Course at a glance

The Institute of Management Specialists


This Level 3 Diploma course will appeal to those in Project Management who wish to advance their skills and obtain an understanding of Portfolio or Programme (Program) Management.

This course looks at those methods and techniques used to control a number ( or portfolio) of projects. This pays particular attention to alignment between that of Project Management and IS Strategy delivery. The course will explore a number of different method based approaches and provide a foundation for greater exploration of this specialised subject area.

Course Definition:

A program or programme (in management) has at least two senses:

  • A collection of projects that is directed toward a common goal. (e.g. The NASA space program)
  • A broad framework of goals to be achieved, serving as a basis to define and plan specific projects. (e.g. the EU’s Socrates programme) In international English, “program” is often used with a technical meaning (like computer program), whereas the spelling “programme” is used in the sense of “collection of managed projects”. However, “program” in the context of “program(me) management” is now becoming more commonly used than “programme” lately in the “project management” sector globally.

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enrol into our Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Course Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit.


Optional coursework and final examination.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Course Length

1 Year.

Endorsed By

Students at the college have the option to choose the awarding body of their course.

This course has been endorsed by :

Quality Licence Scheme:


Accord :

This courses’ awarding bodies are recognised for their high-quality, non-regulated provision and training programmes. This course is not regulated by Ofqual and is not an accredited qualification. Your training provider will be able to advise you on any further recognition, for example progression routes into further and/or higher education. For further information please visit Quality Licence Scheme website or Accord website

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Course Content

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module One – Introduction to Programme Management

This unit provides the foundation material for the entire course. It carefully defines the entire composition of the course and introduces the student to the definitions and concepts of Programme Management. It provides the basic bibliography that supports the course and where additional background information might be obtained.

Level 3 Portfolio Management DiplomaModule Two – The need for Programme Management

This unit looks at the purpose and need for Programme Management. It examines how the science has evolved from Project Management, the journey travelled so far and considers how the method base will continue to evolve. It will examine the difference in approaches between the Public and Private sectors, the driving forces in Programme Management and who is establishing the trends and standards.

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Three – Methods and Techniques in Programme Management

This unit will examine the scientific approaches that have been adopted in order to conduct Programme Management. Specific reference will be made to the procedures designed and developed by the UK Government Office of Government Commerce (OGC), integration to PRINCE Project Management and alignment to IS Strategy studies. Other proprietory methods will be reviewed and contrasted. In addition the many sophisticated software development environments that support the method bases.

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Four – The Four Phases of Programme Management

A Composition study examining the four method phases that make up the concept of Programme Management:

  1. Programme Identification
  2. Programme Definition
  3. Programme Execution
  4. Benefits Realisation

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Five – Operating and Resourcing Programmes

This module essentially looks at three different aspects of Programme Management as focused on the operational perspective:

Organization of Programmes, Programme Management Processes and Managing third parties

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Six – Programme Management and Organizational Change

This module examines the important interlock between Programme Management and the impact of Organizational Change. It will also consider elements of Risk Management and the harmonization between these components. Particular emphasis on change within an Information Systems Technology setting.

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Seven – The Importance of Strategic Alignment

The importance of alignment between Programme Management and Information Systems Strategy will be examined from a method based approach. This essential element of interlock will be examined from a senior management or executive perspective and considers the roles that Executives will be expected to perform in ensuring successful strategic delivery and control over the programme management packages ( portfolio).

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Eight – Benefits Realisation

One of the main deliverable components from Programme Management is Benefits Realisation or the costs savings, process improvements and strategic goal attainments brought about by successful delivery of projects within a portfolio. These will be examined from a method base and case study examples illustrating evidence of successful technique and approach in this area

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Nine – A Programme Management Framework

This module considers the logical framework for Programme Management and how the individual parts interlock into a fully functional model. Reference will be made to Forcefield Analysis illustrating how shifting variations in the model create “ripple effect” changes throughout the entire model. The importance of using computer software in order to manage the entire model component and obtain immediate quantification of results, that otherwise would be impacted by time delays, fluctuating results and possibly erroneous management decisions

Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma Module Ten – Global Considerations of Programme Management

A close look at how Programme Management functions within the multi-national Companies and works on a global business scale. This is examined from a number of different industry perspectives.


This Level 3 Portfolio Management Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: