There are two modes of delivery for the MSc Building Information Modelling and Management - full time on campus or distance learning. The course entry points are September and January.
Extensive online learning material is provided to all students via the virtual learning environment (VLE) - our own intranet site to which students have access at all times.
Module leaders can be contacted via the VLE, email, telephone and Skype.
Intensive study periods: all students attend four intensive study periods during their programme. These are normally around 3 days long. Students and staff enjoy the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge as well as renew friendships and make connections within the industry, and the open learning students get the chance to meet the staff face to face. The organisation and the collaborative nature of these intensive study periods is always praised by our students who particularly enjoy site visits, workshops and guest lectures from industry experts, that form the major features of the intensive study periods.
Field trips and site visits: there are a number of field trips and site visits which take place mainly during the intensive study periods. There is one European field trip during the MSc programme that takes place at the end of January each year - usually to the Netherlands. As well as bringing together full time and distance learning students, the aim is to integrate knowledge gained in the early part of the programme, to develop team skills and build relationships. The European field trip also exposes MSc students to project management practices outside of the UK and assess the ability of students to observe and report on the different approaches to project management in the UK and overseas.
Applied or problem based learning: in response to industry feedback we have made our postgraduate education more practical by using an 'applied' approach to learning, sometimes called 'problem based learning' or PBL. This approach encourages learning by allowing students to actively work through problems that are adapted from complex real situations. As these cross discipline boundaries and require research and collaboration, we use our links with industrial practitioners to help devise the problems we use in class. This leads to a more exciting and relevant student experience.
People, Leadership & Organisations aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of how behavioural and organisational issues influence project performance and how they can be harnessed to effectively deliver projects. It includes an overview of management approaches, exploration of the issues around understanding self and others, team theory and leadership, communication, conflict theory and resolution, conflict resolution strategies and learning from experience in project environments and also conflict and negotiation in the context of personal and cultural differences. The application of the PBL approach in this module is facilitated through problem solving exercises based on prominent case studies and game play exercises.
Project Planning, Control and Risk prepares you to manage projects within the built environment through the use of advanced planning and control techniques. You will learn and apply a range of skills in project planning, scheduling, monitoring and control that includes cash flow and capital expenditure analysis, value management, risk and opportunity management and the use of software-based decision support tools as used in industry.
BIM in Practice recognises that the adoption of information rich Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies, process and collaborative behaviours has the potential to unlock new more efficient ways of working at all stages of the project life-cycle. This module develops your understanding of the principles behind BIM and its application in practice. It examines need to develop BIM strategic and execution plans aligned with the organisation business strategy, including the preparation of a business case for BIM adoption. This is followed by an examination of the project life cycle, and develops a critical understanding of contemporary procurement methods to set the context for BIM considerations. It looks at the need for supply chain collaboration and integration germane to successful BIM implementation. It develops understanding on the need to eliminate wastes from project procurement and delivery processes prior to BIM implementation with the aid of process improvement and innovation thinking. It emphasises the need to recognise the cultural and social implications for BIM adoption and the use of appropriate change management strategies. The module also focuses on the information requirements of project stakeholders and the requirements for the management and exchange of information between supply chain members and the client through the project life cycle covering both the capital and asset phases. It develops an understanding of the legal and commercial implications of the use of BIM including the ownership of information and related issues. The module culminates in the development of knowledge on the establishment of BIM execution plans to manage the successful delivery of projects.
Advanced Construction Technology and BIM recognises that the current challenge of The UK construction industry is to find innovative solutions to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. Sustainable Construction, Off-Site Construction and Smart Technologies are some of the methods being developed to deliver a high quality, productive and more sustainable built environment for our future generations.
Though yet to be fully incorporated into standard practice, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the emergent technology that is becoming the fundamental vehicle in driving and delivering these innovations. This module therefore explores both advanced construction technologies and innovations and the use of BIM in managing and organising construction project information.
Applied Research Methods provides you with the fundamentals of research design highlighting the difference between qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and demonstrates how data can be both gathered and analysed and how deductive arguments can be used to produce valid generalisations from data. It also provides you with an overview of particular research techniques such that you can choose and develop those tools most appropriate to your particular research project.
Your Dissertation follows on from Applied Research Methods and aims not only to generate new knowledge or insights but also to develop your capacity to undertake rigorous research, to plan and execute an extended project and to communicate complex ideas effectively verbally and graphically. You will work with a supervisor from within the department to produce an original piece of work of publishable quality through conducting your own primary research and presenting your findings in a professional manner.
Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may differ from those shown here.
Teaching and learning
Teaching, learning and assessment methods are largely determined by the use of the applied learning approach which leads to a more challenging and industrially relevant course than the traditional lecture approach. Learning takes place through groups of students working through problems together. These are often adapted from real situations with much of the complexity and content intact, using published resources or reference to experts who are available to offer advice.
Full time mode: new material is delivered weekly with intermediate tutorial or seminar sessions. The intensive study weeks and a European field trip, when students in both modes of study come together, complement this delivery pattern.
Distance learning mode: the virtual learning environment (VLE) is the primary mode of delivery. Communication with open learning students is supplemented by email and telephone during the periods off campus.
Approach to assessment
Assessment is 100% coursework, which includes a great variety of types of work, including quizzes taken remotely on Moodle (Brookes online learning environment). Material can be downloaded from our virtual learning environment and closed discussions can take place. It also enables on campus and distance learning students to remain in contact with each other.
A European field trip is a compulsory element of the PGCert modules. It typically takes place over a five day period towards the end of January and is heavily subsidised by the department.
The aim of the field trip is to consolidate the knowledge gained in the early part of the course and to develop team and other relationships through exposing you to European project management practices and to assess their ability to observe and report on the different approaches to project management in the UK and in a European country.
The field trip normally consists of visits to prominent construction/engineering projects and sites, plus architectural attractions, both en route and at the destination. You are introduced to the development and planning practices at the destination, as well as having the opportunity to visit major complex projects.
About our students
The programme attracts students from diverse backgrounds and locations. They normally hold degrees in fields relating to built environment including civil engineering, construction, architecture and building, and have decided to contribute to the development of the built environment around us by effectively managing construction projects.
Our students come from as far afield as Nigeria, Russia and India, with backgrounds ranging from recently graduated at undergraduate level, to working with small local companies, to fully established managers in large international construction companies. This diverse group brings with them individual responses to the applied learning approach that is at the core of our course delivery.
Typically the open learning students are employed by a number of different organisations from the private and public sectors in different countries. They have the opportunity to share their experiences to gain better understanding of the industry, the range of challenges that construction project managers face, and therefore the breadth of skills that they need to develop to perform successfully.
Our full time students benefit from contact with the distance learning students engaged in construction project management roles in a variety of built environment projects across many countries.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
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Changes to programmes