Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

BIM and Digital Built Environments

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




Distance Learning


One year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

Salford was an early information modelling advocate and one of the first institutions to address knowledge and skills in this field. This postgraduate course focuses strategically on this changing landscape, designed with the aim to educate and support industry professionals in their response to current and future challenges in client expectations and wider society.

This programme provides extensive knowledge in the fields of BIM, Lean, and integrated design and project delivery approaches to deliver better whole life value through digital built environments. It is highly relevant for practitioners and graduates in the fields of architecture, engineering construction, and built environment, who wish to specialise in this area of industry digital transformation.

There are few better places in the UK to study BIM and digital built environments. In 2019, Salford is once again ranked amongst the world top 100 centres for architecture and built environment study (QS 2019). Led by prominent international BIM academics with industry experience, we're at the heart of the UK's largest property and construction market outside of London, with a host of local case studies and live projects to study.

You will:
  • Develop competences so you can to support integrated design and delivery approaches
  • Build on leading edge research and practice in BIM software and collaborative techniques
  • Advance your skills ready take a principle role in the digital transformation of practices in work settings, delivering better whole life value through integrated design and project delivery approaches
  • Be equipped with the skills necessary to coordinate roles and responsibilities for the financial, environmental and social performance

students accepted

This is for you if...


You're a graduate or experienced built environment practitioner looking to develop skills using BIM software and collaborative working practice


You have an interest in efficient multidisciplinary collaboration through design and construction processes


You desire to advance your current knowledge base and to specialise in integrated design and advanced BIM technologies

Course details

All about the course

The BIM and Digital Built Environment postgraduate degree course is delivered using a modular programme. The master's award consists of four 30 credit modules and a 60 credit dissertation research project. The PgDip requires you to complete four taught modules. The Pg Cert requires you to complete two taught modules.

You can choose to study full-time or part-time on campus, or part-time via distance learning.  


You will study two 30 credit modules in each of your first two semesters on campus; these are designed to give you the core knowledge and experience required. In the final semester, you will undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits.


You will attend the university one day per week, usually on day release from employment. A 30 credit module is studied each semester. In the final two semesters, you will undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits.


You will study one 30 credit taught module per semester. Assessment is driven by real-world problems aligned to your workplace and job role. Teaching is based around a virtual learning environment supported by interactive online sessions. In the final two semesters, you'll complete a dissertation, also delivered online and involving extensive tutor support You will also have the option to attend the University for specific activities such as field trips, study days and summer schools, which provide opportunities for face to face interaction and knowledge exchange.


Summer School is an optional extra-curricular activity which is held at our MediaCityUK Campus to further enhance the development of advanced knowledge of BIM, Lean, and integrated design and project delivery approaches. It brings together students from the different modes of study and from around the world, in addition to PhD students, for three days of seminars, guest lecture presentations (including government, industry and academic), student presentations, workshops and site visits.


Building Information Modelling Theory and Practice

BIM theory and practice emphasises on how the design process needs to change to achieve benefits from the use of technology. The module addresses data structures and standards, and describing data exchange needs in different use cases. It also describes collaborative multidisciplinary design settings, communication with project stakeholders, clash detection, design integration and management of design changes. Module topics include:

  • The concept of BIM
  • BIM deployment strategies
  • Design and construction process for BIM
  • BIM tools in design
  • Interoperability, IFCs, parametric modelling and BIM
  • Building information exchange
  • Change management process and people
  • Data sharing and design integration
  • BIM, energy efficiency and sustainability

Integrated BIM Projects

The aim of this module is to understand and critically evaluate key issues in the management of integrated BIM based projects. The module also provides an understanding of how process and technology changes can support better value generation through design. Module topics include:

  • Building industry challenges and opportunities
  • The business value of BIM and integrated design
  • Design collaboration
  • Lean design and construction
  • Integrated project delivery
  • Lifecycle management and BIM

Lean Integrated Design and Production

This module aims to provide knowledge on Lean design and construction. It focuses specifically on the integration of design and construction and its importance to the successful management of projects. Module topics include:

  • Integrating people, process and technology
  • Lean construction/ production
  • Continuous improvement
  • Process design and implementation
  • Process mapping analysis
  • Integrating project lifecycles

Optional modules:

Sustainable Design Theory and Practice

This module aims to provide you with critical awareness and appreciation of sustainable urban and building design to the development of sustainable communities. It describes design methods and assessment techniques for sustainable community design and development. Module topics include:

  • Sustainable urban development theory
  • Sustainable building design
  • Visioning and sustainability assessment
  • Sustainable urban design community considerations
  • Sustainability appraisal
  • Good practice case studies and examples

Project and Production Management

Develop a critical awareness and knowledge of construction planning, resource and cost planning, monitoring and control. You will critically appraise and evaluate the concepts of lean production, the six sigma techniques, and the planning, monitoring and control systems used for project budgets. This module will encourage you to create and implement appropriate monitoring and tracking systems to manage change whilst monitoring the efficacy of quality management.


This module allows you to develop a research proposal with clear aims and objectives related to your study. You will undertake critical analysis of existing research and engage in various forms of recognised research in order to produce a sustained, sophisticated, and logical argument in the form of a written dissertation.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


If you’re studying on campus, you'll experience lectures, tutorials and project work.

