MSc Construction Project Management

Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

Program Description

MSc Construction Project Management

Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

The MSc in Construction Project Management - September 2016 or January 2017

Accredited by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

This course is run by the School of the Built Environment

The MSc in Construction Project Management (CPM) uses an innovative structure and integrative use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to deliver a flexible and exciting programme of study. It is designed to meet the challenging demands of the modern learner and the rapidly evolving needs of the construction industry.

We continuously and extensively consult with construction companies and organisations in order to make sure that the course content remains practically relevant for the modern construction manager.

The MSc is available both as a one year full-time programme, and in open-learning mode normally taken over two years (extendable up to 5 years).

Why choose this course?

  • Accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) demonstrates professional recognition of the quality of our programme.
  • Strong links with prominent companies in the sector, such as Mace, Willmott Dixon and BAM Construction who are all represented in our Professional Liaison Group (PLG), which exists to provide advice on existing and proposed courses of study, on research activities and consultancy work.
  • The programme adopts an applied learning approach to ensure that it is real-world focused and holistic. Not only is this more effective, it is more fun than the traditional study and examination approach.
  • Students develop a broad range of management skills and knowledge including Building Information Modelling (BIM), project finance, technology, and procurement by working on real-life or realistic problems as experienced by the construction industry, consultants and clients.
  • The course is directly tailored to students with a background in the construction industries who want to develop their careers as Construction Managers - and our graduates go on to further their careers locally, nationally and globally.
  • Our staff have strong links with local companies and sit on professional committees including CIOB and Constructing Excellence.

This course in detail

There are two modes of delivery for the MSc CPM: full-time on campus or open-learning, and there are two entry points - September or January.

Extensive online learning material is provided to all students via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) - our own intranet site to which students have access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Module leaders can be contacted via the VLE, e-mail, telephone and Skype.

Intensive Study Periods - all students attend four intensive study periods during their programme and these are normally around 3 days long. Students (and staff) enjoy these intensive sessions as they are able to share experiences and knowledge as well as renew friendships and make connections within the industry and the open-learning students get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with staff.

The organisation and the collaborative nature of these intensive study periods is always praised by our students who particularly like the site visits, workshops and guest lectures from industry experts that are some of the major features.

Applied or Problem Based Learning - We have responded to requests from industry to make our postgraduate education more practical by using an ‘applied’ approach to learning, sometimes called “Problem Based Learning” or PBL. This approach encourages learning by allowing students to actively puzzle through problems that are adapted from complex real situations.

As real problems cross discipline boundaries and require research and collaboration, we use our links with industrial practitioners to help devise the problems we use in class. This leads to a more exciting and relevant student experience.

Module Outlines

People, Leadership and Organisations aims to develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of how behavioural and organisational issues influence project performance and how they can be harnessed to effectively deliver projects.

It includes an overview of management approaches, an exploration of the issues around understanding self and understanding others, team theory and leadership, communication, conflict theory and resolution, conflict resolution strategies and learning from experience in project environments and also conflict and negotiation in the context of personal and cultural differences.

To a large extent the module adopts a problem-based learning (PBL) approach. Here, PBL is facilitated through problem-solving exercises that are based on prominent case studies and game play exercises.

Project Planning, Control and Risk prepares students to manage projects within the built environment through the use of advanced planning and control techniques. Students will learn and apply a range of skills in project planning, scheduling, monitoring and control that includes cash flow and capital expenditure analysis, value management, risk and opportunity management and the use of software-based decision support tools as used in industry.
Process Management develops the necessary skills for managing procurement effectively and efficiently; the key processes which ultimately dictate project success. Starting with critical evaluation of the project life cycle, the module explores a number of alternative procurement methods whilst placing significant emphasis on supply chain collaboration and integration. Moreover, an examination of the contractual arrangements between the parties of the supply chain as well as sources of disputes and conflict management is also made.

The module also investigates further key aspects of construction project management such as Health and Safety, Quality and Environmental Management. Project success and team performance criteria are also considered while a more efficient project delivery system is suggested by exploring supply chain development and lean thinking.

Advanced Technology and BIM recognises that the current challenge of The UK construction industry is to find innovative solutions to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. Sustainable Construction, Off-Site Construction and Smart Technologies are some of the methods being developed to deliver a high quality, productive and more sustainable built environment for our future generations.

