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Geospatial Engineering with Building Information Modelling (BIM) (MSc)

BIM is a growing technology used in the building industry worldwide. It uses digital techniques to create and use intelligent 3D models to communicate building project decisions. GIS is a technical system to implement the collection, storage, management, calculation, analysis, display and description of geospatial information data. The results help to understand what is happening in a geographical space which can increase efficiency in building planning and design. The current ‘lack of BIM innovation’ and ‘lack of BIM talent’ could delay the progress of Chinese “smart” cities, which aim to reduce resource consumption and cost and use digital technologies to benefit their citizens.

This programme will be run entirely at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) with internship opportunities in leading BIM companies in China. It is a collaboration between Department of Architecture and Built Environment and Civil Engineering. In particular, research and teaching support will be provided by two leading research laboratories including Geospatial BIM lab and Digital City Infrastructure and technology Innovation Laboratory (D-CiTi Lab). These laboratories are working closely with leading AEC consultants (Arup, WSP BP), international professional institutions (RICS, ICES, CIBSE) and leading BIM software vendors (Autodesk, Bentley, Leica, Tekla, Trimble).

Students are able to learn how to use and operate a very wide variety of state-of-the-art software, as well as surveying equipment including servo driven total stations, laser scanners, GNSS, digital and analogue photogrammetry. With extensive project and consultancy experience on the Geospatial Engineering, BIM in the AEC sector in the UK and China, the team is planning to promote the Smart City with multi-dimension BIM applications across China.

Advantages of studying this programme at the University of Nottingham Ningbo:

  • be familiar with BIM related software and surveying device
  • the ability to apply their skills directly within the surveying and AEC industry
  • react quickly to new technologies and innovations
  • communicate ideas effectively in written reports, verbally and presentations to groups
  • exercise original thought, as well as gain interpersonal, communication and professional skills
  • participate real project work for experience accumulation
  • plan and undertake individual projects

 This programme will help:

  • gain a complete understanding of theory, practice and issues of BIM and Geospatial technologies
  • acquire opportunities to use what you have learnt in real project work
  • explore new research methodology to promote development in this field
  • acquire technical skills of software operation, data analysis and design optimization
  • improve team-work ability and communication skill
  • foster individual ability to conduct academic researches

Course structure

The course is studied over 12months. 60 credits of modules are studied in the autumn and 60 credits of modules are studied in the Spring Semesters. A research project is undertaken in the summer semester, also worth 60 credits.


  • Students must take all modules in this group
  • Geospatial Engineering and BIM Research Project
  • Introduction to Building Information Modelling and Management
  • Research Project Literature Review
  • Fundamentals of Satellite Positioning
  • Geodetic Reference Systems
  • Analytical Methods
  • Photogrammetry and Remote Measurement Techniques
  • Global Smart City with Integrated BIM
  • 3D Modelling for BIM
  • Research Project Organization and Planning
  • Engineering Surveying
  • BIM and Knowledge Management
  • BIM+ and its Future

Additional Module Choice Information for PG I

A student may not retake a module they have studied at Nottingham on a previous course. Substitute modules to be agreed with the Course Director.

Career options for this degree

In China, BIM has attracted an increasing amount of concern and lots of AEC companies or institutes desire to recruit talented people with relevant BIM skills and experience. Graduates from this program would be expected to find decent jobs in local and international AEC companies. During the academic period, students have opportunities to visit and communicate with large AEC companies, and even enroll as interns after graduation. For those who wish to pursue their academic careers, this postgraduate programme prepares them well for higher level research and to continue onto PhD level.

Our Careers Development Service will work with you to explore your options. They will invite you to attend recruitment events featuring potential employers, and will suggest further opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Visit the Geospatial Engineering with Building Information Modelling (BIM) (MSc) page on the University of Nottingham in China website for more details!




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