NBS8494 : Project and Programme Management

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Project and programme management is increasingly seen as a specialist body of knowledge. However, because a project can be understood as any sizeable investment in a time-limited activity that differs from the operational processes of ‘business-as-usual’ (BaU), managers in all areas are increasingly required to manage projects and programmes. Initially, this module introduces the purpose, processes and key methodologies, tools and techniques used to manage projects and programmes. There is particular emphasis on the use of these techniques and understandings in non-traditional environments, such as organisational change programmes, where projects are undertaken in parallel with BaU commitments and often in the face of substantial inter-personal and political challenges. In the later stages of the module we therefore move beyond traditional tools and techniques to consider recent developments that see projects as complex undertakings where uncertainty is inevitable and where, far from being architects of mechanistic control systems, project managers need to become skilled politicians crafting and influencing emergent sense and direction in situations of uncertainty and complexity.

Outline Of Syllabus

Projects or programmes?
The project management lifecycle
Project definition and start-up
Planning, resourcing and budgeting
Project execution and control
Benefits and risk management
Project governance and dealing with changes
Managing programmes as portfolios of projects: [Goal-directed project management]
Managing communications, responding to stakeholders
The inevitability of uncertainty: why projects fail, and how to avoid it
Beyond mechanistic control: wicked problems and complex projects
Multi-party projects and the project manager as politician
Projects as narratives and sensemaking

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture93:0027:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion123:0023:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading125:0025:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures supplement student reading to provide both theoretical and practical knowledge. In class discussions and activities enable students to develop their understanding through mutual learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Essay 3,500 words, undertaken independently
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, readings and class discussions / activities are designed to help students develop the understanding and analytical skills needed to complete the assessment. The assessment then tests the students individually to assess how well they have developed both their factual understanding of the topic and their skills in applying their knowledge. Resit is by resubmission of a revised essay.

Reading Lists