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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
ACE115 - Project management in construction  
Projektledning inom byggsektorn
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPDCM
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Main field of study: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 88111
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: C
Maximum participants: 75
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Project 4,5 c Grading: TH   4,5 c    
0219 Intermediate test 3,0 c Grading: UG   3,0 c   Contact examiner,  Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

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Martine Buser

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Only for students admitted to Chalmers Master's programme in Design and Construction Project Management.


Construction projects are the central unit of production of the built environment. Managing a construction project is probably the single most important competence for the critical and skilled design and construction project manager. Project management is the most widespread management task that DCPM scholars and students are engaged with. Management of construction projects is a mature area with numerous standards, certifications, and educations. Yet projects are often delayed, run over budget and do not deliver the expected quality.

The course introduces the diversity and complexity of the construction sector and the role of projects and project manager. The course familiarizes the students with the vocabulary, paradigms and concepts of project management. It presents aspects of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and presents both prescriptive and analytical tools, methods and theories. In doing so, the course will provide the necessary basis for understanding the discipline and practice of project management – theoretically as well as practically. The moreover course illustrates the application of various tools and understandings in concrete cases and projects, and presents aspects of power, politics, sustainability, ethics and social responsibility as elements of project management in a modern construction industry.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Describe basic project management (PM) concepts and tools
  • Have knowledge of different PM knowledge areas, paradigms and traditions
  • Identify PM issues in specific cases
  • Understand specific characteristics of construction projects
  • Identify and synthesize relevant PM literature
  • Analyze and evaluate organizational aspects of PM practice
  • Analyze, evaluate and interpret PM practice
  • Evaluate the impact of PM practices on actors and stakeholders
  • Define, formulate and solve PM related problems through process-based pedagogy
  • Critically evaluate project management models
  • Critically review and discuss peer students work
  • Reflect on power, politics and ethical issues in PM practice
  • Reflect on issues of uncertainty, complexity and bias for PM practice


  • Introduction to project management, what it involves in the modern construction industry, and its historical development.
  • The Project Management Body of Knowledge
  • The specificities of project-based organizations
  • Actors and stakeholders in contemporary construction projects
  • Power, authority, and politics in Project Management.
  • CSR, sustainability, ethic and social responsibility concerns in the construction industry.


The course includes lectures, exercises, tests, student-led presentations and seminars.


The literature will primarily consist of scientific papers, but exerts from books will also be used. The students should familiarize themselves with the “Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” by the Project Management Institute. Chalmers Library provides full text access to the 6th edition of the guide. Most literature is available through Chalmers Library. Further literature will be uploaded on Canvas before the course starts including handouts from lectures.

Examination including compulsory elements

Intermediate test consists of:
  • An oral presentation of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
  • An intermediate individual multiple choice test in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
  • A presentation and peer-review feedback at a literature seminar
Project exam consists of:
  • A completed group project assignment
The final course grade is calculated as a weighted average of the points achieved on the different parts of the examination as described below.

Assessment criteria (Point range)
  • Oral presentation of the PMBOK (0-10) 10 points for presentation, 0 points for non-attendance
  • Individual multiple choice test (0-10)
  • Presentation and peer-review feedback at literature seminar (0-10) 10 points for presentation and feedback, 0 points for non-attendance
  • Group project assignment (0-50)
Total: 0-100

Grade limits are as follows:

Grade (Point range)
5 (80-100)
4 (60-79)
3 (40-59)
Fail (< 40)

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.