UCL Home

MSc Strategic Management of Projects


An intense executive development course designed to develop today the leaders of tomorrow.


Overview

Welcome to the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects

The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects is an intense executive development course that:

  • prepares you for a senior leadership role in shaping and delivering major projects and programmes
  • helps you develop a critical understanding of the challenges that project and programme managers face in shaping and implementing strategy
  • explores how ‘the Management of Projects’ approach leads to improved value-creation and effective outcomes
  • provides tailored professional advice that focuses directly on your career development

The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects brings together distinguished, thoughtful professionals, academics, and policy-makers from across sectors and industries to explore the key strategic issues that project executives face and proposes strategic responses through the management of projects.

Studying in London’s centre of excellence for the management of projects and our progressive teaching and learning culture will help you create your own unique approach to managing capital investment and strategic change across a wide range of industry sectors.

We have designed this course for professionals who aspire to exercise strategic leadership in the management of projects and programmes.

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Quick Facts

The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects explicitly emphasises on helping you create your own unique competitive approach to strategically managing projects and leading in your industry.

  • 120 top-quality sessions around 10 thematic areas that define the project lifecycle and key domain areas
  • A twin focus on strategically managing projects and critical thinking throughout the course
  • 45 sessions led by distinguished and thoughtful practitioners, policy-makers and entrepreneurs
  • Simulations, workshops and case studies where you make the decisions
  • 22 academics from the School of Construction and Project Management, a range of UCL departments and leading universities in the UK who share their views and research with you
  • No more than 20 students - a highly selective, size limited, student enrollment, so that you have the time to engage deeply and discuss with the experts, academics and fellow-classmates
  • One of the most modern and updated accessible library across universities
  • More than 11 nationalities and 13 industries in this year’s class, including financial services, telecommunications, construction, sales and marketing, renewable energy, and culture and education
  • An average of 8 years of work experience amongst participants
  • 3% of applicants were recruited on average
  • Tailored advice that speaks to your career plan, an open door policy for your queries and professional development and on-going attention to your progress as a student and a professional
  • The SMP Alumni: a community of friends and professionals with whom you share a passion for managing projects and programmes that with impact business and society
  • Our postcode - WC1E at the heart of London, the doorstep of the financial district and the world
  • Our reputation - 4th best university in the world

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Content

MSc SMP comprises of ten compulsory modules in three categories

Capstone modules

These two core modules are delivered at the beginning and end of the course respectively and explore themes that lie at the very heart of MSc SMP.

Management of Projects

Led by Professor Peter Morris, this module sets out the arguments for a paradigm shift away from the restrictive tools-based view of project management, and towards the more inclusive and context-based 'management of projects' approach.

The module provides opportunities to learn across project-based sectors. Critically, the Management of Projects focuses on the acquisition of management knowledge and the application of learning in a project context.

Aims of the Module

  • To introduce the management of projects (and programmes) as a core and coherent discipline.
  • To underpin the entire SMP course and provide a backdrop for strategic management thinking.

Module assessment: compulsory (15 credits)

Method of assessment: unseen written examination (50%); coursework (50%)

To gain the module credits, a student must achieve an aggregate mark of 50% or higher in the elements for assessment.

Tomorrow's Company

This module provides a high-impact, horizon-stretching and thought provoking close to the course. Led by Dr Andrew Edkins, Tomorrow's Company challenges students to identify a range of trends and scenarios that may be critical to the future mission of the industry. The module will then explore how leaders might use this information to implement new strategies to prepare for these possible futures.

Aims of the Module

  • Focus upon the strategic realization of the need to adapt organisations, their composition, performance and approach.
  • Deliberately stretch students’ abilities to foresee the future.

Module assessment: compulsory (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Project lifecycle topics

These four modules deal with management issues that come to the fore at particular stages of a project's development and delivery.

Exploring Project Requirements

This module explores the range of challenges that projects must overcome if they are to provide the client or sponsor with the range of benefits sought. After examining the fundamental challenge of understanding a client's objectives, this module will go on to consider parallel challenges within sectors such as construction and IT/IS systems. 

Aims of the Module

  • Explore the client drivers behind the types of complex project that SMP students are involved in, and are expected to go on to play leading roles in.
  • Examine the specific interests and processes involved in the briefing and early stages of complex projects in differing sectors.

