UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN3101: Strategic Project Management


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This is a past version of this module for MSIN3101 17/18.
Click here for the current version.
Taught by
Clive Vassell
3rd, 4th year undergraduates from all departments, inc. 3rd or 4th year JSPs, except Engineering, Physics, Bartlett
Term 1 or Term 2
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) and 1-hour seminar (9 weeks)
50% essay; 20% group presentation; 30% group coursework

Course overview

This module enables students to critically assess aspects of strategic project management.  Organisations have to choose where they focus their resources and what they hope to achieve.  Strategic project management introduces the key principles of project, programme and portfolio (3P) management, focusing on how projects are selected, sustained and completed.  Students have the opportunity to understand how 3P management relates to operational management. 

This module introduces the key tools and techniques to initiate, plan and manage projects, programmes and portfolios within the context of business strategy. Essential management skills such as leadership, team building and conflict management will be explored in the context of strategic management of projects, programmes and portfolios.

Through a blended learning approach, students are encouraged to evaluate organisational strategies through case studies both in lectures and coursework.  Through strategic business relationships, case studies are both current and relevant.

The focus is on providing students with insights based on current practice, significant industry experience and professional standards.  The principles focus, in particular, on theory from the Association for Project Management (APM). Students will have the opportunity to take the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification and gain an industry recognised project qualification.  Other project approaches discussed include, Project Management Institute (PMI), Prince2, and International Project Management Association (IPMA).

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  • Analyse the business context, strategic requirements and business outcomes

  • Differentiate between project, programme and portfolio management

  • Evaluate the characteristics of project, programme and portfolio management and explain how change is driven within organisations

  • Analyse what makes a successful project or programme and why so many fail

  • Evaluate tools and techniques in project and programme management and use these to identify good practice within organisations

  • Assess the relevant management skills needed for effective 3P management

  • Evaluate and address their own strengths and weaknesses as potential project or programme team members or managers

Topics covered

  • Corporate strategy, business context and organisational fit

  • Governance of the portfolio, projects and programmes – including roles and responsibilities and decision making processes/criteria

  • Definitions of project, programme and portfolio management (3P)

  • Analyse the relationships between 3P and business strategy – how strategy translates into projects and programmes

  • Programme and project success and failure

  • Key planning tools – work breakdown, estimating, scheduling and resource planning

  • Stakeholder engagement, analysis and management (including communications)

  • Management skills – leadership, team building and conflict management

  • Benefits management – establishing and realising project and programme benefits

  • Handover to business as usual – embedding change within the organisation

Assessment summary

  • 50% is awarded on the basis of an individual essay (2,000 words).
  • 30% is awarded for one group-based assignment (4,000 words).
  • 20% is awarded for group presentation.

Essential reading

The Handbook of Project Management, Trevor L Young, Revised 2nd Edition, Kogan Page. ISBN 978-0-7494- 4984- 1

APM Body of Knowledge, 6th Edition (2012), Association for Project Management.  E Book available.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0147 18/19

MSIN3101 17/18

MSIN3101 16/17

Last updated Friday, 27 September 2019