SPG8027 : Project Management Appreciation

Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aims of this course are:
To provide students with an awareness and basic understanding of the way a project is planned and managed.
•       To provide an introduction to the theory and practice of project management
•       To provide an understanding of the project planning process
•       To enable participants to use project planning tools and techniques
•       To provide an understanding of project budgeting
•       To appreciate risk analysis and management; understanding and avoiding common modes of project failure
•       To be able to design and implement effective monitoring and evaluation for successful projects, and sustainability project indicators.
•       To bring students to a common level of understanding of the key elements of current project management, and provide them with an appreciation of the role of the project manager in the context of their likely future workplace. This course is a general introduction to project management. It examines the role of the project manager, the structure of a project and the project team, the project planning process, how to set project aims and objectives, budgeting, risk analysis and how to employ a variety of useful project planning tools.
It provides an introduction to and experience of key elements of current project management, focusing on course programme relevant projects; including the application of work breakdown structures, hierarchical planning, the development of a project strategy, performance measurement, how sustainable development is incorporated into all stages of project cycle management, the value of computer aided planning tools, and an awareness of new management tools

Outline Of Syllabus

Teaching and learning is through intensive modular attendance for 5 days of lectures, seminars and interactive group work. Both supervised and independent study and research is required of students in researching and submitting assignments. Summative assessment is by group work presentation and coursework.

Day 1: Introduction to project management and planning (theory)
1.       Project management: structure, principles, project cycle, milestones, Gantt charts, work packages
2.       Project planning tools and techniques: decision tree analysis, SWOT analysis, critical path analysis.

Day 2: Project management in practice
3.       Measuring progress: deliverables, statistical indicators (reliability, robustness, vulnerability); sustainability indicators, and success indicators (outputs, outcomes, impact),
4.       Project monitoring, evaluation and quality control

Day 3 Project management in practice (continues)
5.       Team management
6.       Risk management
7.       Proposal writing: examples of academic and industrial project proposals
8.       Project Finances (including cost-benefit analysis)

Day 4: Real World project management (seminars)
•       Presentations from sector specific specialists exploring ‘real world’ project management
•       Introduction to practical project planning exercises for groups and individual project plans, based on principles of days 1 to 3

Day 5: Practical planning exercise (group work)
•       Identification of research question/challenge and draft of group project plan (am)
•       Group presentation (oral project proposal), group assessment, and feedback (pm)
•       Summary, review of course and close

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion17:007:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture46:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Assessed Project Plan
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading132:0032:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical17:007:00Assessed group project presentation
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The use of lectures in support of the principal learning by private study teaching method is an effective means to assist students in the acquisition of a knowledge base that will facilitate understanding of a sizeable and detailed body of materials (IKO1-7). The ability to study privately is also tested as credit is given for reference material employed.

Group work will provide a platform for team work, active participation to exercise team-membership or leadership skills, planning, organisational, interpersonal, problem solving skills (IKO5 and ISO1-3)

Independent study includes: Directed study prior to lectures, directed study relevant to group work, which affords an opportunity to bring together relevant knowledge, subject specific and key skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation151M20Group Project Plan for MSc subject/theme
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M80Individual Project Plan for MSc paper based on the group presentation theme - approx 10 sides of A4/2500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Group presentation and written work allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the descriptive material and the basic techniques taught, and also tests analytical ability using a case study.
The module is further assessed by asking the students to prepare a Project Plan of their own, typically for their degree major project. This will test individuals’ abilities to justify, explicitly plan and allow for changes in direction in research projects in the context of budget, scientific, safety and other constraints, using appropriate risk mitigation methods and contingency planning.
The Graduate Skills Framework entries indicated as 'A' are also assessed in this way.

Reading Lists