Last Updated S012022


Unit Name Project, Design and Construction Management
Unit Code MCS504
Unit Duration 1 Term (online) or 1 Semester (on-campus)

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Civil: All disciplines)

Duration: 1 year


Master of Engineering (Civil: All disciplines)

Duration: 2 years  

Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Hylton KJ Macdonald & Dr Ana Evangelista
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites None
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

(3 credits x 8 (units))

 Masters total course credit points = 48

(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

10 hours per week:

Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Assessments / Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

The unit looks at the detailed project and design management roles and requirements that need to be undertaken to ensure the successful execution of a project. It further explores the role of the project and design manager and the critical areas of communication with all stakeholders including the project team to ensure they are empowered to undertake their roles and responsibilities effectively.

Further, it covers in detail the key areas of management of design, change and environmental management and procurement. The consideration of change management incorporates the total direct and secondary impact of a change.

The unit also focuses on ensuring that not only the completed structure is fit for purpose, but the structure is stable, safe and has the requisite factor of safety during construction. Consideration is also given to temporary works requirements. A review of landmark failures and problems is included to enable students to reflect on the implications of inadequate project and design management and a lack of attention to the requirements of structural stability and safety.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Debate the Professional Engineering role of the Project, Design and Construction Manager and evaluate the key project management areas of expertise and techniques needed to effectively manage a project.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  2. Formulate the key project, design and construction management areas of expertise and techniques needed to effectively manage scope of works on a project.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  3. Prepare the methods of communication between the key role players, motivation of the team and delegation to key personnel required to effectively manage a project.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  4. Evaluate Change Management and the direct and secondary impacts of change.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  5. Plan the appropriate communication strategies and various project teams required to ensure an ethical, integrated and effective project execution.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  6. Assess the key deliverable of the project, the design and construction requirements of both permanent and temporary works to ensure structural stability and safety on the project both during and on completion of construction.
    • Bloom’s Level 5

Student assessment

Note - all assessments submissions are mandatory for passing the unit.

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed

(eg Week 5)
Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test (Proctored) / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation

Example Topic: Up to topic 3

After Topic 3 10%  2

Assessment 2

Type: Proctored test / Presentation / Role Play

Example Topic: What is the role of the Project and Design Manager on the Project, and what are the key techniques he/she should use in managing the project and design process. (This topic could change as determined by the lecturer)

After Topic 5 25% 1,2,3

Assessment 3

Type: Project Report / Short answer questions / Case study

Word length: 2000

Example Topic: What are the requirements for a proper Change Management Process to be used in the design and construction process on the project and what are the anticipated impacts of the direct and secondary impacts of change on the project.

After Topic 9 25% 4

Assessment 4

Type: Project Report / Problem analysis / Professional recommendation

Word length: 3000

Example Topic: Analyse the role of the Project, the Design Manager and the Construction Manager in the Project execution process and determine how the Project, Design Manager and Construction Manager a) ensure the appropriate design input parameters are determined and transposed into the construction process, b) the technical specifications are fit for purpose, c) the structure/s are fit for purpose and d) are safe during all phases of construction on the project.

After Topic 12 35% 4, 5, 6

Tutorial Attendance & Participation

Continuous 5% All

Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required textbook(s)

  • P.W. G. Morris and J. K. Pinto, The Wiley Guide to Managing Projects, John Wiley and Sons Inc, 2004. (ISBN 0-471-23302-1)

Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites as advised below (and during lectures);

  1. AS 4916-2002: Construction management - General conditions
  2. AS 4917-2003: Construction management trade contract - General conditions
  3. AS/NZS ISO 31000 Set: 2013: Risk Management Set
  4. AS ISO 14004: 2018: Environmental management systems - General guidelines on implementation
  5. Australian Building Codes Board publications
  6. ISO21500:2012(en) Guidance on Project Management.
  7. Comparison of ISO 21500 and PMBOK® Guide, Stanislaw Gasik, PhD, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  8. WEF-PACI, Good Practice Guideline in Conducting Third Party Due Dilligence-2013, weforum/community/partenering-against-corruption-initiative-0.
  9. INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, latest edition, available as an ebook from
  10. List of Structural Failures and Collapses from 220 BC to 2016 AD, Wikipedia,
  11. Tacoma Narrows Bridge, University of Washington, .
  12. Tacoma Narrows Bridge: Lessons learned From the Failure of a Great Machine, Washington State Department of Transportation, .
  13. Explaining Why the Millenium Bridge Wobbled, Cornell University, .
  14. Inexperience and errors led to the fatal Injaka Bridge collapse: http:/// .
  15. Injaka Bridge Collapse Inspectors Report After a Section 32 Formal Inquiry: .
  16. Injaka Bridge Collapse  Lessons Learned:
  17. Engineers to be Charged for Injaka Bridge Collapse: .
  18. Other material to be advised during the lectures

