PROFILE: 21st Century BIM: Virtual Education Solutions


South West College is situated in a largely rural area of Northern Ireland, covering two counties with five separate campuses. It has recently been awarded a Grade 1 by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) and is the only Regional College in Northern Ireland to achieve this accolade ranking it among the top 4 colleges within the 413 across the UK.

The College prides itself on its industry-facing collaboration, which was described as ‘best in sector’ in the recent ETI inspection. South West College continues to embrace technological advances and change in industry processes in all areas and has established itself as a leader in the field of construction. The College has fully understood the importance of the construction industry in adopting the new technologies and methodologies that are being developed in the area of Building Information Modelling (BIM).In conjunction with Northern Ireland BIM Hub, South West College recently delivered a very successful International BIM Conference which was attended by a large number of industry experts.

In order to support the industry, South West College has developed a BIM Hub to aid the training of those employed within the construction industry and associated services – including both public and private sectors. Industry standard software, such as Revit, Navisworks, Trimble Realworks, Pix4D, etc. has been put in place to support the industry to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in BIM to meet future government legislative requirements. The College has purchased specialised equipment in the areas of 3D geospatial scanning and Drone Technology for aerial surveying.

In recent years, South West College has invested substantially in Virtual Learning, both in terms of infrastructure and staff skills. The reasons for this investment are numerous and the benefits to the college and its students are significant. In November 2011, South West College successfully delivered a ‘Virtual Stud-e-day’ and ‘Virtual Week’ with 5655 learners logging on remotely to study online. Due to the success of this award winning Virtualisation Project, the College has increased its capacity to deliver bespoke online education solutions locally, regionally and globally e.g. Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Virtual learning, when delivered by South West College, is extremely ‘student-centred’; it is also self-paced, interactive, engaging, hands-on and of high quality. Barriers of distance and time can be overcome which means students now have a choice and the college has an ever growing marketplace. Virtual learning of the future will be very different to what has been offered in the past. Models of delivery are being developed that will mesh with the demands of a student population that is constantly evolving. The use of Remote Access to specialised software such as Autodesk packages, Blackboard, Collaborate, Immersive Environments, Simulation, Learning Games, Augmented/Mixed Reality, 3D Printing, Screencasts and Live Streaming have opened up possibilities that previously were not there. The only barrier we have in the future is our own imagination, and the College is making every effort to ensure our imagination is unlocked and your potential is fully realised.

The College’s high performance Construction and Virtual teams comprise of individuals with unique skills that collectively work together to create innovative educational BIM solutions. Every member of the team is highly competent and experienced in their respective areas.

BIM training/courses may be delivered through on-line, blended learning and classroom based approach or through a combination of these. Examples of courses available:

  • BIM – an overview (Foundation Course)
  • NOCN Level 4 Revit for BIM
  • NOCN Level 5 Revit for BIM
  • BIM Project and Asset Information Management (CAPEX & OPEX information management)

As well as the above courses, the College can also offer bespoke training to any organisation and if necessary carry out a company training needs analysis prior to curriculum development. Where applicable, the College offers Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and Innovation Voucher opportunities. BIM training at South West College will equip construction industry professionals with:

  • An understanding of UK Government BIM Level 2 requirements and the relevant national and industry standards
  • An understanding of the impact BIM Level 2 will have on construction workflow
  • The skills to identify and assess the applications of BIM efficiencies within your organisation and implement same
  • Capacity to meet government BIM requirements for main contractors, subcontractors and construction consultants to gain competitive advantage

If anyone within your organisation is interested in finding out more about BIM training at South West College or discussing the design of bespoke content, please contact:

Stephen Moss – Construction Curriculum Manager

Tel: 078 9891 3742

Tiernan McAlister – Virtual Education Solutions

Tel: 0845 603 1881 – Ext 3705

BIM Hub Contact


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