MSc Project Management

Postgraduate degree

Develop your career as a highly efficient and effective project leader with our Association for Project Management (APM) accredited Master's degree.

  • 100% online learning gives you the flexibility to fit learning around other commitments
  • Learn from our expert teaching team to master the key concepts of project management
  • Open up career opportunities in a wide variety of project management roles
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)


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About your masters in project management

Our Project Management MSc is specifically designed to help you develop a deep knowledge and understanding of a project manager's role. You'll master a broad range of management processes and practices to help you lead complex projects, as well as the skills to apply your expertise in a range of sectors.

The course is ideal if you're a graduate or professional looking to kickstart your career or enhance your existing project management experience. Your studies will take place entirely online, giving you the flexibility to advance your career around your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Learn to apply sound management practices and develop your specialist project management skills to master effective project management
  • Develop your own individual approach to managing projects and teams
  • Work-based approach allows you to deliver impact in the workplace as you learn
  • Professional recognition – accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM)

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Study this course over 3 years

Start dates

Start in January, May or September

Application deadlineOur next deadline is

28th June 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Our online MSc Project Management recognises that every individual’s approach to management is personal and unique, and every manager handles the innate challenges of leading teams and projects in their own way. Consequently, we encourage and enable you to develop your own individual approach to managing projects, based on good management practices as well as specialist project management skills.

In addition to developing your own unique management style, you will also learn how to lead and manage projects and project teams effectively, as well as mastering a range of specialist project management principles, systems and techniques.

Project Managers are highly sought after in many industries and organisations, both nationally and internationally. We'll provide you with the supported learning you need to develop the necessary knowledge, transferable skills and confidence to access these exciting career opportunities.

Project Management skills are transferable across multiple industries, making graduates of this course highly desired by a wide range of organisations, and our Project Management MSc is accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM) who are the chartered body for the project profession.

While studying on this course you will be eligible for a free student membership of the APM. Being a member offers you a range of benefits designed to help you get the most out of the project management community.

Benefits include

  • Knowledge resources
  • Project journal archive
  • Networking at events
  • Involvement in APM branches and Specific Interest Groups (SIG)
  • Preferential rates on APM qualifications
  • Digital badge
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Modules

Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.

Management Theory

You'll learn the key theories and principles of management to understanding how those theories and principles can be applied in practice to a range of project contexts. Management style is personal and unique; therefore, this module will build the foundation of your management knowledge and leadership to empower you develop your own unique approach to management. You'll be able to integrate this knowledge with your own values, experiences, and goals, to provide the basis for a life-long development of your management skills. Among many other things, you'll learn the principles of governing project teams, including organisational structures and leadership. You'll also explore the functions, forms, operation, and behaviour of organisations in a variety of contexts and situations to enhance management and organisational success.

Management Practice

Project managers must appreciate the importance of people to the success of their project. Organisational and project performance is largely dependent on the performance of people, which in turn is determined by the quality and effectiveness of their management. Therefore, it is crucial that managers can effectively lead the people that are under them in the project organisation structure, and aid and inspire their teams to produce the best results within the constraints of available resources. The module emphasises on the development of your personal skills and traits required to manage the knowledge and intellectual capital of the project team and take advantage of an ever increasing dependency on effective knowledge management. You will explore knowledge-based economy and its impact on the complex and changing organisational and project environment. You’ll learn about people management, HR policy and practices, and how to manage performance, empower motivation, and development commitment.

Project Management Systems

A project’s life cycle forms a solid foundation on which the manager builds the foundations for management strategies. This module walks you through the body of knowledge and recognised project management methodologies to discover the roles and functions of the manager, value adding activities and innovative tools and techniques to be used. You'll develop a thorough understanding of the process of project management, together with the diverse range of resources and activities that the project manager must plan, coordinate and control to achieve a successful project. The module will equip you with the specialist management skills and knowledge to successfully execute the project from inception through all its stages to completion and use. You'll be challenged to develop a personalised management approach and strategy to deliver a real-world project for a sponsoring organisation. The module will empower you to actively explore the practical tools and techniques that project managers use to support core project objectives.

Project Management Context

Projects are conceived to allow the organisation to achieve its strategic goals in most the most effective and efficient way. Projects must therefore be carefully managed to align with the concurrent projects, programmes, and portfolio to deliver the core business objectives of the sponsoring organisation. This module will give you a sound understanding of the context for project management and how projects relate to organisations and the larger organisational environment. You'll explore contemporary project management by looking at examples from a wide range of organisations and industries. You'll develop an appreciation of the history and development of project management, together with a critical consideration of contemporary project management from examples of its application in a wide range of organisations and industries. It allows you to explore the duties and obligations of the project manager, along with the terms and conditions of their employment, the legal rights. You'll develop the skills and attributes required to be a successful project manager, including the selection of projects, the different processes involved, and procurement systems used to procure projects.

