Master of Construction (Construction Law)

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Enhance your career

Join Massey’s Master of Construction (Construction Law) - the only master’s degree in New Zealand that offers a specialisation in construction law.

Find out more about the Master of Construction parent structure.

What is it like?

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The Master of Construction (Construction Law) degree is unique. It the only specialist master’s degree programme with a construction law specialisation offered in New Zealand.

Gain specialised knowledge

You will gain specialist knowledge in areas of construction law, construction contracts, construction contract administration and alternative dispute resolution including statutory adjudication.

Unique focus

Three other unique features include the offering of statutory adjudication as a whole course, the focus on drafting construction contracts in modern plain legal language, and the international comparative element that complements country-specific issues.

A global perspective

You will gain a global perspective of the broad areas of construction law and dispute resolution typically found in commonwealth jurisdictions. Although you will primarily gain specific skills in New Zealand-related construction law issues, your study also covers some aspects from jurisdictions such as Australia, UK, Singapore, and Malaysia, especially in relation to construction contracts and adjudication.

The multi-national comparative element helps develop critiquing skills and helps you better understand the advantages and disadvantages of differing contractual and statutory provisions. You are often given the opportunity to select the jurisdictions of choice when doing the comparative element.

Massey University’s programme is ranked in the top 200 university built environment programmes in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings.

Understand contemporary issues

During your study you will learn about contemporary issues related to construction law, construction contracts, construction contract administration and construction dispute resolution with a focus on statutory adjudication.

Your study will cover a background to construction project management, construction procurement and tendering methods, principles of construction law including professional liability, drafting construction contracts in modern plain legal language, interpreting construction contracts, construction contract administration, construction dispute resolution with a focus on statutory adjudication.

Practical real-world application

The course is structured on the firm belief that modern plain language is the better way forward.

Research-led learning from industry experts

You will learn from senior faculty members and industry experts. Our lecturers and supervisors come from a range of relevant backgrounds such as construction management, engineering, architecture, quantity surveying, construction law, and dispute resolution. Some of them have been involved in proposing and commenting on legislation affecting the construction industry and have written standard terms of construction contracts endorsed and published internationally. One of such contracts was the first construction contract in the world to attain the ‘Clear English Standard’ accreditation from the Plain Language Commission UK.

International participants and the wide mix of expertise allows you to have meaningful exchange and interaction at postgraduate level.

A master’s in a year

This degree can be completed in only one year full time. You can enter this programme if you have an approved four-year degree, a three-year degree and a postgraduate diploma, or a three-year degree and two years relevant work experience.

International students

If you wish to complete this degree while living in another country you can. Our extensive distance learning systems and support networks have led to a number of our students working internationally and successfully completing the degree.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study can be hugely rewarding and empowering. The workload requiring the need to attend lectures, read widely, do open book assignments, undertake research in a related area of your own choice, and sitting for examinations might sound daunting – but with careful planning it need not be any more difficult than your own pressurised work environment. The lecturers and supervisors can help you in your planning.

A good fit if you:

  • Want a flexible study programme while you continue to work full time
  • Would like a master’s degree qualification that has an international comparative component but with a country-specific emphasis
  • Are a construction professional who wishes to enhance skills in construction law-related topics
  • Are a lawyer interested in specialising in construction law
  • Are a qualified professional working in the construction industry who wishes to develop skills in construction law
  • Are a construction dispute resolver who wants to ensure you have a high level of technical skill
David Finnie
Master of Construction (Construction Law)
Graduated in 2015
Construction lecturer, Otago Polytechnic

“I immediately recommend Massey University to anyone considering studying construction. It’s been an incredible journey and I can’t imagine any other university delivering programmes through distance study better than Massey…”

At Massey I had my experience of inquiry-based, learner-centred learning.  Rather than ‘feeding us Powerpoints’, my lecturer Naseem asked us to come up with a topic and write a journal-quality paper about it.  I initially panicked because I’d barely even written an academic essay!  However, we were guided us through our topics, how to write our papers, and where to find reference sources. My essay was published in the Australian Journal of Construction Economics in Building (AJCEB).  It was a life changing experience for me. It opened my eyes to academia and gave me a real passion for learning and teaching.   

I can’t speak highly enough of the specialist construction lecturers at Massey.  They are such high-calibre professionals and also so friendly and approachable.  Despite being involved in other work such as research, they always make teaching a priority, and make each student feel welcomed, included and special. 

Despite studying by distance, the use of online discussion forums and contact courses makes for excellent communication and I never felt isolated from other my lecturer or students.  

I know a number of other students who moved from other universities because of the lack of support and teaching inconsistencies. They found they were far more supported studying through distance study at Massey.

I use material I learnt in my studies at Massey every day. It not only taught me the subject material at a very high level, I’ve also learnt how to learn and how to teach, and how to perform as a professional.  Through studying construction at Massey University, I’ve re-written most of the material I teach and changed the way I teach it. 

Careers

There is great demand for those with specialist skills such as those that can be obtained by doing the Massey University Master of Construction with a construction law specialisation.

Current and past students have been working with multinational companies, banks, insurance companies, government agencies, companies in the oil and gas sector, government agencies involved with housing, transport and infrastructure, and academic institutions around the world.

Professional development

This degree is useful as professional development for those already in construction law, or for those in related careers who need more in-depth knowledge. For instance if you are a:

  • Construction professional who wishes to enhance your skills in construction law-related topics, construction contracts, contract administration, and alternative dispute resolution including statutory adjudication, or
  • Are a lawyer interested in specialising in construction law and alternative dispute resolution focused on resolving construction disputes, or
  • Are a qualified professional in a related area working in the construction industry and who wishes to develop skills and an understanding in the areas of construction law, construction contracts, contract administration and alternative dispute resolution methods
  • Are a construction dispute resolver such as an arbitrator, mediator, or adjudicator, or act as an expert witness and you want to ensure you have a high level of technical skill in construction law, construction contracts, and dispute resolution practice and procedures

You may benefit from this degree if you are already working in careers such as construction management, engineering, architecture, quantity surveying, as a contractor or supplier and wish to understand construction law more thoroughly.

It can also help you move into dispute resolution careers such as arbitrators, mediators, and adjudicators, those working with housing and property developers or as a consultant.

Upskill

You may choose to further upskill in specialist areas to enhance your performance along your chosen career paths. Others choose to attain specialist skills in order to diversify.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

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