UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Programme Details

The Masters programme in Management of Complex Projects may lead to one of three qualifications: an MSc (Masters of Science), a PGDip (Postgraduate Diploma), or a PGCert (Postgraduate Certificate).

  • The MSc Management of Complex Projects is 180 credits and consists of a taught component and a research component.
  • The PGDip is 120 credits and is achieved by passing all elements of the MSc programme with the exception of the Project Management Research Project.
  • The PGCert is 60 credits and is obtained through the taught component alone and does not include any project work.

Options Management of Complex Projects

The MSc can be completed in 2-5 years part time, 1 year full time, 2 years part time. The PGDip requires 2 years part time or 9 months full time. The PGCert can be completed in 9 months full time or part time.

Taught component

The required number of taught modules are selected from the full list of core and optional modules available. MSc and PGDip qualifications require 6 taught modules, which must include all 4 core modules. The PGCert requires 4 taught modules of which 2 must be any of the 4 core.  

Taught elements are assessed through a written assignment and a written examination.

Group project

Project Simulation

For MSc and PGDip students the Project Simulation element is an opportunity to work in teams to apply knowledge they have gained in a realistic project simulations. This simulation will draw heavily on experience we have from delivering the European Space Agency's Project Manager Training Course, and will consist of five episodes. The episodes will each last a day and will explore different challenging aspects of managing complex projects.

Research component

Project Management Research Project Concept

MSc and PGDip students will be required to develop a Research Project Concept.

In many cases, students will come up with an idea for a project based on issues they face in their working environments. In other cases, tutors will help students to choose a research area where there is a common interest.

The Research Project Concept is assessed through the project plan which must be delivered by the student. This document is expected to set clear objectives for the research and detailed planning for the work activities that will deliver these objectives. 

Project Management Research Project

Only MSc students are required to complete a research project. Typically industry-sponsored students will perform a study that is of direct relevance and advantage to their employer. Self-funded students may take up an appropriate research problem of interest to them, or one proposed by tutors. In each case, a personal supervisor is allocated to support the research activity.

The project culminates in the preparation of a final report, the dissertation. This document, of up to 12,000 words, is used to assess the capability of the student to organise and carry out an extended, independent study at postgraduate level. The student will also be required to make a presentation of the project's final results, which is assessed. This presentation will normally be the final step of the programme for MSc students.