The University of Abertay, Dundee has failed in a second bid to win accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for a new degree, only months before the first honours students are due to graduate.
If graduates from a non-accredited course wish to become chartered surveyors, they face a minimum of two more years of training in an RICS accredited institution before they can seek registration.
UAD is already an accredited institution, with a long-established course in quantity surveying. Last term the university made a new submission for accreditation for its BSc building surveying course after an RICS panel had refused to recommend accreditation earlier in the year.
Edward Landor, the RICS director of education and training, said: "The university set to address the issues which had been identified by the panel, but the panel has not been able to make a positive recommendation for accreditation. The issues related to the course philosophy and to the resource support for the delivery of the programme."
Mr Landor said UAD was likely to make another submission, and the RICS would have to consider its proposals. "The institution accredits intakes to the courses and not outputs. Obviously, if you make changes to a course it is possible to influence it immediately for students coming in. It becomes more difficult to influence change for students who are about to finish. We would have to consider carefully what years to accredit in light of the proposals the university came forward with."
The building surveying course was launched in 1994 and has some 50 students, a quarter of whom hope to graduate in the summer. The prospectus says accreditation is being sought.
Mr Landor said it was not unusual for an institution to launch a degree without first seeking accreditation.
A spokesman for UAD said: "The interests of our students are paramount and we are working to make sure that the course meets the accreditation requirements. We are in discussion with the RICS and hope to have the matter resolved very soon."