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

John Posillico, David Edwards, Chris Roberts, Mark Shelbourn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-730
Number of pages20
JournalEducation and Training
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2023


  • Construction management education
  • Curriculum development
  • Technical and interpersonal skills
  • Text/data mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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