In today's fast-moving, global marketplace, traditional project management techniques based around strategic planning and control are not enough. Many modern projects are not only complicated (tough technical problems needing co-ordination across many suppliers) but also complex (with unclear requirements). The new Management of Complex Projects MSc has been designed to produce project managers equipped to lead the most challenging of projects.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. At least two years' experience working in a project environment is expected.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students gain a systems view of project management, so they can develop effective technical solutions within a constrained commercial context. We teach students a number of guiding principles to enable them to manage complex projects and help them to develop key skills such as risk management, requirements management, conflict resolution, effective communication and leadership.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core taught modules (60 credits), two research modules (75 credits), two optional taught modules (30 credits) and one compulsory group project (15 credits). Modules are generally taught as intensive five-day 'block weeks' to minimise time spent away from the office for the flexible/modular students.
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time one academic year, or flexible study two to five years) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, 12 weeks or flexible study up to three years) is offered.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Management of Complex Projects. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Management of Complex Projects. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Management of Complex Projects.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
The first four modules are core and must be taken, then two further taught modules should be selected.
- Systems, Thinking and Engineering Management
- The Business Environment
- Risk, Reliability, Resilience
- Delivering Complex Projects
- Research Modules
- All MSc students undertake a structured research programme comprising the following mandatory modules:
- Project Management Project Concept
- Project Management Research Project
- All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words and a presentation of 20-30 minutes.
Two modules should be selected from the Optional Module List
- Project Management (leading to Association for Project Management exam)
- Lifecycle Management
- Systems Design
- Technology Strategy
- Defence and Security Systems
- Rail Systems
- Space Systems
Students undertake a compulsory group project simulation in which they are confronted with a series of realistic project scenarios and must work together to determine and present their recommended course of action. The scenarios will build on challenges typical of complex projects such as requirements definition, risk management, scope creep and contract and conflict management.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, case-studies, discussion sessions, workshop activity, and project work. Assessment is through a combination of course work, in class tests and written examinations. The research modules are assessed through a written report and a short presentation.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Complex systems are commonplace in many sectors including rail, aerospace, defence, construction and energy. The ability to manage effectively the projects that deliver such systems is crucial in these industries, and individuals who can demonstrate these skills are in high demand.
We have an industrial advisory board including representatives from Airbus, Atkins, BAE Systems, Boeing, DSTL, Leonardo, MAATS Tech, PA Consulting, Rolls-Royce, Transport for London and Ultra Electronics. These organisations provide project support and even one-to-one careers guidance in some cases.
Drawing on our experience of providing short training courses for industry, such as the Project Manager Training Course for the European Space Agency, we integrate skills development into our teaching. This includes the skills of communication, negotiation, leadership and motivation, decision-making and managing multi-faceted, time-constrained tasks which will be invaluable in future careers.
Why study this degree at UCL?
Standard project management courses are no longer a differentiator. Completing this programme at one of the world's leading universities will give students a competitive edge, putting them on the fast track for a career in project or programme management.
Participants gain the skills and knowledge needed to get ahead - from academic theories of conflict and motivation to practical tools for managing risk and tracking project progress.
Students will meet like-minded individuals from other industries, and through extensive group work and classroom interaction will share experiences, learn new approaches, and build contacts that will contribute to future career development.
Department: Space & Climate Physics
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is for ambitious project managers and those wanting to move from engineering roles into project management roles. The programme is targeted at relatively experienced individuals working in industry and who are supported by their employers. Independent students with appropriate industrial experience will also be considered.
- All applicants
- 28 August 2020
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Management of Complex Projects at graduate level?
- why you want to study Management of Complex Projects at UCL?
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and professional background and skills meet the demands of this challenging programme?
- where you expect to go professionally with your degree?
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.