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Masters in Industrial Project Management

MSc / Diploma / Certificate

Start date
January and September
3 year part time for the MSc or 1 – 2 year part time for certificate and diploma.
Course Type
Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught

January 2024 entry £10,620, September 2024 entry £11,340.
Further fee information is available.

Ian Heptinstall
+44 (0)121 414 5090

We teach working project leaders the skills to deliver reliable and efficient industrial projects and programmes. Going beyond today’s common practices, they develop the skills to assess and critique new and existing practices, as the foundation for a career in successful project leadership.

This programme is studied PART-TIME through DISTANCE-LEARNING
You study from your home location, and are expected to be working in a project-related role during the course.

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

The strategic impact of industrial projects

Whether developing new products, expanding manufacturing capacity, or responding to a competitive threat, projects lie at the heart of business strategy in many industries.

Businesses need not only predictable outcomes, but also high levels of overall performance, innovation and creativity. But how do you achieve this? Project management is a complex endeavour. Despite well-defined bodies of knowledge, overall performance of projects is highly variable, suggesting there is more to project management than completing templates and delegating work.

This course uniquely prepares you for this world. Founded upon the core disciplines of project management, it will not only give you a thorough grounding in common practice, you will also develop the insight and skills needed to challenge these practices and critically evaluate new ideas. You will be stretched and challenged to master the art of strategic project delivery.

Course faculty and industry partners

The programme has been developed in collaboration between the University and industry experts. In addition to the University faculty, the programme has contributions from over 20 experienced project practitioners from our industrial partners, and we regularly add new presenters and contemporary content from around the world.

Why Birmingham?

Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. With over 35,000 students and 7,000 staff, today we are one of the world’s leading universities.

Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and make an impact on people’s lives – a tradition that this programme proudly continues.

Programme delivery

The Masters is a three-year, part-time course, combining supported online learning with annual in-person hub workshops. Students study from their current home-base and the University does not support UK visa applications.

It has been designed for those with some project experience to develop and enhance their project management capabilities. The course was created, and is delivered, through a partnership between the University and industry.

Programme aims

The course is industry focused and covers both theory and application of project management principles, practices and tools. Leadership, team building and influencing skills, integral to successful complex project delivery, are also explored.

The key objectives of the course are:

  • A systematic understanding of project management knowledge, and critical awareness of current challenges in an industrial context
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to advanced study of project management
  • Innovation in the application of project management knowledge, with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret information
  • Conceptual understanding of project management that enables students to critically evaluate current research and advance scholarship and evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them.

Accredited degree

Association for Project Management logoThe University of Birmingham Masters in Industrial Project Management was originally developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, and is accredited by the UK’s Chartered Association for Project Management (APM)

‘I highly recommend the MSc Industrial Project Management. it is very practical and you can use it in your daily work. In terms of the modules, I really liked the one on Culture Ethics and Soft Skills. These topics are difficult to learn, but the course covered them really well. Overall, it was a fantastic experience.

Ilaria Lo Presti, Project Engineer, GSK


The course is modular in structure with six compulsory taught 20 credit modules (a total of 120 credits of taught material) and a major project in the third year (60 credits). Students may choose to complete one year (for a Certificate in Project Management), two years (for a Diploma in Project Management) or a full three-year MSc course.

In Year 1, we cover the project management fundamentals, covering the topics you find in the professional bodies of knowledge, from a business-driven and critical perspective.

Year 2 addresses more complex and ambiguous situations, and the specific requirements of industrial projects that deliver new and upgraded assets. You are encouraged to test and challenge conventions and develop the skills to analyse problems, test ideas and develop solutions.

In your final year, you demonstrate your ‘mastery’ through a research project and developing your own professional perspective.

A graphic of the modules organised by the year in which they are taken

Each module is a mix of theory, practical example and coursework. The third year is a major project on an in-depth industrial project, managed using the principles and tools taught in the earlier two years.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.


The same fee applies to all students, UK and International:
  • January 2024 entry £10,620
  • September 2024 entry £11,340 

The course fee is due in three equal instalments, invoiced at the beginning of the first three years of study.  This is currently:

  • £3,540 each year for the January 2024 start.
  • £3,780  each year for the September 2024 cohort.

Fee rates for future cohorts, beyond the start dates given above, are subject to revision.

This course does NOT follow the general University policy which requires a deposit from international students who accept an offer of a place. No deposit is required.

