Project and Infrastructure Management MSc
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
Engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, architectural, building, etc.) is at the core of a successful economy and the infrastructure it develops directly affects the well-being of its citizens and the environment. There are, however, two main challenges that the engineering and construction industry currently face. First, modern engineering project clients are increasingly requiring contractors to deliver projects using limited resources, at low cost, in short duration and to a high level of quality and safety.
Second, much existing infrastructure is under severe strain due to a legacy of inadequate maintenance and rapid population growth. These difficulties cause premature deterioration of existing infrastructure, thereby reducing their intended economic yield. The demand for infrastructure provision and maintenance has thus become more acute and a recognised issue worldwide than ever. Thus, the efficient delivery of infrastructure projects is not the only standard clients desperately expect from contractors, but their sustained improvement throughout the useful life of the infrastructure is also a key requirement. As a result, there will be a continued and growing demand for highly motivated graduates aware of project infrastructure planning, construction, and their subsequent management/maintenance for addressing such challenges.
The primary aim of this programme is to create master’s degree graduates (from engineering and built-environment background) with qualities and transferable skills for demanding employment in the engineering and construction sector. The graduates will have the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development and acquiring new skills at highest levels.
Specific aims are as follows:
- to provide education at postgraduate level in engineering, focussing on project and infrastructure management;
- to develop comprehensive understanding of the current theories and practices for managing contemporary engineering projects from inception to completion and for maintaining/managing the resulting infrastructure throughout its life time;
- to develop creative and professional working knowledge to enable graduates to follow a successful engineering career with national and international organisations;
- to provide a pathway that will prepare graduates for successful careers including, where appropriate, progression to CEng status.
A) Knowledge and Understanding of:
- the principles of strategic planning and risk analysis in successful project and infrastructure management;
- the theoretical basis for the organisation of project infrastructure development and how management of budgets, human resources and supply chains can affect overall project success; and
- The interplay between engineering project, infrastructure management and sustainability in the complex real-world situations.
- select, use and evaluate appropriate investigative techniques;
- assemble and analyse critically relevant primary and secondary data;
- recognise and assess the problems and critically evaluate solutions to challenges in managing projects and infrastructure; and
- revaluate the environmental and financial sustainability of current and potential engineering project activities.
- define and organise a substantial advanced investigation;
- select and employ appropriate advanced research methods;
- organise technical information into a concise, coherent document;
- effectively employ a variety of styles of communication aimed at different audiences;
- plan, manage, evaluate and orally-present personal projects; and
- work as part of and lead a team.
Admissions and Course Enquiries
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Course ContentThe taught element of the course includes eight modules with each counting for 15 credits, which approximates to 150 learning hours. For full-time mode of study, the programme is taken over 12 months. The eight modules will be taught over the first eight months (from October to May) and during the final four months (June to September), students will conduct an individual research project worth 60 credits. The individual project gives you the opportunity to undertake original research in the field of engineering project and infrastructure management. The preparatory work for the project is undertaken together with the taught modules over the first two semesters, under a research methods module, whilst the summer period is being devoted to the actual project dissertation. Students are thus required to take modules totalling 180 credits, each defined in the list below:
- Sustainable Project Management
- Quality Management and Reliability
- Financial Management
- Managing People and Organisation
- Infrastructure Management
- Procurement and Contract Management
- Environmental Management
- Research Methods and Professional Development
- Project Dissertation
Coupled with the strict demands from clients, modern engineering projects are also characterised by technical complexity, new technologies, multi-organisational participation and inherit uncertainty in the physical, financial and economic environment within which projects are executed. To meet these challenges, 21st century project managers need to combine engineering expertise with an understanding of a wide range of issues such as risk management, planning and programming, cost control, people and information management, contract/procurement management and sustainability. Failure to succeed in any of these areas can lead to significant project delays, huge financial cost, loss of reputation, high rate of accident or death on site, and extensive disputes and litigation between parties.
There is however, a significant shortage of project managers with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to deal efficiently with these issues, as suggested by a number of studies. The skill shortage and its effects on the industry will be further exacerbated by planned capital projects in the UK (for example, High Speed 2, offshore wind development energy projects, Thames Tunnel project, etc) and many more oversees. This MSc programme has thus been specially designed to develop graduates and practising engineers and position them at the forefront of managing and leading these developments.
The programme will demonstrate the links between theory and practice by including input from our industrial partners and through site visits. Modules on project finance, risk, procurement and contract management supply chain strategy, will underpin modules focussing on sustainable project, infrastructure and environmental management. Students’ skills in gathering and understanding complex information from a variety of sources (including engineering, scientific and socio-economic information) will be developed in a module on advanced research methods. Issues relating to risk and health and safety will be developed in more specialist modules.
Formal lectures are used to deliver course materials and are supported by structured seminars and problem solving sessions to develop students’ knowledge and cognitive skills. The lectures give a broad overview of the main concepts and principles you need to understand, providing you with a framework on which to build and expand your knowledge on through private studies.
The application of theory and strengthening of knowledge of taught material is achieved through computing sessions, field trips and group projects. The latter is aimed particularly at enhancing your teamwork skills. The computing laboratories allow for the opportunity to develop knowledge and experience of appropriate planning and management software packages and apply them to project and infrastructure management problems. Students also have access to computers outside scheduled laboratory sessions to allow them to develop their transferable skills and learn at their own pace and time.
Learning from real-world examples forms a significant part of the course. You will visit projects sites of relevance as far the challenges and solutions of modern engineering projects and infrastructure issues are concerned. Members of staff are active in research, which keeps them abreast with current developments in their subject areas. They also maintain close contact with industry to ensure that materials are up-to date with the needs of the industry. To this end, industrial partners will provide guest lectures on specialist topics.
You will also be allocated a personal tutor who will be available to provide academic and pastoral support during the whole duration of your course.
Each of the taught modules is assessed either by formal examination, an assignment, or a balanced combination of the two. Methods of assessing assignments include essay, individual/group report, oral presentation and short test.
Information on assignments in terms of the aims, learning outcomes, assessment criteria and submissions requirements are clearly specified at the beginning of the academic year. Detailed feedback on assignment is provided to students to assist them in achieving the required learning outcomes.
The research project is assessed by dissertation and oral presentation. You will be assigned to a project supervisor who will provide you with a one-to-one supervision on your work. The research project gives you the opportunity to take what you have learnt and to explore and develop specific interests by applying it to your own piece of research, which makes it possibly the most fulfilling aspect of the course.
There are many career options within the engineering and construction industry both in the UK and overseas for graduates of the proposed programme to move onto. Potential employers include public sector infrastructure client organisations, private construction organizations (general contractors, sub-contractors), engineering consulting firms, engineering/construction management consultants, architectural firms, engineering and construction law firms, real estate developers, plus government (local/central) departments and agencies responsible for significant project portfolios. Graduates are employed in these organisations in various capacities such as project managers, contracts manager, risk manager and project scheduler/planner, to mention but a few. Another potential destination for graduates is to pursue further studies at MPhil/PhD level, using the new MSc programme as a foundation.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
UK/EU students: £8,000 full-time
International students: £16,500 full-timeRead about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements 2015/6A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in an engineering, science or technology discipline. Other subjects in a related discipline, including but not limited to Maths; Building Technology; Architecture; Quantitative Surveying; Project Management) will be considered assessed on an individual basis..
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.