University of Reading: Construction Management and International Development

InstitutionUniversity of Reading
Department School of Construction Management and Engineering
Telephone 0118 378 5289
Study type Taught


The MSc Construction Management and International Development is highly innovative in its design and its specific focus on the needs of countries undergoing rapid urbanisation. Many such countries contain urban conurbations with a GDP in excess of some developed countries, but at the same time they also possess vast rural areas which remain poor and underdeveloped. The construction sector in such economies is invariably at the nexus of sustainable development.

The distinctive focus of this course is on countries undergoing rapid urbanisation, placing construction-related knowledge within the economic, social and developmental contexts in emerging economies.

The School of Construction Management and Engineering is one of the world’s leading university departments dealing with the challenges of the built environment. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), 83% of our research is rated world leading or internationally excellent, and we are ranked 3rd in the UK for research impact in architecture, built environment and planning (Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked By Subject, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014).

The course is aimed at early-to-mid-career professionals with an interest in the role of construction in emerging economies. The course will appeal to those seeking to bring about practical changes in a range of different national contexts. It will also appeal to those working with international NGOs who require a better understanding of construction in a developmental context.

The course content reflects the unique expertise available at the University of Reading, including our extensive international experience. The staff who contribute to the course are highly research-active, and many possess extensive experience of advising governments, NGOs and private-sector firms. But you will not only learn from members of staff; you will also learn from each other through joint engagement in experiential project work.

The interdisciplinary nature of our courses matches the complexity of sustainable development. The principles of public-private partnership lie at the heart of the curriculum. Old dichotomies of public vs private are of little relevance to the real-world problems of the twenty-first century. What is important is to have workable solutions specifically designed for localised needs. The 'one-size-fits-all' solutions promoted by the advocates of globalisation are rarely appropriate when faced with the living realities of actual people.

This course is offered as a one-year full-time course, or as a flexible modular course over 24-63 months. The modular structure of the course allows you to select subjects that meet your own needs and interests, while developing a core set of knowledge and skills. In addition to guiding theoretical principles, there is also a strong focus on the development of critical thinking ability together with the practical skills which are needed to make a difference.


Future career paths are likely to be within central governmental agencies, local/regional government, NGOs or the private sector. In the private sector, some graduates will work for major international construction companies who are seeking to develop their international market in emerging economies. Others may work for construction firms and construction clients who are employing those international firms. There are many opportunities to make a difference in the public and private sectors, especially at the interface between different emerging economies and with the more developed countries.


- Infrastructure development

- International construction labour

- Urban sustainability

- Construction sector transition

- Construction economics


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