The modular nature of the programme means a student can choose to leave the programme after completing one, two, or three years, without paying for subsequent years.  If the student is successful in their studies, they can be awarded:
After 1 year - PGCert:   PostGraduate Certificate in Industrial Project Management
After 2 years - PGDip:   PostGraduate Diploma in Industrial Project Management.

The full MSc requires all three years.  Note only one qualification is awarded, based on successful study when a student leaves.

Scholarships may be available. Please see our postgraduate funding database for further information on the opportunities which may be available to you.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or via your home government. It’s good to do your research to find opportunities which you could be eligible for.

Postgraduate Loans (PGL) for Masters students

UK and EU students (with settled or pre-settled status) looking to pursue a Masters programme in the UK can apply for a non-means-tested loan from the British government via the Student Loans Company (SLC).

The loan will be paid directly to you, into a UK bank account. It is intended to provide a contribution towards the costs of Masters study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs is at your own discretion.

Learn more about applying for PGL 


Chemical Engineering PG Taught Entrance Scholarship

The school of Chemical Engineering is happy to be able to recognise and reward our top incoming students to celebrate your academic achievements before arriving as a student at the University of Birmingham.
The Chemical Engineering PGT Entrance Scholarship consists of a £1000 cash award during year 1 semester 1 for the students who meet the conditions.
There are 10 awards available; 5 will be allocated to UK students for fees and 5 will be allocated to international students for fees.

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships for taught programmes and research opportunities to ensure the very best talent is nurtured and supported at postgraduate level.

University scholarships

Birmingham Masters Scholarship

Our Birmingham Masters Scholarship offers £2,000 via a tuition fee discount, to support the brightest and best applicants from UK or Ireland undertaking Masters study at Birmingham during 2024-2025.

Global Masters Scholarship

This £2,000 Gloabl Masters Scholarship award is available to all international students from a selection of countries who are seeking to study a taught Masters degree at Birmingham in the 2024-25 academic year.


The IPM Accredited Learning Scholarship

 Like many universities, the University of Birmingham has a formal process to give credit to students who have already studied subjects included in a degree at another university.  The process is known as APCL (Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning).

Students who are given a module APCL credit do not have to study or submit assignments for that module, and the fee is reduced proportionally.

We only give APCL credit for whole modules.

This scholarship allows us to give financial credit to applicants who can demonstrate relevant prior learning from another university, but where this learning is spread across several modules on this course. In such a case we cannot award a formal APCL credit under the University regulations. Instead we offer a fee discount in year 1 to reflect the prior study (this Scholarship).

Given the unique nature of this course, this scholarship is only available in Year 1, and is for students who have already studied project management and/or management/MBA at University.  The minimum amount of accredited learning that is required for this scholarship is the equivalent to a single, 4-month course module (20 credits).

For the purpose of this scholarship, a module is given a financial value of 1/9th of the full course fee.  For example the 2023 full fee was £10,620, so the scholarship module credit would be £1,180 per module.

Worked example.  Julia had studied both an MBA and a MSc in project management in the past.  In the APCL interview the University felt the topics covered represented about 2/3 of the year 1 subject matter.  Module 1 was very closely aligned to the prior study, and so formal APCL was given from this module.  However the remaining prior learning was distributed between modules 2 and 3.  There were several important knowledge gaps in both these modules so formal APCL exemption was not given. Instead this remaining prior learning was given recognition through a scholarship, of the value of one module (£1,180 at 2022 values).  Julia started her studies on module 2.

Note: This scholarship requires the applicant to have received an offer to join the programme, and to have applied for APCL via the formal process. Any accredited learning that is given formal APCL credit is not used to consider this scholarship – ie this scholarship is offered in place of APCL credit, not as well as.

For further information please contact the course admissions tutor via the contact email given at the top of this page.

How To Apply

Application deadlines

  • The application deadline for start in September is 01 August.
  • The application deadline for start in January is 15 December of the preceding year.

Before you make your application

You may want to contact our admission tutor, Ian Heptinstall at or call  (+44) (0)121 414 5090, if you require further information or have any queries.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

  • To have at least 3 years of experience working in a project environment.  To get the best out of this course you need to be able to relate your academic learning and research to the real-life of projects. 
  • If you are not currently working in a project-related environment, please ensure your personal statement discusses how you will be able to relate your studies to the real life of projects, and how you will network with other project professionals as part of your learning.
  • On very rare occasions we will consider applicants with less experience or no current project position, but the applicant will need to make a strong case in their Personal Statement, and at any subsequent interview.
  • Your references should be professional rather than academic, coming from someone who has worked with you - ideally in a project environment.  We require at least one, ideally two.  If you are a non-native English speaker, the reference should (where applicable) refer to how much you worked in English, and how well you did so.
  • A good academic standard of education.  A good first degree is ideal, though we will consider applicants without a degree where they can demonstrate work experience at a reasonable senior level.
  • Applicants without a first degree, or with little work experience will be considered, but will be required to attend a video interview as part of their application process.

