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    A postgraduate qualification .

MSc in Management of Software Projects

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Taught Masters

Made up of
180 credits


Please note that this qualification is only available until 31 December 2016. In order to claim this qualification you must have completed the required 180 credits by this time (including gaining the postgraduate diploma by 31 December 2014). If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification, please contact the Qualifications and Ceremonies Centre on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email .

The need for software development projects to be successful is increasingly important as software systems become more complex and organisations become ever more dependent on their software systems. As product life cycles get shorter and as technology enables more ways of producing goods and services, it is becoming harder to meet a client’s requirements and deliver a new software system within the constraints of time, cost and quality.

This MSc course is designed for professionals in the field of computing who wish to develop their vocational interest in project management. Although it is designed to be a more specialist degree than the MSc in Computing for Commerce and Industry, it includes diploma modules which will help you to develop the skills and breadth of knowledge for careers in a project-based organisation.

Planning your studies

To gain the MSc, you must first obtain the Postgraduate Diploma in Management of Software Projects (E19). You then carry out research and study in a specialist topic by taking a 60-credit research project module.

You will need to select a topic that is in the area of software project management. You may choose a topic from a range offered by the University, or a topic of your own choice that is linked to one or more of the diploma modules you have studied.

You must complete the 180 credits required for this MSc by 31 December 2016.

You will need to complete a research project and write a dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words reporting on your work. A supervisor will be appointed to work with you on the development of your full project proposal.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance and employability

The modules in the postgraduate computing programme are for professional computer specialists, engineers, technical managers and scientists who need to update their skills and knowledge in specific areas, and gain recognised qualifications to develop their careers. The compulsory project management module is accredited by the Association for Project Management (APM), and accredited by the Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) as providing equivalent training and written examination to that required for the ISEB Certificate in IS Project Management at higher level.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this 180-credit masters degree you require:

120 credits from the Postgraduate Diploma in Management of Software Projects (E19) 

And 60 credits from the following compulsory module:

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
Research project (T802)

This research module enables you to gain an MSc by building on the postgraduate diploma that you already hold. You’ll develop and submit a dissertation.

See full description.

60 Oct 2014

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

Credit transfer is not permitted for this MSc except for any awarded as part of the postgraduate diploma.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded an MSc in Management of Software Projects entitling you to use the letters MSc Mgmt SP (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

If you obtain (i) a distinction grade in the module Research project (T802) and (ii) 30 credits at distinction grade and at least a further 30 credits at merit or above in the postgraduate diploma taught modules required for this MSc degree, you will qualify for the award of the degree with Distinction.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification