PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAMME IS ONLY OFFERED ON A PART-TIME BASIS - STUDY VISAS ARE NOT GRANTED FOR PART-TIME STUDY. THEREFORE, INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS CAN ONLY BE OFFERED PLACES ON THE DISTANCE LEARNING STREAM.
The programme has been running successfully since 1993 with distance learning being introduced in 1997. Each year the programme grows in reputation as graduates apply their learning to their work environments.
The programme can boast of graduates and students in almost every part of the world, from Jamaica in the west to New Zealand in the east and from Alaska in the north to Australia in the south. The degree is designed to engage across industry borders, teaching and exploring project management skills and issues equally applicable to our students who come themselves from a wide range of industry background (including education, I.T., banking, oil, rail, local government and atomic energy). Our students and graduates recognise that this is one of the great strengths of the programme with many of them experiencing it first hand as they move between industries as their careers progress.
From the Heart of the European Oil & Gas Industry
A part-time and distance Masters programme in Project Management from the heart of the Oil and Gas Industry in Europe.
Available as campus-taught (approximately one weekend per month) or as fully distance learning across the internet
Can be studied to degree level or taken as CPD modules
From the Heart of the European Oil and Gas Industry
Developing International Skills and Business Links
Flexible, Modular Options
The University is a Corporate Member of the Association for Project Management. Applicants holding APM qualifications may be eligible for exemption from some elements of the programme. Advice on possible exemptions will given during the application process.
The Master of Science degree in Project Management has been designed to meet the requirements of practicing professionals and is taught in a flexible manner. It is offered on a part time basis, teaching being at weekends or by distance learning through the University's online virtual learning environment.
The courses are completely modular in structure and have been carefully developed to articulate to each other to provide a variety of levels of provision, suiting the needs of the participants. Each module can be taken as a stand alone credit bearing unit for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development. A choice of exit levels is provided to suit the needs of the participants thus leading to the award of a postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or MSc qualification. Each level is a necessary requirement for entry to the next one. Each of the levels can be taken over a minimum period of one year of part time study although they can be taken over a longer period if it is more convenient. The minimum time to complete the whole programme is three years.
Flexibility and a firm grounding in current practice are the principal features of the MSc in Project Management, which is taught by and visiting lecturers who are practicing professionals.
For further information about the programme or to discuss your application, please contact the Graduate School Admissions Unit.
Both the campus-taught and distance learning streams follow the same timetable and content. Two modules are taught in each of the University of Aberdeen's semesters, which start in September and February. Online material is released following the completion of the campus teaching weekend.
The flexible nature of the programme allows you to study towards one of three levels of qualifications:
Master of Science (MSc)
Each level acts as a pre-requiste for the next and takes one year to complete (i.e. Certificate = 1 year of study, Diploma = 2 years of study, MSc = 3 years of study).
Students who reach the end of a year of study have the option of graduating with the qualification reached or continuing into the next year of study to enhance their qualification to the next level.
The Certificate is taught in year 1 of the programme and consists of four taught modules. This equates to approximately 36 hours of teaching time and a similar number of hours self-study time per module. Each module represents approximately 12-15 hours study per week. Students who complete this level may either decide to graduate with a Post Graduate Certificate in Project Management or proceed to year 2 to study towards the Diploma qualification. The modules studied at this level are summarised below:
Project Management Essentials 1
This course gives an overall picture of project management and introduces students to the main subject areas which make up this area of study. Emphasis is placed on practical skills, including writing and presentation. Students are given an overview of project management terms and definitions with practical applications of computer software and IT systems for project management also being covered. An introduction to project budgeting in the context of company finance is addressed and the area of risk management (including probability, risk attitudes and risk analysis methods) introduced. There is also an introduction to the important area of safety management as well as an introduction to managing project teams. All these topics will be covered in greater depth at a later stage of the course.
Organisations and People
Students are expected to draw on, and share, personal experiences of the topics covered and small interactive group activities over the internet are a prominent feature of the distance learning course. These activities are designed to help student develop knowledge and problem-solving skills relating to the management of human resources within a business context. Main subject areas covered are: human aspects of strategic change management; the student as a manager; organisational cultures; and management of technology.
Project Planning and Control
Students studying this module explore the different techniques adopted by Project Management Teams to plan activities, estimate their durations, exercise project control, and to assess overall performance. The control of documentation to satisfy the demands of current industry practice is a feature of this module, as is the use of industry standard software . The main topics covered are: Introduction to Project Networks; Project Networks; Project Estimating; and Project Control.
Budgets and Financial Control
Students are provided with an introduction to the key elements of the estimating process followed by an exploration of the integration of estimating, contracting, planning, budgeting, cost control, and financial information systems. An introduction to the language and concepts of finance and accountancy is discussed and the relationship between accounting measurement and other methods of project appraisal and measurement explored. An appreciation and knowledge of the distinction between profit and cash is given. Discussion is also focused on understanding how to develop the sub-contracting and procurement processes and an awareness of their role and impact on projects raised. Students are also introduced to the relationship between uncertainty and risk, and their importance to the bid process. Bid and budget modeling tools are also explored.
