The University of the West of England is to launch a new postgraduate MSc in Building Information Modelling in conjunction with its industry partners – architect Stride Treglown and contractor BAM Construct.
UWE will offer a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma and full master’s degree courses in BIM in Design, Construction and Operations, with students able to complete the course in one year full-time, or two to three years part-time.
The university says that the new course is designed to address the growing need for professionals able to meet the government’s Level 2 BIM requirements on central government-funded projects from 2016.
It points out that public sector contracts are worth almost £37bn a year, making up a considerable proportion, 38%, of all UK construction output.
However, lack of education, skills and trained professionals are among the major obstacles to the adoption of BIM in the industry.
UWE Bristol programme leader Professor Lamine Mahdjoubi said: “Unlike existing postgraduate programmes in BIM, which tend to focus on specific aspects of building information management, such as design or sustainability, this new programme is more holistic in its approach and deals with the whole built environment lifecycle, including design, construction, operation, maintenance, and sustainability.
“What sets this programme apart is the context of inter-professional and multi-disciplinary approach and expertise that exists in UWE’s Faculty of Environment and Technology.
She added that students would be offered the chance to work alongside Stride Treglown, currently leading the CIC’s South-West BIM Hub, and BAM Construct. “This unique programme emphasises innovative sustainable and collaborative practices in building information modelling and management.”
Keith Wildin of BAM Construct said: “BIM touches every part of our industry and it integrates with all disciplines at BAM, from construction, design and FM. UWE Bristol is unique among education establishments, having recognised that the BIM ‘process’ is more important than the ‘technology’.
“This approach to teaching BIM will prepare students for working in a co-operative environment that has the potential to transform the UK construction industry by questioning current practices and developing technological knowhow facilitating the BIM process. Few companies are able to offer experience of the BIM environment but at BAM we recognise the importance of providing opportunities of work placement’s to improve the students overall understanding of the BIM process.”
Professor Mahdjoubi also warned that BIM adoption threatened to polarise the industry. “Many of the world’s leading architecture, engineering, and construction firms are on the way to adopting BIM. However, the majority of the construction industry is in the hands of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are not ready for such a sudden change. According to a recent report of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), construction SMEs are failing to win nine out of 10 public sector contracts.”