Sarah-Elizabeth McGarrigle Guy – MSc Building Surveying


“Holding a postgraduate qualification gives weight to my knowledge and experience within the workplace, and gives confidence to Clients and colleagues in my ability to do the job.”

What made you choose to study a postgraduate degree?

“Having worked within the property development and management sector for a number of years, I felt the time was right to put a qualification to my experience. Undertaking a postgraduate degree seemed like the logical choice to do this, and to enable me to develop my professional career.

What made you choose MSc Building Surveying at NTU in particular?

“While I had lots of experience in property, I didn’t really understand the basics of how buildings were constructed, which I felt put me at a disadvantage, especially on site. I considered doing a course in project management, but the NTU MSc in Building Surveying covered aspects of this, and backed it up with the technology and pathology of buildings, as well as contract management and land and property law, which allows you to build up a great all-round knowledge base. The fact that the course is also accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), was a huge bonus.

What did you enjoy most about your course at NTU?

“So much! The course content was challenging, diverse and interesting, and well supported by field trips and lab experience, which was a great balance. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to work on a live conservation project, as part of our Conservation & Adaptation module. This turned out to be great experience for my current employment as a conservation project surveyor.

Tell us about your experience about the staff on your course.

“Lecturers are passionate about their subjects, and have a wealth of industry knowledge, which is invaluable in supporting learning. You are very much encouraged to take your own lead, but support is always there, at all levels. This doesn’t end when you leave. I’ve built up a great network of contacts within the university, who are still on hand to answer any questions I have or to provide support.

What advantages do you think a postgraduate qualification has given you upon graduating?

“Holding a postgraduate qualification gives weight to my knowledge and experience within the workplace, and gives confidence to Clients and colleagues in my ability to do the job. On a practical level, it has enabled me to apply for Chartered Construction Manager status with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Having this type of professional accreditation is a huge advantage in the marketplace, opening up opportunities for career advancement which were not available to me before.

Tell us about your current employment and what your role involves.

“I am employed as Project Surveyor for a local conservation and restoration contractor. My role is so varied, and no two days are alike. Among my current projects I am managing the repair of an iconic Nottingham building; a huge scale condition survey of a former colliery site; a £1.2 million development of a Grade II listed heritage centre; and the restoration of a mid-18th Century canal bridge. I’ve also just had an article published in the Conservation & Heritage Journal, on a lovely project we completed in Beeston. My learning has not come to an end, and I am very much looking forward to refining my skills as a surveyor and project manager.

Has your course at NTU benefited you in your current position? If so, how?

“I was offered this position after completing a four week placement with the company, as part of the internship module. The option to complete an internship and report, rather than a dissertation, is a great opportunity to gain work experience, as well as allowing you to showcase your skills to a potential employer.”

Find out about Property and Construction Conversion Masters degrees at NTU 

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