Short courses


APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ)

  • 35 hours contact time + 3-hour exam
  • 3 to 5 weeks


APM Training Provider

This short course will give you an effective grounding in project management

It's aimed at anyone who has worked in a project environment for approximately three to four years, or whose role has expanded to include some project management responsibilities.

It will help you understand how the different elements of project management interact, and how your project fits into your strategic and commercial environment.

This course is run by UCL's Technology Management Group and is accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM). The course has been updated to align with the new 7th edition of APM Body of Knowledge and follows the syllabus of APM’s Project Management Qualification (PMQ).

To qualify for APM PMQ, you'll need to successfully pass an exam set by APM. You can either take a UCL-administered exam, or one of APM's open exams. To help you prepare, you can attend our exam preparation workshop. Separate fees apply for the exam and the exam preparation workshop.

What is the APM PMQ?

APM's Project Management Qualification (PMQ) is a knowledge-based qualification developed by APM, the chartered body for the project profession.

It’s an internationally recognised qualification at SCQF Level 7.

The syllabus and course are based on the APM Body of Knowledge and are applicable to projects in any industry or in the public sector.

PMQ assesses breadth and depth of knowledge in all areas of project management. By completing the course, you’ll gain an understanding of:

  • how organisations and projects are structured
  • project life cycles
  • the situational context of projects
  • communication within projects
  • the principles of leadership and teamwork
  • planning for success
  • project scope management
  • scheduling and resource optimisation
  • procurement
  • risk and issue management
  • quality in the context of a project

The syllabus is intentionally broad in its application, and is not restricted to any particular methodology, project lifecycle or industry sector. More information about the qualification is available on APM's website.

Who this course is for

Before booking, please ensure you have read the information below to assess your suitability for the course. If you have any questions about your suitability, please email us via apmqualifications@ucl.ac.uk.

This course, and the APM PMQ, is suitable for aspiring and existing project managers, including:

  • those who wish to demonstrate their knowledge of how the elements of project management interact
  • those in the early stages of their career, with three to four years of project experience
  • more experienced project managers who want to gain a formal qualification in project management.

It's also suitable for students of related disciplines, such as management and engineering, who wish to gain a recognised qualification in addition to their academic record.

There are no formal entry requirements.

To help you decide if this is the right level course for you, please see this article published by APM: What project management qualification is best for me? (apm.org.uk)

Course content

The course content has been revised to align with APM Body of Knowledge, 7th edition, 2019.

The course is organised into themes, to help you orient your studies.


  • Essential concepts, terms, and definitions
  • The challenges of working with projects

The organisational context

  • How projects are incorporated into their environment
  • The roles of the key players in setting up, controlling, and working with projects

People in projects

  • Leadership and motivation in projects, through practical guidance and theoretical grounding
  • The challenges of project teams, including virtual teams
  • Effective communications both inside the project and with other organisations
  • Negotiation


  • Putting a project together using a variety of tools and techniques
  • The project life cycle and its main variants, showing how a project evolves towards its outcomes
  • Formal means of establishing a project, such as a Business Case, the Project Management Plan and tools related to scope management
  • Creating a time view of the plan and linking this to resources, and hence cost
  • Handling uncertainty through risk management


  • Controlling and maintaining a project as it proceeds
  • Keeping the work aligned and controlled through the lifecycle, and getting support for problems with formal issue management
  • Quality management tools to help to ensure the project meets its purpose
  • Procurement and contracts which help obtain goods and services for the project
  • Working with project financial parameters (including estimating) and measuring progress against cost and time, using earned value

Course structure and teaching

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6FzUJBcqlg&t=3s&ab_channel=UCLCentrefor...

In the video above, Matt Whyndham, the course leader, gives an overview of our course: who it is run by, what will be covered and why we run it as a blended online and classroom course.

The course is delivered to groups of up to 20 learners. On enrolment, you’ll have access to UCL Extend, our online teaching and learning platform for short courses. Here you’ll be able to access all the course materials, including slides and reference texts, quizzes and exercises. You’ll also have access to interactive features such as forums where you can contact course tutors and fellow learners.

Part 1: Online preparation 

The first part comprises of: 

  • a 2-hour live, online introductory session covering how the course is organised, and the foundation topics. You’ll also be encouraged to share your experience of projects with the group 
  • 6-8 hours studying selected readings, presentations and audio/video resources (in your own time) 

Tutors will be available throughout to answer questions and to provide feedback on exercises. 

Part 2: Classroom teaching 

The second part comprises of:

  • 3 days of  classroom workshops in central London (usually 9.30am to 5.30pm each day). These will either take place in one week or over the course of three weeks, depending on the delivery mode (stretched or intensive). 
  • 8 hours of self-study to review classroom material and to complete the practice tests 

As well as presentations and summaries, the classroom workshops will include discussions and exercises to reinforce your learning and to develop your PMQ exam technique. 

Part 3: Online study 

The third part comprises of: 

  • 5 hours of online study, with remote tutor support 
  • a short practice PMQ-style test, and feedback on this  
  • a 2-hour live online course wrap-up 

You will then revise, reflect on your learning and practice the examination technique. This, and the feedback from the PMQ-style test, will help you decide when to take your PMQ exam. 

Part 4: Exam preparation, plus optional Exam Preparation workshop  

The final part of the course comprises of: 

  • 10 hours of self-directed revision, reflection on your learning and practice of the examination technique.  
  • a 1.5 hour PMQ-style practice test, and feedback on this 

You can choose to attend an optional (fee payable)  3-hour exam preparation workshop aimed at finalising your revision for the PMQ exam. 

In this workshop you’ll:  

  • get detailed advice on PMQ exam technique 
  • test your knowledge with practice questions under exam conditions  
  • receive individual feedback and guidance. 


The APM PMQ is assessed by an online typed exam, in controlled conditions and is set by APM. During this three-hour test, you must answer 10 unseen questions from a choice of 16. 

If you’re currently a PRINCE2® Registered Practitioner, you can sit a reduced duration test of two hours (answering 6 from 10 questions), which recognises your prior learning. 

You can take either an exam arranged via UCL or one of APM’s open exams. Separate fees apply for the sitting the examination. 

You will require additional preparation and practice time to successfully pass the APM PMQ exam. The course tutors will assist you with feedback and guidance to help you select the most appropriate time for the exam. 

Language requirements

We recommend that anyone taking this course has a good level of English proficiency (UCL Standard level, IELTS 6.5 or CEFR B2/C1). During the course you'll have to deal with a wide vocabulary, and both formal and informal discussion. This will require listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. The PMQ exam is an unseen written (typed) test, requiring proficiency in reading and writing.

If you have a degree from a majority English-speaking country, or have worked in one for at least two years, you shouldn't have language difficulties.

If you don't have this level of English, you won't automatically be refused a place, but you may find the course and its exam more challenging. You should look at the guidance notes and sample paper available from APM before enrolling and, if in doubt, talk to a member of our course team.

Costs and concessions

Course (excluding exam):

  • £2,275 – standard fee
  • £2,050 – UCL alumni and staff

Optional revision session:

  • £325 – standard fee
  • £295 – UCL alumni and staff

Exam registration: 

  • £580 – non-member of APM
  • £460 – APM member
  • £410 – re-sit 

Course information last modified: 29 Jan 2024, 17:42