Though yet to be fully incorporated into standard practice, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the emergent technology that is becoming the fundamental vehicle in driving and delivering these innovations. This module therefore explores both advanced construction technologies and innovations and the use of BIM in managing and organising construction project information

Applied Research Methods provides students with the fundamentals of research design highlighting the difference between qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and demonstrates how data can be both gathered and analysed and how deductive arguments can be used to produce valid generalisations from data. It also provides students with an overview of particular research techniques such that they can choose and develop those tools most appropriate to their particular research project.

Your dissertation follows on from Applied Research Methods and aims not only to generate new knowledge or insights but also to develop students’ capacities to undertake rigorous research, to plan and execute an extended project and to communicate complex ideas effectively in words and graphically. You will work with a supervisor from within the department to produce an original piece of work of publishable quality through conducting their own primary research and presenting their findings in a professional manner.

Teaching and learning

Teaching, learning and assessment methods are to a considerable degree determined by the use of the applied learning approach which leads to a more challenging and industrially relevant course than the traditional lecture approach.

Learning takes place through groups of students puzzling through problems, often adapted from real situations with much of the complexity and context intact, using published resources, or reference to experts who are available to offer advice.

In full-time mode, the delivery of new material is weekly with intermediate tutorial or seminar sessions. The intensive study weeks and a European field-trip, when students in both modes of study come together, complement this delivery pattern.

For the open-learner, the virtual learning environment is the primary mode of delivery. Communication with open-learning students will be supplemented by email and telephone during the periods off-campus.

Approach to assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework, which includes a great variety of types of work, including quizzes taken remotely on Moodle (Brookes online learning environment). Material can be downloaded from our virtual learning environment and closed discussions can take place. It also enables on-campus and open-learning students to remain in contact with each other.

Field trips

There are a number of field trips and site visits which take place mainly during the intensive study periods.

There is one compulsory European field trip which takes place at the end of January - usually to the Netherlands. This is heavily subsidised by the department.

As well as bringing together full-time and open-learning students, the aim of this field trip is to integrate knowledge gained in the early part of the programme, to develop team skills and to build relationships.

You will gain exposure to project management practices outside of the UK, and be assessed on your ability to observe and report on the different approaches to project management in the UK and overseas.

The field trip normally consists of visits to prominent construction/engineering projects and sites, plus architectural attractions, both en route and at the destination. You are introduced to the development and planning practices at the destination, as well as having the opportunity to visit major complex projects.

Student body

The programme attracts students from diverse backgrounds and locations. Students will normally hold degrees in fields within the realm of the built environment including Civil Engineering, Construction, Architecture and Building, and have decided to contribute to the development of the built environment around us by effectively managing construction projects.

Our students hail from as far afield as Nigeria, Russia and India, with backgrounds ranging from recently graduated at undergraduate level, to working with small local companies, to fully established managers in large international construction companies. This diverse group of students bring with them individual responses to the applied learning approach that is at the core of our course delivery.

Typically the open-learning students are employed by a number of different organisations from the private and public sectors in different countries. They have the opportunity to share their experiences in order to gain better understanding of the industry, the range of challenges that Construction Project Managers face, and therefore the breadth of skills that they need to develop in order to perform successfully.

Our full-time students benefit from contact with the open-learning students engaged in construction project management roles in a variety of built environment projects across many countries.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Cost & Fees

Home / EU full-time on-campus fee: £5,830.
Home / EU open learning fee: £3,200 Year 1, £3,025 (+ % increase relating to inflation)Year 2.

International full-time on-campus fee: £12,870.
International open learning fee: £5,630 Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% each year.

Entry Requirements

The MSc in Construction Project Management is open to students who hold a good undergraduate honours degree (2.1 or above) in a construction related discipline.

Please note, we will also consider applications from candidates with relevant experience in construction, (or an alternative qualification) and demonstrable ability to study at master's level.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course. If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

Last updated August 28, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus or Online
Start Date
Start date
Jan. 2017
Sept. 2017
1 - 5 years
Part time
Full time
5,830 GBP
Start date Jan. 2017
United Kingdom Oxford, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 5 years
Price 5,830 GBP
- UK and EU; £12,870 - Non-EU
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom Oxford, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 5 years
Price 5,830 GBP
- UK and EU; £12,870 - Non-EU

MSC Construction Project Management at Oxford Brookes University