The Diploma qualification is taught in year 2 of the programme. Students wishing to study towards a Diploma must first have completed year 1 of the programme (Certificate Level). There are three more taught modules at this stage and a fourth which consists of a group project. The modules studied are summarised below:
Project Management Essentials 2
This module is based very heavily on group work. The dynamics of each group are discussed by the students forming an important part of the learning process and focusing on how project teams operate. The main topic areas are covered are: teamwork; definitions of project success; design; procurement and risk. Case studies form the basis of the learning experience with peer assessment forms contributing an important part of the feedback process.
Commercial and Contractual Issues
Students are introduced to the principle roles, functions and the legal obligations of managers. On completion of this module, students should be able to plan the management of a business (or project), be able to critically analyse the strategy of a company, and develop a business plan including a simple profit and loss account for the venture. Contract law, business strategy, planning and marketing, the roles and functions of management and economic and business development from macro to micro levels are all examined as part of this module.
Quality Systems and Risk Management
In study this module students are introduced to the links between quality and quality systems. Statutory standards are investigated (e.g. ISO9000, EFQM) and their value discussed and the roles of statistics and statistical control in both quality and risk addressed. The risk management process and its importance in the area of project management is discussed in a holistic way, with practical examples of how this works in industry.
Students are encouraged to form groups and work together to demonstrate their understanding of project management skills through the integration of theory into a work-oriented project. The assessment of the project will be by presentation and written report.
Master of Science
The Master of Science is awarded following the successful completion of a third year of study to an acceptable level. Students wishing to study towards a Master of Science must first have completed years 1 & 2 of the programme (Certificate & Diploma Levels).The Masters year consists of 2 modules which students are required to take and, following completion of the taught elements, an individual dissertation:
Managing Project Teams
Basic disciplines of managing project teams is studies. Students are given the opportunity to enhance their individual skills in these areas and recognise the basic training requirements in project teams. This module covers the psychological aspects of leadership, stress and managing teams with human resource issues and legislation also being discussed. The module finishes by putting the theory into a working context.
Programme & Portfolio Management
Students undertaking study within this module are introduced to the use of Portfolio Management to ensure that project investments are well-balanced in terms of size, risk and projected payoff, and that they are aligned to business objectives. The module addresses the use of portfolio management to view each initiative in terms of risk and payoff to the business and then to prioritise them accordingly. The five steps of portfolio management are covered within this module.
Individual Project (Dissertation)
The individual project (dissertation) enables students to gain first hand experience of the practice of project management. Projects are generally undertaken the student's own company, with the oversight of a designated academic supervisor. The content of the project should be wholly within the industrial environment, and should introduce participants to the essential practical elements of project management. Assessment is by dissertation.
The modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and written examination. The distance learning coursework is submitted to the course tutor through the web-site and marks and comments will be sent back, also via the web. Campus submission is either by email or in person at teaching sessions. Each module has a timetable which details when the coursework is due and when the exam is scheduled to take place. Distance learning students will need to arrange a suitable examination venue at a convenient Higher Education Institution or British Council Office. Campus based students and distance learning students near to Aberdeen are able to take their examinations at the University.
Examinations are generally taken in pairs and are held on a morning and afternoon towards the end of January and the end of May. The programme office tries to select a date that ensures maximum accessibility for examination venues across the world. Students sit the examination within their own timezone (e.g. 9am local time).
Approximately 10-12 hours of study is expected per module.
Students wishing to study towards their qualification on campus can do so by attending classes approximately once a month. Classes are run on a Saturday and Sunday meaning students who complete the required two modules per term will need to attend for both days.
Study visas are not granted for part-time study. Therefore, international students can only be offered places on the distance learning stream.
The distance learning version of the course is delivered entirely using the world wide web. There is no requirement to attend the University of Aberdeen. On registration, students will be issued with a user id and password to gain access to the site.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAMME IS ONLY OFFERED ON A PART-TIME BASIS INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS WILL ONLY BE OFFERED DISTANCE LEARNING PLACES UNLESS ALREADY RESIDENT IN THE UK/EU
This programme is aimed at people actively engaged in Project Management in industry, and relevant experience is a pre-requisite.
In general, applicants are expected to hold a degree in an appropriate subject; however alternative qualifications, combined with an appropriate level of significant and relevant experience, may also be considered as a means for entry. For more advice on this please contact the Graduate School Admissions Team who will be able to advise.
Applicants with no formal higher educational qualifications should not be deterred from applying for this course, but should contact the Graduate School Admissions Team to discuss their suitability.
It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible.
Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements. These are located at www.abdn.ac.uk/sras/international/english.shtml. This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen . Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations.
We have two intakes of students each year - September & January. Late applications may be asked to wait until the next intake should the programme coordinator feel there is insufficient time to consider the application.
Places on the campus based course are limited, and anyone wishing to enrol on the campus based course should apply as soon as possible. Distance learning places are not limited, and students applying too late for the campus course may be offered a place on the distance learning programme.
It is important to note that the programmes of postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen are very competitive and the entry requirements stated are a guide to the minimum requirements, but do not guarantee entry.
Information on tuition fees, including the current fee level, can be found on the University Registry website.
A list of funding opportunties is also maintained on the College of Physical Sciences Funding Page.