Project Management Techniques

Project management techniques is applicational in nature and is designed to help you develop a systematic understanding of a number of key tools and techniques used in the management of projects, enabling you to critically evaluate project needs and to select and apply appropriate techniques for your project. With the demand for continuous improvement, production systems such as lean and agile will be explored as well as other performance improvement tools and techniques, including analysis and evaluation of risks and determine their influence on the evolution, design, technology, management, and financial aspects throughout the project life cycle. You'll learn the quality management systems and methods used to manage the quality of projects, together with the skills to critically analyse quality situations in order to select and apply appropriate quality management solutions. A range of learning methods; including case studies, workshops and tutorials are used throughout the module to enhance your ability to discriminate, select and apply appropriate techniques to a wide variety of situations.

Cost and Financial Management

The primary objective of this module is to provide a framework for how the business case for projects is developed, established, and evaluated, together with the processes involved, supported by an understanding of financial and accounting protocols and practices. You'll gain an in-depth understanding of the financial, commercial, and cost aspects of projects and project management, together with the skills to apply value management and whole life costing techniques to maximise project value to the customer. You'll explore the business and commercial environment in which projects exist, and critically evaluate the factors that influence the strategic and financial rationale for projects. You'll learn how the funding mechanisms commonly applied to projects is undertaken to enable you to recognise and manage the implications of these on the project and portfolio of projects. The module also explores techniques for effective cost management of projects to develop your abilities to provide effective cost control, cash flow and financial forecasts at every stage of the project.

Project Planning and Control

You'll have probably heard that “plans are nothing; planning is everything”. While this claim can be contested, the complexity of project planning is a fact of life. Planning and scheduling for effective management of cost, time and quality requires a systematic understanding of the principles, practices and systems used to plan and control projects. A systems thinking approach adapted in this module will allow you to gain a critical insight into integrated planning and programming software and information systems and the potential of Project Management Information Systems [PMIS] to provide effective management of all aspects of a project, especially resources, risks, time, and cost. You'll develop a working understanding of a range of methodologies and techniques, including agile and waterfall approaches, Earned Value Management, and the theory of constraints (TOC) to support your planning and management of projects. You'll develop the ability to select, adapt and apply a variety of project planning and management tools and techniques to the management of projects.

Research Design and Methods

This module is designed to prepare you to undertake small-scale research for the major project or dissertation. You'll gain an in-depth understanding of the theories and methods of research and research design to develop a theoretical and practical foundation from which to embark on your master’s level dissertation. You'll learn a range of approaches to research, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods, together with an understanding of a number of specific research methods and their advanced application. It allows you to critically consider the design for your chosen research project and, in the end, you'll prepare an acceptable proposal for the dissertation, including the consideration of ethics and ethical issues.

Major Project/Dissertation

This module takes you through an independent research journey to equip you with the knowledge and expertise to tackle complex real-world situations and become a competent project manager. You'll choose a research topic and undertake the project with support and guidance from a dedicated subject matter expert (SME). You'll explore challenges and gain an understanding of how project management unfolds in practice. The research topic can be based on any discipline background, but could include aspects such as success factors, innovative technologies, management innovations, sustainability and specific issues affecting your day to day management functions. You'll conduct a significant research project in that area which may involve a systematic literature review, data collection, analysis, and a write-up. The final piece of work should be equivalent to a maximum of 15,000 words.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed in a number of different ways including research projects and reports, written coursework including essays and case studies, group work and presentations, examinations and a dissertation.

How you'll study

Our MSc Project Management is studied 100% online, making it ideal for UK and international students.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, pc or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

On successful completion of your studies you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your MSc Project Management online, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist project management tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students. They'll be on hand to guide you through both the taught modules, and the different assessment methods.

Once you start your MSc Project Management, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo

Accreditation

Professional recognition

Our MSc Project Management is accredited by the Association for Project Management. APM accreditation is a widely recognised mark of quality for organisations, training providers and academic institutions. It demonstrates alignment to the APM Body of Knowledge and offers assurance for those wanting to access the best project management professional development services available.

Accreditation also means you will be eligible for free APM Student Membership, offering access to APM events and a range of other benefits.

