Taught course

Project Management

Institution
University of Portsmouth · Department of Operations and Systems Management
Qualifications
MSc

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree or equivalent, or sufficient evidence of both relevant work experience and academic potential to achieve the award. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

September

Course content

Why take this course?

Project management is key to successful implementation of strategic change in any organisation. This programme develops your academic skills in modelling and evaluating the process of project management, allowing you to develop strategic and practical approaches in a wide variety of business environments.

You will gain a broad understanding of the principles and practice of project management and the tools and techniques required to contribute to business effectiveness.


What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Attend lectures by practising project managers who speak about their experiences and give guidance on project management issues
  • Participate in live web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students
  • Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is fully accredited by the Association for Project Management, demonstrating that it provides a level of knowledge recognised by a professional project management association It will provide you with the advanced ability to lead or act as part of a team progressing project issues from initiation through to completion. You can expect to find employment opportunities in virtually any industry, especially those within the commercial sector.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Project management
  • Consultancy
  • Project planning
  • Logistics
  • Product development

Find out more about this course, our facilities and generous scholarships by attending one of our regular open evenings where you can meet teaching staff and current students.

Module Details

You will complete a total of five units (including your dissertation) involving attendance of six or eight days for each unit. You will study several key topics covering areas of project management theory and methods, while gaining an insight into their practical application in a business context.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Project Environment and Planning: This unit covers projects and project management, with an emphasis on the importance of planning to successful projects. You will develop an understanding of the relationship between project and business management, as well as the project management environment and the factors that influence project outcomes. Strategic aspects of projects are addressed, including project selection and portfolio design. You will also learn how project managers must understand the benefits to be delivered by projects, the requirements of stakeholders and how to work within the constraints of cost, time and quality. Estimation methods and planning techniques are taught together with quality management. Approaches to the planning and control of projects that have been developed in different sectors are also covered, including agile methods and fast tracking.
  • Budgets and Commercial Management: This unit introduces you to raising project finance, building, monitoring and controlling project budgets and measuring Earned Value of project deliverables. It also covers the commercial aspects of procurement including tendering, contracting and the skills and practices of contract and bid negotiation, providing you with the tools and techniques for managing project budgets. The units also examines the key roles that project managers, budget managers and key project personnel play in managing project budgets.
  • People Management and Risk: This unit develops a critical understanding of individual, team and organisational working in order to deliver project goals successfully. It covers how individual characteristics such as personality, intelligence, ability and skills, motivation and attitudes affect individual performance. You will learn how to empower individuals and teams to achieve quality standards which enhance personal team and organisational performance, together with the development of creative and credible leadership. It also examines the key challenges in the application of risk management frameworks and models in project management, crisis management and corporate governance. Risk management strategies and the development of effective project mitigation and contingency action plans are critically evaluated.
  • Project Investigation and Systems Methods: This unit explores the investigation of project issues through the use of a structured research methodology and project management analysis tools to enhance the research process. Wider strategic issues are explored to place the research process into context and to illustrate how appropriate research methods can be identified for specific types of research problems. You will also look at tools for the modelling and analysis of complex problem situations (including systems thinking, soft systems methods and influence diagrams) and how these can be used to diagnose problem situations to identify relevant areas for further investigation. Project management methodologies including PRINCE2, Partnering and Programme Management as a wider context for project management research issues are examined. You will produce a research proposal that brings together the use of research methodology and project systems in identifying, justifying and investigating a research question that will feed into the research conducted in your final dissertation.
  • Dissertation: This unit enables you to deepen your understanding of an aspect of project management of your own choice. Many students choose to investigate topics which they intend to focus on in the next stage of their career. The unit is structured as a research project so you can demonstrate your ability to identify, design, plan and undertake research on a specific project management issue and effectively communicate your findings in an appropriate manner for a Master’s degree. The ability to critically review and assess previous literature and research, and to demonstrate sustained intellectual effort in analysing a topic, are key elements of the dissertation.

Programme Assessment

The units are structured as eight teaching blocks of three days of lectures, seminars and interactive syndicate work, with periods of self-managed study between blocks. Each of these will be assessed by coursework assignments. You will also produce a dissertation with guidance from a supervisor. The dissertation is structured as an independent research project to deepen your understanding of a chosen aspect of project management. Your choice of topic can contribute towards the next stage of your career by demonstrating your ability to identify, design, undertake and communicate your original research on a specific project management topic.

Each unit will be assessed by coursework assignments. You will also produce a dissertation with guidance from a supervisor.

Student Destinations

The key characteristic of this programme is the emphasis on strategic aspects of projects which provide a platform for a career as a senior project manager in high profile organisations, Graduate destinations have included:

  • Public sector management, including NHS and Fire Services
  • Infrastructure planning and implementation
  • Naval and Aerospace construction industries
  • Doctorate level study in Project Management

Qualification and course duration

MSc

full time
12 months
part time
30 months

Course contact details

Name
Admissions Team
Email
pbs-studentrecruitment@port.ac.uk
Phone
023 9284 2991