Design and construction project management, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Sign up for information
The construction industry is facing numerous changes. The pressing agenda towards a more sustainable society means that new materials, technology, methods and community needs are emerging. The complexity of these changes has created an increasing demand for knowledge and competences on top of basic construction project management skills. The overall goal of the programme is to train you as a student to analyse these changes and develop the necessary skills to solve the new challenges they create in a responsible and efficient manner.

Design and construction project management master's programme at Chalmers

The Design and construction project management master's programme aims at preparing technically qualified engineer students to the integrated management of the construction processes. It gives the students an advanced understanding of construction management by providing necessary tools, methods and theories relevant for the discipline and the practitioners as well as their application across the various phases of a project. The programme is designed to cover the entire construction process, such as early stages, design, construction production and facilities management. It presents an understanding of the sector complexity and the diversity of participating actors and stakeholders as well as their role in the process within the unique project-based environment of the industry.
The master's programme is intended to bridge between different worldviews, to exercise the ability to perceive and understand diverse perspectives and to support a reciprocal, mutual, understanding between actors in the construction sector such as user, client, architect, engineer, consultant, planner, or an economist.

To work as a manager in the built environment sector means having knowledge of construction-specific elements like technical, environmental, legal, and contractual demands. You as a student will also be trained in skills involving knowledge on project management, financial accounting, research methods, Building Information Modeling (BIM), logistics, productivity, and, real estate and facility management. The strong collaborative characteristics of the construction industry, where projects are carried out in a temporary and interdisciplinary environment also implies training and knowledge related to organizational culture, leadership, communication, teamwork, and decision making.

As a complement to your engineering degree, this programme offers a possibility to learn the competencies needed to perform on a high professional level in the construction and built environment sector. The programme is open to both engineers and architects, however, please observe that the Master's degree delivered is in engineering.

The programme prepares students for a long-lasting professional career by providing a broad repertoire of problem-solving methods and by integrating theory and practice to understand and manage the complexity in the actualization of a construction project. 

Building on the complementarity of different disciplines, the Design and Construction Project Management master's programme aims at providing you as future practitioners with a combination of prescriptive and analytical tools to face these challenges. The prescriptive tools aim at planning, organizing, managing and controlling the construction processes as well as addressing the individual, social and organizational aspects of the sector; the analytical tools, methods and theories, enable the future practitioners to develop a holistic view, be more reflexive about the context they evolve in and accordingly make informed decisions.

The programme offers a mixture of conventional lectures and seminars, supported by online resources and a variety of external sources of information. It benefits from the use of case studies, real-life projects and collaboration with industry. Student presentations and group work are important parts. To stimulate an efficient exchange of experiences and knowledge, a main pedagogical idea is to enhance your co-operation and communication.

Topics covered 

The subjects of construction management, and communication, are fundamental areas in the Design and construction project management master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as real estate finance, leadership and service management.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree​. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of compulsory courses, compulsory elective courses and elective courses.

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with four compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Design and construction project management. Each course is usually 7.5 credits.
  • Project management in construction
  • Financial management and accounting
  • Methods and enquiry in organization
  • Construction contract relationships​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.
  • ​Master’s thesis 

Compulsory elective courses 

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in various subjects. ​​During year 1 and 2,  you need to select some compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate.
  • Design management
  • Construction process and management
  • Life cycle engineering
  • Organisational change in construction
  • Environmental management
  • Logistics and supply chain in construction
  • Service management for construction and facilities 
  • Real estate finance and economics
  • Leadership and communication​

Elective courses 

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses.


Career opportunities can be found in both public and private organizations. The core fields are projects focusing on planning, design, construction and facilities management. Examples of roles are a project manager in a construction project organization, working with project development at an architectural office, design manager in a consultancy firm, managing properties in a housing company, developing health care facilities or working in supportive functions such as purchasing, sustainability, quality, health and safety.

Research within Design and construction project management

The programme builds on several scientific disciplines and courses are given by four different departments at Chalmers University of Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering, Architecture, Technology Management and Economics and Energy and Environment. All teachers involved in courses perform qualified research in management fields and provide a close connection to the research being performed. The teachers also have close cooperation with the construction industry. The faculty and our students' collaborate closely with CMB, Centre for Management of the Built Environment, for example by providing a mentorship program aimed at students in the master's programme.


Student interview

“We are taught to be leaders that communicate well”
José Arturo Mejía Cárdenas, Spain/Mexico, Design and Construction Project Management​
Why did you choose this programme?
–I have a background in architecture and wanted to get the overall perspective of management in the construction industry. I appreciate that we focus on both the hard parts and soft parts in this field. The programme doesn’t only deal with the financial aspects of the management but also leadership. We learn how to lead different teams and there is a lot of emphasis on communication in the courses, which seems to be a key factor to success in this field. 

What have you been working on?
–We analyze what kind of strategies big companies like Ikea use to reduce the prices and at the same keep customers satisfied. We also do site visits to real construction projects in the city to follow the building process. We analyze how people work on the site, how they communicate and what they could do to make their work even more efficient. We work mostly in groups our in pairs with our assignments. 

What do you like the most about your programme?
–Our teachers and guest lecturers have a background or still work in the construction industry or other parts of this field and are glad to share their experience with us. In one of the courses, we had a lecturer talk about how shipping transportation has evolved through the decades where I learned a lot.  

What do you want to do in the future?
–I am interested in Swecos internship program. They offer a training programme where you can work in different areas in my field like design management, project management and site management. You get to work for three months in each area and then decide where you want to stay.  

​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Tue 18 Jan 2022.