Masters of Science (MSc) Project Management Overview

Project management is an applied discipline and many project managers have learned how to manage projects through on-the-job experience. However, some project managers are frustrated by this. They often feel that they have no legitimate qualifications in the area and may wonder if there are better ways of addressing the day-to-day concerns that tend to be managed in an ad-hoc fashion.


They might also feel constrained by their lack of a big picture. What is this project for? Where does it fit in in terms of the organization’s strategy? How does a project manager’s career progress and how will they be prepared for senior project roles?

Since 2016, Velopi and University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC), a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, have partnered to offer an innovative suite of postgraduate courses in Project Management designed to suit people working in industry.

The two-year, part-time MSc Masters programme reflects the growing need for project managers worldwide and provides a compelling blend of best practice real-world application with academic reflection.

Most organisations are increasingly embracing project management processes and striving to ensure their staffs are trained in them. Obtaining a professional accreditation, such as the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)®, endorses your ability as a project manager. But it will not necessarily give you the gravitas to take on executives at the C-Suite level and to convince them that their objectives have no chance of succeeding.  However, armed with a master’s degree in project management, you will equip yourself to communicate with the organization’s directors because you will understand how projects contribute to the overall business strategy and what outcomes your leaders are looking for.

Here at Velopi, we have been aware of this need. So, working with University College Cork (UCC), we designed a postgraduate programme path to a Master’s qualification that will equip practicing project managers with the tools to manage projects but also to take them into the higher levels of corporate strategy and the realization of benefits.  To this end, the Master’s programme incorporates both PMP® accreditation and executive-level strategy as part of the syllabus.

The partnership between UCC, a higher-education institution renowned for its academic excellence and Velopi, the leading industry specialist in project management training to optimise business performance, creates a unique learning pathway solution for participants to develop their professional skills and further their careers. With the solid reputation in academia and corporate learning of both partners, successful participants are assured of internationally recognised academic and professional accreditations underpinned with the latest thinking and sound practitioner experience that employer’s value and which will differentiate participants in their career paths.

The MSc in Project Management aims to equip participants with a broad perspective of project and programme management including technical, managerial and business skills.  Designed specifically around practitioners, the MSc programme of study will not only provide the basics of project management, it will also introduce students to where projects fit into the overall organization and how they are vital to the implementation of strategy. They will learn concepts, such as portfolio and programme management and how organizations benefit from more formal project management structures, such as the project management office.

The programme is supported by academic and expert practitioners who deliver a curriculum that is relevant, current and research informed. The use of interactive seminar and workshop formats, case studies, group and individual exercises support the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills. The programme ensures that participants understand project management in an organizational context through the emphasis on strategic alignment and the management of resources.

Uniquely among third-level courses, this MSc programme also prepares students to undertake the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam. This allows the student to obtain, not only a master’s degree, but also an internationally recognized professional credential as well.

The Velopi/UCC suite of project management courses is designed to be flexible with a part time schedule to facilitate the busy project management practitioner’s work and family commitments as they study. Classes over the two-years are scheduled from 2pm to 6pm Fridays and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays, every second week.

Various progression and exit points are offered along particular award pathways providing flexibility in delivery method and opportunities for students to learn at a pace that meets their individual needs where

PROJECT MANAGEMENT (PG CERT) programme: Successfully completing one year of the course, entitles the student to a post-graduate certificate;

PROJECT MANAGEMENT (PG DIP) programme: Successfully completing two years leads to a post-graduate diploma. The second year of the course also includes Project Management Professional exam preparation, providing the student with both academic and professional accreditations.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT (MSC) programme: Completing the 15,000-word thesis component in the third year leads to a Level 9 Master’s degree.




Next Available Date
To be confirmed


  • Skill Level
  • Duration
    • 2 years
  • Support
    • Tutor on call
    • Exam simulator
  • Assessment

Course Description

The programme provides key competencies in:

Technical and people focused project management knowledge, skills and abilities.

The application of management frameworks to strategic decision making and resource appraisal

Managerial, interpersonal and technical skills that maximize the impact of project managers in private, public and not-for-profit organizations.

Using interactive seminar and workshop formats, participants engage in case studies, group and individual exercises in order to develop their decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Ensures that project management is understood in its organizational context by emphasizing strategic alignment and the management of resources.

