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Unit information: Project Management in 2020/21

Unit name Project Management
Unit code MGRCM2028
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lloyd Fletcher
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Project management has been adopted by a wide range of organisations in industry, commerce and the public sector to help handle many varied one-off undertakings. Also known as projects, such endeavours tend to entail higher levels of complexity and uncertainty, and therefore risk, than more routine operational activities. The problems involved in managing projects have led to the development of project management as a specialised branch of management. As the use of projects has become more commonplace, this established discipline requires an introduction that enables students to critically examine concepts, theories, and techniques to which they will be exposed in almost any organization.

The main aims of the unit are to introduce the topic and help students to develop an integrated, holistic understanding of what projects ‘are’ and how they are managed in organisations. Further aims are to show how effective project management contributes to organisational success and to encourage students to think critically, analytically, and systematically about projects and their management. Rather than teaching basic tools and techniques, the emphasis is on critical reflection on assumptions, methods, and procedures. The unit offers a grounding in relevant concepts, models, and theoretical frameworks that students can apply in developing their managerial thinking within project contexts.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

ILO 1: Demonstrate a holistic, integrated understanding of basic project management concepts and theories.

ILO 2: Show how project management techniques are used in order to manage project outcomes.

ILO 3: Critically analyse common approaches to managing projects.

ILO 4: Recognize how projects interact with the wider managerial, strategic, political, and social environment.

ILO 5: Demonstrate theoretical and experiential understandings of the challenges and practicalities of group work as a form of project organizing.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions including lectures, seminars, drop-in sessions, discussion boards and other online learning opportunities

Assessment Details

Assessment 1 (15% of final mark) This summative test is delivered online as a timed and open-book 'mid term' exam. It assesses students' understanding of foundational concepts and theories. (ILO 1 and some of ILO 2)

Assessment 2 (40% of final mark) For this summative assessment, each student produces their own written work of between 1,500 and 2,000 words. (ILO 3, ILO 4, and some of ILO 2)

Assessment 3 (45% of final mark)

This summative group assignment is enacted as a project that produces a piece of coursework ('deliverable') on a given project management topic, problem, or case situation. Both the 'deliverable' and the group's project management 'performance' are assessed. (ILOs 1-5)

Reading and References

  • Core text:
    • Maylor, H. (2010) Project Management. 4th Edition. London: FT Prentice Hall.
  • Other references that may prove useful, offering different perspectives or emphasis:
    • Wysocki, Robert K. Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme. 6th ed. Indianapolis, Ind.: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
    • Hodgson, Damian E, and Svetlana Cicmil. Making Projects Critical. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
    • Smith, C. Making Sense of Project Realities: Theory, Practice and the Pursuit of Performance. Gower Technical Press, 2007.
    • Goodpasture, John C. Project Management the Agile Way: Making It Work in the Enterprise. Ft. Lauderdale, FL: J. Ross Publishing, 2009.
    • Lientz, Bennet P. Project Management: A Problem-based Approach. Houndmills, Basingstoke; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
    • Shenhar, Aaron J, and Dov Dvir. Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth and Innovation. Harvard Business School Press, 2007.
    • Morris, Peter W G, and Jeffrey K Pinto. The Wiley Guide to Project, Program & Portfolio Management. Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons, 2007.
    • Nicholas, J. and Steyn, H. (2008) Project Management for Business, Engineering and Technology. 3rd Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.
    • Andersen, E. (2008) Rethinking Project Management. Harlow: Pearson.
    • Lock, D. (2007) Project Management. 9th Edition. Aldershot: Gower.
    • Chapman, C. B. and Ward, S. (2002) Managing project risk and uncertainty: a constructively simple approach to decision making. Chichester: Wiley.
  • Students will be directed to selected articles from a variety of relevant publications, in particular the International Journal of Project Management and the Project Management Journal.