The latest project management courses

The new year started well for this popular project management course: The 151st intake of the PPM kicked off on Monday 30 January with 44 delegates.  The first module was, as always, Project Management Practices, Principles and Scheduling.  The 152nd intake is the Weekender (presented on 8 Fridays and 8 Saturdays) that is scheduled to start on Friday 10 February. 

The next 20-day (4 blocks of 5 days each over 6 months or more) is scheduled to start on Monday 8 May.

In the meantime, courses that started in 2016 and that have not yet been completed, also resumed; starting with Legal Aspects for Project Managers on 23 January and Financial Principles and Project Cost Management on 26 January – both on PPM 4 of 2016.  Weekender 2 of 2016 started on 23 January with The People-side of Project Management.

Applicants to these practical project management courses are admitted on the basis that those whose payments are in order first, are get preference. Once a course is fully booked, later applications are referred to a later intake.  

The GSTM has obtained "Premium Level” intellectual property licence as PMI Registered Education Provider

July 2016

The department responsible for the academic content of the Programme in Project Management, the GSTM (Graduate School of Technology Management), has been a Registered Education Provider of the USA-based Project Management Institute (PMI) for well over a decade.  The Department has now obtained a “Premium Level” intellectual property licence as PMI Registered Education Provider. One implication is that lecturers on project management courses, presented by the department (both continuing education courses and degree programs), are now allowed to use, under the new licence, more of the PMBOK (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) material on their project management courses.

Several courses taught by the department are largely based on the PMBOK. The department also offers a PMI PMP Exam Prep course that enables project managers to be certified as Project Management Professionals. (The next course is scheduled for 17 to 19 October 2016).

The flagship project management course of the department is the MPM (Masters in Project Management). While the PPM is a generic programme – suitable for all sectors of industry and government – the MPM is specifically aimed at engineers and scientists. The entry requirements for the MPM therefore include a 4-year degree in either engineering or in natural sciences. This high-level project management education program is still the only master’s program in project management on the African Continent that is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center of the PMI. This accreditation is in the process of being renewed.

The department is however not limited to the material and approaches of the Project Management Institute. The PRINCE2 methodology, for example, receives increasing attention in project management courses.

Furthermore, the department is also the South African home of the CII (Construction Industries Institute).

Faculty are encouraged to publish academic research papers – also in the International Journal of Project Management of IPMA (the International Project Management Association).

The relations mentioned above, as well as the research in project management performed by the GSTM, ensure that the University of Pretoria retains its position as the leading supplier of project management training and education.    

A new edition of the Project Management book is now being used on the PPM


A project management book that has been used on the Programme in Project Management (PPM) since 2003 has now been revised and delegates on PPM 1 and Weekender 1 project management courses have already received their copies.


Title:         Project Management – A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Edition:     Fourth, revised edition

Authors:    H Steyn (Ed), M Carruthers, A Dekker, Y du Plessis, D Kruger,  B Kuschke, A Sparrius, S van Eck & K Visser.

ISBN:        978-0-620-64746-5


Since 2003 the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions of this 100% South African project management book have been prescribed on the PPM and on project management courses at several other universities and colleges. Extensive teaching on these project management courses contributed to improving and updating the material for  this Fourth Edition.

The book is written by South Africans, for South Africans and readers relate easily to the idiom, language and South African project management cases. Six of the nine authors regularly teach on the PPM.

The book provides a structured approach and practical tools that are essential to develop project management skills for commercial and govern­­ment projects.

Project management draws heavily on a number of knowledge areas that are quite dissimilar; from “hard”, technical aspects, such as project risk analysis and project scheduling to “soft” disciplines such as teamwork, leadership and communi­cation. The book has therefore been written by nine practitioners with complementary backgrounds, experience and qualifica­tions. In addition to academic backgrounds that ensure credibility, the authors all have decades of practical, profession experience.

The practical approach makes internationally accepted knowledge areas of project management relevant to the South African context.  In addition to practical hints, it refers to the latest PMBoK standard and to the PRINCE2 methodology. It includes project management case studies, short stories about real projects, and end-of-chapter questions and problems. Since 2003, these have proven to be of great value to project management lecturers.

A new chapter on The Business Context of Project Management addresses strategic, business-related aspects of projects such as Project Portfolio Management.

Several other universities and college courses have been using the book on undergraduate project management modules, post-graduate modules in engineering and commerce (including MBA) as well as on continuing education short courses and programmes.

 “I could not put the book down … what made [it] such a pleasure is that I understood it so easily. Everything in the book makes sense”   -   Sandra Millar

  “…an invaluable source of information” - Dave Stebbing, Projects Superintendent, Beatrix Gold Mine

In-house Project Management course for a major construction company

A tailored version of this Project Management course has been presented in-house for a JSE-listed construction company since 2007. The seventh and largest to date of these in-house courses drew to a close on 6 June 2014 with the delegates presenting to the panel their chosen group Action Learning Projects.  This is the highlight of what the company describes as a very tough but exciting programme. These presentations integrate theoretical project management practices (which have been studied over the past 4 blocks) into practical application directly related to company-specific projects.  

