module specification

CC7176 - Software Project Management (Distance Learning) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Software Project Management (Distance Learning)
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
152 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 80%   Written Report
Oral Examination 20%   Oral presentation
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning - -

Module summary

The module provides an understanding of project management in the context of software development.
Students will gain an overview of a standard project management method (e.g. Prince 2);  an understanding of the software development process and overview of a variety of specific system/software development methods; knowledge of a range of planning techniques; basic skills in financial evaluation; an understanding of team management issues.
Teaching Period: Semester (15 weeks)
Required prior learning: None
Assessment: Course Work 100%

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to develop an understanding of project management issues in the context of software development – including the consideration of a standard method, software development frameworks, financial evaluation, planning, monitoring, control and team management – together with the ability to apply these as appropriate to a business case study.


1. System and software development activities.  Approaches to the development process – waterfall, incremental/iterative, etc, Agile methods. Overview of specific example methods – e.g. RUP, DSDM, SSADM with particular reference to project management issues. 
2. Overview of a standard project management method (e.g. Prince 2).
3. Planning  - stakeholders, budgets, products; quality, contract, specification; relating timescale to requirements and software development method used;  risk evaluation and contingency planning;  representational techniques – e.g. Gantt chart, PERT; use of project management software; monitoring and control;
4.  Financial evaluation issues and approaches (costing, cash flow, NPV etc); estimation of effort – e.g. COCOMO,  other approaches; 
5. Use of a selected range of standard templates (e.g. from Prince 2)
6. Team management issues – recruitment, day-to-day management, allocation of tasks, styles of management, legal issues.
7. Overview of legal issues relevant to software development  - e.g. data protection, equality, contract, employment; professional and ethical issues – including BCS code of conduct; social issues – privacy, economic effects, etc.

Learning and teaching

The distance learning delivery of the module affords the student the flexibility of studying for the module at their own time in their own style at their own location while receiving effective guidance and support throughout the module. The University’s state-of-art Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is used to provide a highly interactive, supportive and collaborative learning experience for the students. A wide range of synchronous and asynchronous facilities are used where appropriate for the effective delivery and assessment of the module, as well as active engagement and support for the students. Among these facilities are WebLearn learning materials, video lectures, discussion board and online forum, and online presentation, viva and feedback.  Students are encouraged to become active participants, rather than passive recipients, of this learning process.

To facilitate a flexible yet structured study pattern, the topics in the module syllabus are grouped into four learning units, with each lasting for three weeks.

For each learning unit, the following materials are typically provided to students via the VLE (e.g. WebLearn):
• clear description of required learning activities including required reading list and exercises
• lecture slides and/or other supporting materials
• a clear description of the study tasks for the learning unit, submission instruction, submission deadlines, assessment and marking criteria
• exercise questions posted on the discussion forum on the VLE which facilitates discussion among students.

Students are strongly encouraged to:
• Complete required learning activities
• Post questions related to the module to the relevant Forum in discussion board and engage in online discussion with peers and the tutor
• Submit solutions to study tasks and assessment as required by the given deadline in accordance with published procedures
• regularly check mail boxes, notice boards, e-mails for update on the module.
• complete 200 hours of study.

Formative feedback on student work/progress for each learning unit will be provided.

Final assessment for the module is scheduled for the end of the semester. Timely summative feedback for the final assessment will be provided.

Students are expected to complete a total of 200 learning hours for this module. This includes:

• 48 hours – guided learning, teaching and related activities (synchronous & asynchronous), including 12 hour online communication with the tutor;
• 152 hours – guided independent study.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student should be able to:
LO 1 describe the system and software development process, explain the part played by a system/software development method, and compare the approach/structure and appropriate application of a range of standard methods;
LO 2 describe in overview a standard project management method;
LO 3 produce an outline plan for a software development project and explain the monitoring and control mechanisms that would be used during the project;
LO 4  produce an outline financial evaluation for a software project;
LO 5 produce a range of standard project management documents;
LO 6 demonstrate an understanding of key team management issues.
LO 7 demonstrate an understanding of key Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional Issues involved in software development.

Assessment strategy

Students will be required to produce a report on a business case study.   This will include a number of tasks and students will be encouraged to submit drafts and receive feedback at the end of each ‘learning unit’.

There will be an oral presentation/viva after submission of the final report.   This will involve discussion of the report and will also consider more general/theoretical issues relating to the course.

Marked Elements of Report
Oral presentation        20%
Written Report            80%


Project Management for IT-related projects (Second edition)  BCS
Bob Hughes (editor)
ISBN: 978-1-78017-118-0
PDF ISBN: 978-1-78017-119-7
ePUB ISBN: 978-1-78017-120-3
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-78017-121-0

C.Bentley  PRINCE2: A Practical Handbook (3rd edition) Routledge ISBN 978-1-85617-822-8
Bob Hughes, Mike Cotterell  Software Project Management, (5th edition) McGraw-Hill ISBN: 9780077122
Jacobson,  Booch, Rumbaugh,   The Unified Software Development Process,
ISBN 9780201571691
Bennett,  McRobb, Farmer Object-Oriented Systems Analysis and Design using UML
ISBN 978-0-07-712536-3 (4th edition)
Weaver, Lambrou & Walkley  Practical SSADM 4+  ISBN 0 273 62675 2 (2nd ed)
or Practical Business Systems Development Using SSADM ISBN 0 273 65575 2 (3rd ed)
Jennifer Stapleton, (DSDM Consortium)  DSDM : business focused development
ISBN  0 321 11224 5 (2nd edition)