Available for January start

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK/EU fee

£8,820 (2019/20)

International fee

£8,820 (2019/20)

Course level

Postgraduate

Qualification

MSc

Start dates

January, September

Location

Online

Online course description

With changes in UK legislation and ever-growing technological advancements, our online Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Project Collaboration MSc is more relevant than ever. The construction sector is expanding at an exponential rate with digital collaboration being at the forefront of project management.

BIM is a key part of the UK government's industrial strategy Construction 2025, which aims to increase productivity and collaboration through the use of digital technologies. It is a requirement that all public sector projects based in the United Kingdom will meet BIM Level 2.

The MSc Building Information Modelling and Project Collaboration online degree has been developed specifically for architects, architectural technologists, design and project managers, construction managers, civil engineers and other construction professionals. You will be able to draw on the extensive industrial links of our academic staff within a university that has Centre of Excellence Status from the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). Our on-campus version of this masters course has attained, for the second year running, 100% student satisfaction (PTES 2018).

A cutting edge approach to BIM-enabled design

This programme’s approach to BIM-enabled integrated design is at the forefront of the industry, drawing on work-based and real-life projects using the latest technology coupled with continued mentoring and support from experienced academics who also practice in the industry.

You will be able to draw inspiration from – and take part in – industry-leading research and consultancy projects being undertaken by our lecturers, such as the work pioneered by Dr Boris Ceranic on projects such as SmartPoD and Retro-Tek. The quality of teaching staff is paralleled by our innovative blend of design management, sustainable design analysis and advanced modelling.

Aspiring to become a chartered BIM professional?

Through the combination of online distance learning and work-based learning, you can achieve the academic qualification and professional development required as evidence in your application for chartered status.

Before you start the programme, please contact the professional body or institute that you are registered with to seek their confirmation that this programme is a suitable pathway to chartership for your particular circumstances. The list of professional bodies can be found on the Engineering Council website.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

What you can achieve

The online Building Information Modelling and Project Collaboration programme comprises three progressive stages: postgraduate certificate (PG Cert), postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) and masters (MSc). You will be required to achieve 60 credits to complete each award within the programme, totalling to 180 credits to achieve the MSc.

We would encourage you to complete the full MSc, but if you prefer, you can still gain an exit award at each stage: a PG Cert or a PG Dip. You can also complete the MSc via a two-year accelerated route.

You can also study the MSc Building Information Modelling and Project Collaboration full-time or part-time on campus.

Postgraduate certificatePostgraduate certificatePostgraduate diplomaPostgraduate diplomaMastersMasters

Code: 7AZ505

BIM and Integrated Project Collaboration

The emergence and adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as the industry standard approach for design, analysis, and management of building life cycle has significantly changed the way that designs are procured and transformed into reality.

The aim of this module is to develop in-depth knowledge and skills in application and evaluation of BIM enabled design in true collaborative environments, critically reflecting upon the current BIM procedures, protocols and standards required to implement efficient integrated project collaboration within the multidisciplinary built environment team.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Undertake advanced and independent research, analyse and critically appraise the building information modelling and project collaboration relationships and influences.
  • Critically evaluate the theoretical approaches and generate complex building information modelling and project collaboration proposals showing awareness of current issues and insights.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding and critically evaluate and apply the appropriate methods, processes, execution plans, specifications and technologies to design integration and project collaboration.

Module content

Collaborative Environment

Creating multidisciplinary teams. Organisational structures and roles within the BIM process. BIM execution plans, protocols and standards.   Interoperability and technologies for collaboration. Process change. Selected case studies. Current research and advancements.

Information analytics

Advanced methods for information retrieval, analysis and integration.  Decision-making using appropriate BIM collaboration tools. 

BIM and Project Stages
  • marketing and winning BIM projects
  • design and preconstruction- selecting the right team, vision, communication, managing expectations
  • scheduling design, tendering, logistics and planning
  • construction - model coordination and BIM scheduling
  • construction activity tracking
  • feedback and health and safety
  • contractual administration and document control
Facilities Management
  • BIM and information handover
  • BIM and building management system (BMS) integration
  • BIM-enabled building performance monitoring and control
  • maintaining the model, ongoing investment and logistics
BIM Case Studies
  • project collaboration and integrated design
  • current practices and future research
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7AZ506

nD BIM - Costing, Project Planning and Design Management

The title nD BIM refers to its multidimensional nature and potential of future dimensions of the BIM being developed and the impact they might have upon the more effective ways of project procurement and utilisation of construction resources.

