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Professional skills development: foundational curriculum skills and competencies of UK construction management programmes

John Posillico (Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)
David Edwards (Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK) (Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Chris Roberts (Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)
Mark Shelbourn (Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 2 June 2023

Issue publication date: 13 October 2023

203

Abstract

Purpose

This research presents a profile of the current skills and competencies that underpin construction management programmes' (CMP) curricula within United Kingdom (UK) higher education institutes (HEIs). In doing so, the work: synthesises disparate taught provisions across a range of HEIs; conducts a cross-comparative analysis between these provisions and engenders wider discourse and new insight into the consistency of current higher education practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Both interpretivism and pragmatism are adopted to analyse secondary data sourced from construction management undergraduate programmes in the UK inductive reasoning and inferential analysis (i.e. quantitative rank correlation, text/data mining and qualitative inquiry) are utilised to help underscore the current technical and interpersonal skills and competencies noted within the programmes and develop new theories on curriculum shortfalls and inadequacies.

Findings

Research findings demonstrate that the specific content of CMP are bespoke and tailored by the programme teaching team at each individual HEI; albeit, all programmes reviewed are in congruence regards the importance of broad technical and interpersonal themes. However, the degree to which these themes are publicly presented differ from the curricular and institutional documentation; specifically, a more “technical-based skill” image is being portrayed publicly whilst “interpersonal skills” are doing the heavy curriculum lifting. Hence, the foundational curriculum skills and competencies are firmly rooted in a sense of employability and career preparedness; a balance of technical and interpersonal skills. Identification of these skills and competencies provides a springboard for supplementary research to augment curriculum development.

Originality/value

This research constitutes the first attempt to conduct a cross-comparative analysis of descriptive metadata contained with curriculum development documents sourced from various UK HEIs. Emergent findings unearth the key skills and competencies that serve as the curriculum's foundation but also question whether a more consistent approach to construction management education should be sought.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article, Posillico, J., Edwards, D., Roberts, C. and Shelbourn, M. (2023), “Professional skills development: foundational curriculum skills and competencies of UK construction management programmes”, Education + Training, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-10-2022-0402, omitted in error Edwards, D.’s second affiliation. Edwards, D.’s affiliation was listed as Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK and has been corrected to Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK and Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa. This error has now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this error and for any inconvenience caused.

Citation

Posillico, J., Edwards, D., Roberts, C. and Shelbourn, M. (2023), "Professional skills development: foundational curriculum skills and competencies of UK construction management programmes", Education + Training, Vol. 65 No. 5, pp. 711-730. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-10-2022-0402

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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