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Postgraduate Diploma in Management of Software Projects

Please note that this qualification is only available until 31 December 2014. In order to claim this qualification you must have completed the required 120 credits by this time. One of the compulsory modules, T853, will be available for the last time in May (and you will need to register for this by 10 April ). If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification, please contact the Qualifications and Ceremonies Centre on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email .

The need for software development projects to be successful is increasingly important as software systems become more complex and organisations become ever more dependent on their software systems. As product life cycles get shorter and as technology enables more ways of producing goods and services, it is becoming harder to meet a client's requirements and deliver a new software system within the constraints of time, cost and quality.

This postgraduate diploma course is designed for professionals in the field of computing who wish to develop their vocational interest in project management. Although it is designed to be a more specialist diploma course than the Postgraduate Diploma in Computing for Commerce and Industry (C02), it includes modules to develop the skills and breadth of knowledge for careers in a project-based organisation.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

The modules in the postgraduate computing programme are for professional computer specialists, engineers, technical managers and scientists who need to update their skills and knowledge in specific areas, and gain recognised qualifications to develop their careers. The compulsory project management module is accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM), and accredited by the Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) as providing equivalent training and written examination to that required for the ISEB Certificate in IS Project Management at higher level.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this 120-credit postgraduate diploma you require:

60 credits from the following compulsory modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Information systems legacy and evolution (T853)

IS evolution can be seen in two ways, planned and unplanned. This course discusses both, helping you understand their nature and giving you workplace techniques.

See full description.

15 May FINAL
Managing the software enterprise (M882)

Explore the acquisition, management and development of complex software systems for organisations, from procurement and maintenance to managing resources, change, quality and risk.

See full description.

15 May
Project management (M865)

This project management course is particularly applicable to technological fields, exploring project initiation, risk, estimating and contracts, planning, human factors, project execution and standard methods.

See full description.

15 May
Software requirements for business systems (M883)

Investigate requirements engineering - a disciplined approach to eliciting, analysing, communicating and agreeing requirements as the essential first step in the development of software.

See full description.

15 Nov

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module MZX865

And 30 credits from these optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Analysis and design of enterprise systems: an object-oriented approach (M885)

This introduction to the object-oriented approach to software, its principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications, gives you practical skills in applying object-oriented analysis and design.

See full description.

15 Nov
Computer forensics and investigations (M889)

If a criminal stole your organisation's data, could you detect it? This course gives you the grounding you need to investigate forensic computing incidents.

See full description.

15 May
Databases in enterprise systems (M888)

Describes how relational databases can be used to maintain persistent data in software systems.

See full description.

15 May
Information security management (M886)

Gain knowledge and skills to plan the implementation of an information security management system that provides efficient, effective safeguards fit for your organisation's needs.

See full description.

15 May
Learning from IS failures (T852)

Information systems are particularly prone to failure. This course looks at how to prevent it, in the design, implementation and operation of information systems.

See full description.

15 May FINAL
Relational database systems (M876)

Get to grips with database technology: principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications. Learn about relational concepts and SQL - and produce your own simple relational database.

See full description.

15 Nov
Web systems integration (M887)

Explore technologies vital for the development of internet-based applications in the context of systems integration - a new development paradigm revolutionising software production.

See full description.

15 May

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules M873, M874, M877, M878, M879, M881, M891, T850, T851

And 30 credits from these optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Creativity, innovation and change (B822) (or version BZX822)

This interdisciplinary course is about managing innovation and change, sustaining a creative climate in your organisation, and promoting imaginative, flexible and practical thought and action.

See full description.

30 May FINAL
Financial strategy (B821) (or version BZX821)

This course will help middle and senior line managers develop their knowledge of finance and accounting and how they interact, in public and private sectors.

See full description.

30 May FINAL
Supply chain innovation, strategy and management (T882)

Supply chains are reshaping contemporary business and affect everyone. This course looks at the complex challenge of managing them, including their effects, using interdisciplinary approaches.

See full description.

30 May FINAL
Technology management: an integrative approach (T840)

This course looks at the operational aspects of technology management, studying integrative approaches to innovation and how to manage different technologies for competitive advantage.

See full description.

30 May
Technology strategy (T846)

This course concerns technology strategy in public or private sector organisations. It considers the challenges of technology, introducing different perspectives on the strategy formation process.

See full description.

30 May

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B823, B824, BZX823, BZX824, T837

Educational aims

The Management of Software Projects diploma is aimed at software developers, engineers, technical managers and other professionals in IT-related jobs who want to take on more responsibility within the teams that they work.

The programme aims to develop:

  • knowledge of the techniques used in the project management discipline
  • a broad and critical understanding of the processes for developing high-quality software systems
  • the principles, concepts and techniques associated with software development
  • an ability to analyse and evaluate problems and draw on the theoretical and technical knowledge to develop and implement plans for their resolution
  • an awareness of current research in the management of software projects, the analytical skills and research techniques for their critical and independent evaluation and their application to new problems.

A range of optional modules allows students to further their knowledge in closely related and more specialised areas such as object-oriented software development, systems engineering and managing human resources.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are described in four areas.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this diploma, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the processes within the discipline of project management that:

- define, plan and monitor the work and resources required to achieve an agreed outcome

- control project change

- ensure fit for purpose project outputs

- engage and motivate the stakeholders of the project

  • the software development lifecycle
  • the implications and consequences of having multiple software systems in places of work
  • a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems in your field of study or area of professional practice.

Specialist knowledge can be obtained from a range of options in computing, technology and business, to give you a broader perspective on software projects. Each option addresses the principles underpinning the particular topic area, relates them to practical applications and allows you the facility for applying the principles in the workplace.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma you will be able to:

  • use and apply knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and theories of managing projects to your chosen problem domain, addressing familiar and unfamiliar situations with respect to software systems and their development
  • critically evaluate proposed software projects using a number of proven methods
  • critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a particular software development method, software product or technology within a computing system application
  • integrate knowledge and skills from various sources into a coherent whole, making the appropriate abstractions
  • synthesise arguments from underlying premises to produce overarching conclusions
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, making informed judgements in the absence of complete data
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems. Critically evaluate and reflect upon your own work.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma you will be able to:

  • bring order, structure and discipline to a unique and non-repeatable undertaking, reducing the risk of project failure
  • create and lead a crossfunctional, multidisciplinary team focused on an agreed goal that involves the development of software
  • demonstrate knowledge of the legal and ethical issues associated with implementation of computing in the workplace
  • analyse and report upon proposed change to an existing information system within an organisation
  • identify new developments in software development techniques or process and assess applicability to a particular workplace scenario or an area of academic or professional interest
  • prepare cases advocating the appropriate use of software development techniques, methods or processes.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma you will be able to:

  • communicate clearly your knowledge, ideas and conclusions using appropriate media, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • advance your own knowledge and understanding through independent learning
  • apply your problem solving skills independently to professional or equivalent level tasks/projects/functions
  • work with others to refine ideas leading to an improved understanding of key concepts within the context of software development and its management.

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