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

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

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.


Multidisciplinary options

The wide selection of optional modules and the multidisciplinary nature of the course makes it accessible to candidates from a variety of backgrounds.


Tailored core skills training

You will learn how to plan and propose research projects; conduct literature reviews and critiques; design, simulate, optimize and manage building or infrastructure projects; all supported by cutting edge BIM related computing technologies.


Industrial impact

The BIM research group has been recognized internationally and has developed close working relationship with major BIM research and training centres worldwide and international industrial partners in the UK, EU and China.


Industry recognised certificates

You could gain a Building Research Establishment (BRE) BIM Manager Certificate and Buidling SMART certificate which is highly regarded by industry.

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.

This course is based on the research strengths of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) group, which has been an established research group for over twenty years. 

This course is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.


Where you'll study

School of Engineering

Study in one of the UK's leading engineering Schools for the quality of research and teaching.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 0050
  • Marker5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as Civil, Construction, Environmental or Structural Engineering, or other related areas such as Architecture, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science, working towards digital and smart engineering, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

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

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

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 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

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.

Additional module information

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.

Learning and assessment

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 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 is expected of me?

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.

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.

What are the learning outcomes of this course/programme?

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £11,700 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £28,200 £2,500

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

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

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.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

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.


Next steps


Open Day visits

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Make an enquiry

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.