MSc Project Management
The University of Reading's School of Construction Management and Engineering has a world class ranking and an outstanding track record of many years proven success in education for project management. The Reading MSc programme draws its authority from the international standing of its tutors. The academic excellence of their research is enhanced by up-to-date practical experience gained through consultancy commissions. The programme content is continually refined and updated to reflect best practice in a changing and increasingly international industry.
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. Whilst this accepted definition continues to provide a good starting point, the reality of modern project management is becoming increasingly complex. Client organisations are often pluralistic, comprising multiple stakeholders with different objectives. Projects rarely unfold in conditions of certainty. Traditional techniques such as planning and cost control must be combined with an ability to manage key interfaces throughout the project supply chain. The process of project definition is frequently an iterative process requiring project managers to work closely with designers and client representatives. New procurement methods bring new opportunities and new challenges. Capital projects are often of strategic importance to business success and require advanced levels of project management skills.
Effective leadership and sensitivity to human issues are vital. Modern clients demand a more integrated and effective approach to the management of their construction projects. The discipline of project management continues to evolve. The Reading MSc in Project Management is at the forefront of these developments.
The well-established practitioners who are most likely to benefit from an advanced university course are usually least able to contemplate interrupting their careers for full-time study or frequent day release. The immensely popular modular MSc programme at the School of Construction Management and Engineering of the University of Reading provides a practical block release format. Eight module weeks at the University of Reading spread over two years are supplemented by practice-related assignments and a research-based dissertation.
The need for the construction industry to move away from the traditional fragmented approach to the management of construction projects is being increasingly recognised. The separation of the design and construction functions is no longer feasible for the high-tech, multi-million pound projects of today. The clients of the construction industry are becoming more demanding in their expectations of project performance.
The Reading MSc in Project Management has been specifically designed to develop tomorrow's leaders in the construction industry. The programme content is unique in the way it considers project management in the corporate and international context. Many programme components are similar to those found in leading MBA programmes. Particular emphasis is given to the early stages of the project life-cycle; it is the decisions which are made during the concept stage which have maximum impact on project success.
The MSc in Project Management is accredited by the RICS and the CIOB.
MSc candidates must complete four core modules and four elective modules. Each module lasts one week. Flexibility in the choice of elective modules enables candidates to tailor the programme to their own learning requirements.
Compulsory core modules
- Portfolio, Program and Project Management
- Design Management and Briefing
- Human Resources Management
- Construction Contract Law
In addition to the other modules available from the associated courses the following are the elective modules for the Project Management programme:
- Construction Cost Engineering
- Sustainable Construction
- Strategic Management
- Risk and Value Management
- Real Estate Development: Analysis and Appraisal
- Construction Economics
- Learning from other Industries
- International Construction
- Technology Cluster Management
Between attendance at the University, programme members will be required to undertake assignments. There are four core assignments in all. Each assignment provides the opportunity for the in-depth investigation of a particular aspect of project management. The assignments are designed to ensure the application of key concepts to programme members' own organisations and experience.
The dissertation is a major individual research project which must be completed by September of the second year of the programme. Guidance will be given on choosing a research topic, research techniques and the style and presentation of the finished document. In many cases, the topic is orientated towards a major problem or opportunity within a candidate's organisation.
Candidates will have their own carefully selected dissertation tutor whose role is to help them plan and successfully execute this key part of the course. Topics investigated in recent years include:
- Pre-contract Project Management by Japanese Clients
- Future Trends for the Funding of Commercial Property
- The Role of the Expert Client in the Appointment of Sub-contractors
- Design Liability and the Construction Industry
- Risk Analysis for Consulting Engineers
- Design Management on Fast Track Projects
- Better ways of working in construction
The programme commences in October of each year and extends over a two-year period. Over two years, eight one-week periods of full-time attendance at the University are required.
The modules are timetabled to start on Monday am and continue to Friday pm, with adequate coffee and meal breaks. Each day will usually start with formal lectures, becoming more participative in the afternoon and ending up with some informal discussion/seminar in the evening.
All examinations are held in August/September.
Examinations, assignments and the dissertation, all contribute to the final academic assessment. Distinctions will be awarded to candidates who excel in all components.
The Reading MSc in Project Management is for men and women of proven competence who are seeking to reach beyond the limits of their own particular discipline towards a senior management role.
The course is highly regarded within the industry in the UK and internationally; many organisations sponsor candidates on a regular basis.
Candidates must possess a good degree or be a member of a relevant professional body. They will need the ability and commitment to sustain a rigorous programme of study.
Programme is available on a part-time and full-time basis.