In this module the inter-professional and multi-disciplinary approach will be adopted, aiming to develop advanced knowledge and skills for intelligent linking and interoperability of customised BIM environments so that all aspects of project life-cycle information management can be integrated and assessed including design, project planning, costing, construction, management, maintenance, and sustainability.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically research, analyse, evaluate and appraise the processes of procurement, planning, construction and health and safety legislation that apply to building information modelling and project collaboration.
  2. Engage in intellectual and critical debate, critically analyse and select appropriate BIM methods and technologies for construction costing, planning, and activity tracking including simulating construction schedules and logistics, testing buildability, forecasting and clash detection.
  3. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of BIM design management and quality control including risk assessment, costs control and project time phasing.

Module content

BIM and Design Management
  • professional skills requirements within the context of building information modelling and management
  • project processes and information exchange
  • design production and development
  • value management, innovation and training
BIM and Quantity Surveying
  • role of quantity surveying in BIM compliant projects
  • integration of cost estimating, tendering, and development appraisals
  • methodology, software and interoperability
  • case studies and current research
BIM and Project Planning
  • defining responsibilities and ownership
  • model coordination
  • project planning, scheduling and project collaboration
  • creating a construction model
  • site coordination
  • tool, process and role relationships in BIM-enabled project planning
  • case studies and current research
nD-BIM
  • the 6D model and project completion
  • "as-built" BIM model
  • case current research and future dimensions of BIM
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7TE510

Research Methods, Application and Evaluation (Taught PG)

This module will enable you to develop your practice in undertaking research by identifying and applying advanced research methodologies, both within your taught modules and for your postgraduate research project.

Your learning will include how to identify, evaluate, and apply diverse research approaches to your own research and the process of collecting and evaluate different types of data and relating your findings to current research. During your study you will be able to compare the use of both quantitative techniques and qualitative techniques in research. The module can be accessed through blended/face-to-face delivery or online learning depending on your programme of study.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: 

  • Develop and apply an appropriate research approach and strategy to address a set of defined research objectives
  • Critically evaluate, develop, and apply appropriate quantitative and qualitative methodologies for collecting and analysing data in order to form conclusions and recommendations for future work in a particular field

Module content

Research methods
Research aims and objectives and the requirements for producing a research methodology

Evaluating different research approaches and methodologies for their suitability and relevance to a proposed research scenario.

Quantitative and qualitative methodologies

Key aspects of both methodologies and their application to a proposed research scenario.

Developing an overall research strategy and contextualising it with current practices and developments

Critically reviewing current practitioners work in terms of the approaches, successfulness and relevant similarities to a proposed research scenario.

More information
10 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7TE513

Environmental Risk and Responsibility

The module enables designers, technologists and engineers to critically evaluate how their individual professional actions, decisions and leadership of others interacts with the society in which they are working and affects environmental risk and the sustainable future of the planet. Starting with a global view of how environmental stresses are generated by developing technologies, the module takes a systemic approach to how responsibility for sustainability challenges does not always lie with the decision maker.

The obligation of doing more than just complying with legal obligations and thus benefiting the environment is balanced against the economic imperatives of private industry and the public accountability of NGOs and governments.  This is an interdisciplinary module so that students will be asked to work outside their areas of expertise and interact with other students and members of the community from different cultural, social and disciplinary areas to evaluate and offer design and technological decisions to reduce environmental risks. The module can be accessed through blended/face-to-face delivery or online learning depending on your programme of study.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: 

  1. Critically evaluate the implications of environmental factors and associated legislation from both a global and local context
  2. Develop a critical understanding of sustainable development methodologies

Module content

Sustainable development – global context

Historical and political contexts. Assessing the global, national and local context of environmental pressures and risk. Appraising the dichotomy of sustainable development and continued industrialisation and the uses of methodologies for weighing costs of against benefits.   The role of international agreements and environmental stewardship to produce a low carbon society. Environmental threats and indicators of consumption, such as ecological footprints and similar measures. Tools for improving environmental performance e.g. economic instruments, technological solutions, legislation and social and moral pressure. Soft systems methodology applied to sustainable development to

  • living within environmental limits
  • ensuring a strong, healthy and just society
  • promoting good governance
  • achieving a sustainable economy
  • using sound science responsibly
Resources management

Assessment and implementation of techniques for the optimisation of efficient use of resources and costs in manufacturing industry and other organisations. 