Module assessment: optional - choice of assessment in this module or Project Operational Legacy (15 credits)
Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Management of Design

This module tackles the design stage of projects from a systems' perspective where significant value can be generated, but where problems frequently arise. Those involved in design are specialists: having been trained and educated to ‘think design’ they have specialist processes, tools and techniques. Appreciating the design challenge and what it entails will allow those involved in managing and leading projects to be able to assist and avoid hindering the creative process.

Aims of the Module

  • Provide a systems-based insight into the ‘black-box’ of design.
  • Explore the drivers and constraints of design, the way value is understood and managed during the design stage, and the product of good design.

Module assessment: compulsory (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Project Operational Legacy

The types of projects that SMP students are likely to be involved in, either currently or in future, are complex and probably long-lived. Operational and legacy issues are paramount to the client or sponsor. This module considers how the initial aims and objectives of a project can lead to operational and legacy consequences, both predicted and unforeseen.

Aims of the Module

  • Provide an overview of strategic ‘facility’ management.
  • Explore the service and operations management challenges, and the ways in which these knowledge bases can benefit a project.

Module assessment: optional – choice of assessment in this module or Exploring Project Requirements (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Governance and Control

Projects rely on excellence of both governance and control. Project governance is associated with corporate governance, which itself is intrinsically linked to corporate responsibility to shareholders and owners, and the wider set of societal stakeholders. This module explores the core topics of risk and uncertainty, as well as specific ‘hot’ topics in selected project sectors.

Aims of the Module

  • Examine the strategic framework that exists around any project that sets the aims and objectives, environmental context and project culture.
  • Explore the interrelatedness of this strategic framework and the management systems that are used to provide control measures.
  • Appreciate that the framework and control measures are part of inherent corporate and project risk management.

Module assessment: compulsory

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Key knowledge areas

These four modules encompass topics that permeate the management of a project throughout the its lifecycle.

Supply Chain Management

This module strikes at the core of modern projects, where various parties - whether internal to one organisation or external players - come together to add value by providing the project solution. How is value understood and subsequently how are supply chains or networks formed? How are they managed? What are the key insights needed to release the power of the supply chain? This module is driven by such questions.

Aims of the Module

  • Develop a strategic appreciation of the interplay of supply chains and the principles of both lean and agile management paradigms.
  • Enable students to analyse procurement situations in various project contexts and create appropriate procurement strategies.

Module assessment : compulsory (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Economics and Finance

This module considers the economic context and front-end investment issues associated with complex projects, unveiling the rich world of economic theory that underpins many management actions. Topics covered range from the role of the economically rational man to the importance of discounted cash flow analysis.

Aims of the Module

  • Improve students' capacity to better evaluate project and corporate contexts.
  • Allow superior project investment decisions to be made through use of the tools of economics and finance.

Module assessment: optional - choice of assessment in this module or Strategy and Marketing (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Relationships and Marketing

This module tackles the many issues that surround projects and project-based organisations when they come to develop a strategic approach to their management and establish their marketing presence in a business-to-business (B2B) environment.

Aims of the Module

  • Increase awareness of the contexts in which projects and firms exist.
  • Enable students to better manage tension and conflict in the strategy creation process.
  • Equip students to develop corporate and project strategies in the context of macro and micro stakeholders, appreciating core competencies, the role of relationships in project environments, and the need for emotional intelligence.

Module assessment: optional - choice of assessment in this module or Economics and Finance (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

Managing Innovation and Technology

Projects operate in dynamic environments where external developments can have profound effects. This module explores both the excitement and tension derived from innovations and technological advances. Being able to harness both of these positively will yield great potential benefits; however, there is both risk and uncertainty in embracing anything 'new'. This module looks at a number of relevant technological advances and considers how these and other innovations can be managed. 

Aims of the Module

  • Consider where innovation comes from in project environments, and who may resist these innovations.
  • Provide selected examples of the technologies used in a range of projects.
  • Encourage students to analyse projects and components, including their specific requirements, characteristics and contexts, and think creatively about alternative production possibilities.

Module assessment: compulsory (15 credits)

Method of assessment: coursework (100%)

To gain the module credits a student must achieve a 50% or higher aggregate mark in the individual elements (exam and essay).

 To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Structure

Full-time study mode (1 year)

SMP structure full time

View this diagram in larger format (PDF 126KB)


Part-time study mode (2 years)

SMP structure part time ASMP structure part time B

View this diagram in larger format (PDF, 123KB)


Assessment

Six modules have mandatory assessment components. From the remaining 4 modules, students may choose 2 for assessment.

