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The Online Applied Project Management Curriculum

Our curriculum focuses on processes and tools required to make an impact. Guiding students through cutting-edge project management concepts, this program places a strong emphasis on holistic and systems-based project management methods, combined with the practical application of concepts, techniques and tools.

The University of Adelaide is a Registered Education Provider (REP) for the Project Management Institute (PMI®). A REP is an organisation approved by the PMI® to issue Professional Development Units (PDU) for its training courses.

Program Outlines

All courses are worth three units unless otherwise indicated. Please see the course descriptions below to learn more about each what each course has to offer.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Project Management

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Project Management requires students to complete a total of four courses or 12 units of core courses.

  • PROJMGNT 5021OL Applied Project Management 1
  • PROJMGNT 5004OL Managing Project and Systemic Risks
  • PROJMGNT 7047OL Systems Fundamentals
  • PROJMGNT 7038OL Leadership of Organisations

Graduate Diploma in Applied Project Management

The Graduate Diploma in Applied Project Management requires students to complete a total of eight core courses or 24 units.

  • PROJMGNT 5021OL Applied Project Management 1
  • PROJMGNT 5004OL Managing Project and Systemic Risks
  • PROJMGNT 7047OL Systems Fundamentals
  • PROJMGNT 7038OL Leadership of Organisations
  • PROJMGNT 7040OL Portfolios and Programs Management
  • PROJMGNT 7056OL Enterprise Transformation
  • COMMERCE 7039OL Business Research Methods
  • One of the following two options:
    • PROJMGNT 7057OL Project Management Controls*
    • PROJMGNT 7024OL Complex Project Management 1**

* The Project Management Controls course is designed for those intending to operate in linear projects, such as construction, shipbuilding, etc. ** The Complex Project Management 1 course is ideal for those intending to operate in complex environments relating to enterprise, software, defence, entrepreneurship and government-initiated social programs.

Master of Applied Project Management

The 36 unit Master of Applied Project Management (MAPM) requires students to complete a total of eight core courses, one 6-unit research project and two elective courses.

  • PROJMGNT 5021OL Applied Project Management 1
  • PROJMGNT 5004OL Managing Project and Systemic Risks
  • PROJMGNT 7047OL Systems Fundamentals
  • PROJMGNT 7038OL Leadership of Organisations
  • PROJMGNT 7040OL Portfolios and Programs Management
  • PROJMGNT 7056OL Enterprise Transformation
  • COMMERCE 7039OL Business Research Methods AND
    • PROJMGNT 7057OL Project Management Controls* OR
    • PROJMGNT 7024OL Complex Project Management 1**
  • PROJMGNT 7058OL Project Management Research Project (6 units)
  • 2 elective courses from the following:
    • PROJMGNT 7012OL Business and Contract Legal Studies
    • ENTREP 7059OL Project and Innovation Finance and Accounting
    • ENTREP 5016OL Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • ENTREP 5018OL Opportunity Assessment
    • ENTREP 7028OL Managing Strategy and Growth
    • ENTREP 7022OL Creativity and Innovation
    • ENTREP 7060OL Marketing Technology and Innovation

* The Project Management Controls course is designed for those intending to operate in linear projects, such as construction, shipbuilding, etc. ** The Complex Project Management 1 course is ideal for those looking to operate in complex environments relating to enterprise, software, defence, entrepreneurship and government-initiated social programs.

Master of Applied Project Management (Project Systems)

The 48 unit Master of Applied Project Management (Project Systems) requires students to complete a total of 11 core courses, a 6 unit project and 3 elective courses.

  • PROJMGNT 5021OL Applied Project Management 1
  • PROJMGNT 5004OL Managing Project and Systemic Risks
  • PROJMGNT 7047OL Systems Fundamentals
  • PROJMGNT 7038OL Leadership of Organisations
  • PROJMGNT 7040OL Portfolios and Programs Management
  • PROJMGNT 7056OL Enterprise Transformation
  • COMMERCE 7039OL Business Research Methods
  • PROJMGNT 7057OL Project Management Controls
  • PROJMGNT 7024OL Complex Project Management 1
  • PROJMGNT 7012OL Business and Contract Legal Studies
  • ENTREP 7059OL Project and Innovation Finance and Accounting
  • PROJMGNT 7058OL Project Management Research Project (6 units)
  • Nine units or 3 elective courses from the following:
    • ENTREP 7059OL Project and Innovation Finance and Accounting
    • ENTREP 5018OL Opportunity Assessment
    • ENTREP 7060OL Marketing Technology and Innovation
    • ENTREP 7019OL Social Entrepreneurship
    • ENTREP 7022OL Creativity and Innovation
    • ENTREP 7028OL Managing Strategy and Growth

Course Descriptions

To see which courses are needed for your desired educational outcome, see the above breakdown for each option.

