Join our online risk and quality management course and study with experts.

Develop your understanding of quality management systems and risk management methods in weeks.

This Masters-level short course is designed to guide you through both of these essential elements of project management, even if you’re not familiar with the subject.

With expert guidance, you’ll explore:

  • the principles behind modern quality systems and business process management
  • statutory standards, including ISO9000 and EFQM, and their value
  • the roles of statistics and statistical control in both quality and risk
  • various qualitative techniques commonly used in industry
  • how to put quantitative methods into practice.

You’ll learn about these important areas of project management in a holistic way, with practical examples of how they work in industry.

Who can join this online risk and quality management course?

This distance-learning course is designed for anyone, in any sector, who is a practising project manager or is aspiring to move into 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 following topics in this course, across two main elements.

Quality management systems

Introduction to quality management

The concept of quality management

  • The cost of quality
  • The overall cost of defects
  • Return on investment in quality
  • The people-centred approach
  • Planning
  • Customer perceptions
  • The development of quality standards
  • Current quality standards
  • Return on investment in a quality management system
  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
  • Development of quality management

Quality management systems

  • Quality policy
  • Quality objectives
  • Quality assurance
  • Quality control
  • Quality audit
  • Quality management plan and review
  • Planning for quality in the project
  • Stakeholder management

Process mapping

  • Process based systems
  • Process mapping
  • Collecting the information needed to create a map
  • Tips for creating process maps

Quality management application tools and techniques

  • EFQM Excellence Model
  • Six Sigma
  • Supporting quality management
  • Quality control tools
  • Project acceptance

Risk management

Risk management 1

  • Definition of risk
  • Assessment
  • Effect
  • Quantitative vs qualitative
  • Classification
  • Techniques

Risk management 2

  • Sources of risk
  • Risk breakdown structure
  • Methods for dealing with and monitoring risk
  • Opportunity from risk

Risk management 3

  • Decision making
  • Pay-off matrix
  • Decision tree analysis
  • Monte Carlo simulation

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

  • Identify and evaluate the key aspects of a quality management system over the lifecycle of a project.
  • Identify when approaches such as process mapping or Six Sigma might be beneficial.
  • Use tools and techniques for monitoring quality control.
  • Describe the benefits of the quality management process.
  • Define quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and continual improvement.
  • Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative risk management and how each can be used to manage a project.
  • Discuss the benefits and limitations of applying a formal risk management process in a project environment.
  • Make use of a systematic risk management process within a project environment.
  • Carry out risk-based calculations using decision trees and pay-off matrixes.
  • Explain the principles that underpin Monte Carlo Risk Analysis.
  • Input to and interpret output from a risk model that uses Monte Carlo analysis.
  • Coach a project team through a formal risk management process.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for online quality management courses

Earn as you learn

We fit around full-time work, so you can earn qualifications while you keep earning a salary.

Over 525 years of excellence

Study with the fifth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in 1495.

20% alumni discount

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

How you’ll study

Online learning

This distance learning quality management course is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn with us anywhere in the world, no student visa required, and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at Masters level, and is part of our accredited MSc in Project Management.

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 available, including:

  • videos
  • live online tutorials
  • discussion boards with your tutor and peers
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Live online tutorials

This course features a small number of live online tutorials. These will be recorded, so can be viewed anytime if you are unable to attend.

You’ll be assessed online. Assessment will take place throughout the teaching term.

Types of assessment for this course may include:

  • coursework
  • online quizzes
  • timed online open-book assessments.

Assessment deadlines

Your assessments will have submission deadlines, either during or at the end of the course. Your course coordinator will let you know when your assessment deadlines are, so you can plan your study time accordingly.

Live online tutorials

This course features live online tutorials.

These will be recorded, so can be viewed anytime if you are unable to attend.

Tutorial times will be organised at the start of the course. Your course coordinator will consider everyone’s circumstances and time zones before setting up tutorial times.

Study hours

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. This includes time for independent study, as well as teaching and assessments.

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

You’ll have live online tutorials at fixed times, plus assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through your 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 and email. 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 teaching team

Dr Clive Randall

Clive’s career spans over 30 years in Civil Engineering, project controls, then the oil and gas industry. He’s sat on project boards and held senior positions on some of the UK’s largest energy infrastructure projects. Clive has been accountable for numerous business services functions in both project environments and operations. These include business planning and strategy, project risk, economics, cost management, data management, governance and assurance, and stage-gate processes. He now mentors and supports various companies in these areas.

View Clive’s LinkedIn profile

John Cavanagh

John is the Course Coordinator. He is a Senior Lecturer with 20 years’ experience in the petrochemical and aromatics industries. A former process engineer with ICI, John has extensive technical and business project management experience.

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 project management, risk management, or quality 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.

Learning resources

Access to all the essential books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.

We also provide optional recommended reading lists. Many of these resources are available electronically through our library, although purchases may be required if you wish to read the full list.


You may want to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

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
27 January 2025
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