Module assessment will be either:

  • 100% essay/coursework, or
  • 50% essay/coursework + 50% unseen written exam

In addition, students must complete a 10,000 word report on a piece of major independent research.

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Opportunities

Benefits for students

MSc SMP offers the opportunity to:

  • Build the intellectual skill set to deliver successful project outcomes and champion the management of projects at corporate governance level
  • Develop the strategic understanding, criticality and confidence necessary to progress to project and programme leadership roles
  • Learn the best in theory and practice from pre-eminent academics and leading practitioners
  • Share, compare and contrast project experiences and insights with industry peers from the UK and abroad
  • Become part of a supportive, valuable and unique network of project and programme-based professionals

Benefits for employers

Sponsoring an employee through SMP can help:

  • Profitability: understanding the strategic drivers for project selection helps to optimise the portfolio. Ensuring that the right people manage the right projects and programmes in the right way contributes to increasing margins.
  • Productivity: through a better understanding of where the most value can be added, and how value-reducing processes can be identified, redressed or eliminated.
  • Predictability: through better understanding and management of the uncertainties and risks that can influence a project. Management of the projects in the organisation’s portfolio will be placed in the wider behavioural and corporate governance context to ensure more informed and transparent decision-making.

 To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Student Profiles

Farid Ayatollahi

Farid Ayatollahi

With a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering, Planning and System Analysis, I was involved in three EPC construction projects as the Project Cost and Time Analyst in Tablieh Construction Co and have an understanding of the organisational and managerial issues involved in big projects.

After completing a master’s degree in Business Administration-Marketing, I continued my professional experience in Kayson Inc, where I worked as an International Purchasing Manager. In Kayson Inc. I managed the procurement of a portfolio of diversified domestic and international projects.

Having 10 years of work experience and with facing the complexity and uncertainty of projects, it was important to me to get a global experience of how to manage projects and UCL was the top option. The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects programme has given me the opportunity to extend my knowledge and capabilities by learning how project-based industries think strategically including working with classmates who have different backgrounds and nationalities.

I aim to continue my career path in an innovative project-based company and to add value to the company through designing and providing creative solutions. In the long term, I am looking to move into developing, delivering and operating projects in high risk markets.

George Dadoudis

George Dadoudis

I kick started my career in 1995 right after graduating from Kingston University with a BA Hons degree in Economics. My first role was as an Exports Manager in DOKANA SA, an apparel manufacturing industry exporting mainly to UK high street retailers. In 2000, I moved into a key account management role for Hellenic Fabrics SA, a publicly listed company specializing in denim production, and was responsible for the European markets managing a sales turnover of over 50M euros, handling large accounts such as Benetton and Diesel and increasing sales by 30% annually. At the same time I played a key role in designing and project managing a 40M euros capital investment project with the organization.

I started my own company, dealing with high end residential developments, and providing an end-to-end service for the whole project life-cycle. During the financial crisis I had to move with my family to the UK and I chose to develop professionally by working towards the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects programme. I am currently working part time in Dynamic Resources, a company offering turnkey solutions to retailers, project managing roll-out programmes through to full concession refurbishments.

As a part of my degree I will undertake research in the renewable energy sector in the UK, where I am looking into developing my network of top management professionals in Europe.

Suraj Govind

Suraj Govind

With professional experience in the Upstream Oil and Gas EPC Business as a Project Engineer, I decided to join the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects to understand projects from a whole new perspective. With a “strategic” dimension to every module, this course has given me a fair understanding about the various complexities, both internal and external, which affect a project and has helped me develop a way of thinking to overcome these challenges and deliver the projects in the most resourceful and competent manner.

With highly qualified faculty members, regular visits from guest speakers who have excelled in their respective industries, site visits and healthy group discussions which expose the diverse experience every student brings into the class ranging from the construction industry to performing arts, we are constantly challenged to extend our way of thought to help realise the world of projects in an entirely novel way.

I’m sure by the end of the course I will visualize projects in a distinct manner and with the knowledge acquired from UCL, I will be able to find a career back in the Oil and Gas industry in a more strategic role.

