This week, the famous Bartlett School is launching what it has dubbed an ‘MBA for construction professionals’

This week the first students will enrol on the new MSc in Interdisciplinary Management of Projects at the Bartlett School, University College London, described by its course director as “an MBA for construction professionals”.

The masters degree, claimed to be the first interdisciplinary executive-level course in contemporary management processes for construction high flyers, was the brainchild of Mace chief executive Bob White. White felt there was a need for a course to develop collaborative and interdisciplinary working practices promoted under both the Latham and Egan agendas. “Interdisciplinary working is the focus for managing projects. There is no one viewpoint – rather a common set of interests,” he says.

The course content has been developed in close collaboration with the industry. White says: “UCL has developed this course with the industry to ensure its relevance.” The course will be delivered in a modular format over two years to fit around the needs of employed professionals, with modules taught over long weekends or week-long blocks. The programme will be delivered through lectures and assigned studies, culminating in a 10,000-word dissertation.

Subjects that will be covered include: organisational behaviour; the management of projects; the management of facilities as assets; and supply chain management. Teaching will be provided by both Bartlett faculty staff and external lecturers – including Mace’s White. Andrew Edkins, the course director, says the external lecturers are there to provide an “executive reality” for the course.

The focus for the course will be the dissertation, which will tackle a specific problem of strategic importance to a given organisation. The results of the project will then be presented to the company in question. Egan body Constructing Excellence is already considering publishing the best reports and using them to influence future policy at the highest level within the industry.

The course will be run in close collaboration with the London Business School. Edkins says: “We are hoping to mix the MIMP course students with the London Business School’s students so that LBS students can take design process and project management modules.”

Unusually, the course will also be funded by the industry to the tune of £7500 a year per student. Currently there are 14 industrial partners from all sectors of the industry including clients, architects, consultants and contractors who will be sponsoring students – see below. Three affiliate partners, clients BAA and Stanhope and Constructing Excellence, are also involved in the course, but without a commitment to send students.

The initial intake will include one candidate from each of the partner companies. Typical students are envisaged to have between eight and 15 years’ experience and be on the leadership ladder. According to White, the course is “pitched at the construction leaders of tomorrow” – so if you don’t know who the students are now, chance are you will soon …

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Sponsoring partners

BDP Bovis Lend Lease
Buro Happold Davis Langdon
John Doyle Group Laing O’Rourke
Land Securities Mace
Pascal + Watson Royal Bank of Scotland Schmidlin Skanska
Taylor Woodrow WSP

Affiliate members

Constructing Excellence