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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Postgrad (School of Engineering)

Postgraduate Course: Governance, Oversight, Assurance and Stakeholder Engagement (MSc) (PGEE11241)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummarySuccessful programmes require robust systems for accountability, peer review and stakeholder management. Major programmes account for significant expenditure of public or corporate funds. Programme leaders are accountable for the prudent use of funds directed to the outcomes and benefits identified for the programme, as approved through due process and governance. Drawing on case studies, the course will provide future leaders with the skills to understand the benefits of independent peer review, to manage the relationship with parties responsible for oversight and assurance of the programme, and to understand their role in the process of external assurance.

Programmes will also have multiple stakeholder interests with varying degrees of influence over programme content and, even after programme scope is defined, over its execution and delivery. The course will explain the role of stakeholders in programme success and how best to manage those relationships.
Course description The course will equip students with tools to understand various approaches to oversight, assurance and stakeholder management in different organisations and cultures, and the critical insights required to understand their pros and cons in order to influence the selection of the most appropriate assurance regime. Students will be exposed to both practitioners and academics who have experienced and studied the dynamics and complex relationships between various parties involved (e.g. client, sponsors, programme management organisations, government representatives, auditors, external stakeholders, etc.).

The course will be taught through a series of practical cases that highlight different approaches to oversight and assurance and stakeholder management, in a variety of industries across various cultures. It will be delivered in a 3-day intensive block of lectures and workshops with subsequent course work and examination. Key lecture topics:

1. Approaches to oversight and assurance: a survey of techniques adopted for major programmes across different sectors, with critical insights into advantages and disadvantages
2. The role of programme leaders in interacting and responding to findings from oversight and assurance, with case study examples from UK National Audit Office; US Department of Energy; UK Parliament Public Accounts Committee.
3. Successful and less successful experiences in understanding and managing external stakeholders and lessons learned from practice.
4. The role of programme leaders in ensuring that stakeholder management is effectively understood and embedded into project management behaviours, and tools for detecting early warnings and trends of emerging issues.

Workshops will be used to explore in an interactive forum:

- deeper dives into case studies with the support and involvement of senior practitioners with direct experience of oversight and assurance in major programmes
- a scenario-based exercise to simulate issues and challenges of stakeholder management on a major programme and how to manage and mitigate the risks of successful outcomes.
- how to prepare for a high profile public accountability interrogation on major programme performance.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 5, Online Activities 2, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 51 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%
Feedback Feedback will be provided through three main modes:
- On the online forum before and after the on-campus block.
- As the course will be delivered in short block mode there will be continuous 2-way dialogue between students and course tutors to allow judgement on course material understanding
- Formal written feedback will be provided after the submission of the coursework exercise.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show an awareness of the oversight and assurance and other stakeholder management regimes that have been deployed for major programmes;
  2. Explain the pros and cons of different approaches to oversight and assurance, backed up by evidence-based case studies;
  3. Demonstrate the role of programme leaders in the context of oversight and assurance;
  4. Analyse the role of stakeholders in major programmes during consultation, during the approval process, and during execution and delivery; and, through the above;
  5. Show ability in determining best practice in managing stakeholder relationships in order to deliver effective programme leadership.
Reading List
- Project Management Peer Review. Department of Transportation, Minnesota. 2009
- National Research Council 2007. Assessment of the Results of External Independent Reviews for U.S. Department of Energy Projects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
- National Research Council 1999. Improving Project Management in the Department of Energy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsProgramme Management,Project Management,Oversight,Assurance,Stakeholder Management
Course organiserDr Simon Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 7159
Course secretaryMiss Margaret Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5565
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