Skip to main content

Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (BIM) for Smart Engineering (MSc)

This MSc will provide you with the necessary training, skills and hands-on experience to become successful in the dynamic and highly competitive fields of BIM and smart engineering.

Our MSc Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (BIM) for Smart Engineering aims to provide you with the necessary training, skills and hands-on experience to become successful in the dynamic and highly competitive fields of BIM and smart engineering, and to give you a distinct edge when applying for a career in industry or for a PhD studentship.

The course will provide you with engineering oriented advanced BIM training, consolidate the related fundamental theory, strengthen your modelling and analysis skills and smart engineering knowledge, and enhance your future engineering competency and employability. It will build on your existing engineering knowledge and skills to deliver a comprehensive, flexible, robust and research led advanced BIM training package.

Distinctive features

The MSc Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (BIM) for Smart Engineering uniquely focuses on a smart engineering perspective covering both buildings and infrastructure sectors, with the opportunity to obtain highly regarded industry BIM certificates. The course offers:

  • Tailored core skills training: The core modules have been carefully designed to provide fundamental theory, modelling, simulation and management skills. You will learn how to plan and propose research projects, conduct literature reviews and critiques, design, simulate, optimize and manage building / infrastructure projects / assets, supported by cutting edge BIM related computing technologies.
  • Multi-disciplinary options: The wide selection of optional modules and the multi-disciplinary nature of the course provides the opportunity for candidates who have different backgrounds and are interested in becoming a BIM specialist to gain a postgraduate qualification which will enhance your career prospects in a wide range of professions.
  • Research led teaching: This MSc programme is based on the research strengths of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) group within the School of Engineering, which has been an established research group for over twenty years. Civil and Construction Engineering at Cardiff University was ranked as No.1 in the latest government research assessment (REF2014) making us one of the top Schools in which to undertake postgraduate study.
  • Industrial impact: The BIM research group has been recognized internationally and has developed close working relationship with major BIM research and training centres worldwide as well as collaborating with a wide range of international industrial partners in the UK, EU and China.
  • Career opportunities in a growing field: Demand from the worldwide construction and infrastructure industry for BIM graduates and post graduates has increased significantly. This course will provide the basis for a range of career opportunities. You will also have the opportunity of gaining a Building Research Establishment (BRE) BIM Manager Certificate and building SMART certificate which is highly regarded by industry.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration1 year
AccreditationsChartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT)
Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
ContactCommentAsk a question

Admissions criteria

This programme is suitable for graduates or experienced practitioners in Civil, Structural, Environmental and Construction Engineering, and other related disciplines, such as Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, or Computer Science, working towards digital and smart engineering.

Applicants should normally hold a minimum 2:2 degree in the above mentioned relevant subject area from a UK university or an equivalent international degree qualification; or have appropriate professional experience.

Entry to courses in Engineering will be subject to the University requirements for English language.


Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The MSc Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (BIM) for Smart Engineering is a two-stage postgraduate taught programme delivered over three terms (autumn, spring, and summer) for a total of 180 credits.

In Stage 1 you will undertake core modules to a total of 100 credits which will cover the core skills you need. You will also be able to choose from a wide range of optional modules to a total of 20 credits.

After successfully completing Stage 1 you will proceed to Stage 2 - research project and dissertation stage - where you will undertake a 60 credit research project module of three months duration.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

BIM Computing and Information Processing & Integrated Building/Infrastructure Design are the two core BIM modules running through the full academic year, focusing on the fundamental and practical BIM skills, with direct industry involvements. 

Building & Infrastructure information Modelling (Spring Term) focuses on the advanced BIM theory and understanding linking directly to ongoing BIM research projects within Engineering School, Cardiff University.    

Engineering Case Study (Spring Term) will prepare for your summer research project through intensive literature review and proposing research plans. Normally you will chose the project topics proposed by academic staff and supported by your supervisor. 

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

A wide range of teaching methods will be used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. Lectures can take a variety of forms depending on the subject material being taught.

You will practice and develop critical, reflective, analytical and presentational skills by participating in diverse learning activities such as research group meetings, seminars and open group discussions. At all times you will be encouraged to reflect on what you have learned and how it can be combined with other techniques and concepts to tackle novel problems.

In the practical laboratory sessions, you will put the breadth of your knowledge and skills to use, whether using modelling skills to conduct collaborative design, or programming skills to extend the functionality of BIM software, or communication skills for data exchanging requirement development. The emphasis on the MSc Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (BIM) for Smart Engineering is squarely on acquiring and demonstrating practical skills which will be of use in a research environment and hence highly sought-after by employers.