International Students

English language

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following English language qualifications are required:

  • IELTS: overall score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band
  • PTE Academic:  with 51 in all 4 skills
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with 19 in reading, writing and listening and 21 in speaking
  • Cambridge English Advanced: 169 overall with 162 in each component

Assessment by video interview is possible as an alternative for those with demonstrable experience working in English language but no formal assessment.

Graduates talk about their experiences on the Industrial Project Management programme

This course provides a world-class professional educational for problem-solving and collaborative leaders, the partners of industrial companies and enterprises of the future, where they will be asked to co-develop and deliver their goals and strategies through project management.

Some of the key features of this programme include:

  • Addresses the particular needs and challenges of industrial projects – manufacturers with the need to develop their assets
  • Covers the complete project from the client’s perspective – not only the implementation/construction stage
  • Goes beyond the coverage of project management Bodies of Knowledge
  • Equips students to take an independent critical perspective on how projects are implemented, and to develop the ability to assess and critique perceived ‘good practice’
  • Designed for working project managers – allowing them to implement their learning and create business benefit during the programme
  • Facilitated by a faculty that combines academic rigour with decades of experience of managing these kinds of projects

The University of Birmingham's virtual learning platform presents students with a flexible environment for their online studies. We have moved beyond the traditional classroom structure, taking full advantage of digital media with modules that draw on interactivity, active student participation and social connectivity with staff and peers to provide a more dynamic learning experience.

On this programme you will engage with the curriculum directly using:

  • Video Lectures: Access content at any time and from any device
  • Interactive Assignments: Actively participate in learning exercises
  • Real-Life Case Studies: Gain skills you can apply immediately
  • Social Interaction: Connect with peers, professors and industry managers online

The core recorded material consists of short presentations by a wide range of the University’s academic staff, and industry experts.  This gives you access to a range of perspectives to help you to develop your abilities in critical analysis.  Whilst we cover the common standard approaches to project management, you will be expected to get behind the standards, to understand how they work, and in which circumstances you may need something else.

In Years 1 and 2, we hold two-day ‘Hub’ workshops, which allow for more interaction and experiential discussion and learning. The hubs take place on our Birmingham campus, with an alternative location usually in Asia or the Middle East. Recent non-UK locations have included Shanghai, Dubai and Singapore.

Students who successfully complete Year 1 qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate qualification (PGCert), and those who complete both Years 1 and 2 qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip). For the full MSc qualification, all six modules and the research project have to be completed.

You will study one module every 4-months during the first two years of the programme.  You are expected to commit about 8-15 hours per week to your studies, and only a small portion of that will be taken watching the recorded lectures. In addition, you should read and research the topics widely, work on non-assessed assignments, attend the live presentations and study groups, start and contribute to online discussions with your peers and faculty, and research and prepare your formal assignments.  Your final year project will take about 400 hours of work – from initial planning to final write-up.


Assessment is predominately by coursework, but also with assessed tutorials and presentations in some cases. The major project is assessed via report and presentation.

The course is aimed at people currently in work (in an industrial setting) and will provide significant development within their existing career path or offer an opportunity to change to a more project orientated career.

The successful management of projects is critical to the growth and safe operations of many businesses. Unfortunately, experience shows that success is relatively rare. This course will equip project managers and team members with the skills and knowledge to significantly increase the success rates of their projects.

University Careers Network

As University of Birmingham students, IPM MSc participants will have access to the full range of services offered by the University for careers and development. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

My experience with the MSc Industrial Project Management has been overwhelmingly positive. The understanding and application of fundamental principles, alongside my current practice has enabled me to become more masterful in my approach to leading complex projects. Ultimately, the advanced knowledge and credibility that my degree has provided have enabled me to advance my career in a direction that might not have otherwise been possible.

Rab Smylie, Director & Project Management Head, WindMIL Therapeutics

Professional Accreditation

Accredited degree

Association for Project Management logoThe University of Birmingham Masters in Industrial Project Management was originally developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, and is accredited by the UK’s Chartered Association for Project Management (APM)