For learners applying to begin their programme in October:

QA has two primary objectives during this rapidly evolving period regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19). The first is to ensure the welfare of our learners and staff, and the second is to ensure continuity and access to learning. In line with the sector as a whole and its response to Covid-19, if necessary, we will implement online teaching for this programme to allow you to begin your programme this October. As circumstances allow, we will review this decision with a view to bringing the programme back to a mix of blended and face-to-face delivery at the earliest appropriate time.

This programme is delivered in partnership by QA and Northumbria University and awarded by Northumbria University

Level of study: Undergraduate

Award: BSc (Hons) Project Management (Degree Apprenticeship)

Apprenticeship standard: Project Manager

Awarding body: Northumbria University

Fees: This programme is fully funded by your employer through the Apprenticeship Levy

Entry requirements: 120 UCAS Tariff points

English language requirements: GCSE at Grade C

Mode of study: Part-Time, blended and work-based learning

Duration: 48 months + completion of the End Point Assessment, typically 6 months

Assessment methods: Coursework only, End Point Assessment includes presentation, portfolio and professional discussion

Start dates: October, January, April, July (2021)

Locations: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle

The programme places an emphasis on developing and applying the knowledge, skills and competences required for a successful career in the areas of project management, risk management, quality management, stakeholder and communication management, commercial and contract management and organisation leadership.

Overall, the relevance and richness of the programme has been ensured by identifying employer needs and opinions. You will develop transferable/key skills throughout the programme, including:

  • Ethical, social, legal and security awareness and data and information analyses
  • Communicating ideas in written and oral forms
  • The use of appropriate IT tools relevant to project management
  • Project management
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Enhanced research skills enabling students to progress, if desired, to an academic or research orientated career
  • Independent learning skills enabling students to take responsibility for their own continued and sustainable professional development

There is no cost to you as a degree apprentice. Degree Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Apprenticeship Levy through your employer.

If you’re an employer, the total fee for this programme is:

  • £22,000

You should also be prepared to buy some of the course texts which are around £40 each. This would average around £200-250 pa.

In order to join a Degree Apprenticeship, the employer will either recruit new staff or select existing staff that are suitable for the programme. Individuals wishing to join the Degree Apprenticeship should apply for vacancies at qa.com or contact their employer.

  1. Once you have your employers agreement – QA will send you a link to an online application.
  2. New vacancies will be published at qa.com

Register your interest through an Expression of Interest form here.

Programme details

About this course

This Degree Apprenticeship programme is designed for those wishing to enhance their career through engaging in a work based learning programme providing opportunities to develop your understanding of the Project Management subject discipline and capitalise on opportunities for applied learning within the context of your employment.

You will therefore combine academic studies with work based reflection including your own personal practices and behaviours. This is designed to equip you for influential roles within your organisations, and support your longer term career aspirations of working as a Project Manager across different sectors.

To accelerate your learning, you will be exposed to theories and principles relating to all aspects of the project management lifecycle including initiation, planning, execution and closure. You will also explore topics including but not limited to scope definition, estimation & schedule management, resource planning, goals & benefits analysis, deliverable quality management, procurement, review, financial and contractual management, leading teams, strategic leadership and the management of change, risk and opportunities.  You will subsequently be able to apply this knowledge and skill in your own context, and subsequently critically analyse the implementation and recommend potential future improvements in the context of working on and leading projects and programmes.

Alongside developing your capabilities in the areas of the Project Management discipline, the programme will also develop you as a thorough professional and as such throughout the programme you will engage in a range of modules designed to develop your competences in areas such as Programme Portfolio & Project Management, Project Planning & Management, Project Change Control & Quality Management, Governance and Financial Control of Projects, Business Strategy for Project Professionals and Procurement and Contract Management.

 

How will I be taught?

Recognising you are busy working professionals, this Degree Apprenticeship will be delivered in flexible delivery modes.  This will include a mix of taught workshop sessions in block mode supported by blended learning activities, which can be completed at home, or in the workplace.

As a work based programme, this Degree Apprenticeship will adopt applied assessment which will enable you to relate the learning gained directly to your current role or a role in which you aspire to work.  These assessments are designed to provide demonstrable impact of your learning to your organisation, current projects or individual performance.

What are the entry requirements?

120 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A level or BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas.

Modules

(All modules are 20 credits unless otherwise stated)

Level 4

Business Environment for Project Professionals

As a project professional it is essential you have an understanding of the context in which your organisation, client organisations and your project operates.  This is often termed your contextual competence.   This module is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to better understand the environment in which business organisations operate and introduces you to the key functions in an organisation.

As such the module will typically develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in areas including the external operating environment, competitive environment, global business environment, internal operating environment and role and relationship of key organisational functions including human resource management, marketing, finance and accounting and operations.

