University of Sydney develops world's first specialised undergraduate project management degree

20 June 2011

In response to increasing industry demand, the University of Sydney has developed the world's first on-campus undergraduate project management degree, the Bachelor of Project Management. The degree will be offered for the first time in 2012.

Industry has welcomed the University's initiative in addressing a growing skills shortage. "Organisations are realising that on-the-job training alone for project managers is no longer sustainable", says Tony Costantino, Executive Director of Lend Lease's project management and construction business in Australia.

"There is increasing demand in many sectors for formally trained project managers with an existing understanding of the fundamental project management methodologies and concepts. The new undergraduate degree will provide a solid educational platform that will help industry meet this need."

"As a world leader in project management and construction and with a growing portfolio of projects, it has been Lend Lease's experience that the more prepared graduates that come to us are, the better equipped they will be to benefit from our career development opportunities."

Industry associations are also seeing increased demand. According to the Project Management Institute, the world's leading project management association, "Organisations around the globe are turning to the profession to improve efficiency and trim costs. Increasing demand, in turn, translates into a growing need for universities and other academic institutions to develop programs that educate and train project professionals at all levels and for all industries."

The University has taught project management at postgraduate level since 1998 and has a highly regarded and globally accredited Master of Project Management. Like the Masters program, the Bachelor of Project Management is based on a complex systems approach that uses multidisciplinary theories and methods to investigate a particular phenomenon from a holistic viewpoint.

Professor Liaquat Hossain, Director of the Project Management Program, says the degree is unique to Australia. "It focuses on developing critical thinking capability and offers graduates transferable skills that can be applied across a wide range of sectors and industries."

Core subjects for the degree include project management, project finance, complex project coordination, analytics, statistics, risk management, organisational behaviour and psychology. These subjects integrate with units of study from a chosen stream of Civil Engineering, Science, Built Environment or Software. An ideal complement to engineering, it is also offered as a combined Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Project Management degree.