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Project Management

  1. What is a Project?
  2. Overview of different Project delivery mechanisms: EPC, EPCM, BOOT, BOO, DBO, DB, DTB, LSTK, ECI, Concessions, Alliance, etc.
  3. What is Project Management?
  4. The Role of a Project Manager.

Topic 2

Project Management (Cont.)

  1. Project Management Structures.
  2. Project Stakeholders.
  3. The role of the Project Manager in relation to that of the Client, and the various project functional managers and controllers.
  4. The characteristics of the Project Life Cycle.
  5. The Project Life Cycle.
  6. Project Management process;
    1. Project Initiation,
    2. Project Planning,
    3. Project Execution,
    4. Project Controls,
    5. Project Completion and close out

Topic 3

Project Management (Cont.)

  1. Project Management:
    1. Communication Management with all stakeholders.
    2. Project team requirements and structure.
    3. Project Resource Requirements and Competencies.
    4. Methods to motivate the team and delegation of authority, responsibility, accountability to key team members.
    5. Design Management
    6. Project Planning.
    7. Scope Management.
    8. Programme Management.
    9. Change management.
    10. Productivity Management.
    11. Cost Management.
    12. Quality Management.
    13. Stakeholder management
    14. Risk Management.
    15. Governance, Laws, and Regularity Requirements.
    16. Environmental Management.
    17. Procurement Management.
    18. Health and Safety Management.
    19. Financial Management.
    20. Commercial Management.
  2. Project handover and operation.
  3. Project completion report and lessons learned analysis.

Topic 4

Design Management

  1. What is design management?
  2. Design management methods and processes.
  3. The Design life cycle and hold points.
  4. Methods used in defining the design solution criteria required for a project.
  5. Methods used to communicate the design criteria to the design team.
  6. Strategies in managing, inspiring and enabling design staff to be thinkers, makers and doers.
  7. Strategies to link design, innovation, creativity, technology, management and cost to achieve the desired design solution.
  8. Strategies to enable Design creativity and innovation to incorporate new and Green Technologies.
  9. Requirements for Design collaboration in the design process.
  10. Requirements for an integrated design process between different technical disciplines.
  11. Requirements to enable the Design to produce solutions to complex problems that are constructible.
  12. Design management metrics for assessing quality and outcomes.

Topic 5 and 6

Design Requirements, Structural Stability and Safety During Construction

  1. Determination of the definition of the requirements for the structure that is to be designed.
  2. Determination of the methodology, codes of practice and specifications to follow to undertake the overall structural design of any structure to ensure it is fit for purpose.
  3. Determination of the relevant factors of safety pertinent to the overall structural design.
  4. Process to be undertaken to determine the optimum method of construction of the structure.
  5. Process to be undertaken to determine the requirements for the construction methodology of the structure.
  6. Process to be undertaken to determine the implications of the construction methodology on the design requirements.
  7. Process to be undertaken to determine how to alter or amend the design analysis methodology to allow for the method of construction, whilst ensuring overall stability and the correct Factors of Safety for both the temporary states and the completed structure.
  8. Implications on the structural design if this construction methodology is altered.
  9. Implications of variations in the construction methodology on the stability of the partially completed structure during construction.
  10. Methods the designer can employ to design for the temporary structural states.
  11. Temporary works design requirements for temporary works required during the construction of the structure to ensure stability in the temporary state.
  12. Requirements for temporary works required to ensure that the structure is constructible, whilst ensuring the overall design requirements and factors of safety are met.
  13. Factors of safety required at each phase of the construction of the structure to ensure stability in the temporary state.
  14. The responsibilities of the contractor during construction to ensure constructability, the designs are complied with and the works remain safe at all times.
  15. Contractor’s requirement to undertake detailed temporary works designs based on the construction methodology from load and other indicative requirements provided by the designer.
  16. Methods used by the contractor to ensure that the works are constructible and safe at all times during the construction phases?
  17. Some examples of structures where critical consideration is given to construction safety, temporary works designs and design to be fit for purpose and the temporary state design and temporary works requirements;

