Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Building Information Modelling and Digital Leadership

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Organisation profile

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is one of the largest multi-campus universities on the island, serving a diverse group of learners, staff, communities and organisations from our region and further afield.

We offer a rich combination of academic and research excellence, quality of life and opportunity – all of which can be experienced in the most beautiful part of Ireland. Atlantic TU will have the critical mass and academic depth to attract, educate, nurture and retain talent in the west, north-west and cross-border region.

Our collaborative approach ensures that we deliver practice-orientated study, and research that seeks to address the major challenges facing society and the world.

As a northern and western multi-campus technological university, we are dedicated to enabling sustainable economic, social and cultural development; connected to our region and with a mindset that reaches far beyond it.

Training aim

The Postgraduate Diploma in Building Information Management (BIM) and Digital Leadership is a programme that will directly respond to a significant gap in national and international educational provision related to digital leadership across the built environment value chain. The programme will provide a flexible, multidisciplinary and industry-focused programme that will empower graduates to lead the transition towards a collaborative digitalised built environment.

Learning objectives

Module 1: Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Digital Leadership

1. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate leadership and organisational change strategies at different scales within the built environment sector.

2. Map and analyse BIM and digital maturity at project-level and organisational scales.

3. Explore and critique BIM and digital leadership value chain best practice examples.

4. Examine potential BIM and digital transition interventions across the value chain at different scales.

5. Prepare and present a leadership strategy for organisational BIM and digital transitions across the value chain.

6. Demonstrate an ability to critically reflect on the professional development and personalised learning pathways required for BIM and digital leadership.


Module 2: Visual Programming for Digital Construction

1. Identify real-world problems in construction and develop innovative solutions using visual scripting for digital construction.

2. Engage in the development of application programming interface (API) using a visual node-based interface.

3. Evaluate the limitations of construction-related software and present a range of possible solutions using application programming interface (API).

4. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate new and emerging technologies in the areas of Generative Design, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and gamification.

Module 3: Building Information Modelling for Sustainability

1. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate how BIM and digital tools can contribute to a more sustainable and circular built environment.

2. Explore and analyse the use of BIM and digital tools for sustainable building design.

3. Prepare and present graphical and written output to justify the approach and impact of design decisions.

4. Examine the interaction between competing factors which influence the overall approach to sustainable building design.

5. Explore and assess the processes and outputs related to life cycle analysis.

Module 4: Build Digital Applied Work-Based Research Project

1. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate evolving applied work-based research paradigms, methodologies, and methods, which are applicable within a built environment setting.

2. Evaluate and critically assess the applicability of built environment and digitalisation research strategies and frameworks at different scales across the value chain.

3. Critically examine the feasibility and applicability of emerging concepts of communities of practice and learning organisations within a digital built environment context.

4. Prepare a project-based and/or organisational applied work-based research plan of work that will set out the: aims and objectives; selected methodology; implementation and benchmarking framework; and critical reflection milestones.

5. Undertake a detailed and focused applied research study within a workplace context that will critically evaluate and examine the design, development, and piloting of digital construction interventions.

6. Critically evaluate different communication tools to translate and present applied work-based research findings to different audiences.

Course outline

This course uses a work-based research learning practice. Each student will gain a broader knowledge, both National and International, on forward thinking strategies which can be applied to their interests and situation. Students will use Model based Analytical tools and Process analysis tools to improve their Organisation understanding of potential of BIM.

The expectation is that each student will become a BIM Leader within their organisation and have a clear set of skills to strategically develop BIM in their Organisation or Practice.

Trainer's profile

Jimmy Fahy

Lecturing/Teaching Experience: 

•  2 years full-time and 2 years part-time, ATU, Galway City

Relevant Work Experience: 

• 20 years working in the construction industry to include main contracting, tier one contracting, design office in Architecture and Structural engineering.

Academic Qualifications: 

• BSc in Architectural Technology

Professional Body Membership: 


Dr Mark Kelly

Academic Qualifications:

• B.Sc (Hons) in Construction Management and Technology

• M.A. in Academic Practice

• M.Sc (Research)

• National Diploma in Construction Management

• PhD

• Teaching and Learning

Professional Body Membership:

• Irish Passive House Association - Qualified Passive House Consultant

• Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) - Member

Dr Martin Taggart

Lecturing/Teaching Experience: 

• 2007 - Present, Lecturer, Atlantic Technological University, Department of Building and Civil Engineering and Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

• 1984 - 1987 Lecturer, Part-Time, Hammersmith and West London College, London

Relevant Work Experience: 

• 1979 -1987 - John Laing Construction Group, Project Manager

• 1987 - 1995 - Managing Director, TCL Management Services Limited, Project Management Consultant