Lectures introduce new material and provide the core knowledge base for each module. Tutorials offer the opportunity for discussion and debate with personalised instruction from tutors. Design project work is an important aspect of the course enabling you to initiate and control research and design techniques to develop solutions to prescribed tasks.

If you’re studying via distance learning, you’ll experience our online learning environment with intensive tutor support.

Weekly online tutorials are led by tutors with student interaction. Our online repository of learning material enables you to undertake self-directed study at your own convenience. Learning is driven by real-world problems aligned to your workplace and job role.

Additional learning support is provided through optional study days for both on-campus and distance learning students. There is also a summer school which includes seminars, group work, presentations and industry guest speakers. 


Full-time: Approximately two days per week

Part-time: Approximately one day per week

Distance Learning: Two to three hours of online contact time per week with up to five hours of personal study time.


You will be assessed using coursework/design project work (100%) and continuous informal assessment by your tutors.

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.


Energy House

Salford is home to the unique Energy House – the only fully climate controlled research facility in the world. Built in 2011, this full-scale two-bedroom terraced house is inside an environmental chamber that can replicate almost any weather conditions. It is fully furnished and packed with a vast array of sensors that can monitor a wide range of variables.

Think Lab

Think Lab is our futuristic research environment. It leads the development of advanced technology platforms for smart city applications, collaborative engineering, industry collaborations, simulation and gaming applications, and interactive training and learning

Teacher profile

Professor in the Digital Built Environment 
Course Director: MSc BIM and Digital Built Environments

Jason’s combines his background in civil/structural engineering and construction ICT with over fifteen years research experience in the area of concurrent engineering, integrated and collaborative computing in construction, product and building information modelling. He supports organisational e-readiness towards delivering strategic value from ICT investment through involvement in both UK and EU funded research projects, on which he has published extensively.

In relation to BIM, Jason is focused towards BIM implementation and deployment together with education and training in the development of BIM capabilities, in particular bringing together the concept of organisational e-readiness with BIM. At a national level Jason is actively engaged in the Education and Training working group to deliver the UK Government BIM strategy and the present Chair of the UK BIM Academic Forum. He is also engaged at a local level including the Northwest BIM Hub of the UK Government BIM Strategy and the Northwest Construction Hub BIM Special Interest Group.

He is Director of Construct IT For Business; an industry-led non-profit making collaborative membership-based network focused on improving industry performance through the innovative application of ICT and acting as a catalyst for academic and industrial collaboration. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of 3D Information Modelling (IJ3DIM) specifically focused on BIM along with 3D GIS and their integration.

Find out more about Jason's research

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


BIM uptake is growing worldwide and there is a clear demand for professionals with appropriate process knowledge and technological skills. In gaining this highly-advanced specialised knowledge at the forefront of industry requirements, you'll be highly-sought by construction, engineering and design organisations from across the built environment.

This course is designed to help existing architects, designers and design/project/construction/facility managers to specialise in the use of BIM and the implementation of integrated design and delivery. The managerial, technical and interpersonal skills you will acquire can help you to deliver better value through integrated design in your current role, or advance to this position elsewhere.


After completing this course, you'll be well-placed to progress to doctoral level study. Our Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures and Sustainable (Built) Environments (UPRISE) works across a range of subject areas to identify how we might design, deliver and experience cities differently, considering issues that impact at both the local and global level. We currently offer research opportunities in applied buildings and energy, digital built environments, disaster resilience, infrastructure and smart urban futures.

A taste of what you could become

An architectural technician

A designer

A BIM specialist

An information manager

And more...

Career Links

This course is extensively informed by collaboration between the university’s academics and industry partners from the built environment. Our experienced teaching team maintain strong links with the architecture, engineering and construction sectors, both local and international.

This collaboration with the professions ensures a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, as well as career networking opportunities. You will benefit from field visits, practitioner-led lectures and real-world problem-solving work developed for and by industry. 

Field trips and site visits to innovative projects will enable the analysis and critical evaluation of cases in which high-quality design and the adoption of technology has led to benefits for clients, users and/or communities.



What you need to know


This industry-shaping course is recommended for architecture and built environment graduates and experienced industry professionals seeking a career shaping the digital transformation of work environments. 


International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English- IELTS 6.0 band score (with no element below 5.5) or above are proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate Degree

  • A minimum second class undergraduate honours degree in architecture, or
  • A minimum second class undergraduate honours degree in engineering, project management or other built environment discipline, or
  • A recognised professional qualification in a cognate discipline.
Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

We do not require references provided that you have the standard academic entry requirements. If you do not, then we will ask you to complete the Accreditation of Prior Learning process referred to above.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home/EU 2020/21 £8,460per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £13,320per year
Part-time 2020/21 UK/EU: £1410 per 30 credits. International: £2220 per 30 credits.
Distance learning 2020/21 UK/EU: £1410 per 30 credits. International: £1,845 per 30 credits
Additional costs

You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship and the Built Environment Postgraduate Silver Award. 

To find out more information, visit our International Scholarships page.


Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2020

January 2021

September 2021