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Digital Construction - MSc

The new course of MSc in Digital Construction aims to provide a platform for built environment professionals to improve or further develop their digital competency, awareness and practical skills that support them to cope with the ever-changing technological advancements....

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • Award MSc
  • Start date September 2021, September 2021, January 2022
  • Fees View course fees
  • School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Course overview

The new course of MSc in Digital Construction aims to provide a platform for built environment professionals to improve or further develop their digital competency, awareness and practical skills that support them to cope with the ever-changing technological advancements. The course also acts as a bridge for those coming from other educational backgrounds and particularly computer science and are interested to join the built environment world.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The MSc Digital Construction is built on five main areas of knowledge: Digital Transformation, Integrated Processes, Innovation, Smart Production and Decision-making.

Digital Transformation: through Information System lenses, we will provide you with knowledge and understanding on role of Information Systems and Technology within organisations shedding the light on a range of techniques that support formulating an effective strategy for digital transformation.

Integrated Processes: reflecting on best practice of employing integrated processes across different built environment disciplines, we will pave knowledge and practice of using Building Information Modelling (BIM) as one of the integrated processes on real-life projects.

Innovation: extending on integrated processes, you will be exposed to different innovative solutions that can be applied during and after building delivery, and how they can be used to improve overall building performance and management.

Smart Production: with the continual evolvement of engineering and manufacturing processes within the construction industry, we cover knowledge and understanding about different approaches primarily through lean principles toward achieving smart production.

Decision-making: with the expansion of integrating technology-based solutions within the built environment, the value of understanding data/information in informing different decisions across the whole life cycle is becoming inevitable. Through interdisciplinary expertise, we will provide you with an insight into different computing-based areas to equip you with robust knowledge on synthesis of the data to optimise different aspects with in the built environment.

Why Choose Us?

  • Become a specialist in Digital Construction - this course will go beyond upskilling your knowledge on technological advances in the construction industry to equip you with pragmatic and dynamic mind-set that places you at the front line in the construction market.
  • Widening your job prospects - in addition to your opportunities in the construction market, our course will enable you to step into businesses that are undergoing or planning to undergo a digital transformation journey where your role will be forming strategy, improving processes and support their technological adoption.
  • Links with industry - we are well connected with the industry, and this includes large organisations and SMEs. The interdisciplinary nature of the course allows us to bring expertise from both the construction industry and computer science together.

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

2:2 honours degree or higher in Built Environment, Engineering or Computer Science Discipline

We will also consider other qualifications and suitable work based experience on an individual basis. You may be asked to attend a selection interview.

Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Non-EU students need to demonstrate a good command of English. IELTS 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in all areas or equivalent is needed before they can enrol in this programme.

Introduction course

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £8,800 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement*
  • £9,700 per year

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 24 months
  • TBC

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £8,800 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement*
  • £9,700 per year

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £13,200 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement*
  • £14,520 per year

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £13,200 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement*
  • £14,520 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment 

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.  

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS, NVivo, Matlab and Simulink to your home computer to support with your studies and research, so that you can access this software on and off campus. We also provide remote access to campus software which is essential to engage with the module contents. 

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

LinkedIn Learning

Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you will need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Master's

This module aims to provide a holistic view of the process and practice underlined by the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as one of the mechanisms for integrated delivery. Using case studies and real life scenarios, the Module commences by identifying drivers and rationale to identify the business case for BIM in any project.

This module aims to encourage self-directed, individual and life-long learning through the adoption of problem-based learning strategy to enhance your problem solving skills. The module requires you to work in teams to address the challenges presented in case studies, simulating real-word scenarios. You will gain practical experience of applying, analysing and critiquing a range of modelling techniques to formulate IS strategies.

The module is concerned with the social context in which technology is employed and the relationship that develops thereby. The module focuses on effective strategic thinking and a holistic integration approach to IT challenges and barriers. The module debates the interdependent relationship between people, processes and technology to deliver enterprise solutions able to exploit information and IT in a constantly changing international context

This module aims to provide pragmatic guidance on the application of digital technologies and techniques during the whole life-cycle management of buildings and infrastructure. The module uses real life examples of digital technology applications in practice (achieved via on-site field study and published case study research) and discusses in particular the problems that occur within existing built environment (including listed developments) and they can be mitigated using innovative solutions.