Programme Portfolio & Project Management

A ‘project’ is a temporary undertaking of some uniqueness, carried out using Project Management knowledge, methods, and processes, to accomplish planned objectives, such as outputs, outcomes or benefits. Individual projects often ‘sit’ within wider contexts including multiple project environments that require greater levels of coordination and present different types of opportunities and risks.

As such, aspects of ‘P3 management’, the management of projects, programmes and portfolios, as considered in this wider context are explored here. Taught content is constructed around research-led curriculum (i.e. current knowledge in the field), and through its study you will gain knowledge and develop conceptual understanding around P3 Management, including the relevant approaches available to a practicing project manager. You will also evaluate project management knowledge and competencies, reflect on lessons from project case studies, and embrace the necessary ethical and professional standards to potentially attain competence in the future management of P3 projects.

You will be assessed through a written assignment which demonstrates your academic and applied understanding of projects within wider programme and portfolio management environment in which projects operate. You will be provided with written, electronic, feedback on your work. Such knowledge and skills should be beneficial both to the career that you are currently working within, but also your long-term goals in the Project Management field.

Principles of Project Planning & Management

This module is designed to develop knowledge and skills in key aspects of project planning and management. You will also be able to apply this knowledge and skills in your own context, analyse an organisation’s need to plan and manage projects and recommend potential future improvements. This learning will take place through a combination of face-to-face workshops, access to a vast array of academic research via our on-line learning resources, an industry-leading technical knowledge base, VLE-enhanced online support and engagement and liaison with module tutors. As such this learning model is designed to enable you to rapidly develop new knowledge and skills and apply them to your business and technical challenges. You will be assessed through an individual report.

The module covers the core concepts, principles and benefits of project life cycle, scope definition, estimation & schedule management, resource planning, goals & benefits analysis, deliverable quality management, procurement and review. Such knowledge and skills are particularly beneficial for a career as Project Manager; Team Leader; Business Analyst; and a System Analyst.

Requirements & Stakeholder Management

This module is designed to develop knowledge and skills in requirements and stakeholder management. You will also be able to apply this knowledge and skills in your own context, analysing opportunities to create impact and recommend potential future improvements to the way in which your organisation manages the requirements and stakeholder aspects of project management.

This learning will take place through a combination of face-to-face workshops, access to a vast array of academic research via our on-line learning resources, an industry-leading technical knowledge base, VLE-enhanced online support and engagement and liaison with module tutors. This learning model is designed to enable you to rapidly develop new knowledge and skills and apply them to your business’ project management function. You will be assessed by a report utilising a consultancy based case study approach.  The module covers the core competencies and subject areas relevant to requirements and stakeholder management in contemporary organisations.  Such knowledge and skills are essential for aspiring and practicing project managers.

Project Justification & Viability

Through the completion of this module you will learn how to apply a set of industry standard project justification and viability techniques that an organisation needs to justify initial and ongoing funding for a project. As such you will be guided through the fundamentals of concepts, theories, practices and techniques used within a range of different projects needed to justify the viability of the initial and ongoing project. The module will take you through the lifecycle of a project starting from an organisation’s strategic objectives and business case, through to the project management plan and highlight the theoretical and practical basis for the application of appraisal techniques to determine the viability of a funded project. Indicative topics include the following;

  • Ownership, authorship and approval of a business case.
  • Benefits management.
  • Information management.
  • Ownership, authorship and approval of a project management plan.
  • Earned value management.
  • Earned value calculations and interpret earned value data.
  • Use of payback, internal rate of return, net present value, CPI and SPI appraisal techniques.
  • Project reporting cycle.

Such knowledge and skills are particularly beneficial for a career as Associate Project Manager; Project Manager; Project Coordinator, Change Manager, Project Management Support Officer.

Project Manager Professional Practice 1

In this module you will develop new knowledge and skills in a self-identified aspect of Project Management (relevant to the apprenticeship standard), apply them in your own context, critically analyse the outcome and conduct reflective practice as a means of evaluation.

Working with the module academic team and your employer, you will conduct a skills analysis to identify relevant training that can be undertaken.  This training can take a number of forms, be it:

  • Technical training delivered within the workplace, or class environment
  • Structured online learning
  • A robust research project
  • Or, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Following completion of the training, the acquired skills will be focused towards a specified project or business challenge.  This should allow the application of the skills in a real-world context, while providing an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the topic area explored.

Level 5

Governance and Financial Control of Projects

This module is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in the establishment of an effective governance context for a given individual project along with designing and implementing project governance in general within the organisational setting. Furthermore, you will develop the knowledge and skills to enable you to design and establish appropriate strategies to evaluate the financial quality of potential projects along with the means to monitor and control their performance throughout their lifecycles.