Infrastructure planning for sustainable development

A review of the historical development of planning from organic to planned spatial design. Development of design guidelines and the place of making strategies.  The importance of ecological restoration policy and the use of initiation, site identification, site appraisal, brownfield and greenfield sites and policy instruments will be introduced.  The use of legislation to assess environmental risk such as environmental statements and environmental impact assessments is covered.

Environmental decision making

The definition of the environment to include biophysical, social, political, economic and other factors is explored with a systems framework when managing risk and making environmental decisions in complex situations. The use of various techniques such as environmental standards and instruments for environmental decision making applied to real case studies in areas such as manufacturing, design, process development, architecture and civil engineering is included. 

More information
10 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7AZ507

Advanced Parametric Design, Customisation and Visualisation

The aim of this module is to develop advanced knowledge and critical skills in application of advanced parametric design and modelling, including concepts of application program interface (API) programming.

The module further researches cutting edge multimedia technologies for visualisation, communication and presentation of designs and ideas in a creative and innovative manner.  It aims to equip you with advanced knowledge in planning for acquisition, synthesis, manipulation and seamless integration of digital information and technologies and their implications for design, construction and collaboration.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Critically examine the relationship of advanced parametric modelling, customisation and visualisation and the impact that may have upon the design integration, communication and project collaboration.
  • Critically evaluate the theoretical approaches and apply advanced parametric computer modelling, customisation and concepts of application programming interface (API) to the analysis and solution of design and integration problems.
  • Critically reflect upon, evaluate, realise and exhibit high-quality architectural material produced through advanced visualisation techniques to a variety of audiences.

Module content

Advanced Parametric Design
  • principles and theories
  • element creation and modification
  • different file types and parameters
  • importing and exporting analysis data
  • representation and scripting
  • selected case studies
  • current research and advancements
Customisation
  • principles, theories and concepts
  • extending the BIM system capabilities and customisation
  • plugins and APIs (Application Programming Interface) and SDKs (Software Development Kits), .NET API
  • element Creation and Modification
  • different file types and parameters
  • importing and exporting analysis data
  • representation and scripting
  • selected case studies
  • current research and advancements
Visualisation
  • the context that informs and enables participatory design and communication
  • the appropriate selection and application of methods of communication
  • the potential and limitations of various participatory and communication tools
  • advanced visualisation technologies
  • selected case studies
  • current research and advancements
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7HX500

BIM and Sustainable Design Analysis

This module provides a theoretical and practical study of sustainable building analysis in relation to a design proposal, inextricably linked with its climate and location.

Sustainable building design addresses significant issues relating to climate change and the use of energy in the built environment, whether that is energy in use or the embodied energy of materials. Thus the use of sustainable analysis and energy assessment software is becoming increasingly common, primarily because of government commitments and consequent continual tightening of legislation governing building performance.

This legislation, such as Building Regulations Part L approved document and codes of practice, namely Code for Sustainable Homes, BRE Environmental Assessment Method and PasssivHaus PHPP, have incorporated requirements of EU Directive on the energy performance of buildings that specifically called for the development and implementation of methodologies for calculating and modelling the energy performance of buildings.

During study on this module you will become proficient in analysis of sustainable designs using building simulation software, in areas as diverse as whole building energy analysis to thermal, solar, acoustic, visual impact and lighting studies aspects.

You will also be expected to critically reflect on the analysis findings, interpret the results within their theoretical context and demonstrate this in a design exercise.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate and critically evaluate comparative approaches for effective sustainable design in the context of given project, following from masterplan to detailed design approach
  2. Undertake advanced and independent simulation and critically appraise performance of proposed low energy design methodologies, exploring different scenarios
  3. Critically evaluate the theoretical approaches and contextualise how well a building attains low carbon, reflecting upon the key sustainability indicators as given in codes of practice

Module content

Planning, codes of practice and legislative framework: Planning and legislative context, Building Regulations Approved Document Part L, Code for Sustainable Homes (2008) and Passiv Haus PHPP, BREEAM vs LEED.

Sustainable design principles: Integration of sustainable design analysis within the traditional design process; studying conceptual design alternatives at early stages when the positive impact on the overall project costs is greater; methodology: understanding local microclimate, place and culture; understanding the building type and its potential to reduce CO2 emissions; reduce-reuse-recycle; using free local resources and natural systems; using efficient man made systems; exploring renewable energy generation potential; reducing the resources consumption and offsetting negative impacts; new build vs sustainable retrofit; case studies.

Sustainable design analysis: Whole building energy analysis; carbon-emissions estimates; water use and cost estimates; natural ventilation potential and passive design strategies, wind energy potential, photovoltaic collection potential, building thermal performance, solar studies and analysis, visual impact studies, shadows and reflections, daylighting, shading design, acoustic analysis.

BIM integration: Building orientation, massing, daylighting, water harvesting, thermal performance modelling, potential of renewable energy generation, sustainable materials.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7BU504

Project Planning, Value Engineering and Risk Management

The aim of the module is to gain an understanding of the philosophies and techniques involved in construction project planning, risk management, value engineering and financial management. There are significant risks involved in undertaking construction projects, whether they are financial or operational, and one of the roles of the civil / construction manager is to succeed in removing, reducing or mitigating such risk. The nature and size of construction and civil engineering projects vary widely, as do the risks involved, and it is through effective project planning that decisions may be found and actions taken to enable successful project completion both on time and within budget.

The module will examine the principles and techniques involved in value engineering which aims to provide the best value for money for the client over the whole life cycle of a project. Students will evaluate industry practice relating to cost control and the financial management of projects, linking this also to the monitoring and control of time-related progress.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Apply and critically evaluate project planning techniques used in the management and control of construction/civil engineering projects
  • Identify, analyse and critically appraise risk, value and financial management in the context of the built environment

Module content

Identification and management of risk
  • Risk in the context of the built environment including; financial risk, project risk, client risk, contractor risk, tendering risk, health and safety issues and environmental considerations
  • Project management risk, risk registers, probability theory and the changing risk scenarios during projects
  • Risk identification, analysis and response
  • Models and methodologies used in the technical assessment of risk
Project planning and programming
  • Planning techniques used during phases of a project; sequencing activities and programming techniques; lead times, predecessors, float, baselines, critical path analysis; resource scheduling, allocation and reconciliation; procurement programmes, cost and cash flow forecasts, links to effective site management, IT software tools for project planning and as contemporary management tools
Project monitoring and control
  • Project progress tracking and reporting, project control procedures, controlling time, controlling money, controlling resources, communicating work schedules, health and safety considerations, links to effective site management
Value Engineering
  • Identifying and removing unnecessary cost, improving value and function, maintaining quality, safety, life, reliability, dependability, features, and aesthetics. Feasibility, design, and construction phases
  • Life cycle costing
Financial Administration of Construction and Civil Engineering Projects
  • Periodic payments, evaluating work in progress and materials, accounting for variations, fluctuations in resource costs, reimbursement for loss and expense, payment procedures, retention, final payment
More information
20 Credits
optional
Exam
Coursework

Code: 7ME506

Negotiated Module

This module encourages students to engage with a specific aspect of professional practice that should complement or extend their academic studies at masters level.

The module includes aspects of negotiation, project management, target setting and implementation of objectives situated in practical experience realised in the context of work-based learning. The alignment of the agreed project aims and objectives with the required learning outcomes for the module is an important and integral requirement for the successful completion of this module.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Establish appropriate objectives to realise effectively the aims of a work-based learning project at postgraduate level
  • Critically reflect on the experiences of the project, evaluating strengths, weaknesses, benefits accrued and industry relevance

Module content

In order to undertake this module successfully students will need to be in direct contact with industry, either through their employment or via an industrial placement or negotiated support agreement from an industry. Initially students will negotiate and agree an appropriate work-based learning project with the tutor that appropriately satisfies the required learning outcomes for the module. Following proposal submission, students will then progress their agreed project to completion with ongoing support from the tutor and/or industrial tutor as necessary in order to assist and guide in the successful completion of the project. The project work and achievements will be evidenced by the build-up of a portfolio during the course of the project and this will also be required to include the necessary reflective evaluation on the overall progress, development and outcomes for the project.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7ME524

Continuing Professional Development and Strategic Management

This module is designed to develop your managerial skills in preparation for work in a global industry environment. You will study strategic concepts and be able to transfer them into your own industry/specialism through a structured approach. Emphasis is placed on managing the global future by analysis rather than by instinct. You will become adept at forecasting, financial analysis but still operate with regard to business ethics. The CPD (Continuing Professional Development) element allows you to contextualise and concentrate your studies in your own discipline adding to your employability in the work place.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse a sector of industry relevant to your industry/specialism on a global scale
  2. Utilise appropriate methodology to forecast future trends and analyse their impact on your industry/specialism worldwide
  3. In depth preparation and justification of a coherent ethical business and marketing plan for an organisation