During the event seven syndicates each presented a project plan. The panel that evaluated the project plans was comprised of six members of senior management and two faculty members of the University of Pretoria: Prof Herman Steyn and Dr Giel Bekker.  Aspects of the project plans that were evaluated, included Background, Scope, Time, Cost, Risk, Quality, Human Resources, Communications, Procurement, Integration and Presentation.

A central theme that was pointed out by panel members is that each project is an opportunity to learn and knowledge management must receive the necessary attention. Close-out meetings at the end of each project phase can contribute to this objective.

Final remarks were made by Dr Bekker of the University of Pretoria who praised the delegates for their hard work on the program.

"Now, don't just manage your projects, live your projects" he said.

Regarding project management methodologies, he mentioned the advantages but cautioned against overdoing it; "project managers should not become project compliance officers". 

Project management terms are being standardised by the new ISO 21500 standard. For example, the term "Project Plan" could be considered to replace the term "Project Implementation Plan (PIP).

Everybody is now looking forward to the Graduation Ceremony where official certificates of the University of Pretoria will be handed to delegates who qualify.

Project management course attracts international interest

“One-fifth of the world’s GDP, or more than $12 trillion, is spent on projects. And with many skilled practitioners leaving or scheduled to leave the workforce due to retirement — a trend the Society of Human Resources (SHRM) identifies as having a major strategic impact for 64% of organizations worldwide — there is a great demand for knowledgeable project managers. When these opportunities arise, certification helps make sure that you’ll be ready.” Project Management Institute

The ever popular Programme in Project Management (PPM) has received international interest from as far afield as Denmark, Mexico and the Netherlands. CE at UP and Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM), a registered education provider of the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the USA, have been offering the course since 1997.

According to Christina Breum from Denmark, “I searched for a project management course online and chose the PPM offered through the University of Pretoria because of its PMI certification.  I am a product manager [in Denmark] and I don’t work on huge projects like they do in South Africa such as construction but the tools and principles are the same. I will still be able to apply it when I get back home.  I have no doubt that I will benefit from the course and that it will enhance my career in Denmark.”

The programme in project management is based on international standards and best practices. It has been designed to develop delegates’ project management knowledge; skills and insight as well provide them with the tools and techniques necessary to succeed in the project management arena. According to Prof Herman Steyn, Course Leader, “Over the last decade we have witnessed an increasing realisation of the vital role that projects play in unlocking value for shareholders. More emphasis on the principles and less on procedures should be the next step.” 


GSTM Certificate Ceremony: 8 March 2013

“The face of education is dramatically changing and knowledge is becoming more important to lead people and to influence people…”  - Professor Roelf Sandenbergh, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering,  Built Environment and Information Technology.  

The GSTM and CE at UP celebrated the achievements of their 2012 delegates at an auspicious certificate handover ceremony. The formalities took place on 8 March 2013 at the recently renovated Aula on the University’s picturesque Hatfield campus.

Approximately 130 delegates who attended the Programme in Project Management (PPM), Advanced Programme in Project Management (APPM), Programme in Logistics, Programme in Engineering Management (PEM),  Programme in Maintenance Management (PMM) and Programme in Asset and Maintenance Management (PAMM) were pleased to have received their certificates of completion from the University. 

This is what the delegates had to say:

“I benefited greatly from the programmes and procedures learned in the Programme in Asset and Maintenance Management. I have since adopted certain of the models to enhance my current projects.” Nkosinathi Nzima

“I work in the telecommunications industry. I enrolled for the PPM after hearing about it from my colleagues at work. I have really benefitted from the PPM. It makes my work easier to manage/schedule. It has also helped me with time management.” Sadiqua Mahomed

“The Department of Defence enrolled us for the Programme in Logistics because they saw a need for us to do the course. I am from the Logistics Division. The course has positively affected my work especially my understanding of the organisational behaviour and decision making. I now find it easier to work with my fellow colleagues.” Gontse Matsetela

“I heard about the PPM through my colleagues at work. I enrolled for the course for my own personal development. The PPM has given me a more formal/structured approach to project management.” Andrew Maynard

In his closing remarks Sandenbergh urged delegates to use the tools they have learnt and to set platforms for themselves to challenge themselves, “UP offers education of the highest quality and our alumni are sought after in every sphere of industry. The things we teach are but a tool to prepare delegates for their careers. It is something delegates can use immediately and create a platform to challenge themselves. We at the University pride ourselves on the expectations we put on our students. Delegates should know that what they have done has been critically evaluated. The face of education is dramatically changing and knowledge is becoming more important to lead people and to influence people. We want you to be the leading minds. We have broad horizons still open before us limited only by our own imagination.”   


The PPM is presented under the auspices of the University of Pretoria that is accredited with the Higher Education Quality Council (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) as a higher education provider. The PPM is registered with the PMI (USA) and earn PDU's. The PPM is registered with ECSA and earns CPD points...


Contact Information

Immaculate Ramokgadi Immaculate Ramokgadi 012 4342623 Mobile: 082 5623227 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Vena Amusa Vena Amusa 012 4342233 Mobile: 076 3432292 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bontle More Bontle More 012 4342556 Mobile: 083 3024261 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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