Out of interest where are you studying? Sounds like an interesting degree.
You are right that an IMC rating is not required for the CPL or IR. However it is a great starting point for basic IF. Hobbit quote, "(esp. bearing in mind the cost of IMC groundschool etc)" There isn't any cost of IMC ground school. Read TT book 5 and learn from your instructor. The writen test is pretty simple.
The IMC is not an IR, not by a long way, however i feel it is a useful step in the right direction. Being introduced to basic IF and getting a scan going etc are all very useful before your IR. Make sure your instructor knows you're going on to do an IR so the IMC rating can be made as similar as possible. It's is also very enjoyable.
You did mention it was for hour bulding. The IMC is 15 hours dual therefore none would count as "hour building" towards the 100 hours PIC required to start your CPL. So including your night rating that's an extra 18 hours approx over and above PIC time required.
Last edited by Lord Flashheart; 31st Jan 2006 at 13:06.