About the Programme

Project Management is a key growth area and is recognised as the most appropriate form of management for the new generation of managers who are asked to handle multi-disciplinary projects in a rapidly changing business environment.  Its benefits are increasingly being used to improve management performance in businesses that were not previously thought of as project driven.

Whilst the Project Management Body of Knowledge and other important sources of theory form the corner-stones of the programme, much more material that is relevant to Southern African business practice has been “built in”.  This includes the socio-economic developmental principles that underlie the policies which have been incorporated into South African statute books and practice in recent years, particularly that relating to public sector projects.  However, the needs of the private sector are also considered.  Indeed, it is the private sector with its demands for improved project delivery that is responsible for the establishment and growth of Project Management.

Course Modules

The seven modules are presented every year at approximately fourteen week intervals, commencing in January/February. Exact dates may be obtained from the department. The MSc in Project Management runs over three years. Each module typically comprises, a 40-hour contact week at the university, 120 hours of assignment work, and an examination. Candidates registered for the MSc in Project Management are required to take the seven modules plus the minor dissertation.

For the 20 credit course, there is no set order in which these must be taken. However, the CON5046Z (Research Methodology) is concerned with ensuring that every student on the MSc course is familiar with writing in an academic style. CON5046Z (Research Methodology) is a pre-requisite for completing CON5023Z (Minor Dissertation) as the student will use the knowledge gained in CON5046Z in his/her research.

The seven modules plus the minor dissertation are as follows:

  • Project Management and Systems Theory – CON5014Z (20 credits)
    The body of knowledge and its place in management and systems theory. The impact of external forces and change trends, including: economic cycles, customer demands, sustainability and the law.

  • Project Planning & Implementation – CON5016Z (20 credits)
    Includes important aspects such as: Conception and definition, risk management, project strategy, organisation, methodology, planning, programming, implementation and project finance. The procurement, scheduling and control of resources in a project.

  • Human Resource Management & Interpersonal Communication – CON5018Z (20 credits)
    Leadership, communication, motivation and methods of achieving project objectives through others in a people-intensive environment.

  • Total Quality Management – CON5022Z (20 credits)
    The theory and application of TQM in a project environment, including several quantitative techniques.

  • Minor Dissertation Project Management – CON5023Z (60 credits)
    Methodology: selection of the research problem; preparation of the research proposal. Research Report: conducting empirical research; analysis of findings; drawing conclusions; making recommendations; presentation of a research report.

  • Research Methodology – CON5046Z (20 credits)
    Research methodology, the research experience; knowledge and problems; the proposal chapter; designing the research; theoretical frameworks; overview of research methods – from quantitative to qualitative; case studies; writing the literature review, data presentation and analysis; concluding the research.

  • Project Risk Management – CON5029Z (20 credits)
    The Nature of Risk: Definitions of risk; risk as a social construct; risk contexts; mathematical concepts of risk; behavioural concepts of risk; risk and decision-making; risk and uncertainty; classifying risk. The Nature of Projects: The nature of projects; project complexity; mapping project risks; risky projects. Systematic Risk Management: Stakeholder risks not project risks; features of systematic risk management; risk management systems. Risk Analysis: Risk allocation; A three-dimensional risk magnitude perspective; risk assessment techniques. Risk Decisions and Actions: Risk response options; strategic risk response; risk monitoring and control; risk disaster planning and risk recovery; post-project risk evaluation and risk recording; communicating risk messages. Building a Risk Management System: Organisational maturity in risk management; creating a project risk management framework; establishing risk registers; reviewing risk management performance. Opportunity Management: Perspectives on opportunity management.

  • Project Finance and Procurement – CON5030Z (20 credits)
    Areas covered by the course include: the break-even point for a proposed project, net present value, the underlying concepts and principles behind these calculations (such as: risk adjusted discount rates, Capital Asset Pricing Model). In addition the use and understanding of the business case and its relevance to project initiation and control method, including Earned Value Management. The procurement / supply chain cycle in the context of the project. Finally, the concepts of project funding for complex projects and how these impact on project structure and risk are addressed (This includes: Public Private Partnerships, marketing solutions by coalitions of vendors).

Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement is a four-year bachelor or honours degree in an appropriate field, obtained from a recognised University. Examples of appropriate qualifications include, but are not limited to: construction management; quantity surveying; architecture; engineering; and planning. Other fields outside the construction / engineering fields are also eligible provided they involve project management, for instance in the fields of ITC or commerce, In addition, candidates should have work experience and should preferably be currently employed.

Applicants who do not meet this requirement, may be accepted if they possess recognised tertiary qualifications and have appropriate experience.

Applications and Enquiries

Ms Mareldia Fagodien
Administrative Officer (Postgraduate)
Department of Construction Economics and Management
University of Cape Town
Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701
South Africa

Tel: (021) 650 5753/3443
Fax: (021) 689 7564
Email: mareldia.fagodien@uct.ac.za