This course is aimed at people who are experienced in project management but want to obtain a recognized qualification and develop their skills beyond the front-line management of projects. It is very attractive for those wanting to understand where projects fit into the overall organizational strategy and how they effect the changes necessary to fulfil strategic objectives.

Graduates to date have tended to move onto/continue to work in technical areas including medical devices and pharmaceuticals, mid-level management roles in the food and beverage sector, public sector and charities.

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem-solving skills associated with effective project management practice.

Graduates to date have tended to move onto/continue to work in technical areas including medical devices and pharmaceuticals, mid-level management roles in the food and beverage sector, public sector and charities.

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem-solving skills associated with effective project management practice.

Apply practical tools, techniques and conceptual models in order to maximize the value of the project management process.

Critically appraise how projects contribute to an organization’s ability to realize its strategic goals and business benefits.

Appreciate the use of management and leadership skills in the conduct of projects of various size, scope and complexity.

Critically appraise current issues, trends and challenges in Project Management theory and practice.

Prepare a viable research proposal for future research.

Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard.

Evaluate the scholarly literature on project management theory and practice.

Plan and implement a research design framework that addresses a current research problem.

Year 1:

MG6810 Project Management (10 credits)

MG6811 Strategy, Leadership and Change (10 credits)

MG6812 Innovative Problem-Solving and Decision Making (10 credits)


Year 2 (Part 1):

MG6813 Current Issues in Project Management (10 credits)

MG6814 Realising strategy through programme management (5 credits)                                        

MG6815 Management and Organisation (5 credits)        

MG6816 Research methods (5 credits)                          

MG6817 Project Bootcamp (PMP Certification) (5 credits) 


Year 2 (Part 2):

MG6818 Project Management Dissertation (30 credits)


The post-graduate MSc programme in Project Management is worth ninety ECTS (European Academic Credit System) credits. There are three modules in year one worth 30 ECTS:

MG6810: Project Management (10 Credits)

Based on the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), this course is delivered by Velopi Ltd., drawing on their extensive industry experience to add a practical dimension to the overall course. Assessed using real-world case studies, this module will provide the tools and techniques needed to carry out the role of the project manager.


MG6811: Strategy, Leadership and Change (10 Credits)

Strategy is a difficult concept to describe. It concerns plans that benefit the organization as the expense of competing organizations. So strategic planning requires planners to anticipate the likely responses from competitors and deal with them accordingly. Leadership is a vital attribute of a project manager, as projects make the changes needed to realize strategy. People are often averse to change and need to be convinced that the changes will be beneficial in the long-term. This requires the project manager to lead.


MG6812: Innovative Problem Solving and Decision Making (10 Credits)

Project management has often been compared to juggling. While careful plans may be drawn up for a project, they often are compromised by everyday realities, such as lack of resources, finance or even time. Project managers are forever deciding among alternative courses of action and addressing problems relating to the work, the project team and other stakeholders.


On completion of year one, the student may finish off with a post-graduate certificate in project management. However, if s/he wishes to continue, there are five modules in year two leading to a Diploma in Project Management and a 6th Dissertation Module for the achievement of an MSc in Project Management.


MG6813: Current Issues in Project Management  (10 Credits)

This is a wide-ranging module, where every lecture covers a different topic. Many of these lectures will be presented by experienced practitioners who are breaking new ground in their areas. Past topics have included: The Project Management Office, Project Management Maturity Assessment, Rescuing Troubled Projects and Agile Project Management This module is assessed by writing a literature review based on one of the issues being studied. This literature review often forms the basis for the thesis project at the end of the course.


MG6814: Realizing strategy through Programme Management  (5 Credits)

Many strategic initiatives are simply too big to manage as a single project. However, it does make sense to manage the projects needed in a coordinated fashion. The resulting programme then is the mechanism whereby ambitious programmes, such as eGovernment, are achieved.


MG6815: Management and Organization (5 Credits)

Day-to-day management of projects requires that the project manager be well versed in the systems and structures used in the organization. Similarly, s/he must understand the nature of the organization and the level of authority available to the project manager therein. As project managers can expect to work in environments ranging from recent start-up organizations to fully project-oriented enterprises, where everything is managed as a project, they need to understand how each works.


MG6816: Research Methods (5 Credits)

Academic research is based on objective observations and rigorous analysis. It tends to be incremental in nature – building on previous work. Its goal is to make sense of the world around us and come up with theories that can predict what will happen in the future. Even for students who will never carry out academic research themselves, this module will allow them to assess research findings in a critical fashion and not be carried away by exaggerated claims.