Through the completion of this module you will learn how to establish a suitable governance framework for a project which embraces the value systems, responsibilities, processes and policies that will facilitate the realisation of organisational objectives. You will also learn the essential tools which are engaged in the financial assessment of a project from initiation through to close.

Organisational Change & Risk Management

This module is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in organisational change and risk management. You will also be able to apply this knowledge and skills in your own context, analysing opportunities to create impact and recommend potential future improvements to the way in which your organisation manages change and risk.

The module covers the core competencies and subject areas relevant to organisational change and risk management in contemporary organisations. Such knowledge and skills are particularly aimed at those working as project managers.

Information and Communications Management

This module is intended to develop knowledge and professional experience and skills in information management strategies, challenges of managing information and information and communication technology (ICT) Management, as well as understanding the relationships between organisations, management and the networked enterprise. You will also be able to apply this knowledge and skills in your own context, evaluate and analyse information and communications management applications and recommend potential future improvements for organisations’ projects and business processes.

The module key concepts, Fundamentals of information management, role of information systems, role of information technology in managing information, improving information access and consistency, organisational change, information in E-Business, linking information to business strategies and decision making, current developments and diffusions in ICT (i.e. ERP, SCM, CRM), and information systems in global business today.

Such knowledge and skills are particularly beneficial for a career as ICT Manager, ICT Project Manager, Information Manager, IT Manager, Information Systems Manager, Solutions Architect, Business Analyst, Marketing & Sales Manager, and Operations Manager.

Leading Self and Project Teams

As a project professional developing your behavioural competence is essential as a core element of your role will be working with others, leading and managing and contributing to insitu and virtual teams.

As such this module is designed to support your behavioural competence personal and professional development and will focus specifically on developing core leadership, management and team working skills and understanding the theories, concepts and models that underpin those skills. Additionally you will work on further enhancing your personal effectiveness by focusing on how you work effectively with others, through collaborating, influencing, and negotiating. Developing your self-awareness using a range of toolkits and psychometrics will also feature as a key element of this module.

Assessment for the module involves an individual assignment that will require you to engage in a process of self-awareness and self-analysis in order to determine your areas of behavioural competence strength and future development.

Project Change Control & Quality Management

Failure to manage project change effectively and deliver projects to the required quality is the single point of failure for large and medium sized public and private projects and could costs organisation a lot. Through the completion of this module you will learn how to provide a set of project change controls and quality management techniques that an organisation need to manage rapid, volatile and continuous change within projects.

As such you will be guided through the fundamentals of key concepts, theories, practices and techniques used within a range of projects to control changes and apply quality standards using a practice theory led approach that recognises change as a continuous process which happens in both a planned and emergent way.

You will also have the chance to “live” the challenges of managing a project change control problem using a web-based simulation portal environment. This learning model is designed to enable you to rapidly develop new knowledge and skills and apply them to your business and technical challenges.

Project Manager Professional Practice 2 - Intermediary Qualification

This module will support your self-guided learning skills and knowledge and develop your own professional development needs in the context of your Degree Apprenticeship discipline and the context in which you are working.  As part of the conditions of the apprenticeship standard, an appropriate intermediary project management qualification (i.e. IPMA Level D or equivalent) must be undertaken and achieved as part of your studies.  The achievement of this intermediary qualification is a component of your End Point Assessment gateway requirements, which must be met (along with other components) in order to be awarded your degree.

This module provides an opportunity for self-reflection on your current knowledge in relation to your ability to undertake the identified qualification, mapping this to your current professional practice, and academic modules undertaken.  Where gaps in knowledge, or reinforcement of learning are identified as required, this should be used as the basis for a structured training plan which can be undertaken over the course of the module. This training can take a number of forms, be it:

  • Technical training delivered within the workplace, or class environment
  • Structured online learning
  • A mini project
  • Or, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Following completion of the training, the acquired skills will be utilised in the development of a reflective professional practice log, and the undertaking of the intermediary qualification.

Such knowledge and skills are essential to the career that you are currently working within, attainment of relevant professional qualifications, and also your long-term goals in the Project Management field.

Level 6

Procurement and Contract Management

The Procurement and Contract Management module is designed to develop your understanding of the procurement and contract management function relevant to the project management context. In doing so you will enhance your critical understanding of contemporary academic and practitioner knowledge and skills required by project and procurement professionals. You will gain valuable insights regarding the academic theory and knowledge accumulated on the subject area and the use of specific tools and techniques employed in managing the procurement and contract management function in today’s digital environment.

On successful completion of this module you will be equipped with the cutting edge skills and in-depth knowledge that are designed to fast-track your career progression in project manager as well as a wide range of other roles including procurement/purchase manager, direct and indirect category manager, supply chain manager, and contract manager.

