Building Information Modelling (BIM) MSc

MSc Building Information Modelling (BIM): Strategy, Visualisation and Application

1. Overview

This postgraduate course has been developed to enable students to respond to demands of a rapidly changing industry. Those changes are being driven by government strategy, the demands of building information modelling (BIM) and the widespread use of architectural visualisation techniques.

The course will allow you to develop a deep understanding of visualisation techniques, their implications for design, construction and collaboration, and the ways in which they will affect your discipline area and working practice in the future. The course contains hands-on experience with a range of software packages, providing a foundation upon which students can develop their ideas and project work.

Building on our expertise in a range of visualisation fields, the course contains modules dealing specifically with building information modelling, design visualisation, urban visualisation, virtual collaboration and information visualisation. The course culminates in a student-led dissertation or advanced visualisation project.

Each module contains a practical introduction to key software and techniques, although it should be stressed that the course emphasis is on application and critical evaluation, rather than on software training.

To find out more about our current and previous research projects in this field, visit our research pages.

2. What you will study

3. How you will learn

Our supported distance learning mode of delivery allows you to study online from any location and is designed to fit in around your work commitments.

You will be taught and supported by experienced industry professionals who will recreate the same challenging interactive format of the on-campus courses for those studying at a distance.

Our virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle offers students flexibility of where and when they can study, offering full and open access to tutors and other class members. Students have the benefit of being part of a group of learners with the invaluable opportunity to participate in active, group-related learning within a supportive online community setting. The online campus provides students with lectures and course materials and it also includes:

  • Virtual tutorials
  • Live chat
  • Discussion forums - student and tutor led
  • Up-to-date web technology for delivery methods
  • User friendly material
  • Access to our online library

As online learners, students are part of a 'virtual cohort' and the communication and interaction amongst members of the cohort is a significant aspect of the learning process. If you would like to find out more about our online learning environment get in touch to access our pre-enrolment.

Computer Specification

Students should also have access to the use of a computer with minimum specification: 

  • Windows 8 or Windows 7 (64-bit Professional operating system recommended)
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor (highest affordable CPU speed rating recommended)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 5GB free disk space
  • 3 button mouse (recommended for 3DS Max), or equivalent.

Students will be encouraged to use downloadable and web-based software (free to registered students for academic use) from Autodesk, Graphisoft and others, including industry-standard CAD, modelling and rendering software. As coursework is submitted via CampusMoodle, it is also recommended that antivirus software is installed.

4. Entry requirements

We welcome applicants holding an honours degree in architecture, architectural technology, surveying, engineering, planning or any associated discipline. The course will also be of interest to graduates from a design background, including interior design and product design.

Applicants who comply with any of the following criteria should apply:

  • A good Honours degree in any discipline from a recognised university.
  • Applicants who do not hold an Honours degree but who have relevant industry experience over a reasonable time period will be considered.

For international students 6.5 IELTS or its equivalent in TOEFL is required.

English Language Requirements

5. Student Funding

Applicants to this course may be eligible for a Merit Scholarship.
More information can be found at Architecture, Construction & Surveying Merit Scholarships

Payment Plan - Distance Learning

6. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2016/2017

All Students

  • £2,490 Stage 1
  • £2,490 Stage 2
  • £1,660 Stage 3

For Academic Year 2015/2016

All Students

  • £2400 Stage 1
  • £2400 Stage 2
  • £1600 Stage 3

For Academic Year 2014/2015

All Students

  • £2400 Stage 1
  • £2400 Stage 2
  • £1600 Stage 3

All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


7. How to apply

If you have any queries then please contact our Admissions Office:

If you are an International Student and would like further information and application advice:

8. Prospects

Within the UK, both the RIBA and the RICS have made significant efforts to lead discussion and debate regarding how visualisation and BIM will revolutionise the undertaking of architectural projects in the coming years.

The course will represent a valuable addition to the useful and applicable skills and knowledge of graduates.

9. Assessment

The course is assessed using a series of practical assignments, culminating in the completion of a major dissertation / advanced project.

10. Meet your course leader

Professor Richard Laing  is the course leader for MSc Visualisation in Architecture and the Built Environment.

Richard has an extensive research background with research interests spanning visualisation, BIM, sustainable urban design and built heritage conservation. 

Back to postgraduate
Connect Register Your Interest Course Page Button Contact us - Postgraduate Enquiries sRequest a Prospectus RHS


Start date

September 2016

Course length

3 years

Mode of Attendance

Distance Learning

Academic school
Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment
More information:
Professor Richard Laing Professor of Built Environment Visualisation
+44 (0)1224 263716
  • BIM Task Group

    The BIM Task Group is a UK Government initiative that helps to support and deliver the objectives of the Government Construction Strategy.

  1. Distance Learning and You booklet

    Cover for the information booklet "distance learning and you", produced by the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment.

    Download a pdf

  2. Scott Sutherland School Blog

    Social Media - Blogs

    View a selection of past and present student's work and find out more about what's going on at Scott's.

Postgraduate Guide

  1. Research in Architecture and Built Environment

    Rowe, Benjamin - New Architecture 3

    Our research considers the design, provision & assessment of present and future built environments in terms of their suitability to those they're designed for.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781