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Building Information Modelling and Management

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

School of the Built Environment

Accredited by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

This programme has been designed to meet the challenging demands of the modern learner and the rapidly evolving needs of the built environment sector in respect to the emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as a working practice, the MSc in Building Information Modelling and Management , through its intelligent use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), is designed to deliver a flexible and innovative programme of study. 

The MSc is available both as a one year full-time programme, and in distance learning mode that is normally taken over two years (extendable up to 5 years). The course consists of four core modules plus research methods and a final dissertation.  As each of these core modules is entirely self-contained students may enter the program in either September or January.

Prior to September 2016 entry, this programme was named Construction Project Management and BIM.

You may choose to exit at the PGCert or PGDip stage, but please note that these exit awards are not accredited by RICS or CIOB.

Available start dates

January 2019 / September 2019 / January 2020 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Distance learning

Course length

  • Full time: 13 months (Sept start), 17 months (Jan start)
  • Part time: Distance learning only - 25 months (Sept start), 29 months (Jan start)

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • We use an ‘applied approach’ to teaching, and our students work on real-life or reality based problems as experienced within the construction sector and its associated industries, consultants and clients. 
  • You are also exposed to behavioural aspects of managing projects, which most construction project managers only experience when their careers are well-advanced.  
  • This provides a more interesting and engaging learning environment than the traditional ‘study and examination’ approach to learning.
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.

Module outlines
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.

Field trips

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.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £7,270 2020/21: £8,000

Home/EU - distance learning fee: 2019/20: £3,710 2020/21: £4,000

International - full time: 2019/20: £14,000 2021/21: £14,700

International - distance learning fee: 2019/20: £6,080 2020/21: £7,350

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

The course is open to applicants who hold a 2.1 undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent).
We will actively consider applications from candidates with lower degrees, who can evidence substantiated & relevant experience in construction.
Industry professionals with suitable practice qualifications (e.g MRICS, MCIOB) - demonstrating ability to study at master's level, are also encouraged to apply.
For Distance-Learning study, it is recommended that applicants have at least six months work experience in the built environment sector.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in all components.


An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

There is no formal application deadline (recruitment closes when teaching capacity is reached). However, we advise applying in good advance to secure places, and allow sufficient time for applications to be reviewed.
Applicants should also factor any time needed to meet offer conditions, arrange accommodation, and obtain a UK Tier 4 visa (if applicable).

Distance-Learning study requires additional Faculty preparation - therefore this mode can sometimes close sooner than on-campus study.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.


Graduates of our postgraduate construction programmes have an outstanding employment record. Our graduates are recognised as having excellent levels of communication, presentation and problem-solving skills. Consequently, our students go on to be project managers right across the broad spectrum of the construction industries both locally and internationally. 

Many of these companies visit the department annually to meet students for graduate positions as Assistant project managers whilst all of our distance learning students are employed full time by prominent companies in the sector. 

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

We work closely with our International Centre to help students whose first language is not English. All international students are registered on appropriate courses during the first semester so that they can develop their academic writing skills. They then take extra classes on dissertation writing in the second semester. 

Continuous assessment and feedback are other means through which we support our students. The PGCert modules in particular are designed so that our students have the opportunity to learn from the feedback that they receive in order to improve their academic performance.

You will be assigned an academic adviser who will help guide your academic development.  In addition we provide specialist subject librarians to help you find the right material for your coursework and other learning support staff to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

In addition to your academic advisor, you will have access to student support co-ordinators who are there to provide pastoral care.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

Many of our academic staff are involved in academic research and/or professional/commercial consultancy work. In the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), our Unit of Assessment (UoA 16) ranked 4th within the University in terms of its Grade Point Average (GPA). We hold the 11th position in terms of Research Impact and Power Rating (GPA x number of full-time equivalent staff submitted) among the 45 institutions that submitted to our unit of assessment.

Many members of staff are part of the Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development (OISD). This research and promotional organisation is noted for its work on sustainable technology in buildings and sustainable urban form among many on-going projects. 

A recent HEFCE report into sustainable development in higher education in England suggests that the OISD is one of the key players in sustainable development research.

Research areas and clusters

Areas of interest include:
  • sustainability, adaptation and resilience to climate change
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)     
  • collaborative supply networks for procurement and delivery of project
  • building economics
  • forecasting techniques
  • risk management
  • social networks in project environments
  • managing complex projects
  • management of knowledge and innovation as a source of competitive advantage
  • adaptive re-use of existing buildings
  • facilities management
  • health and safety.