Wimonkhae Roumruk

Wimonkae Roumrouk

I have over 5 years of experience in the cultural industry as a project coordinator and officer at various organizations, including: the British Council Thailand, the Harp Centre (the first harp school in Thailand), and CETA Worldwide Education (an Australian/Thai education agency). During that period, I was involved in a wide range of projects which focused on education and music. That includes a 4-year Access English project with the British Council to improve the English teaching and learning curriculum in Thai primary and secondary schools, classical concerts, opera productions and music festivals.

One of the major projects I was involved in was the very first International Harp Festival and Youth Competition in Thailand, which invited participants from Europe and Asia. I have always had a strong passion for the cultural industry, especially for music, performing arts and the fine arts.

The MSc Strategic Management of Projects at UCL has widened my horizons and enhanced my way of thinking about project management from an operational mind set towards a more critical thinking approach at a strategic level. I look forward to taking this knowledge into practice, offering a different standpoint in the cultural industry and having an impact on the way cultural projects run.

Mohnish Thakur

Mohnish Thaku

I have more than 8 years of professional experience in the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) industry, from Pre-sales to Deployment and Operations & Maintenance of mobile phone networks. I have worked with telecom vendors like Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia Siemens Networks. I was mainly involved in the designing of mobile communication networks, preparing the financial Business Cases and writing C suite documents.

As an experienced Project Leader, I am meticulous & process driven, and have a knack of completing every assigned task on time. I have a strong acumen for Bid and Project Management with PMP, PRINCE2 Practitioner and ITIL V3 certifications in hand and now aspiring for APMP as well.

The next move in my career is to work at the strategic level of decision making and this is the key reason why I chose this course. The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects is really helping me to meet my future career objectives. The course modules are designed in such a way that helped me to change my thinking from an operational to a strategic level. The content of the modules takes you one-step ahead by talking beyond the industry best-practices for designing and executing projects strategically. Its industry-agnostic nature gives you the opportunity to understand project complexities and the work culture of different industries.

Shailly Tiwari

Shailly Tiwari

Before joining the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects at UCL, I worked for about 8 years in the financial services industry. I initially started as a developer and then moved on as a business analyst working for the sub-ledger team, client confirmations group and transactional reporting. I then joined the quality assurance team to work on the testing strategies related to some of the renovation and automation projects happening within the Firm. I have worked with a diverse group of internal clients in a very challenging environment.

I have been a part of the project based environment right from the beginning of my career and after having worked with different teams and different clients, I got even more interested in the working practices of the management of projects. SMP gave me more insight into the project environment than I had thought of. It has streamlined my approach on project management and has highlighted the importance of many aspects that I formerly considered trivial. I see it as a great programme for current and aspirational project managers and for people who want to make a significant impact in the project world.

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Executive Development

The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects

  • will help you manage change in your career with confidence, a focus on the future and an emphasis on lifelong learning within UCL and via the SMP Alumni
  • is designed for professionals who are in executive roles or hope to be; that is, they are on a career path toward an executive role
  • focuses on objectives rooted in the problems/challenges that project executives face

You will:

  • start by linking your career plan with the objectives of the course, based on your values, philosophy, personal vision and desired career and direction
  • attend 120 top-quality seminars and session on ‘hot’ topics and current challenges in leadership and the management of projects, especially the management of other professionals
  • prepare extensively before coming to class, involving reading academic and professional articles/books and reflecting on ideas as a means of further exploration
  • link your experience to new, ground-breaking ideas and develop a critical perspective on shaping and managing projects
  • engage in insightful discussions about your career development and have the opportunity to revisit the values and purpose with which you entered the course
  • debate project management challenges with distinguished, thoughtful academics, practitioners, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and fellow peers from a diversity of fields

Your project will be:

  • a research project – not a consultancy, application or developmental project – which will be submitted towards the award of the Masters in Strategic Management of Projects from UCL
  • selected by you and will have to address a) your career plan b) a challenge/issue that is important to project stakeholders
  • supported by faculty, especially where significant confidentiality/ethical, theoretical and practical challenges may arise

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Membership Benefits

Living learning leading tomorrow's projects...

Your SMP Alumni membership opens a world of opportunities for you and your organisation to reach some of the world's very best project executives and latest practice so that your projects and business are financially and professionally intelligent and sustainable.

The SMP alumni attracts a mixture of established, experienced and aspiring project executives and is led by the Course Director, Dr Effie Konstantinou.

