Construction Management will demonstrate the application of knowledge & skills via:

  • The ability to think strategically and creatively in addressing key construction issues and/or undertaking construction project activities;
  • The ability to work individually and collaboratively to establish and evaluate requirements and priorities in new project situations and effectively contribute to building planning and/or evaluation activities;
  • Ability to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

All students must take:

  • 100 points of first-year core subjects
  • 112.5 points of core specialisation subjects
  • 50 points of specialisation electives
  • 37.5 points of multidisciplinary electives which may include any of the following:
  1. Additional specialisation electives.
  2. Any Melbourne School of Design subject(s) provided preprequisites are met.
  3. Any University of Melbourne graduate subject(s) provided prerequisites are met and written approval is obtained from both the faculty through which the subject is offered and the course coordinator. Such approval must be provided to the Environments and Design Student Centre, before teaching commences.

Students should choose specialisation and multidisciplinary electives in consultation with the course coordinator.



All students are required to complete one of the following specialisations after completing the compulsory 100-point first year program (see below). Click on an item below to see a description of the specialisation and a list of core and elective subjects.

Subject Options:

First-year core subjects

Students must complete all of the following subjects before progressing to the second year of the degree.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 2

Specialisation electives

See specialisations above.

Note: Students intending to seek accreditation in the field of quantity surveying must successfully complete ABPL90129 Advanced Cost Management.

Multidisciplinary electives

Students complete 37.5 points of multidisciplinary electives which may include any of the following:

  • Additional specialisation electives.
  • Melbourne School of Design graduate subjects provided prerequisites are met
  • Any University of Melbourne graduate subject provided prerequisites are met and written approval from the home faculty plus the Master of Construction Management course coordinator is submitted to the Environments and Design Student Centre.

Multidisciplinary elective subject list

Students should choose specialisation and multidisciplinary electives in consultation with the course coordinator.

To view a sample course plan go to:

Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria:

  • an undergraduate degree in any area with at least H3 (65%) average in the final two years, or equivalent; and
  • a personal statement of no more than 1000 words outlining relevant prior study and work experience, and motivation to undertake the course in a format as specified by the selection committee.*

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Guaranteed Transfer into Commonwealth Supported Place
Students with a fee place in this course who complete 100 points of the course with a weighted average of at least 75% and who are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place will be guaranteed a transfer to a Commonwealth Supported Place for the final 200 points of the course.

* The personal statement may include images and details of work undertaken, including the role performed by the applicant.

For information about the two year Master of Construction Management, designed for students with an undergraduate degree in construction management (or equivalent) click here.

For information about how to apply click here.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne School of Design is the graduate school of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. It offers professional entry programs in Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Property and Urban Planning. It offers specialist development programs in Property Valuation, Planning and Design and in Urban Design.

The Melbourne School of Design welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is the University and Faculty (Architecture, Building and Planning) policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable students’ participation in degrees offered by the Melbourne School of Design (MSD).

A candidate for degrees offered in the MSD must have abilities and skills which include the following: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and
behavioural and social. Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however, particularly at Masters level, students need to be able to participate in programs in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others.

(i) Observation: Candidates must be able to read text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. Candidates should be able to observe details at a number of scales and to record useful observations of environmental contexts.

(ii) Communication: Candidates should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. Candidates
must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing.

(iii) Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from environmental contexts. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites,
urban, rural and/or remote environments. Candidates should have sufficient motor ability to prepare documentation of analytic texts, drawings and models of findings and for the
preparation of proposals for environmental interventions via digital or other means. Candidates should have the ability to actively participate in appropriate site and/or design
studio-based activities.

(iv) Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and, importantly, the ability to
interpret results of such work. Problem resolution, the critical skill demanded of graduates, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, given the disciplines pursued in the
MSD, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships in environmental structures of a wide range of scales –
from smaller than the individual through individual buildings and urban spaces to large geographic areas. Further, graduate study entails learning to master one’s own abilities and
skills and to deploy them strategically. This requires further developing skills in both reflective and reflexive thinking and being able to practice these skills.

(v) Behavioural and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are
required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating
interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel a disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates in construction management typically work for construction companies both on and off construction sites. Their roles include planning and scheduling, project management, contract administration, or estimating and tendering. Graduates pursuing a career in construction economics work as construction cost consultants and quantity surveyors with financiers, property developers, and project managers.

Professional Accreditation:

It is expected that graduates of the Master of Construction Management will have completed the academic requirements for corporate membership of:
Australian Institute of Building (AIB)
Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS)
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Generic Skills:

The Master of Construction Management has been specifically designed around the University of Melbourne graduate attributes and the requirements of professional associations. The Master of Construction Management will incorporate research-led teaching, problem-based collaborative learning, professional engagement, and a diverse mature cohort. Graduates of Master of Construction Management will have high-level professional and intellectual capabilities enabling them to demonstrate leadership, a commitment to life-long learning, and professional integrity.

Links to further information:

Download PDF version.