Study the current tools and techniques for successful project management
Why take this course?
Project management is now a mainstream management discipline in many organisations.
This course provides a solid grounding in the principles and practice of project management with the overall aim of increasing your ability to contribute to business effectiveness. It is designed to prepare you to manage projects in a wide range of sectors and environments.
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. 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
- project planning
- product development
I wanted to further expand my managerial skills and interpersonal qualities and I chose Portsmouth over other institutions because of its reputation for excellent teaching.
Ivelina Nikolva, MSc Project Management student
- 1 year full time, 30 months part time
- 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.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £6,400 part time: £2,130 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,700 part time: £4,230 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
For details see fees terms and conditions
+44 (0) 23 9284 2991
- Operations and Systems Management
- Programme specification
- Accreditations & Endorsements
Structure & Teaching
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: This unit covers projects and project management, with an emphasis on the importance of planning to successful projects. 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. The ability to critically review and assess previous literature and research, and to demonstrate sustained intellectual effort in analysing a topic, are key elements of the dissertation.
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching and learning is through intensive blocks of two day sessions of lectures, seminars and interactive syndicate work for each unit. Within these you will participate in group work, role play scenarios, presentations, and attend lectures by invited speakers.
How are you assessed?
For each unit you will be assessed in a way that will deepen your knowledge of the subjects covered. This can involve analysing case studies, critiquing current knowledge on an aspect of project management, creating a detailed project plan, or assessing the advantages and disadvantages of project management practices. You will also complete a self-directed research dissertation.
Facilities & Features
You will benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.
We aim to provide you with as much support as possible. There are tutors available to support your studies via online tutorials, email and telephone conferencing. You will also be assigned a personal tutor who will offer support and guidance throughout your studies.
Academic Skills Unit (ASK)
The ASK unit will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to refresh yourself on university study ensuring you perform to your full potential.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
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.
Steve Lawrenson, MSc Project Management student
Careers & Opportunities
This course can provide a platform for a career in project management in many high profile organisations in both the public and private sectors. You will gain the essential skills in planning, scheduling and budgeting to become an effective project manager.
Alternatively, you may wish to pursue opportunities for research in the related areas of risk, programme and business management.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
In the future, I will return to work for the local government using what I have learned on the MSc Project Management to help me develop my career.
Jieya Lin, MSc Project Management student
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.
Portsmouth Business School holds regular course information events throughout the year - we'd be delighted if you could join us.
Postgraduate Information Days 2016
- Wednesday 2 March 2016, 1pm – 5pm
- Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm
Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.
Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.
Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.