• 1995 - 1997 - Managing Director, Taggart Contracts Limited, Contracting Organisation

• 1997 - 1999 - Michael Mc Namara Contractors, Project Manager

• 2000 - 2007 - Deputy Building and Estates Manager, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

Academic Qualifications:

• PhD - Project Management in Construction - University of Huddersfield

• MSc - Project Management - University of Salford

• BBus (Hons) Business - Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

• CIOB - Part 1,2,3 Professional Exams

Professional Body Membership:  

• Fellow and Chartered Construction (FCIOB) Chartered Institute of Building

• Fellow and Chartered Building Engineer (FCABE C Build E)

• Chartered Association of Building Engineers

• Licentiateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute

Gerard Nicholson

Lecturing/Teaching Experience:  

• 2012 - Present, Lecturer Atlantic Technological University, Department of Building and Civil Engineering

• 2013 - 3 months, Lecturer Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (Finland)

• 2013-2016 - BIM Trainer, RPS.  The development and delivery of BIM training courses to RPS employees throughout Ireland (Galway, Cork and Dublin)

Relevant Work Experience:  

• 2013 - 2016, RPS, Design Engineer/BIM Manager/BIM Training RPS ROI

• 2011 - 2013 BIM Services, Sole Trader

• 2020 - 2011 - SBAS Architectural Services, Junior Architectural Technologist

Academic Qualifications: 

• MSc by Research in BIM and Project Management, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

• BSc (Hons) in Architectural Technology - IT Carlow

• Professional Body Memberships: Associate member, ACIAT - Chartered Institute of Architectural Technology (CIAT)

Andy Mc Namara

Lecturing/Teaching Experience: 

• GMIT - 2016 - 2018 Part Time

• GMIT - 2019 - Present Full-Time

Relevant Work Experience: 

• Coffey Group - BIM Manager

• Murphy and Mc Gerr Architecture - BIM Manager

• RPS Consulting Engineering, Galway - BIM Coordinator

Academic Qualifications: 

• MEng SC IT in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC)

• PG Cert (L9) Teaching and Learning

• BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology

• BSc Architectural Technology

Dr Wayne Gibbons

Lecturing/Teaching Experience: 

• GMIT from January 2008 to present

• Athlone IT (Part-Time) June 2007 - June 2010

Relevant Work Experience: Director, 

• Gibbons Topographics Limited, January 2000 - January 2008

• Freelance Site Engineer and Land Surveyor, June 1997 to January 2000

Academic Qualifications: 2020: 

• Doctorate in Education

• 2015: Masters of Education

• 2011: Master of Science in Energy and Sustainable Building Design 

• 1997: BSc (Hons) in Applied Surveying

• 1996: National Diploma in Engineering

Professional Membership: 

• Engineers Ireland, Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

Course duration

3 semesters

Assessment & certification

The programme assessment strategy is contextualised to the purpose of the programme, the discipline, the student cohort, and the learning environment. It constructively aligns with the programme and individual module learning outcomes and aims to demonstrate that the learners have achieved these. The purpose of the assessment strategy is to immerse the student in the practical application of digitalisation principles across the whole built environment value chain. The overall assessment strategy is informed by the Advance HE framework for transforming assessment, which aims to develop authentic and purposeful assessment (Scott, 2020). Each assessment element scaffolds the subsequent elements within each module with a 100% continuous assessment framework. This formative assessment approach will provide opportunities for meaningful feedback (Gayten and McEwan, 2007) in the form of self-evaluation, peer-led feedback and lecturer moderation of comments (Rossi and Rossi, 2020b). This directly aligns with the teaching and learning strategy and will ensure a robust iterative feedback cycle between staff and students.

Who should attend

Candidates must hold a cognate level 8 Bachelor (Honours) degree with a minimum grade classification of H2.2 or equivalent e.g., Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Architectural Technology, Architecture, Construction Economics and Surveying, Building Information Modelling or other similar degrees which provide students with knowledge of BIM as a technology and a process.

Candidates who do not meet the H2.2 performance standard in a level 8 award will be required to pass a qualifying assignment at a H2.2 performance standards, as established by the Programme Board for the programme in question and as approved by the Registrar.

ATU is committed to the principles of transparency, equity, and fairness in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and to the principle of valuing all learning regardless of the mode or place of its acquisition. RPL will be implemented in accordance with ATU’s Academic Code of Practice No. 6  which outlines the policies and procedures for the Recognition of Prior Learning. Guidance for applicants is provided on

Candidates who are non-native English speakers are required to have a minimum score of 6.0 in IELTS or equivalent.  Further details on English language requirements are available at

Candidates may also apply for advanced entry through the RPL process i.e. for students who may have completed equivalent studies.