APM Academic Accreditation

Careers

What could a Project Management MSc do for my career?

You don’t have to be a Project Manager to benefit from a Project Management MSc, although that’s the obvious one. Our Project Management MSc distance learning programme is designed for any professional, from any discipline or sector, who wants to develop or progress their career in project management or in a project-based environment.

We’ll help you build a strong foundation of management knowledge and skills, supplemented with specialist project management modules, and encourage you to develop your individual approach to management. Emphasis throughout the course will be on application and putting theory into practice across a broad range of project management activities.

Your current or future employer will benefit from an employee who has comprehensive knowledge of project management and the skills to facilitate an effective execution of projects.

What job roles can I consider with a Project Management MSc?

Project management is a dynamic and challenging field of management; it offers exciting opportunities in a wide range of organisations across a wide range of industries. Project management skills are sought after by many employers. It is estimated that 93% of organisations adapt project management practices while every 9 out of 10 organisations have a dedicated project management unit.

Successful graduates will join a wide range of project professionals in the field of project management, as well as other management roles in a wide range of industries, such as business and professional services, computing hardware and software development, defence, manufacturing, new product development, finance and insurance, information services and publishing, construction, aerospace; oil and gas, and enacting organisational change in any industry. There are a number of roles graduates from this course have successfully been appointed for, including:

  • Assistant project manager
  • Associate Project Director
  • Business or Systems Analyst
  • Change Manager
  • Consultant Project Administrator
  • Contracts Manager
  • Head of Projects/Programmes
  • PMO Director/manager/officer
  • Project Controls Manager
  • Project Coordinator
  • Project Engineer
  • Project Planner
  • Project/Programme/Portfolio Director
  • Project/Programme/Portfolio Manager
  • Project/Programme Office Support

If you are looking for more information about these job profiles and potential salary earnings visit the APM website or search for project management roles from Prospects.ac.uk. It’s important to note that salaries can vary widely depending on the job role, employer, industry sector and location.

What can I study after a Project Management MSc?

The course meets the educational requirements for project professionals chartership with the Association for Project Management (APM). Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a master’s degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to study at this level.

What skills will I get from a Project Management MSc to help my career?

There are various transferable skills to be gained from studying the Project Management MSc; here are just some of them:

  • You’ll gain the skills to manage teams and projects
  • Develop your ability to critically evaluate and solve complex problems
  • Be able to plan logically and systematically
  • Organise processes and motivate others to action
  • Communicate effectively and work as part of a team
  • Interpersonal skills to liaise with stakeholders
  • Financial management and cost control
  • Management of project information
  • Use of digital and visual methods for presentation
  • Analytical skills and prioritisation

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your first dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications, and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

To gain entry, you'll need a good honours degree from a recognised university.

Alternatively, if you have a degree or degree equivalent qualification and/or appropriate work experience at a suitable level within an organisation, and for an appropriate length of time, you may be considered.

You may be interviewed prior to acceptance. Qualifications from an approved professional body will also be taken into account.

If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of our online learning management system (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Fees & funding

Fees

The full tuition fee for this online Project Management MSc is £8,200.

The tuition fees you pay each year will be £2,733 or £2,734. The course will take 3 years to complete for September starters and 2 years 8 months for students starting in January or May.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.

Funding

Your masters in project management may be eligible to be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to start date and eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. Anglia Ruskin University is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page or contact us.


What our students say

Mari - ARU Student

As an international student I feel lucky to have chosen ARU. The lecturers have been very supportive and the content of the modules were extremely interesting.

Read Mari's story
Michael - ARU Distance Learning Student

The support I received was thorough and greatly appreciated, from top tips, online presentations and one-to-one sessions through skills study plus. The online facilities were excellent and easy to navigate and obtain valuable information.

Read Michael's story
Mark - ARU Student

I'm gaining an in-depth knowledge of project management that will enable me to progress my career to a level I never thought possible a few years ago.

Read Mark's story
Dio - ARU Distance Learning Student
The Project Management MSc has equipped me with practical tools and strategies that have directly contributed to my career advancement and the successful completion of complex projects.
Read Mario's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

28th June 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

Find out more about distance learning and our Project Management MSc on our blog:

5 Reasons to Study an Online Project Management MSc

5 Reasons to Study an Online Project Management MSc

21st March 2022

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5 Top Industries Hiring Qualified Project Managers

5 Top Industries Hiring Qualified Project Managers

28th September 2021

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Distance Learning Alumni Survey 2023

Distance Learning Alumni Survey 2023

13th March 2024

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