Topic 7

Change Management (Direct)

  1. What is change?
  2. What are the consequences of change?
  3. Managing projects to cope with change.
  4. The key areas that effect change on a project.
  5. The three key steps of change Management.
  6. The risks related to change Management.
  7. Types of change.
  8. The Definition of the Direct Impact of change.
  9. The Direct Impact of change
  10. The impact of the Direct Impact of change on the project.

Topic 8

Change Management (Secondary)

  1. Definition of the Secondary impacts of change.
  2. The Secondary Impacts of change.
  3. The barriers to the rational analysis and management of the Secondary Impacts of change.
  4. The facts relating to the Secondary Impacts of change.
  5. The required Project Management response to the Secondary Impacts of change.
  6. The key requirements to effectively manage the Secondary Impacts of change.
  7. The two perspectives relating to the analysis of the Secondary Impacts of Change.
  8. The Secondary Impact of change model requirements.
  9. Analysing the Secondary Impacts of Change on a project using the Rework Cycle with Secondary Impacts and Feedback Loops.
  10. Consideration of the Rework Cycle Model for Design, Construction, and Design and Construction scenarios.
  11. Qualitative approach using the Rework Cycle Model.
  12. Quantitative approach using the Rework Cycle model.
  13. Consideration of the timing and multiplier effects of multiple changes on the project.
  14. Best practice approach to Secondary Impacts of Change on a project.

Topic 9

Environmental Management

  1. What is Project Environmental Management?
  2. The techniques used to approach, plan and execute project Environmental Planning.
  3. The techniques used in the determination of applicable environmental standards, including corporate, contract, stakeholder and other requirements.
  4. The techniques used to determine the Environmental base line for the project.
  5. The techniques used in determining the appropriate Environmental Planning tools and techniques for the project.
  6. The techniques used to determine the Environmental Impact of the project prior to instituting mitigating measures.
  7. The techniques used in determining the environmental mitigating measures and the Environmental Management Plan for the project.
  8. The requirements of the Environmental Management plan for the project.
  9. The techniques used to undertake and execute the requirements of the project Environmental Management Plan.
  10. The techniques used to undertake Environmental Controls to determine performance of the Environmental Management Plan and identifying ways of correcting unsatisfactory performance.
  11. Integration of the Environmental Management and Risk Management processes.

Topic 10

Procurement - suppliers, vendors and sub-contractors

  1. Programme requirements for material, equipment, built in items and sub-contractor work to be included in master contract programme.
  2. Determine the correct lead time for each component of material supply or work.
  3. Determine potential suppliers, vendors and sub-contractors schedules.
  4. Evaluate a short list of suppliers, vendors and sub-contractors for each scope of work.
  5. Undertake third party due diligence (refer WEF-PACI).
  6. Determine the final vendor list for each area or scope of work.
  7. Determine contract conditions and request quotations/tenders.
  8. Select suppliers, vendors and sub-contractors using appropriate evaluation criteria.
  9. Appoint and administer the suppliers, vendors and sub-contractors.
  10. Monitor progress, quality and performance of suppliers, vendors and sub-contractors.
  11. Monitor commercial issues related to each supplier, vendors and sub-contractor.
  12. Determine requirements for final inspections, testing and data handover.
  13. Determine each supplier, vendor and sub-contractor contact closure procedure.

Topic 11

Review of a landmark failures and the overall lessons learned which are applicable to any project.

  1. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse, The Injaka Bridge Collapse and The Millennium Bridge “Wobble”. (Refer articles included under reference materials D - K).
  2. The structures, design assumptions and method of construction.
  3. Warning signs of the collapse/vibration.
  4. The root cause of the collapse/vibration.
  5. What were the cause of these design ‘blind spots’?
  6. How can such design ‘blind spots’ be prevented or minimised in future designs?
  7. The legal and Professional implications of the collapse.
  8. The lessons learned from the collapses that have occurred.
  9. How this will impact your future consideration of design and construction on any project.

Topic 12

Project and Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far.  An opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues.  Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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