Continued Inspiration

As an SMP graduate you will be more aware than ever that your clients, practice and business environment will never stand still, and will always present you with significant challenges. By being an SMP alumnus you will have access to 3 x 2 hour SMP sessions per year for free. This is our way of saying that we will always support your learning and executive development. More Info

Jobs and Profiles

The SMP Alumni is a strong community of project leaders who create and hold some of the world's most sought-after jobs across all sectors. Simply send us the profile/job description of the project role that you are looking for and we will help you find them by forwarding your advertisement to our extensive network. More Info

Corporate/Project Governance

An increasingly critical part of being a project executive is creating and sustaining a network of trusted experts and advisors. As an SMP Alumnus you will have access to 5 hours of consultancy every year for the first three years of your employment for free. We will listen to you, help you diagnose the key challenges in your new executive role and bring together our expertise and collaborators to provide you with the best advice and a strong head start in your first step as a project executive. More Info

Building the Future

UCL is committed to fostering and promoting greater social inclusivity and SMP supports this initiative by opening its doors for one month every year to secondary school students as part of their careers education. As an SMP Alumnus you can suggest students who can visit us and experience university life amongst project executives. Students must be over 16 years old and up to 18 years old to take part and really want to do work experience at the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects. More Info

Event: Annual SMP Dinner

Every year, more than half of the SMP sessions are led by distinguished practitioners and policy-makers with whom we explore and design solutions for the pertinent challenges that project executives experience. We celebrate together and say thank you to our supporters at the Annual SMP Dinner, which is the main event of our alumni, As an SMP Alumnus you will also be invited to the Annual SMP Dinner to meet again the people with whom you share a passion for project excellence. More Info

Event: Research Project Insights

A key element of your education at UCL will have been your research project (MSc dissertation). Every year you will receive a list of all of the projects that are underway and be invited to attend student presentations. As an SMP Alumnus you will be able to follow and be involved in any of these research projects to build your awareness of evolving trends in projects, gain insight into the latest research ideas and thought-leadership and support the future generations of SMP graduates. More Info

View PDF version of SMP Alumni Membership Benefits

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Staff

The MSc in Strategic Management of Projects is led by Dr Effie Konstantinou , Professors Peter Morris, Andy Davies and Dr Andrew Edkins. The team works in the area of the management of projects in collaboration with the industry, government and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and internationally.

We have strong established relationships with UCL academics from different departments; other leading academic institutions across the world; project management executives from leading multinational organisations and entrepreneurs from different industries, and with key representatives and officials of governmental and non-governmental organisations in Europe and the world.

Dr Effie Konstantinou - Course Director and Lecturer in the Management of Projects
View Effie's profile
Contact

Prof Peter Morris - Professor in the Management of Projects
View Peter's profile
Contact

Prof Andy Davies - Professor in the Management of Projects
View Andy's profile
Contact

Dr Andrew Edkins - Director of the School of Construction and Project Management, Senior Lecturer and Vice Dean for Enterprise for the Bartlett Faculty
View Andrew's profile
Contact

Carol Trent - Deputy Departmental Administrator
Contact


To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Applying

Please apply online through UCL Admissions apply here

The application process for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects involves submitting a standard UCL application form and an interview with the Course Director (online option available).

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013, but please apply as early as possible to be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects.

Entry Requirements

  • Evidence of achievement and/or impact in your industry (e.g. promotion, project scope, professional recognition, etc.)
  • A good undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification. Candidates with significant relevant experience and impact in their industry may be exempted from this requirement.
  • A minimum of two years experience in project-based work or a project-based organisation.
  • If English is not your first language and you have not lived in an English-speaking country, you will need an International English Language Test Scheme (IELTS) or a Pearson Test of English (PTE). 

UCL minimum entry requirements for the English language

Your Application

When we review your application we are particularly interested in:

  • how will the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects help you achieve you career plan
  • how will your professional experience and insight contribute to class discussion and debate
  • why do you want to study for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects and why do you want to study at UCL

Your personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate how the MSc in The Strategic Management of Projects will help you lead tomorrow’s projects.

Fees

For all UCL fees for the next academic year please visit UCL Fees.

To be considered for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects please apply online through UCL Admissions Office.

Enquiries

If you have any queries about the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects, please contact the Programme Administrator Carol Trent or the Programme Director Dr Effie Konstantinou

Applications should be made through the UCL Admissions Office in the normal way.

Address

University College London

Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management

2nd Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place

London

WC1E 7HB

+44 (0)20 3108 3216