Learn the fundamentals from experts in this online project management course.

Part of the APM-accredited Masters in Project Management, this flexible online short course introduces you to the building blocks of project success.

Whatever your sector, you’ll gain a strong foundational knowledge of project management you can continue to build on throughout your career.

You’ll cover all the key areas, including:

  • managing project teams
  • budgeting, accounting and statistics for projects
  • risk management, including probability, risk attitudes and risk analysis methods
  • safety management and legal project standards
  • useful software and IT systems for project management.

You can tailor your learning to your sector and apply new project management techniques in your workplace from the start.

You’ll also develop your skills in communication, presentation and report writing.

Who can join this project management course?

This online course is for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of project management.

It’s ideal for project managers in any sector, or anyone keen to pursue a career in project management.

You do not have to hold a degree to join this course – you’re welcome to apply if you have relevant professional experience.

Build credits towards an accredited Masters degree

This online course is part of our accredited:

You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards this accredited MSc qualification.

What you’ll study

You’ll study the basic elements of successful project management, across the following ten topics.

Management and Technical Report Writing

  • You’ll learn what you should be thinking about when writing a report.
  • You’ll cover several diagramming techniques you may find useful in your work.

Project Management Definitions

  • You’ll get to know the common terms used in project management and what we mean by projects and project management.
  • You’ll look briefly at approaches to defining projects at a very high level.

Time Management

  • Encourages you to think about how you manage your time now.
  • Then we’ll help you identify areas where you could become more effective in the future.

Risk Management

  • You’ll cover the broader aspects of risk management as one of the key areas of project management competency.

Presentation Skills

  • You’ll explore ideas and concepts around presentations.

Creativity and Brainstorming

  • You’ll investigate what is really meant by creativity and brainstorming, and examine techniques to facilitate the process.
  • You’ll look at practical applications and areas where these techniques may come in useful.

Introduction to Project Teams

  • An introduction to a subject we cover in more depth in our Organisations and People course.
  • You’ll learn to enhance your ability to work within a team-based environment.

Introduction to Accounting

  • You’ll cover the basics of accounting, looking at the impact a project has on overall company performance.
  • You’ll also gain an understanding of the financial position of contracting companies and competitors.


  • You’ll cover elements of statistics you’ll find useful in your role as a project manager.
  • Especially useful within the area of risk management.

Safety and Project Management Standards

  • You’ll cover legal requirements and best practice in terms of safety and quality on projects.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Analyse and evaluate projects within a work environment.
  • Explain and use project management terminology.
  • Present findings and recommendations in reasoned, evidence-based arguments in the form of written reports and presentations.
  • Apply simple techniques associated with time management, risk management, accounting and statistics to work-based projects.
  • Describe safety and project management standards.
  • Engage in and facilitate creativity through brainstorming and other techniques.
  • Apply new project management methods in a work environment.

Fits around full-time work

This course is designed to fit around work. With flexible hours and 24/7 study access.

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

20% alumni discount

University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off this online course.

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance-learning Project Management Fundamentals course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can study anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level.

Teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • reading materials
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Your tutor

You’ll learn from experienced project manager and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) specialist, Ian Cooper MBE.

You’ll be assessed online via four coursework assessments.

These will take place throughout your course and are weighted at 20%, 20%, 20% and 40% of your total course grade.

The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

Activities at fixed times

There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

Your course tutor

Ian Cooper MBE, MSc

Ian’s been an HSSE Manager with Wood Group for over 10 years, currently in Azerbaijan. He’s worked all over the world in HSSE and Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) roles. Ian has an RAF background, serving for 26 years in aircraft operations, quality assurance and project management.

View Ian’s LinkedIn profile

Where this will take you

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Accredited Masters in Project Management

Accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM).

Delivered online, part-time.

Also available to study to Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or Postgraduate Certificate level (60 credits).

View MSc Project Management


This course will help you move into and perform in project management roles with confidence.

If you already work in a project-related environment, you’ll gain skills to move forward in your career, and expand your professional network.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free career support

Access our free careers service while you study.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

See how our careers service can help you.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.

But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.

If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a student visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.

Recommended level of English

For this course, we recommend the following level of English language proficiency.

These are our Postgraduate Standard requirements, and these are minimum scores.

IELTS Academic, IELTS UKVI Academic, and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 6.0 for writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 90 overall
  • 17 for listening
  • 18 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 169 for writing

LanguageCert Academic/LanguageCert Academic SELT

  • 70 overall
  • 60 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 65 for writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken) – Online / In-centre

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

Oxford ELLT Digital – English Language Level Test Online

  • 7.0 overall
  • 5.0 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 6.0 for writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 62 overall
  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For full information about language requirements, see our English Language Requirements page.

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.


We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your studies each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

Fee payment

Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.

We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.

Ways to save

You may be able to get help funding this course via:

  • discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
  • employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have:

  • relevant experience that supports this level of learning, or
  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree.

You do not need to have a degree to join this course – you’re welcome to apply if you have relevant professional experience.

Apply for this course

Start date
23 September 2024
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