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Unit information: Project Management in 2021/22

Unit name Project Management
Unit code EFIMM0156
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2D (weeks 19 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lloyd Fletcher
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

none

Co-requisites

none

School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Pathway unit for MSc Management (Project Management)

As the use of projects has become more commonplace, students require a grounding in the topic that will equip them to proactively participate in project working, wherever their careers take them. For those who expect to be involved in managing projects, a strong theoretical foundation is essential if project management practices are to be used in an informed and effective way. Thus this unit aims to develop students’ soft as well as ‘hard’ technical skills in project management. We do this from a social science perspective that encourages critical reflection and a theory-rich basis from which to challenge orthodox thinking and engage productively with the complex, dynamic, and peopled nature of projects and their management.

The overall aim is:

To encourage students to develop the intellectual and practical skills with which they can critically analyse and manage projects

This is achieved through three inter-related ‘subunits’:

Project Management Foundations (PMF): focused on foundational theory and historical practice

  • to introduce the topic and provide an academic grounding in theoretical concepts, models and frameworks in project management
  • rather than just teaching basic tools, provide a broad background knowledge of approaches as a foundation for building students’ critically-aware approach to projects
  • encourage students to develop an integrated, holistic understanding of what projects ‘are’ and how they can be managed in organisations

Critical Analysis of Projects (CAP): focused on analysis of project situations and critical scrutiny of project management discourses

  • show how effective project management contributes to organisational success, and how the reality of dynamic and complex environments can constrain or threaten project success
  • enable students to think critically, analytically, and systematically about the evaluation, selection, and application of project management approaches, methods, and tools
  • develop students’ skills in analysing and diagnosing project situations to produce recommendations and solutions to problems

Delivering a Project (DAP): focused on practical, hands-on group assignments

  • support students application of methods and tools through their design and delivery of a project as part of a collaborative team effort
  • facilitate the development of the interpersonal skills needed to work effectively in teams
  • deepen students’ understanding of the managerial, organisational, and human behavioural factors that can enable and constrain effective project working

To achieve these aims, the teaching objectives are:

  • To explain theoretical concepts, models, and frameworks used in the analysis and management of projects
  • To present basic tools, methods, and techniques used in managing projects
  • To describe the social reality of projects from which emerge problems, challenges, and constraints that can influence the 'actuality' of project working
  • To compare and contrast the different discourses in project management theory and practice
  • To encourage and support the development of effective project team working skills and techniques
  • To introduce contemporary topics and current cases to stimulate students’ thinking and to keep the curriculum fresh and up to date
  • To use research-rich content to stimulate student’s curiosity, strengthen their theoretical foundations, and support those interested in more advanced study in the topic
  • Encourage students’ sense of project management professionalism for those interested in further formal training or certification

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, a successful student will be able to:

  1. apply an integrated, holistic, and critical understanding of theory and methods to diagnose project situations and propose solutions
  2. select and use appropriate theory and consider practical implications to evaluate different conceptual approaches and practice methodologies in project management
  3. select and implement tools and techniques to successfully design and deliver simple projects
  4. demonstrate the intellectual and interpersonal skills needed to work effectively on projects, both individually and in teams
  5. present ideas, analysis, and conclusions clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing

Teaching Information

Teaching takes a student-learning centred rather than a teacher-centred approach, with a focus on active learning and authentic assessment techniques. There is therefore a variety of teaching and learning activities to offer a rounded and stimulating experience. In addition to some traditional lectures, methods can include some of the following, designed to suit student needs and the topics being covered: videos, animations, online lectures, online tutorials, material in a virtual learning environments, online quizzes and exercises, digital discussion boards, tutorials, seminars, and workshops, role playing, simulations, hands-on project delivery, group discussions and debates, case studies, practical problem solving, and student presentations.

Teaching and learning activities and course materials are shaped by feedback from students throughout the term, with students encouraged to provide input into curriculum and content design early and often, not just at the end of the course.

For each of the three subunits, the teaching and learning activities broadly take the following approach:

  • FPM: emphasis is more on live lectures, online mini lectures, and group tutorials to explore theory and to practice methods
  • CAP: emphasis shifts more to seminars and workshops for case studies and critical discussion of topics, supported with digital content and e-learning
  • DAP: emphasis is mostly on workshops to facilitate group work, supported with other methods as suited to the project brief

45 hours (indicatively 30 hours lectures; 15 hours tutorials)

Assessment Information

Formative

Feedback to students is provided throughout the unit in the form of formative quizzes, feedback online and in seminars from tutors in response to student discussions, questions, and ongoing work (e.g., reports, outlines, project artefacts).

Summative

Individual (50%) (all ILOs covered)

A portfolio of work that includes three components, which can be written or delivered in other media (e.g., blog, video presentation, journal, audio role play) (roughly equivalent to 1,500 words each). The specific assignment brief can vary year to year, but the three elements must address theory, practice, and personal reflection.

Group (50%) (all ILOs covered)

The joint effort of a team to conduct a project as a piece of coursework. It is assessed for both the performance of the team in managing the project as well as the project’s end product (deliverable). The exact nature of the project required and the deliverable will vary year to year, indicated by the assignment brief.

  • Assessment of project working is based on the team’s portfolio of project ‘artefacts’ created and revised during the unit, such as achieving milestones, producing suitable plans and designs, reports, communication with tutors, observed team work, reflections on their emerging project, and project control activities. An important indicator of success here is evidence of students learning from the process of enacting the project, reflecting, revising plans, and adapting as needed.
  • Assessment of the deliverable is based on the extent to which it demonstrates students’ understanding of the project management concepts relevant to the given project brief.

Depending on the specific brief, the deliverable may be created using various media or platforms, including but not limited to written work, oral presentation, video, animations, audio recordings, or simulations.

A group mark will be awarded and apply to all group members, provided individual students have contributed equally to the group work. Participation and individual contributions will be assured and assessed through group communications with tutors (e.g., group journals), formative feedback and assessment, peer contributions, tutor observations, and questioning individuals during group discussions or presentations. A conflict identification and warning system for individuals not fully contributing will be implemented, and those students who are contributing insufficiently to the group work will not receive the group mark.

Resources

If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIMM0156).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

Assessment
The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.

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