Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

BIM and Digital Built Environments

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




Distance Learning


One year

Two year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

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

This course provides you with 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 building surveying. Located just over a mile from Manchester city centre, we're at the heart of the UK's largest property and construction market outside of London, with a host of flagship construction case live projects to study - and a network of construction industry companies to grow your career.

International applicant? Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Start your MSc BIM and Digital Built Environments study journey

Register for our next Open Day where you can learn more about the course, tour our campus and meet the tutors

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

Building blueprint

Course delivery

Our MSc BIM and Digital Built Environment postgraduate degree at Salford meets industry needs by providing formal qualifications for built environment professionals looking to develop a BIM skillset.

The course is delivered through a range of industry-aligned modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises four taught modules plus a dissertation. The 120-credit PgDip comprises four taught modules. The 60-credit PgCert award comprises two specified taught modules.

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course full-time or part-time on campus, or part-time via distance learning. 

  • As a full-time student, you will complete four 30-credit taught modules in each of the first two trimesters on campus.  In the final trimester you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.
  • As a part-time student, you will complete a 30-credit module in each of the first four trimesters on campus. Across two additional trimesters you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.
  • As a distance learning student, you will complete a 30-credit taught module in each of your first four trimesters. Across two further trimesters, you will complete a dissertation worth 60 credits. This is also delivered online, with tutor support. 
Learning experience

Alongside gaining a strong understanding of real-world practice, you will develop your BIM knowledge focusing on sustainable design, project integration, modelling and LEAN processes. You will also strengthen your research and analytical skills by completing a dissertation on a topic of your choice.  Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

If you are studying on campus, you will have opportunities to visit live construction projects.  As an online learner, will experience our Collaborate Ultra virtual learning environment, but you can still choose to visit for specific face to face activities, such as field trips, study days and summer schools, which also provide you with opportunities for knowledge exchange.

Our BIM Summer School is an optional extra-curricular activity held at our MediaCityUK Campus that is designed to enhance your  knowledge of BIM, Lean, and integrated design and project delivery approaches. Bringing together taught and research-based postgraduate students, you will experience three days of seminars, guest lectures (government, industry and academic), workshops and site visits.

Course team

The BIM and Digital Built Environments postgraduate course is delivered by an academic team with extensive research and subject knowledge. The team is part of a global built environment community with prominence in shaping construction industry best practice.

Course leader: Professor Jason Underwood

Course academics:

Dr Paul Coates

Dr Mustapha Munir

Professor Zeeshan Aziz

Dr Yingchun Ji


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?


Campus-based teaching and learning will develop your knowledge and skills through a blend of theoretical, collaborative and practical methods, including:

  • Lectures and tutorials
  • Project work
  • Directed study
  • One-to-one tutorials (by appointment)

Typically, lectures will introduce the core module knowledge with tutorials designed to provide a forum for tutor-led discussion and debate. Project work is your chance to conduct research and other techniques that will help you to develop solutions to prescribed tasks.

Distance learning students will experience our online learning environment and intensive tutor support. Weekly online tutorials are delivered to encourage student participation.

Our online learning materials enable you to complete self-directed study at your own convenience. Learning is driven by real-world problems in workplaces and job roles.

Additional learning support is provided through optional study days for both on-campus and distance learning students. This include the 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

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders.

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to take your career potential further.

Energy House

The way UK energy is supplied and consumed is changing fast. Consumers and small businesses will soon be able to generate, store, share, buy and sell their energy as the government encourages the transition to a greener economy.

Through commercial and grant funded research, Salford's world-class Energy House laboratories help businesses understand how effective their products and services are in lowering consumers’ carbon footprint and reducing energy bills.

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree with Salford, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact work in a range of local and global built environment issues and challenges.

Discover how you are part of something bigger.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

BIM work


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.

Our 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.


You might also choose to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. Our Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments is home to PhD and Research Master’s opportunities exploring how we can enhance our built environments at local, national and international scales. 

Explore our Doctoral School to learn more about research training, support and opportunities.

A taste of what you could become

An architectural technician

A designer

A BIM specialist

An information manager

And more...

Career Links

  • Our course is extensively informed by collaboration between 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.
  • Our 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 influencing the digital transformation of work environments. 


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, however we do accept a range of equivalent qualifications. 

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course


Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

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.

International student entry requirements

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

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).

For more information or enquires about this scheme, please contact: 

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,450.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Part-time 2024/25 £2,730 per 30 credits
Distance learning 2024/25 £1,575 per 30 credits
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,800.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year
Part-time 2025/26 £2,833.50 per 30 credits
Distance learning 2025/26 £1,635 per 30 credits

Additional costs

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

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

January 2025

September 2025