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MSc Project Management


Course Description

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

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: 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.

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

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

(Student Profile)

Jieya Lin

'Having graduated from my BA (Hons) International Trade and English course at the University of Portsmouth, I decided to continue my studies with a Masters in Project Management.

Working for the local government over the summer months showed me that I could further my interest in the subject and achieve more within the workplace with a postgraduate degree.

In my first year I studied many aspects of how to manage and control projects; understanding what makes a project successful, how to evaluate risk and quality, manage budgets and the external environment and lastly problem solving. The course also uses real life examples to help us understand how to make the right choices and implement them successfully.

Portsmouth Business School has excellent facilities. When I am not in class I spend my time in the open access computer rooms to research information and work on my assignments. There are also many available spaces to have discussions and debates with my classmates; this all helps my learning process.

In the future, I will return to work for the local government using what I have learned in MSc Project Management to help me develop my career.'

(Student Profile)

Steve Lawrenson

'As a mature student with 25 years of industry experience I found the theoretical and analytical aspects of the MSc Project Management course particularly interesting. It is a very 'hands-on' experience with many opportunities to contribute to discussion and presentations on specific topics.

The course provided a clear and structured picture of project management theory and practice that can be readily applied to the student’s own area of work and I feel that it is also an excellent springboard for a career in generic project management.

The syllabus is comprehensive, covering both technical and human elements of managing projects and programmes. The material was, without exception, extremely well presented in a superb learning environment.

The facilities offered by the University are superb and the support given by both the academic staff and the administration made my whole experience very positive.

I would not hesitate to recommend the Business School and the course to colleagues and indeed anyone considering undertaking a Masters degree in this field.'


(Scholarship)

Portsmouth Business School Scholarship Programme (not including the MBA) - 20+ Awards

The Portsmouth Business School offers a scholarship programme for students who are commencing postgraduate study at the Business School in September 2009. This comprises a limited number of awards to self-funding Home and European Union students. The scholarship will be in the form of a 40% discount from any tuition fees due after any other discounts such as the 20% discount for Portsmouth alumni or partial payments by sponsors.There is a separate scholarship scheme which covers our part time Executive MBA programme and our full time International MBA programme. See separate listing for details.

Value of Scholarship(s)

40% discount off the tuition fees due

Eligibility

Awards will be made on a competitive basis, taking into consideration:• If applicable, management/professional experience (type and seniority),
• Academic achievement (minimum is a 2.1 degree)
A written submission of a maximum of 1000 words, in addition to the personal statement submitted with the application, detailing why you should be considered for a scholarship award, what you intend to contribute to your course, and how you will use your degree in your future career. Please use the web link below for details.

Application Procedure

Application form available via web link below

Further Information

http://www.port.ac.uk/pbsscholarships



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.

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