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

£9600 for all students (UK/International) 
Fees are revised annually in April.

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.

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. 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.

‘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

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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 showing the Industrial Project Management module path / year

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.


£9600 for all students (UK and International) for the entire programme.

The course fee is due in three equal instalments, invoiced at the beginning of the first three years of study.  This is currently £3,200 each year.

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.

Note: fees are revised annually in April.

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 


How To Apply

Application deadlines

  • The application deadline for start in September 2021 is 01 August, 2021.
  • The application deadline for start in January 2022 is 15 December, 2021.

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.

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

  • To be 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. 
  • 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

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