Dissertation topics are typically chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff, usually in areas of current research interest, although students are encouraged to put forward their own project ideas.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will help you reflect on your performance on the course and advise you on study techniques, module selection and career planning in conjunction with the University’s Career Service. They will also provide a first point of contact if you need support with academic or personal issues.

For the dissertation stage, students will be allocated a supervisor in the relevant field of research, with whom they should expect to meet regularly.

The School encourages a “research group” atmosphere within which you will enhance each other’s learning and be a vital part of our scientific community. The School has recently benefited from an extensive programme of refurbishment, resulting in many updated learning spaces within the Queen’s Buildings complex.

How will I be assessed?

According to the different modules, the assessment methods are different, including paper examination, coursework, reports, presentations, posters, dissertation and peer assessment (for group project).

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

On completing this programme you will be able to

  • Undertake a leading role in BIM design and development activity, including up-to-date knowledge of the academic literature, the major companies and market pressures in the industry, and the practical industry standards (e.g. UK & international BIM standards / manuals); open BIM standards and activities; and wider BIM related contexts (e.g. management, legal, data safety and security issues).
  • Understand the essential elements within complex built environment issues, different cutting-edge computing techniques, (e.g. cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data and Artificial intelligence), and understand how these may be integrated to solve real-world problems in the modern built environment in a systematic and creative manner.
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated level of knowledge and understanding of the engineering methodologies and tools in the field of BIM Digital and Smart Engineering.

Intellectual Skills:

On completing this programme you will be able to

  • Show originality, competence and confidence in tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Understand the application of BIM supported systems engineering that is able to collect, manipulate, interpret, synthesize, present and report data, and produce holistic decision-making.
  • Contribute to the continuing development of engineering practice and research based upon a critical evaluation of existing methods.

Professional Practical Skills:

On completing this programme you will be able to

  • Undertake the fundamental and practical skills of BIM engineering, including 3D parametric modelling, clash detection, 4D/nD modelling, collaborative/integrated design and other related applications upon an in-depth understanding of the major collaborative issues throughout project life cycle and across the entire supply chain.  
  • Develop the capability to conduct the full UK BIM level 2, 3 & beyond and other similar national BIM standards compatible projects.
  • Appreciate the stages involved in construction industry as well as the embedded advanced BIM computing systems, including characterisation and measurement, modelling, computer-aided design, simulation, optimisation and test.
  • Select an appropriate IT-based system development tool for a given task, to be able to become a BIM system developer (for students with BIM programming interests)
  • Efficiently and effectively integrate into a research group environment, including concisely reporting progress, negotiating activities and timescales, supporting colleagues and working in a team;
  • Plan, propose and execute a sophisticated research project with realistic goals, deliverables and contingency plans 

Transferable/Key Skills:

On completing this programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Effective communication skills, including the ability to write literature reviews, literature critiques, academic article writing, long report writing and formal scientific presentations. 

  • Effective and efficient group and team working skills, including negotiation, compromise, contingency planning, time management and record-keeping; 

  • Engagement, liaison and collaboration with expert academic and industrial research scientists and the ability to transfer concepts, methodologies and modes of presentation between both environments. 

  • The skills required to manipulate, present and report data in a variety of ways; manage resources and time.

The emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has brought revolutionary changes to Architecture, Engineering and Construction / Operation (AEC/O) industry. Throughout the world, the race for BIM industry uptake has resulted in a shortage of critical resources and new skills in the construction area. There are significant demands coming from industry requiring qualified BIM graduates with an engineering perspective.

The MSc Building and Infrastructure Information Modelling (BIM) for Smart Engineering will provide you with career opportunities in the following areas:

  • Technical, research, development and engineering positions in generic civil engineering and  specifically BIM industry;  
  • Theoretical, experimental and instrumentational doctoral research;
  • Numerate, technical, research, development and engineering positions in related scientific fields;
  • Engineering, mathematics and general science education.
  • Related professions could include city planner and manager, architect, civil/structural engineer, MEP engineer, construction manager, surveyor, environmental analyst, mechanical engineer, electronic engineer, facility/asset manager, or computer scientist.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

The University will provide all equipment necessary to undertake the degree programme, but it is strongly recommended that the student should have a relatively modern laptop computer at their disposal, in order to be able to make progress on activities while away from the University facilities.

What the University will provide:

  • Computer labs, practical laboratories and equipment for the entire cohort’s activities during the core modules;
  • Access to the University’s research-grade BIM computing and generic civil engineering facilities labs and BIM related software tools (with university licenses) for practical instruction in the taught component of the course and a number of the summer research projects;
  • Access to the Trevithick and other University libraries, where textbooks and recommended reading for the core and elective modules can be obtained.

Where required, you will have access to key computer aided design software tool licenses to allow you to progress your activities while away from the University facilities.