PROJMGNT 5021OL Applied Project Management 1 (3 units)

This course introduces the context, rationale, strategy and tactics of project management from the perspectives of key stakeholders. Project phases are identified and examined. The importance of project planning and control is emphasised. Various models of project management are covered, including the Project Management Body of Knowledge, PRINCE 2 and IPMA, as are the internationally recognised areas of knowledge, the interactive processes and the core skills required by successful project managers. Participants will be expected to relate the application of PMBOK® Guide directly to projects from their experience and as a course assignment will be able to apply what they have learnt to an actual work place project.

PROJMGNT 5004OL Managing Project and Systemic Risks (3 units)

The course addresses decision and risk analysis, methods for structuring and modelling decision problems and application of methods to a variety of problems that involve risk and uncertainty related to the commercialisation of new technologies and development of projects. Students apply risk analysis tools to a commercialisation assessment problem or a project development.

PROJMGNT 7047OL Systems Fundamentals (3 units)

The content of the course focuses on an exploration of complex systems and the key aspects of these and the benefits in them for managing complex projects appropriately. There is recognition of reductionist thinking and its benefits and disadvantages; General Systems theory is discussed; Checkland’s soft system methodology and Senge’s systems dynamics provide a context and specific skills. Major topics addressed include network of essentially parallel systems; emergence; self-organisation; inhabiting the complexity space between order and chaos; Power laws and Paretian behaviour; scale free and fractal behaviour; self-organised criticality; tiny initiating events; Prigogine’s dissipating structures theory; Kauffman’s fitness landscape; the environment driving system scope and structure; dynamism; attractor cages and phase space; path history; systemic and cascading risk and black swan events; sensemaking and common meaning; identifying leverage points; and systems intelligence.

PROJMGNT 7038OL Leadership of Organisations (3 units)

This elective aims to provide students with a good understanding of the leadership and management theory with a particular emphasis on the implications of transformational leadership and the application of emotional and social capabilities to achieving desired outcomes in modern companies. The elective combines experiential learning with theory and practical applications. At the end of the course, students should be aware of current leadership and management theories, have an understanding of the differences in personality types and their own leadership style and have a basic knowledge of people management practices to align team performance with project outcomes within organisations with a range of different goals, values and stakeholders. Content will include bases of authority, models of leadership, transformational leadership, emotional intelligence, values-based leadership, situational leadership, gender and cultural perceptions of leadership.

PROJMGNT 7040OL Portfolios and Programs Management (3 units)

This course specifically addresses how organisations achieve strategic goals and objectives through project portfolio and programs of multiple projects and how participants can gain competence in managing these. Specifically, this unit will address how an organisation strategically applies systematic problem solving techniques, and selects, initiates, prioritises, executes and controls initiatives through portfolio alignment, monitoring and control. The course will also consider how an organisation can benefit from delivering multiple projects in a program environment including governing, controlling and supporting the organisation's strategy through program management. The course objective is to build competence in managing portfolios and programs.

PROJMGNT 7056OL Enterprise Transformation (3 units)

This is a capstone course in the Master of Project Management and focuses on the use of project management by corporations to achieve corporate goals. Topics covered include: identification of corporate strategy; managing by process; scenarios and systems engineering principles; enterprise architecture; process redesign; project directors skills; capability maturity; and project, portfolio and program management and the role of values in a project-producing organisation. A major assignment based on the application of these areas to an organisation is used.

COMMERCE 7039OL Business Research Methods 1

This course is designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to determine the information necessary to address an identified research problem (basic or applied) and, using this understanding, develop and use an actionable research proposal. In this process, the students will gain an understanding of relevant approaches and elements of undertaking a research enquiry specifically to provide insights to solving a relevant problem. They will develop critical core competencies and skills required to carry out such an enquiry. These competencies and skills include: defining research questions; setting appropriate research objectives; study design that incorporates research objectives and budgetary constraints; secondary and primary data collection and instruments; sampling and analysis methods; and effective reporting of results; as well as the importance of ethical conduct in conducting research in both a domestic and in international business contexts.

PROJMGNT 7057 Project Management Controls (3 units)

This course is the intermediate core course between Applied Project Management 1 and Enterprise Transformation in the Master of Project Management. It covers the management techniques required to achieve outcomes on projects in each of the areas of scope, time, cost, quality, procurement, human resources and communication. Further development of scenarios and the use of project management in various industries, including information technology, defence, construction, roll-out of government services, social, finance, medical, research and commercialisation occurs.

PROJMGNT 7024OL Complex Project Management 1 (3 units)

Understanding of complex systems and development of competence to manage the investigation, feasibility, requirements definition, planning and delivery of complex projects, which include autonomous and independent systems. Consideration of different management styles for complicated (linear projects) and complex projects, including use of various techniques addressed in Systems Fundamentals. The course follows system fundamentals and includes a number of aspects of managing complex projects. These are: the modern history of system of systems engineering (SOSE); SoSE case studies; types of uncertainty and emergence; key aspects of complex systems; risk management of complex systems; systems thinking including soft systems methodology; modelling and simulation of SoS; sense making and tiny initiating events.

