The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects is an intense executive development course designed to develop today the leaders of tomorrow.
The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects brings together professionals, academics, and policy makers from across sectors and industries to explore the key strategic issues that project executives face, and proposes strategic responses through the management of projects.
Studying in London’s centre of excellence for the management of projects and our progressive teaching and learning culture will help you create your own unique approach to managing capital investment and strategic change across a wide range of industry sectors.
We have designed this course for professionals who aspire to exercise strategic leadership in the management of projects and programmes.
“The MSc Strategic Management of Projects at UCL has widened my horizons and enhanced my way of thinking about project management from an operational mind set towards a more critical thinking approach at a strategic level. I look forward to taking this knowledge into practice, offering a different standpoint in the cultural industry and having an impact on the way cultural projects run.
- Wimonkhae Roumruk, MSc Strategic Management of Projects alumna
- prepares you for a senior leadership role in shaping and delivering major projects and programmes
- helps you develop a critical understanding of the challenges that project and programme managers face in shaping and implementing strategy
- explores how ‘the Management of Projects’ approach leads to improved value-creation and effective outcomes
- provides tailored professional advice that focuses directly on your career development
- Course content and assessment
These two core modules are delivered at the beginning and end of the course respectively and explore themes that lie at the very heart of MSc SMP.
- Management of projects - this module sets out the arguments for a paradigm shift away from the restrictive tools-based view of project management, and towards the more inclusive and context-based 'management of projects' approach.
- Tomorrow's company - this module challenges students to identify a range of trends and scenarios that may be critical to the future mission of the industry, and explores how leaders might use this information to implement new strategies to prepare for these possible futures.
Assessment for the capstone modules is 50% unseen written examinations and 50% coursework.
Project lifecycle topics
These four modules deal with management issues that come to the fore at particular stages of a project's development and delivery.
- Exploring project requirements - this module explores the range of challenges that projects must overcome if they are to provide the client or sponsor with the range of benefits sought.
- Governance and control - this module examines the strategic framework that exists around any project that sets the aims and objectives, environmental context and project culture.
- Management of design - this module tackles the design stage of projects from a systems perspective - where significant value can be generated, but where problems frequently arise.
- Project operational legacy - this module considers how the initial aims and objectives of a project can lead to operational and legacy consequences, both predicted and unforeseen.
These modules are assessed through written coursework. Students may choose to be assessed either in Exploring project requirements or Project operational legacy. Module choices are subject to availability.
Key knowledge areas
These four modules encompass topics that permeate the management of a project throughout the its lifecycle.
- Supply chain management - this module enable students to analyse procurement situations in various project contexts and create appropriate procurement strategies, while developing a strategic appreciation of the interplay of supply chains and the principles of both lean and agile management paradigms.
- Economics and finance - this module considers the economic context and front-end investment issues associated with complex projects, unveiling the economic theory that underpins many management actions.
- Relationships and marketing - equips students to develop corporate and project strategies in the context of macro and micro stakeholders, appreciating core competencies, the role of relationships in project environments, and the need for emotional intelligence.
- Managing innovation and technology - this module considers where innovation comes from in project environments, and who may resist these innovations, exploring both the excitement and tension derived from innovations and technological advances.
These modules are assessed through written coursework. Students may choose to be assessed either in Economics and finance or Relationships and marketing. Module choices are subject to availability.
Teaching and assessment
The programme is delivered through a combination of case-based learning, interviews, peer-based learning and lectures and workshops from leading practitioners, policymakers, entrepreneurs and academics. Students are required to have sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge to challenge and inform others.
Assessment is primarily through written coursework and a research report.
The programme consists of ten taught modules, with assessment on eight (120 credits), and a research report (60 credits). All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic should help enhance your career development and the knowledge that is most relevant in your field.
A Postgraduate Diploma consists of ten taught modules, with assessment on eight (120 credits). It is available on a full-time basis over nine months or on a modular/flexible basis over 1-5 years.
- Study modes, entry requirements and fees and funding
Study modes and entry requirements
Duration: The course can be studied full-time over one year or up to five years flexibly.
Entry requirements: Read the full entry requirements for this course on the UCL Graduate Prospectus.
Fees and funding
Fees: Tuition fee information can be found on the UCL Graduate Prospectus.
Funding: For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding section of the UCL website.
- Programme staff
The programme team works in the area of the management of projects in collaboration with the industry, government and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and internationally.
We have well-established relationships with:
- UCL academics from different departments
- other leading academic institutions across the world
- project management executives from leading multinational organisations and entrepreneurs from different industries
- key representatives and officials of governmental and non-governmental organisations
Deputy programme leader
Teaching and learning administrator
- Careers and employability
MSc SMP offers students the opportunity to:
- Build the intellectual skill set to deliver successful project outcomes and champion the management of projects at corporate governance level
- Develop the strategic understanding, criticality and confidence necessary to progress to project and programme leadership roles
- Learn the best in theory and practice from pre-eminent academics and leading practitioners
- Share, compare and contrast project experiences and insights with industry peers from the UK and abroad
- Become part of a supportive, valuable and unique network of project and programme-based professionals
For employers, sponsoring an employee to undertake the SMP course can help:
- Profitability: understanding the strategic drivers for project selection helps to optimise the portfolio. Ensuring that the right people manage the right projects and programmes in the right way contributes to increasing margins.
- Productivity: through a better understanding of where the most value can be added, and how value-reducing processes can be identified, redressed or eliminated.
- Predictability: through better understanding and management of the uncertainties and risks that can influence a project. Management of the projects in the organisation’s portfolio will be placed in the wider behavioural and corporate governance context to ensure more informed and transparent decision-making
SMP alumni attracts a mixture of established, experienced and aspiring project executives. Membership allows you to reach some of the world's very best project executives and latest practice so that your projects and business are professionally intelligent and sustainable.
As an SMP graduate you will be more aware than ever that your clients, practice and business environment will never stand still, and will always present you with significant challenges. As an SMP alumnus you will have access to 3 x 2-hour SMP sessions per year, for free, to support your learning and executive development.
Jobs and profiles
The SMP Alumni are a strong community of project leaders who create and hold some of the world's most sought-after jobs across all sectors. Simply send us the profile/job description of the project role that you are looking for and we will help you find them by forwarding your advertisement to our extensive network.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application, we are interested in:
- the type of project(s) that you have been involved in and your role in their management
- where you see yourself professionally in 10 years
- how the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects will help you achieve your goal.
Your personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate how the MSc in the Strategic Management of Projects will help you lead tomorrow's projects.
- For key information, including how to apply, visit the UCL Graduate Prospectus
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