The course

Delivery
Distance learning
Course type
Taught
Location
Online
Entry date
September

Contact

Overview

The postgraduate programme in Architectural Project Management is delivered jointly by the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. It draws from the expertise in Design, Architecture and Construction Project Management from both institutions to create a programme with a unique overview and insight into the design, management and operation of construction.

The concepts, practices and strategic issues related to construction project management are examined so as to provide an understanding of how project management professionals can add value and provide a service to their clients. The courses will develop understanding of issues related to management of clients and other stakeholders involved in the delivery of a project within the overarching constraints of time, quality, costs, sustainability and safety management. The suite of courses provides the student with the necessary knowledge to contribute effectively as a lead consultant delivering project management services to clients.

Distance learning

Delivered only by Independent Distance Learning (IDL) this programme is ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. Students receive comprehensive materials for each course through an online Virtual Learning Environment.

Our students and graduates

The programme is aimed at professionals from all backgrounds currently working in the construction industry to help enhance their career progression. It is designed to offer professionals the opportunity to develop their project management skills in the context of large-scale contemporary architectural projects.

Programme duration

An Independent Distance Learning (IDL) programme - whether at PgDip or MSc level - can be completed in a minimum of 2 years. On average, our PgDip programmes studied via IDL are completed in 2-3 years, while MSc programmes are completed in 2.5-7 years. Most students intend to complete their studies via IDL within 2-3 years.

Professional recognition

The MSc is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), demonstrating its professional recognition and industrial relevance.

Industry links

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design has excellent industry links. Staff within the Centre are actively engaged in a variety of research projects relating to building design, specification, management and operation.

Course content

   Detailed course guide

The Architectural Project Management programme consists of 7 courses in total, 5 mandatory and 2 optional.

Students study the following three mandatory courses at the University of Edinburgh:

  • Design Values and Architecture
  • Architecture and Sustainability
  • Architecture, Construction and Industrialisation

Students study the following two mandatory courses at Heriot-Watt University:

  • Project Management: Theory and Practice
  • Project Management: Strategic Issues

They then choose an additional two courses from a range of options including:

  • Value and Risk Management
  • Contracts and Procurement
  • Construction Financial Management
  • People and Organisational Management in the Built Environment

Project Management: Theory and Practice

(mandatory)

This course aims to provide the student with an understanding of the concepts and practices of construction project management used to provide value added services to clients. The course develops understanding of the issues related to the management of construction clients and other project stakeholders and how their needs can be co-ordinated, managed and delivered from the project’s design stage through production to occupation and maintenance within the context of client satisfaction and the overarching construction project constraints of time, cost, quality sustainability, health and safety management.

Subjects covered in the course syllabus include: Construction project management concepts; standards and services; organisational structures for delivery of project management services; management strategies for clients and stakeholder briefing; issues related to management of construction project design process, and budget setting; tools/techniques for construction project planning and control of costs, time, risk and quality; issues relating to TQM and health and safety; teamwork and leadership roles.

Project Management: Strategic Issues

(mandatory)

This course aims to further develop the learners theoretical and practical knowledge in the implementation of Project Management Principles in the construction industry. The course is designed to raise student awareness as to why the construction industry under-performs when compared to other industries. This enables learners to appraise and critically analyse the performance of the project management discipline in order to explore what is needed to improve this performance, with emphasis on the UK construction industry. The following units are included in the course syllabus:

The construction industry; the manufacturing industry; lean construction and process mapping; lean planning; performance measurement and benchmarking; project management evaluation; power, politics and influence; supply chain management.

Construction Financial Management

(optional)

The aim of the course is to enable students to appreciate and make an intelligent contribution towards the managerial and financial aspects of construction companies in general and construction projects in particular. This includes developing awareness and understanding of the need for financial planning and monitoring and the cost control process. The following subjects are covered within the course syllabus:

Financial management and control in contracting; corporate strategies in construction; financial management at company level; cash flow forecasting; costing; cost/value reconciliation at project level; production of financial accounts for construction companies; corporate analysis and ratio analysis; economic comparison; profitability measurement; construction plant financial appraisal; development appraisal techniques.

People and Organisational Management in the Built Environment

(optional)

This course aims to develop a high level of interdisciplinary understanding about complex organisational and personal management processes and how important they are in underpinning technical skills to deliver high quality services as a professional. Students will learn about and explore management theory and practice and will have a chance to reflect on their own personal development in a synoptic way. This will be valuable in terms of career development, as management competences and self-reflection are increasingly sought in practice.

Topics covered by the syllabus include: What is management and why is it important for professional practice? Good and bad examples of management and their effect on individuals, organisations and service delivery. A critical evaluation of management theories. In depth understanding of the complexities of team building, organisational culture, recruitment and selection, staff appraisal, motivation, leadership, communication, co-ordination, and managing change and diversity.

Value and Risk Management

(optional)

The course aims to introduce the concepts of value & risk management, apply them to strategic and tactical problems and illustrate their tools and techniques through case study. The syllabus covers:

VRM and the construction procurement process, An Introduction to Value Management, Value Engineering - Function Analysis and other VE tools, Risk, uncertainty and the construction industry, Risk and procurement of PPP projects, The Risk Management framework., Sources, events and effects of project risk, Tools and techniques of Risk Management, Risk response and mitigation, Client Briefing, A Review of North American Practice.

Contracts and Procurement

(optional)

The aim of this course is to help students understand advanced procurement practices, the situations in which their use is appropriate and the contractual principles upon which they are based. The course will also introduce students to the mechanisms used by a typical standard for of construction contract (from the JCT05 suite) to control the risk exposure arising from the liabilities of contracting parties created by the contract and common law, as well as the flow of money and information between contacting parties. Subjects covered by the syllabus include:

Introduction to Construction Project Procurement; Procurement Arrangement Options; Construction Contract Use in the UK; Principles of Contract Law; Partnering; Procurement through Public Private Partnerships; Claims; Negotiating; Managing Conflicts and Disputes; Towards Better Contracting Practices.

Programme leader

Dr Graeme Bowles has teaching and research interests in Value and Risk Management, whole life costing, project briefing and procurement. He manages the dissertation process within the discipline and has supervised a number of construction management related PhD students. He is on the Association for Project Management committee as Higher Education Institute representative.