Module content

Strategic management
  • Definitions, mission statements
  • Analysis of industries using strategic models
  • Development of strategic thrusts in a global environment
Management of people and quality
  • Effective management of people organising and motivating people, and controlling activities
  • Managing research, development, design, and production activities
  • Improving quality – overview of philosophies from a strategic viewpoint
Financial and cost analysis
  • Methods of financial and cost analysis
  • Applying financial and managerial accounting to the effective management of technology projects
Economic analysis
  • Projections of future economic environment, growth of demand, planned expansion, use of resources, levels of confidence in projections, risk evaluation and profitability analysis
Business ethics
  • Concepts of ethics/ethical codes relevant to your chosen professional body and applied to strategic scenarios
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7ME525

Independent Scholarship

The Postgraduate Independent Scholarship forms an essential, integral and substantial part of programmes leading to your masters degree. It will provide you with an opportunity to utilise and enhance the knowledge and intellectual skills gained during your programme, by means of an extensive investigation of a proposed postgraduate study related to the course material. The University of Derby Regulatory Framework for Postgraduate Taught Programmes recognises dissertations; research based technical design and development projects and the exhibition of creative design artwork (with moderated length of dissertation) as viable types of independent scholarship. This module requires you to produce a coherent, sustained and comprehensive research based study, demonstrating an ability to generate complex proposals with awareness of current issues and insights, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where appropriate, proposing new hypotheses and speculations.

You will be challenged to demonstrate a critical understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research in production of clear, logically argued and original work related to the field of your study.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically question current practices, methods and research. Apply appropriate research methods and evaluate and select relevant alternatives within the scope of the subject area of the study
  2. Work on your own initiative utilising project management, problem solving, research methods and communication skills
  3. In depth reflection upon the research and project development, place the results in context in relation to theories and practices and the specification developed for the study
  4. In depth discussion of the findings, and clearly communicate, including presentations, the critical issues and key features. The discussion includes the ethical investigation that forms part of the work carried out and any necessary actions

Module content

This Module represents a major learning experience, providing an opportunity to pursue in considerable depth and with suitable academic rigor, a specific specialism related to the programme. Study will be supervised by tutors appointed by the Programme Leader, individually negotiated and agreed. It will be approved and monitored under the following general headings:

  • Selection of a suitable research topic / project, identification of potential scope and appropriateness, given the content of your Masters studies
  • Formation of project tutor groups for mutual support and guidance
  • Research methodology, sources of information, timing of programme
  • Gathering relevant and appropriate evidence and critical analysis of data
  • Evaluation of the final proposals against "concepts"
  • Demonstrably feasible and implementable resolution, conclusions and recommendations, with a full consideration given to the research ethics of the investigation and any relevant health and safety factors

Project workshops will be held to prepare you for your Masters level dissertation. At the early stages, group sessions will be held in which topics will be considered in detail. As the work develops, one-to-one tutorials will be used to monitor and guide project progress.

Relevant guided reading will be recommended throughout your postgraduate study, with you being encouraged to take full and early responsibility for the achievement of the learning outcomes from the exercise. You will be encouraged to review and reflect on the process as well as the end result, both with peer-groups and their MSc studies tutor.

More information
60 Credits
core
Coursework

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar, December

Tuesday, 3 December 2019 14.00 - 15.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner. The webinar includes a 20 minute presentation and an opportunity to take in a Q&A.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will normally be expected to have an Architectural, Civil Engineering or other Built Environment first degree BEng, with a 2.2 or above, or a professional qualification of equal standing and relevant industrial experience

If you don’t have a degree, we can consider your application if supported by significant industrial experience. Please include evidence of all experience you have in your application.

Professional membership

Before you join this masters degree, you should contact the membership department of your professional body to ensure that they will recognise this programme as part of your application for chartered status.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification*. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

*If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5 you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £980 8 (two 10-credit modules, five 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module) £8,820

Prices correct for 2019/20 new students. Subject to potential annual increase in September 2020.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three options:

 

Masters funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Careers

You can look forward to a wide range of BIM and Project Collaboration-related career opportunities in the design, technical consultancy and management of built environment, as BIM managers, BIM leads or BIM coordinators. Furthermore, you could take on many different types of roles with central and local government, property developers, building contractors, housing associations, retail enterprises and manufacturing companies.

You could also consider further study and research towards a PhD qualification.

Programme leader

Dr Boris Ceranic

Explore all teaching staff on this course

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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