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The Department of Built Environment strives towards improving its leadership role in the higher education sector, with specific reference to the construction management and quantity surveying professions of the industry.


It promotes excellence in the appropriate application of technology and research and offers career-orientated diploma programmes, consonant with the requirements of the South African Council for Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP), the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). Its programmes are designed to be relevant to local socio-economic needs.

The following is a summary of the programmes that are offered by the Department of Built Environment.

Qualification offered



Delivery Campus

Diploma in Building Technology (ECP)


·        Construction Management

·        Construction Technology

·        Quantity Surveying

Chiselhurst and Butterworth Campus

Diploma in Building Technology


·        Construction Management

·        Construction Technology

·        Quantity Surveying

Chiselhurst and Butterworth Campus


The Diploma in Building Technology is geared towards producing graduates aligned with the needs of the construction industry in South Africa. The construction industry is a key role player towards economic development and sustainability of our country.

Department of Built Environment produces graduates and candidates who are trained to become but are not limited to, Project managers, Quantity Surveyors, Health and Safety Officers, construction entrepreneurs and Facility Managers. These are some of the key personnel in the construction industry.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL):

One of the objectives of the programme is to make the theory covered under the coursework more meaningful, and therefore improve the skills of students through on-site “hands-on” work exposure.  To achieve this, practical demonstrations and site visits are arranged during the course.  This exercise has proved popular and beneficial to students as it enables the students who participate to broaden their understanding of the various building, quantity surveying and construction management fields; it also provides students with a real “feel” of the built environment.

Accreditation Bodies:

The Diploma in Building Technology programme is accredited by the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) and South African Council for Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP).

Research Activities:

 The Department of Built Environment lecturers participate in academic development and research work through various programmes offered by the institution and other institutions of their enrolment respectively. Students are encouraged to take part in research in collaboration with their lecturers. Participation of students in research work will assist students interested in post-graduate studies in being better prepared for post-graduate research methodologies and research projects.

Community Engagement and Partnerships:

The Department of Built Environment has partnered with the following government institutions:





The Department of Built Environment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the above entities with the intention of increasing research output and other developments such as short learning courses and community engagements (career exhibitions in rural schools, entrepreneurship, career guidance training for teachers in surrounding schools in Butterworth). The partnership between the departments and the above entities is ongoing with new developments in place for the 2024 and 2025 academic year. The partnership with CBE has resulted in a conference that will be held in August 2025. The partnership with Mnquma has resulted in ocean economy research. The partnership with human settlement has resulted in the development housing policy and white paper, including research work in the human settlement space.

Career Opportunities:

The programme is career-orientated because academic study is combined with related projects and in-service training in industry. The courses in this programme are developed co-operatively using inputs from both academic and industrial sources on a continuous basis. In completion of the programme, students can obtain a construction site where he/she can work as a site agent, technician, etc under the supervision of the foreman and construction manager. A broad-based qualification which leads toward two main career paths in the Construction Management and Quantity Surveying professions. Once qualified, students may be employed in construction companies or quantity surveying, construction management and project management firms respectively in order to pursue their chosen careers. Other opportunities exist with Local Authority and Government employment as well as with material and equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The vast construction and related industries in South Africa also create opportunities for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, possibly after gaining some post-qualification experience.

Entrepreneurship & Professional Development of Students

It is part of the mission the Department of Built Environment to instill entrepreneurial skills to its students to support their talents. Therefore, compulsory on-going entrepreneurial exposure will be presented via successful local business people and other entrepreneurial experts. Business principles will permeate throughout the programme on an informal basis. The Department also encourages its students to become student members of the various professional and institutional bodies. After obtaining the diploma qualification, students may apply for registration with the relevant professional bodies.

Vision, mission, and values

Vision of the Department:

The Department of Built Environment strives to be a leading centre offering innovative Construction Management & Quantity Surveying programmes responsive to national development priorities that address societal needs.

Mission of the Department:

The mission of the department is to prepare high-quality technological and vocational graduates to meet the career needs of our community and satisfy the requirements of industry and commerce, conduct basic and applied research to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge, to respond to the needs of society, to develop and promote entrepreneurial skills that will enable our graduates to create business enterprises.

Values: Integrity, Ethical conduct, Ubuntu

Goals of the Department

Quality, Impactful Teaching & Learning

  1. Programme offerings that are responsive to WSU context and industry needs
  2. Contextualized, technology-infused teaching and learning
  3. Programme offerings underpinned by quality assurance processes
  4. Infusion of support activities that enhance student throughput and success

Research & Innovation

  1. Capacity development that promotes quality and impactful research in the Built Environment.
  2. Innovative and sustainable research for the Built Environment.
  3. Research development towards 4th Industrial revolution for the Built Environment.
  4. Sustainable postgraduate programme development.
  5. Staff engagement in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).
  6. Embedment of entrepreneurial activities and innovation in curricula.

Transformative Community Engagement, Internationalisation & Partnerships

  1. Active outreach and community service by staff and students.
  2. Engagement with the community through professional/discipline-based service provision.
  3. Development of regional and national partnerships within the Built Environment.
  4. Hosting research conferences, construction summits, construction workshops and skills development.
  5. Collaborations with other universities with the intention of increasing research output and curriculum development.
  6. Collaborations with other universities with the intention of improving staff development.


Student societies and their roles

The Student Society Structure is a student initiative and is managed by the students for their educational well-being. Students who will be members of the society are being nominated by other students in every academic year. The structure has different positions, highest position being the Chairperson, Secretary, etc.

The departmental society addresses the following student’s needs:

  • Student’s needs,
  • Student activities within the department,
  • Students site visits,
  • Encourage career development and support from industry,
  • Be a voice for other students,
  • Non-political and non-discriminatory in the conduct of Society affairs,

Aims and Objectives of the Society Structure

  • To Strive for the development and growth of the Department.
  • To promote academic excellence.

To achieve student’s needs.

Contact Us

Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Numbers:
Mthatha: 047 502 2100
Butterworth: 047 401 6000
East London: 043 702 9200
Potsdam: 043 708 5200
Chiselhurst: 043 709 4000

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