PROJMGNT 7058OL Project Management Research Project (6 units)

The objective is to produce a capstone study which is a critical evaluation and reflation on the Masters studies. The content covered includes some basic tuition on the structure of research methodology, and information about the knowledge and skills required to develop a research project based on extending current knowledge, testing it (qualitative or quantitative), drawing conclusions and commenting on these conclusions.. The study should be an orderly and fully documented investigation of some problem or point of interest arising from the examination of a number of courses or relate these to career choices and competencies required.

ENTREP 5016OL Entrepreneurship and Innovation (3 units)

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the nature of enterprise and entrepreneurship and furthers the understanding of the role of innovation, technology and their efficient management to build and maintain a competitive edge in an entrepreneurial business. The course provides entrepreneurs and managers with a set of concepts and tools to improve the competitiveness of their venture or organisation. The course is relevant to entrepreneurs and professionals from all backgrounds who wish to learn about and apply principles and strategies to achieve higher levels of innovation.

ENTREP 5018OL Opportunity Assessment (3 units)

This course is aimed at anyone who needs to assess possible business opportunities, including possible project management opportunities that are mainly, but not exclusively, based on an innovative technological concept. Rapid screening techniques are introduced, which will address the underlying business concept, the base technology, benefits to customers, potential markets, financial feasibility, risk and benefits to the organisation and the next steps to be taken. Opportunity screening protocols will be treated in depth and a comprehensive venture-screening guide will be developed during the course. The course will also provide an introduction to the business planning process for a new enterprise.

ENTREP 7022OL Creativity and Innovation (3 units)

This course explores individual and group creativity; barriers to creativity and approaches for overcoming these; methods for generating or recognising ideas; alternatives or possibilities to solve commercial or operational problems; as well as turning creativity into innovation that benefits the customer and the business venture. Students will also examine options for bringing creativity and innovation into the organisation and building an environment to support these activities and create creative scenarios for the future of organisations.

ENTREP 7028OL Managing Strategy and Growth (3 units)

In this course we study the relationship between the entrepreneur, new venture growth and strategy. It provides students with an overview of the internal dynamics involved in growing a new venture including the many aspects that must be considered to ensure the business operates smoothly and meets the needs of its customers while keeping a focus on growth strategy. Intellectual Capital and the Resource Based View are the two main frameworks utilised to examine the dynamic relationships. The course adopts a design approach for an entrepreneur or an advisor to identify key resources that maximise the value creating potential of a fledgling firm.

ENTREP 7060OL Marketing Technology and Innovation (3 units)

This course helps students to develop an understanding of the forces driving competition and demand in markets or technology-intensive products and services. The content covers product management decisions (design, channels/logistics, pricing/promotions, etc.) across stages of product life cycles affecting innovative and/or technology products. Students enhance skills in analysing competitive trends, identifying threats and opportunities, designing new products, and marketing strategies. Students develop a marketing strategy and perform a market analysis to define potential markets for an innovation and/or a technology.

PROJMGNT 7012OL: Business and Contract Legal Studies (3 units)

Description of the common law process, theoretical basis of contracts; Contract formation including the requirements for intention on the part of the contracting parties, agreement, formalities and consideration, contractual capacity, consent and legality. Operation of contracts including rules for interpretation of written documents; Discharge of contracts by performance; express agreement, frustration, election after breach; Remedies for breach of contract; Rules for assessment of the measure of damages; Variation of existing contracts including a discussion of the principles of promissory estoppel; Introduction to the law of torts; Historical development of the law relating to negligence; Extension of the law of negligence into situations involving negligent misstatement; The evolution of the concept of proximity; Standard of care, remoteness of damage and defences to actions for negligence; Actions for negligence based on a duty of care arising out of a contract. The statutory regulation of transactions for the provision of goods and services; Dispute resolution including commercial arbitration, mediation and expert determination; Discussion of how the matters discussed in the course impact on the procurement procedures; Arbitration with the course participants assuming the roles of litigants, counsel, witnesses and the arbitrator; Implications for contract administration. The context of the course is engineering, technology and information technology design and production, operations and processes, which include consulting, production, procurement, maintenance and logistics supply for technology-based operations, including defence, construction, and manufacture, and IT provision for ongoing businesses, assessment of efficiency, risk and quality management, and related aspects.

ENTREP 7059OL: Project and Innovation Finance and Accounting (3 units)

Engineers, scientists, technologists and those starting new ventures understand that a good grasp of accounting and financial management disciplines are crucial to success. This course is designed to take such professionals through the essential knowledge and skills development in areas such as: accounting concepts, understanding and analysing financial statements, book keeping, the accounting cycle, cash flow, company accounting, budgeting and planning, an introduction to management accounting. This course introduces financial modelling, analysis of project proposals and cost optimisation. Major topics include the time value of money and capital budgeting processes, depreciation, capitalisation and valuation, sensitivity analysis, value management, earned value, life cycle costing. Application of projects and innovative new ventures. The context of the course is engineering, technology and information technology design and production, operations and processes, which include consulting, production, procurement, maintenance and logistics supply for technology based operations, including defence, construction, and manufacture, and IT provision for ongoing businesses, assessment of efficiency, risk and quality management, and related aspects.


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Learn more about the course outlines.

View our online course offerings timetable 2016.