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Course content

The MSc in Construction Project Management (CPM) uses an innovative structure and integrative use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to deliver a flexible and exciting programme of study. It is designed to meet the challenging demands of the modern learner and the rapidly evolving needs of the construction industry.

We continuously and extensively consult with construction companies and organisations in order to make sure that the course content remains practically relevant for the modern construction manager.

The MSc is available both as a one year full-time programme, and in open-learning mode normally taken over two years (extendable up to 5 years).

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-at-brookes/courses/postgraduate/2015/construction-project-management/

Why choose this course?

- Accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) demonstrates professional recognition of the quality of our programme.

- Strong links with prominent companies in the sector, such as Mace, Willmott Dixon and BAM Construction who are all represented in our Professional Liaison Group (PLG), which exists to provide advice on existing and proposed courses of study, on research activities and consultancy work.

- The programme adopts an applied learning approach to ensure that it is real-world focused and holistic. Not only is this more effective, it is more fun than the traditional study and examination approach.

- Students develop a broad range of management skills and knowledge including Building Information Modelling (BIM), project finance, technology, and procurement by working on real-life or realistic problems as experienced by the construction industry, consultants and clients.

- Students are also exposed to behavioural aspects of managing projects, which most construction project managers only experience when their careers in the construction industry are well-advanced.

- There are four intensive study periods during the programme where full-time and open-learning students come together on campus to attend lectures, seminars and workshops and share experiences.

- The course is directly tailored to students with a background in the construction industries who want to develop their careers as Construction Managers. Whether you have a degree in a construction related discipline such as Civil Engineering or Architecture, or have a strong background working in construction, if you want to be a Construction Project Manager this is the course for you.

- Our graduates have an exemplary employment record and now span the globe, working in countries including India, Pakistan, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Peru, Middle East and China.

- Our teaching is backed up by strong research activity. Many of our academic staff are involved in academic research and/or professional or commercial consultancy work.

- Many members of staff are part of Brookes' Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development (OISD), a leading research and promotional organisation noted for its work on sustainable technology in buildings and sustainable urban form.

- Our staff have strong links with local companies and sit on professional committees including CIOB and Constructing Excellence.

Teaching and learning

Teaching, learning and assessment methods are to a considerable degree determined by the use of the applied learning approach which leads to a more challenging and industrially relevant course than the traditional lecture approach. Learning takes place through groups of students puzzling through problems, often adapted from real situations with much of the complexity and context intact, using published resources, or reference to experts who are available to offer advice.

In full-time mode, the delivery of new material is weekly with intermediate tutorial or seminar sessions. The intensive study weeks and a European field-trip, when students in both modes of study come together, complement this delivery pattern. For the open-learner, the virtual learning environment is the primary mode of delivery. Communication with open-learning students will be supplemented by email and telephone during the periods off-campus.

Approach to assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework, which includes a great variety of types of work, including quizzes taken remotely on Moodle (Brookes online learning environment). Material can be downloaded from our virtual learning environment and closed discussions can take place. It also enables on-campus and open-learning students to remain in contact with each other.

Field trips

A European field trip is a compulsory element of the PGCert modules. It typically takes place over a five-day period towards the end of January and is heavily subsidised by the department.

The aim of this field trip is to consolidate the knowledge gained in the early part of the course and to develop team and other relationships through exposing our students to European project management practices and to assess their ability to observe and report on the different approaches to project management in the UK and in a European country.

The field trip normally consists of visits to prominent construction/engineering projects and sites, plus architectural attractions, both en route and at the destination. You are introduced to the development and planning practices at the destination, as well as having the opportunity to visit major complex projects.

Student body

The programme attracts students from diverse backgrounds and locations. Students will normally hold degrees in fields within the realm of the built environment including Civil Engineering, Construction, Architecture and Building, and have decided to contribute to the development of the built environment around us by effectively managing construction projects.

Our students hail from as far afield as Nigeria, Russia and India, with backgrounds ranging from recently graduated at undergraduate level, to working with small local companies, to fully established managers in large international construction companies. This diverse group of students bring with them individual responses to the applied learning approach that is at the core of our course delivery.

Typically the open-learning students are employed by a number of different organisations from the private and public sectors in different countries. They have the opportunity to share their experiences in order to gain better understanding of the industry, the range of challenges that Construction Project Managers face, and therefore the breadth of skills that they need to develop in order to perform successfully.

Our full-time students benefit from contact with the open-learning students engaged in construction project management roles in a variety of built environment projects across many countries.

How this course helps you develop

Graduates of the Department of Real Estate and Construction have an outstanding employment record. Local and national construction companies, developers, project managers, house-builders, surveyors and housing associations regularly recruit our graduates.

Many of these companies visit the department annually to meet students for graduate positions. Our graduates are recognised as having an excellent level of communication, presentation and problem-solving skills.


All of our open-learning students are employed full-time by prominent companies in the sector. Full-time students find similar employment shortly after graduation. They typically hold (Assistant) Project Manager positions. However, the breadth of knowledge that our students gain gives them the flexibility to function effectively in a number of different roles.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

Many of our academic staff are involved in academic research and/or professional/commercial consultancy work. In the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), our Unit of Assessment (UoA 16) ranked 4th within the University in terms of its Grade Point Average (GPA). We hold the 11th position in terms of Research Impact and Power Rating (GPA x number of full-time equivalent staff submitted) among the 45 institutions that submitted to our unit of assessment.

Many members of staff are part of the Oxford Institute of Sustainable Development (OISD). This research and promotional organisation is noted for its work on sustainable technology in buildings and sustainable urban form among many on-going projects.

A recent HEFCE report into sustainable development in higher education in England suggests that the OISD is one of the key players in sustainable development research.

Research areas and clusters

Areas of interest include:
- sustainability, adaptation and resilience to climate change
- Building Information Modelling (BIM)
- collaborative supply networks for procurement and delivery of project
- building economics
- forecasting techniques
- risk management
- social networks in project environments
- managing complex projects
- management of knowledge and innovation as a source of competitive advantage
- adaptive re-use of existing buildings
- facilities management
- health and safety.

Visit the Construction Project Management (MSc/ PGDip/ PGCert) page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!





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