Project Management Professional Development Programme (MSc, PGDip, PGCert, CPD) by distance learning

The Project Management Distance Learning Programme (PMDL) is an industry inspired programme that uses a Practice Based Learning approach to project management development. The programme is delivered through a fully distance-learning approach. The PMDL differs from other courses in that, rather than simply acquiring new knowledge and ideas, delegates are expected to adpot a reflective practice approach so that their learning can inform and be informed by their practises of managing projects in the workplace. The programme acts as a Community of Practice for delegates to network and communicate with their peers so that they can share experiences and practices across a wide array of organisations and project environments.


PMDL has the following objectives:

  • To provide education in the management of projects;
  • To continuously improve the competence profile of both delegates and their organisations;
  • To support professional career development in the management of projects;
  • To raise the profile of Project Management in participating organisations;
  • To create a group of Project Management professionals and develop and sustain both learning and practice.


Example syllabus:

PMPDP distance learning syllabus summary


Industry inspired

  • The units and their content have been developed in consultation with leading companies and represent contemporary practice in the management of projects;
  • Academics and industry sponsors meet on a regular basis to ensure the programme content matches current practice;
  • Unit contents were designed to meet the requirements of the bodies of knowledge of the leading professional bodies around the world.
  • PMDL launched in 2017, and is built on the successful Project Management Professional Development Programme (PMPDP) at the University of Manchester.
  • The PMPDP holds accreditationof both the Association for Project Management (APM) and of the Global Accreditation Centre - Project Management Institute (PMI).
  • With over 450 graduates since 2003 it represents the largest community of practice in the world of higher education project management delivery.
  • The PMPDP is currently being delivered in Singapore as a joint degree with Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This global delivery enhances the programme at each location by bringing in a strong international dimension, critical in developing the practitioners of the future.

Tailored education

  • Appropriate industrial experience is acceptable for entry onto the programme in lieu of a degree;
  • Participants can also undertake a postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma within the framework of the Masters programme (1-2 years for a certificate - 60 credits, 2-4 years for a diploma - 120 credits and 3-6 years for an MSc - 180 credits).
  • Course units may be taken as a stand-alone short course for Continuing Professional Development purposes;
  • Course units designed by leading academics and industrial specialists;
  • Opportunity to engage with delegates across multiple industrial sectors to view project management from different perspectives;
  • There is an option to top up the programme with residential events; these events add high-level perspectives on critical issues through keynote speakers and facilitated discussions.

Flexible learning

  • The programme is designed to accommodate a busy professional lifestyle;
  • Assessment focuses on experience and application, rather than just demonstrating knowledge acquisition;
  • Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) means that delegates can easily access materials and engage with colleagues and members of staff. The VLE also enables virtual groups to work on tasks and collective assessments.

Collaboration and knowledge transfer

  • Collaborative research and projects encouraged;
  • Assignments are focused on projects within the participant's workplace;
  • Conduit for knowledge exchanges between academia and industry created;
  • Provides tangible benefits for the participant’s organisation;
  • Practice based dissertation route adds value to practitioner and sponsoring organisation;
  • Work with leading experts in their field, generating new ideas and knowledge through coursework and assessment;
  • Opportunity to make significant change to thinking about the management of projects in the organisation, as part of long term professional development;
  • A strong community of practice helps the project management profession to grow nationally and internationally both in terms of numbers and capability.


If you are interested in sponsoring a participant or applying for the programme yourself, please contact the programme admissions team:

Tel: 0161 275 4548



Project Management Professional Development Programme

Admissions Team

School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

Room C1 Pariser Building

The University of Manchester

M13 9PL

Did you know?

The programme has 2 intakes per year, in March and September.

Did you know?

Manchester is the only Russell Group University that offers accreditation by both the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) and the Association of Project Management (APM).
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