Business Strategy for Project Professionals

As a project professional you are continually contributing to organisational strategy and subsequent success.  This is a key element of your contextual competence.

This module aims to develop your knowledge of business strategy as well as your skills and confidence to enable you to engage with, and contribute to, the implementation of an organisation’s strategic decisions. In addition, it aims to develop your methodological and synthesis skills in order to conduct an assessment of the business environment and an evaluation of strategic choices relevant to programmes and projects in your own organisation in accordance with corporate social responsibility and sustainability agenda expectations.

It is also designed to develop your capacity and confidence as an independent learner through your engagement with the module learning activities and sources of support and materials you will have access to from the module team and wider sources available from the university.

Contemporary Issues in Project Management

The module is intended to further develop your critical knowledge and skills in the current trends of managing projects within the context of the wider evolving business landscape. This supports recognising, exploring, and developing skills in areas of contemporary significance as they effect the project management discipline.  Project topics will be shaped by trends emerging from the research domain, as these are flowing into industrial practice.  Potential topics covered (with a focus on their relevance towards project management) could include, for example:

  • Business Intelligence (e.g. Data Analysis and Techniques, Data Mining Systems and Platforms, Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Business Process Management (BPM)
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Big Data
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Distributed Cloud Platforms

Project Manager Professional Practice 3

In this module, you will utilise previously developed reflective practice skills and further identify new knowledge and skills in an area related to Project Management (relevant to the apprenticeship standard), with which you can then apply to an appropriate project/challenge in your organisation.  These areas of knowledge and skills should support the development of proof-of-concept type applications for new approaches in your organisation, which are not currently standard practice.

Working with the module academic team and your employer, you will conduct a skills analysis to identify relevant training that can be undertaken.  This training can take a number of forms, be it:

  • Technical training delivered within the workplace, or class environment
  • Structured online learning
  • A robust research project
  • Or, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Following completion of the training, the acquired skills will be focused towards a specified project or business challenge.  This should allow the application of the skills in a real-world context, while providing an opportunity to demonstrate your critical exploration of the topic area explored.

Indicative syllabus:

  • Technical training dependent on identified need. Some examples could include, but are not limited to:
  • Data Analysis, Knowledge based systems, and cloud platforms for Project Management
  • Reflective frameworks for evaluation

Such knowledge and skills should be beneficial both to the career that you are currently working within, but also your long-term goals in the Project Management field.

Project Manager End Point Assessment Work Based Project

This final work based project is designed to present your critical knowledge, academic ability and skill in the field of Project Management.  This will take the form of an individually negotiated research project. Successful completion of the project is an essential requirement for your degree award.

As per the apprenticeship standard assessment plan, the work-based project must relate to your work environment and must be formally agreed by your employer and academic supervisor. The report on the work based project must evidence your attainment of Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) of a project manager and demonstrate how these have been applied in a project environment. The Work Based Project report is an account of a project with which you have been involved and must include a critical appraisal of the project together with a critical review of your achievement in the relevant Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours areas of the standard.

The Work Based Project is one that represents the appropriate skills, knowledge and behaviours in the standard. It provides a substantive evidence base from a work related project to demonstrate the application of your skills, knowledge and behaviours. As project management is pan-sector, there are a wide range of contexts in which the project management KSBs can be demonstrated. Such project management scenarios could include: the implementation of a business change; the implementation of an off-site construction project; the analysis and implementation of a stock control system.

Project Manager End Point Assessment Professional Review

The end-point assessment (EPA) is the culmination of your apprenticeship and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have attained the skills, knowledge and behaviours set out on the Project Manager standard. Passing the EPA is a requirement in order to complete the BSc (Hons) Project Manager programme.  There are two parts to the end-point assessment:

(a)         A Work Based Project

(b)         A Professional Review

This module considers the Professional Review element of your End Point Assessment.

As per the End Point Assessment Plan, the Professional Review will synoptically assess knowledge, skills and behaviours as detailed in the standard. The professional review is assessed through a formal presentation followed by an interview. The professional review panel (the panel) will consist of two members: one independent assessor and an industry expert nominated by your employer. The independent assessor will be responsible for the grading of the End Point Assessment. The industry expert can provide information on industry context, if requested to do so by the independent assessor, but does not take part in the assessment. You must submit your evidence portfolio two weeks in advance of the professional review. The portfolio will contain naturally occurring evidence from your day to day activities in the workplace that demonstrate competence in each of the relevant KSBs shown in Annexe A Table A1. The portfolio must contain a minimum of one and a maximum of three pieces of evidence for each of the relevant KSBs. Examples of such evidence may include: project schedules, risk assessments, governance documents and change requests.

Full details of the EPA can be found on the apprenticeship standard website:  https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/project-manager-degree/

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