There are two modes of delivery for the MSc CPM: full time on campus or distance 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, email, 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.
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.
Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those listed here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 distance learning students to remain in contact with each other.
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 distance 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.
The European Field Trip
Field Trip takes place at the end of January for the duration of five days and
four nights. Heavily subsidised by the
School, a coach is also provided to transport students and staff from Oxford
Brookes to the field trip destination. Students are asked to cover the following expenses:
- A contribution towards accommodation (around £100)
- Travel expenses if student chooses to fly direct to
the destination or to join the coach at Oxford Brookes
- Lunches and evening meals
- Any other personal expenditures
Twice a year
distance learners are invited to join the full time students on campus for a
three day intensive study period. Distance learners must find their own accommodation and are asked to cover
In order to
attend site visits as part of the programme of study, we ask that students
provide their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- Safety boots
- Hard hat
- High visibility vest
- Eye protection
There are no
specific course texts that we require students to buy. Since the programme can be studied in the distance learning
mode, we ensure that there is a comprehensive list of ebooks and ejournals
available addressing module content.
Printing and Binding
must be submitted online via the Virtual Learning Environment. Therefore there are no required printing
costs for the core modules. We do
however ask for two printed copies of the final dissertation, one soft and one
hard bound. Dissertation hard binding
costs around £35.00.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes