Just a quick glance across Victoria Harbour will reveal the skyscrapers that are testament to Hong Kong's vibrant construction industry. The ability to lead and construct quality and jaw-dropping buildings rests in the hands of managers who have the knowledge and skills to handle entire building projects. Responding to this need, Hong Kong CyberU is offering a master of science in project management to upgrade management skills in the construction industry. Programme co-ordinator Barbara Leung said: 'The local construction industry is highly competitive. It is important to enhance one's knowledge and skills to keep up with the pack. The programme enables construction managers, engineers, technologists and other related professionals to broaden and deepen their knowledge in project management.' Mak Chi-kong a graduate of the course with more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry, said: 'There is always demand for buildings of higher quality, so I need to add value to myself. The course broadens my horizons and makes me a better project planner.' Dr Leung said because the programme was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Britain, construction and real estate related practitioners liked the programme. 'Quality control is the No1 concern in the construction industry. Recognition from the two institutes is something that all graduates want to have on their r?sum?.' However, enrolment is not limited to people working in the construction industry. Applicants come from non-related backgrounds such as accounting. Dr Leung said this might be because the companies they worked for had construction plans or dealings. Most people in the construction industry worked long hours and needed to travel a lot. So face-to-face classroom lectures were not the best choice for students, Dr Leung said. So the programme takes a student-centred learning approach. Course materials such as text books, audio and videotapes are put online for students to study from. 'This delivery mechanism allows students to continue their full-time employment while pursuing their studies and gives them much more flexibility to study anytime and anywhere.' Mr Mak said: 'I find the delivery mechanism suitable for me because I need to work long hours. It is common for people in the construction industry to work long and irregular hours. Classroom training during night time or weekends, like other master's courses, is not suitable for me. The online delivery mode is flexible. I can learn whenever I have the time.' Despite the online format, students get a chance to meet their lecturers at the beginning of the programme. Lecturers make use of this chance to tell students about the requirements of the course and other details. Students are also instructed on how to make use of the online system to study and get involved in discussions. Online tutorials conducted by lecturers in a virtual classroom are held to further assist students in their studies. Students can log on to the chat room to raise questions and start discussions with lecturers and classmates. Information such as video clips and PowerPoint presentations can also be shared. 'Because we have to operate in a virtual classroom we limit the size of our class to 30 people, otherwise the flow of information may be too much for the system to handle,' Dr Leung said. Students have to take seven to 10 subjects to graduate. They usually pick up two subjects every semester and finish within three years.