MG6817: PMP® Bootcamp (5 Credits)

Velopi Ltd.’s flagship training course – PMP® Exam Preparation – forms the basis for this module. The students will cover the necessary PMBOK® Guide materials and will have access to Velopi’s exam simulator to practice the sort of questions that appear in the exam. The module is assessed by undertaking a full-length simulated exam. If the student wishes to sit the actual exam, Velopi’s trainers will provide support in terms of both the application submission and study support.


Thesis (30 Credits)

At the end of year two, the student may finish off with a post-graduate diploma in project management, or complete the programme by creating a 30,000 word minor thesis. This will involve researching an issue that is of concern to project managers and academics alike. It might also be an issue that is of concern to the student’s organization, allowing the student to demonstrate their increased understanding of projects, both on a day-to-day level and an organizational and strategic level, to their employers.


Applications are invited from experienced professionals with:

Have a 2.2 primary degree at NFQ Level 8 Honours Degree or equivalent (e.g. Higher Diploma)


At least 2 years of professional work experience

Consideration may be given to applicants who do not fully meet the above criteria but who have significant senior professional experience in a related field such as engineering, construction, operations and software development.

All applicants are required to complete a supplementary form. Participants will be selected based on the information supplied in their application and supplementary information. The University reserve the right to interview applicants to help make determinations.

Applicants whose first language is not English need to demonstrate they have attained IELTS Level 6.5 with no individual score of less than 5.5. Additional, approved English language qualifications currently accepted at UCC can be found by clicking here.

View the grades comparison table


Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language, they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

This is a 2-year part-time programme with a minor Dissertation to complete.  The programme is delivered in conjunction with Velopi and is unique to the marketplace.  It provides candidates with both internationally recognized academic and professional accreditation in project management.  It combines university-level modules on Project Management, Strategy and Leadership in addition to preparing candidates for PMP accreditation.


Students are exposed to cutting-edge research, critical thinking and toolsets.


The programme provides a balance of technical, managerial and interpersonal skills that maximize the impact of project managers in private, public and not-for-profit organizations.


Classes are scheduled to run for a full day every second Friday and every second Saturday (some) [9 a.m. to 1 p.m. approximately] from September to June each year (full timetable provided in advance).  Online seminars and activities are also utilized.



Assessment is through a variety of continuous assessment methods including individual and group projects, presentations, etc.


Students must complete a dissertation/research project circa 15,000 words on a topic of their choice.


The teaching team on this programme comprises academic experts in the field of project management as well as a number of highly experienced practitioners.


Full module information is detailed in the section below.


Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €12,000 (Year 1 €4,500; Year 2 Part 1 €4,500; Year 2 Part 2 €3,000).


Full-time/Part-time fee:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for the part-time course is half the full-time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


Scholarship Opportunity:

30% Scholarship Opportunity to Promote Women in Business


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.


EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.


International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.


How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.



If you have any questions on fee payment please email us on (021) 240 6250 or


Fee Breakdown

€12,000 (Year 1 €4,500; Year 2 Part 1 €4,500; Year 2 Part 2 €3,000). A PMP certificate is available for an additional €500.


PMP Certificate

A €500 PMP Cert Fee is not included in the €12,000 programme fee and is only for student information should they wish to progress.


Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

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Your career is a journey, and you’ll need to stay relevant as the profession evolves and as the needs of employers grow and change. Maintaining your PMI® certification is a significant competitive advantage. It keeps you relevant and helps you better position yourself as the answer to a company's demand.

To keep your certification and keep you relevant and competitive for employer demanded skills, you’ll need to participate in professional development activities, and earn and report professional development units (PDUs.) The goal is to ensure that your certified competencies stay relevant and up to date.

There are tons of opportunities to earn PDUs.  PMP® credential holders love Velopi's PDU Centre because it's the easiest way to earn and document the 60 hours of professional development units (PDUs) that are required over a 3 year period.

As a learner with us, Velopi's PDU Centre helps you earn and report your Education PDUs to keep up to date and maintain your certification through our classes, seminars and webinars as well as self directed learning. Visit the Velopi PDU Centre to see our upcoming classes and webinars and Discover ways to earn PDUs or report earned PDUs with our Velopi PDU Centre.

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