The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Project Management (1 year)

With modules designed by experts with extensive professional and research experience in the field, this masters degree covers key project management concepts and techniques that can be applied across a range of sectors. It offers a contemporary perspective on project management that will prepare you for success in this fast-growing profession.

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Introducing your degree

Across the public and private sectors, more and more organisations now recognise the value of running aspects of their business in the form of projects, managed using project management concepts, tools and techniques. This has led to a growing demand for skilled project managers. With comprehensive modules designed by academics with extensive professional and research experience, this evidence-based MSc draws on current theory and practice to prepare you for a successful career as a project manager. It also offers a high level of flexibility; you’ll be able to choose modules that are relevant to your sector or your career aims. Unlike many other masters courses in this field, you don’t need to have an engineering or technical background to join the course.

project managers

Overview

Project management is a fast-growing field with more and more private and public organisations moving towards managing their businesses through a project framework. In the UK, for instance, 95 per cent of government policies are delivered through major projects. On this specialised MSc you’ll learn how to manage projects effectively, preparing you for a career in any type of organisation and in any sector.

Unlike some project management MScs, which require previous study in subjects such as engineering or information systems, we welcome students from a range of academic or professional backgrounds. Our students are a mix of recent graduates and graduates with work experience. Students come from a number of different countries, creating a diverse and enriching learning community. Our modules consistently receive the highest levels of student feedback.

The Project Management MSc was one of 10 Southampton masters degrees to be selected for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships programme, which means students from developing Commonwealth countries can apply for financial support.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Programme Structure

This is a one-year, full-time masters course taught through core and compulsory modules over two semesters and a dissertation. The modules draw on the latest research and professional practice to ensure your learning is up to date, and there is an emphasis on the development of critical and analytical skills that you can apply within any project management framework.

Four compulsory modules cover the essential concepts, tools and techniques that you’ll need to become an effective project manager. You’ll explore relevant organisational and management issues such as leadership, team development and stakeholder management, as well as risk management. There is also a module on decision making in project management – a crucial skill that is not covered in depth on many other masters programmes of this kind.

You’ll learn about project management practice, including defining, planning and implementing projects and ways to identify address and analyse the challenges posed by large, complex projects. You’ll gain hands-on experience by working on a real-life project as part of the Process module, enabling you to apply your skills and learn from the process.

The wide variety of optional modules recognises the diverse backgrounds and aspirations of our students and the broad applications of project management. You can tailor the course to develop your management capabilities or gain specialist knowledge that will help you to achieve your future ambitions. For example:

  • you could learn more about analytical concepts and techniques such as systems thinking and problem structuring
  • you could explore specialisms such as knowledge management or accounting and control
  • if you are looking to start your own business, you could take Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and New Business Venturing

 The dissertation is another opportunity to take your studies in a direction that suits your interests, as you’ll be able to choose a topic to examine in depth, with guidance from your academic supervisor.

Industry links 

Academics’ links with companies and public sector organisations mean you’ll be exposed to the latest professional issues through guest lectures and engagement with professional bodies including the opportunity to take part in a unique Project Management competition.

  • Programme leader Dr Ramesh Vahidi is closely involved in the Wessex branch of the Association for Project Management (APM). This allows her to tap into a network of project management professionals from a wide range of sectors who contribute to the course by giving lectures and running workshops.
  • Our links with APM also open up extra-curricular opportunities, such as an annual competition in which university and industry teams deliver a real-life project. This gives students a chance to put their skills into practice with mentoring from a professional project manager. Our teams historically perform well in the competition.
  • Our reputation for high quality means we are frequently approached by companies offering internship opportunities, which can provide invaluable work experience for our students. One London-based company has been recruiting interns from the programme over the last three years and supported some students during their dissertations by providing interviewees and data for their research. They have offered full-time jobs to some of the interns following graduation.
  • This course was also one of the few project management masters degrees to be selected by the developers of the Fast Stream Scheme of the UK Cabinet Office’s Major Projects Authority (a four-year civil service graduate programme in project management), in order to introduce their scheme and potentially attract our graduates. Representatives from the Authority have visited the Business School to introduce the scheme to MSc Project Management students and discuss the challenges of major project delivery.

Research

The course is taught by academics who are at the forefront of contemporary approaches in project management, including world leaders in the areas of risk and decision making. They bring their research expertise and professional experience to the course. For example:

  • Professor Chris Chapman, who leads the Project Risk Management module, is an internationally renowned expert in risk and uncertainty management. He has been a consultant to major organisations and his leading publications on project risk and uncertainty management (some co-authored with Professor Stephen Ward) are among the core project management textbooks used worldwide.
  • Dr Ramesh Vahidi is an experienced practitioner who has held project manager, project consultant, project auditor and senior analyst positions in a number of industries. Her specialist area is reflected in the content of the Decision Making in Projects module, in which she shares the latest research findings and uses case studies drawn from the real world, including her research and professional practice.
  • Dr Ian Cammack worked as a project manager in the IT service industry, the telecoms sector and the professional services sector before joining academia. His research interests include the actuality of management practice, problem structuring in a project environment and the social construction of leadership.

Key Facts

Draws on current research to give you a contemporary perspective on project management issues.

You’ll learn principles and techniques that can be applied in any sector or organisation, opening up career possibilities.

A wide choice of options means you can tailor the course to suit your interests.

Includes a module on decision making in project management, covering material not taught on many similar UK masters courses.

The programme is open to applicants from almost any disciplinary background; prior study of technical or engineering subjects is not required.

Taught by leading academics including Professor Chris Chapman, a world-renowned expert in project risk management.

Programme Leader

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelors degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology

Required module areas: Evidence of essay based study

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

 

Mature applicants:

Work experience in general and specifically in the field of Project Management are not requirements but are highly desirable and can be used to compensate for less related degree subjects.

Pre-masters course

You are able to progress to this MSc programme via the University's Pre-masters programme.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_policy, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

Your application will be carefully considered and we will weigh up many factors; not only your academic achievements, interests and aptitude, but also your motivation and your references.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

You must choose 30 CATS/15 ECTS of Option modules in Semester 1 and 30 CATS/15 ECTS of Option modules in Semester 2. All option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

MANG6095 Dissertation supervision starts in Semester 2 and should be submitted in September.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Career Opportunities

Project management has become an essential skill in every sector, so this degree opens up a wealth of job opportunities. You could become a management consultant or take up a project management role in the financial sector, IT, construction, retail or manufacturing. Or you might be interested in a career in public sector, healthcare, education or the arts. Our graduates’ career destinations include:

  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Avon
  • The Oxford Group
  • Dassault Systèmes
  • Peter Charles Limited
  • Department of Planning and Investment Vietnam

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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