This module aims to facilitate knowledge and practices of lean integration and production within the built environment. It provides an overview of lean principles, techniques and approaches, and how they smart production processes. The module also touches on the integration of lean principles and production within built environment technologies, and attempts to reflect different stakeholders’ perspectives of lean integration across the whole life cycle.

This module aims to provide an insight into the synthesis of data analytics knowledge and its application to optimise different aspects within digital built environment. Due to the advent of technological advancements, and since the introduction of Industry 4.0 and 5.0, research continues to show that deeper insight into the data/information can support overcoming many of the complex issues within built environment projects.

This module enables you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Level 7 project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. You will be given the option to do a dissertation which requires you to choose a research topic that is aligned to the programme or project, which can be in the form of developing/applying the use of technology on a real-life scenario.

The teaching for this course puts you at the centre of learning and teaching, with a particular focus on the reflective learner and the development of professional skills and applied research. The course team use lectures, seminars, workshops, action learning sets, group work, problem based activities, guest speakers, on-line learning via Moodle,  a study trip and discussion forums to deliver learning.

Critical thinking is vital in Master’s study, and you are required to develop your own ideas and come up with solutions to problems based on solid evidence and logical analysis. You’ll also be expected to complete reading and assignments outside of class hours.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

Construction is seen as one of the top industries that rapidly is moving toward digitising its processes. Following the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution, digitalisation is recognised to be having a profound impact on the way industry works, operates and progresses.

Despite the digital transformation wave, this course anticipates to engage you with multidisciplinary industries to promote innovation and enable you to gain both practical and in-depth knowledge of tools and techniques within the Digital Built Environment for solving complex project problems.

Benefiting from our resources and partnership with Autodesk, you will be using software applications including Revit, Dynamo, BIM 360, and many others. Also, as BCU is recognised as an Autodesk Training Centre, you will benefit by having a free training access to one of the software applications from Autodesk.

Despite the active engagement with many international Consultancies, Contractors, and the UK BIM Alliance through the BIM Task Group, the course responds to many of the current and future needs within the Built Environment. The course will invite leading guest speakers to share their knowledge across various modules, and this will be arranged at their convenience.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. We ensure that you are equipped to participate fully and possessed with the equipment needed to support your studies.

Computer Assisted Taking Off (CATO)

In offices today, much of the pen and paper approach to quantity surveying has been replaced by the use of specialised software systems. Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.

Computer Assisted Design (CAD)

You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.

Surveying equipment

Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as:

  • Levels
  • Theodolites
  • Measuring tapes

A computer-generated virtual site

The use of a virtual building site will help you to appreciate the surroundings of a typical construction site and experience some of the challenges you will face in practice.

Surveying equipment

Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as levels, theodolites, measuring tapes.

Computer Assisted Design (CAD)

You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.

Our staff

Dr Mohammad Mayouf

Senior Lecturer in Digital Built Environment

Dr Mohammad Mayouf teaches a range of modules across Construction Management, Quantity Surveying and Building Surveying both at Undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His expertise include embedding and applying the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) within the built environment teaching curriculums, and research and collaboration with industrial partners.

More about Mohammad

Dr Elham Delzendeh

Senior Lecturer in Digital Built Environment

Elham's core research is around advanced digital technologies in AEC, building energy performance, occupants' behaviours and BIM. In addition to her academic experiences, she has a demonstrated history of working in the design and construction industry as an Architect, Architectural Technologist and BIM specialist.

More about Elham

Dr Saeed Talebi

Senior Lecturer in Quantity Surveying, Course Leader for BSc Quantity Surveying

Dr Saeed Talebi is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Built Environment, Birmingham City University. He has a PhD in the Built Environment and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

His role combines teaching, research, and administration. Saeed is the Course Leader for BSc Quantity Surveying and he has taught on several areas including Innovation in construction, Project Planning and Control, Cost Management, Procurement & Contract Administration, and Lean Construction at both UG and PG levels.

More about Saeed