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Course content

The Management of Complex Projects MSc has been designed to meet the needs of project managers responsible for the most challenging engineering projects. The programme covers the key knowledge and tools needed to deliver on time, on budget and with the required level of technical performance.

Degree information

Students gain a systems view of project management, which is effective in developing technical solutions within a constrained commercial context. We teach students a number of guiding principles to enable them to manage complex projects and help them to develop key skills such as risk management, scope management, conflict resolution and effective communication.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core taught modules (60 credits), two research modules (75 credits), two optional taught modules (30 credits) and one compulsory group project (15 credits). Modules are generally taught as intensive five-day 'block weeks' to minimise time spent away from the office.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, or flexible study two to five years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, or flexible study up to two years) is offered.

Core modules - the first four modules are core and must be taken, then two further taught modules should be selected.
-The Business Environment
-Delivering Complex Projects
-Risk, Reliability, Resilience
-Systems, Thinking and Engineering Management

Research Modules - all MSc students undertake a structured research programme comprising the following mandatory modules:
-Project Management Project Concept
-Project Management Research Project
-All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words and a presentation of 20-30 minutes.

Optional modules - two modules should be selected from the Optional Module List.
-Defence Systems
-Lifecycle Management
-Project Management* (leading to Association for Project Management examination)
-Rail Systems
-Spacecraft Systems
-Systems Design
-Technology Strategy

*Delivered in partnership with UCL School of Management

Group project
All students undertake a compulsory group project simulation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, case-studies, discussion sessions, workshop activity, and project work. Assessment is through a combination of course work in class tests and written examinations. The research modules are assessed through a written report and a short presentation.


Complex systems are commonplace in many branches of UK industry including rail, aerospace, defence, construction and energy sectors. The ability to manage effectively the projects that deliver such systems is crucial to these industries, and individuals who can demonstrate these skills are in high demand.

Drawing on our experience of providing short training courses for industry, such as the Project Manager Training Course for the European Space Agency, we integrate a large amount of skills development into our teaching. This includes the skills of communication, negotiation, leadership, and motivation, decision-making and managing complex, time-constrained tasks which will be invaluable in future careers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The new degree at UCL prepares students for an exciting career in managing challenging engineering projects.

Participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to get ahead - from academic theories of conflict and motivation to practical tools for managing risk and tracking project progress.

Students will meet like-minded individuals from other industries, and through extensive group work and classroom interaction will share experiences, learn new approaches, and build contacts that will contribute to future career development.

Visit the Management of Complex Projects - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!





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