Bachelor's degree in Facility Management

Management of buildings and services

Facility Managers and their teams deal with the planning, implementation and management of measures to support the core business of an organisation. Facility Management (FM) is concerned with the provision of premises and infrastructure, and offers services for organisations and people. Relationships between the following are also taken into account: 

  • FM providers and organisations (➝ business-to-business) and
  • FM providers and end-users (➝ business-to-consumer)

Facility management is steadily gaining in importance, both nationally and internationally. For example, a football stadium needs just as many building-related and personal services as an office building or an airport. This all adds up to excellent career opportunities for graduates of the ZHAW Bachelor’s programme in Facility Management.

«In the Scouts my position of cantonal director gives me the chance to take on responsibility and manage a variety of projects. Working in different teams is fun and offers plenty of variety. It also needs creativity and, as in Facility Management, the focus is on shaping a sustainable future.» Andrea, Facility Management student

 

Study programme

The study programme has two main specialisations:

  • the professional development of personal services to create optimal conditions for living, work and vacations (Hospitality Management),
  • the long-term optimal use of properties over their entire life cycle (Real Estate Management).

You acquire the skills and competencies needed for each of these specialisations in the multidisciplinary study programme, which includes economic and social sciences, architecture, engineering and domestic science as well as communication and IT. With your choice of specialisation – Hospitality Management or Real Estate Management – you align your studies specifically to your future career.

Structure

The study programme, which includes both compulsory and elective modules, is designed to be taken full-time and lasts six semesters. This allows you to adapt parts of the programme to suit your previous knowledge, interests and career goals. The study programme can also be completed on a part-time basis. Furthermore, the modular structure allows you to spend a semester studying abroad and take part in student exchanges with other universities.

Basic and subject-related studies

The basic knowledge and skills required for Facility Management are taught in the first three semesters. In addition to various practical tasks, a group project assignment with written work is carried out in the third semester. This enables current practical issues to be linked to the knowledge and skills acquired in the study programme.

Internship semester

In line with the specialisation chosen, a half-year management or project internship is undertaken in the fourth semester, in which the theoretical knowledge and skills learned are applied in practice, and valuable learning experiences are gained. The university monitors and supervises the internship.

Specialisation studies

In the 5th and 6th semesters you choose between one of the two specialisations offered (Hospitality Management or Real Estate Management). In the sixth semester the Bachelor’s thesis is written.

Educational objectives

Graduates can

  • holistically and sustainably manage, represent, design and develop facilities and services
  • apply business principles and methods in company management (e.g. project management)
  • manage staff capably
  • support and lead change processes (change management)
  • take on responsibility for quality management
  • incorporate sustainability concerns into all business processes
  • think and act economically

Clients and their needs are the main concern of Facility Managers. Follow-up costs, safety and economy are important cornerstones of their thinking. They examine whether internal or external solutions are to be used, and deploy the right specialists in the right place. Thanks to unified professional management of all these supporting processes, decision-making processes are simplified.

Career prospects

As Facility Management is playing an increasingly important role in all areas of work, graduates are in great demand. More challenging and sophisticated technology applications in buildings, rising energy prices, the need for more sustainability, higher customer expectations of professional services, and requirements of economic performance call for a holistic view of the entire life cycle of a property. At the same time additional benefits can be generated, and the value of a business improved through customer-oriented services.

Being in a position to offer all supporting processes as a package represents an outstanding opportunity. This concentration of services and professional management generates striking cost savings and creates the potential for significant quality improvements in FM. The demand for well-trained facility managers is therefore high.

Due to the wide scope of the FM study programme, in which various disciplines are uniquely combined, graduates have excellent job prospects. Where in-depth knowledge is required in a new situation, they are able to learn the ropes quickly due to the methods of holistic thinking they have acquired. Graduates of both specialisations are therefore suitable candidates for employment in all areas of FM.

Conditions for acceptance

The study programme is multidisciplinary and students come from a broad variety of educational backgrounds.

  • Candidates with a vocational baccalaureate can begin their studies directly.
  • Candidates with an academic baccalaureate or professional baccalaureate (Fachmaturität) must have 12 months’ work experience in a relevant field. Recognition of professional experience and/or internships is granted by the programme directors “sur dossier” and based on an internship report.
  • Candidates with a diploma in a relevant field from an accredited technical college (höhere Fachschule) are accepted without an examination. The programme directors will decide on any further requirements.

The programme directors can provide information on other admission opportunities (e.g.foreign diplomas).

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