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CMG4901 Construction Management Practice

Semester 2, 2014 External Toowoomba
Units : 0
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Contents on this page


Examiner: Paul Tilley
Moderator: Trevor Drysdale


Pre-requisite: CMG4001


One of the Objectives of the Australian Institute of Building is 'to promote excellence in the construction of buildings and just and honourable practices in the conduct of business.' Thus construction is dependent on:

  • knowledge, understanding and skills as developed throughout the course of human history;
  • the current needs of society with respect to welfare, health and safety of its members;
  • the future needs of society as embodied in the concept of sustainability.

To a large extent construction education focuses on the first of these in presenting knowledge and developing the student's understanding and skills in using a variety of logical and mathematical processes to analyse problems and formulate solutions. For example if the problem is to design and construct a 50m storey building a student should have at least the basis of the knowledge and skills necessary to analyse the various technical aspects of this problem and devise some solutions to it.

While a construction professional can have pride in being able to do this, it represents only a narrow interpretation of design and construction. Design and construction is not just about 'solving a problem' but is also concerned with correctly assessing the nature of the problem in the context of society's needs and of assessing the validity of a proposed solution not just on a technical basis but also on the basis of the solution's impact on individuals and society both now and in the future. This course looks at construction in the built environment in a broad sense. It focuses on human, societal and environmental issues which may prompt a different understanding of the nature of the problem and on new approaches to solving that problem with the emphasis on people and society being at least equal to that on technology. However, if we consider the bigger picture, it is also important for construction students to have an understanding of the business side of their industry and its involvement with the wider community; well beyond their individual role on any particular project. The viability of a construction company is not only dependent on the successful completion of individual projects - on time, on budget and to the required quality and safety standards - but also requires the careful management of:
  • business finances and cashflow,
  • market strategy and promotion,
  • organisational specialisation and growth,
  • human resources and overall supply chain.

Having a better understanding of the factors that influence the success of the companies they work for, will give students a greater appreciation of the business decisions made by management that may impact on their role and their project.


In this course, students will work as part of a team with other students, to take over the running a small construction company for a period of two years, using the AROUSAL Simulation software. During this time, a wide range of business and behavioural issues will be explored, including:
. the links between business strategy and operations;
. the subtle differences in response to specific strategies by different functional areas of the business, such as finance, marketing, human resources and production;
. identifying and assessing performance criteria;
. the role of leadership, teamwork, advocacy, and decision making in formulating and pursuing achievable strategies;
. methods for enhancing leadership, teamwork, involvement and individual reward;
. the impact of multiple projects on project and organisational performance;
. achieving high-performance teams and high-performance businesses.

Each team will take on the various roles required to run the simulated business for the two year period and will work towards a group presentation to the other teams. This oral and written presentation will be in the form of a professional standard, project report to the client that will address the issues discussed in the above rationale.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. work effectively as part of a team and understand the benefits of openly sharing knowledge and information with other team members;
  2. develop strategies for improved individual and team decision making, by being able to identify likely consequences;
  3. analyse an organisation's historical data to determine relevant trends to aid decision making;
  4. demonstrate a good understanding of the various roles and responsibilities of key staff involved in running a construction company and how each role impacts on other roles, particularly in the following areas:
    a. obtaining work (Marketing)
    b. project bidding
    c. production management
    d. financial management and administration
    e. staffing and organisational (Human Resources) management
  5. identify the ingredients that contribute to a successful firm;
  6. assess the ways in which a contracting firm is organised and managed;
  7. develop approaches for organisational change and improvement;
  8. contribute effectively to a professional standard, client focused, project team report, as well as a group presentation to the entire class.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Teamwork 20.00
2. Historical data analysis 10.00
3. Organisational roles and responsibilities 10.00
4. Individual and group decision making 20.00
5. Simulation data analysis and appraisal 20.00
6. Presentation 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 17.00
Seminars 8.00
Tutorials 25.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
GROUP PRESENTATION 400 40 03 Oct 2014
GROUP WRITTEN REPORT 500 50 03 Oct 2014

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    This course requires attendance at a residential school. It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade students must complete at least 80% of the practical and other activities at a satisfactory standard, as stated in 2 above.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a Failing grade or an Incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The usual method of assessment submission for the Faculty is by written, typed or printed paper-based media (i) submitted to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mailed to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  5. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  6. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //