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On the MSc Project Management course you will focus on the strategic management of projects, programmes and portfolios, and become a project leader in construction.

Project management is traditionally described in terms of the overall planning, control and co-ordination of a project from inception to completion, aimed at meeting a client's requirements and ensuring completion within specified constraints of time, cost and quality.

While this definition continues to provide a good starting point, the reality of modern project management is extremely complex. Client organisations are often pluralistic, comprising multiple stakeholders with different objectives. The complexity of the construction process thus leads to inherent uncertainty.

The role of the project manager is to integrate the various sectors of the industry in order to manage key interfaces throughout the project supply chain. Therefore, the successful project manager must have the ability to integrate and lead an interdisciplinary team in uncertainty. Effective leadership and sensitivity to human issues are vital. Modern clients demand an integrated and effective approach to the management of their construction projects. The discipline of project management continues to evolve and our MSc in Project Management is at the forefront of these developments.

The distinctive focus of the course is on the strategic management of projects, programmes and portfolios.

The aim of the course is to provide a coherent framework for the discipline and practice of project management. Modules can include sessions delivered by leading practitioners, and the course is continually informed not only by the latest developments in industry, but also by on-going international research.

A recurring theme throughout the course concerns the dynamic nature of construction projects. Not only is it necessary to set clear objectives at the beginning of a project, it is also important to update them continually as the project unfolds.

A further theme is provided by the need for project managers to provide leadership. This requires a high level of interpersonal skills to motivate diverse team members towards the realisation of project success. Effective project management requires a sound knowledge of tools and techniques. It also requires an ability to think strategically. Traditionally, notions of command and control have to be matched with an ability to manage 'soft' issues. People management is central to the art of project management.

A particular emphasis is given to the early stages of construction projects and the interface with complex clients; projects are rarely carried out in isolation.

This course is offered as a one-year full-time course, or as a flexible modular course.

This course is accredited by RICS, CIOB and the Association for Project Management (APM). (Accreditation is reviewed periodically. Successful completion of this course satisfies the academic requirements for membership of CIOB and RICS. This course is identified as aligned to the APM Body of Knowledge, 6th edition.)

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Introduction to project management
  • Design management
  • Construction contract law
  • Human resource management 
  • Building information modelling

Please download our MSc Programme Guide (PDF – 25MB) for further module information.

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.


The dissertation is a major individual research project. Guidance will be given on choosing a research topic, research techniques and the style and presentation of the finished document. Classes in research skills are provided in relation to the dissertation module. Students will have their own carefully selected dissertation tutor whose role is to help them plan and successfully execute this key part of the programme.


We offer a one-year, full-time modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. The full-time programme starts in September each year.

Flexible modular

We also offer a two-year modular course. It is taught with ten, one-week attendance periods at the University. Entry to the flexible course is available in September or January each year; please note that the January start is an early start and requires that your studies be spread over three years instead of two.

What career can you have?

This course is intended for those who wish to progress to a project management role, or acquire a broader understanding of the project management process. The course will appeal to professionals from a variety of backgrounds, including:

  • Client representatives
  • Project sponsors
  • Architects
  • Civil engineers
  • Structural engineers
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Management consultants
  • Construction managers
  • Specialist contractors
  • Facilities managers.

The course will benefit anyone who wishes to improve their understanding of project management and underpin their practical experience with a robust conceptual framework.

Graduates will typically find employment as a project manager with public and private sector clients, consultants, architectural practices or contractors in the building, civil engineering or oil and gas sectors.

Visit the Project Management MSc page on the University of Reading website for more details!