Category Archives: Tips for Students

Context – The DNA of Professional Learning

My School of MACE colleague and Director of the Project Management Professional Development Programme, Callum Kidd has written this guest post on how context is embedded within the DNA of good professional development programmes. He argues that PMPDP image

“Professional Learning differs from traditional approaches to learning in that it encourages us to reflect on what we already know and understand, framed in a given context. It is the context itself that will determine whether or not our actions are successful, not the ideas or theory. Once we understand the context, we are better placed to critically evaluate those ideas and determine appropriate actions. However context is an ever-changing framework. We need to develop PM professionals that not only understand the context of today, but can plan ahead for the changing context of tomorrow “ Continue reading Context – The DNA of Professional Learning

That elusive yet essential first PhD journal publication

A PhD has not earned the moniker “Persistence, hard work and determination” for nothing.  In my experience as a part-time doctoral researcher at The University of Manchester, undertaking a PhD is less about having a brain the size of a planet and more about the ability to focus relentlessly on the research topic – as it morphs from a vague set of research ideas and a mass of background literature into a more tightly defined set of research questions and well designed research study.  This relentless focus requires persistence, hard work and determination – even on those days when you just don’t know what to do next and the whole PhD endeavour seems utterly overwhelming.

One vivid illustration of persistence in the PhD process is the task of publishing journal papers. Continue reading That elusive yet essential first PhD journal publication

This week I have been reading……..

………“Reconstructing Project Management” by Professor Peter Morris of University College, London Reconstructig Project Management Image

I thoroughly enjoyed this wide ranging and thought provoking tome, so much so that I cracked through it in just over a week – not bad for a busy mum of two, Lecturer in the Management of Projects and part-time Doctoral Researcher.    It is written in a relaxed but academically rigorous style, and draws on Professor Morris’s long and distinguished career as an academic and practitioner of project management.  Indeed my first observation is that this book should be essential reading for any prospective student in the domain of project management.  Continue reading This week I have been reading……..

Revising: A quick guide for MOP students

I have never professed to being an expert at revision.  Whilst I was pretty studious at school, at University I discovered a whole world of distractions – mostly sporting and involving alcohol – that meant that I was not the most conscientious of students, and I managed to get through my final exams with only a serious amount of last minute cramming.  It remains a supreme irony to me that I now sit on the other side of the fence as a lecturer; strongly advising students to work diligently throughout the term and not leave revision to the last minute!

With this health warning in mind here are my tips to help you prepare for January’s MOP exams: Continue reading Revising: A quick guide for MOP students

Surviving and Thriving on The Management of Projects MSc

The MSc in the Management of Projects (known as MOP) is a large, very successful taught MSc programme offered by the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester.  Each year around 300 anxious looking MOP students descend on the University from over 30 countries. This year I have students from China, Japan, India, Ecuador, Lebanon, El Salvador, Ireland to name just a few.  85% of students are not native English speakers and it is our job as faculty to teach, encourage and support YOU the students to succeed on this programme.

As many of you know I teach a popular optional unit on the programme entitled Project Finance for Infrastructure projects.  I have been teaching this unit since 2008 and during that time have taught and assessed over 1000 MOP students.  Out of this experience and my own journey through a taught Masters programme, albeit at a competitor institution, I would like to share my thoughts on how to maximise the chances of success on this MSc programme. Continue reading Surviving and Thriving on The Management of Projects MSc