Operations Management MSc


Fact file

MSc Operations Management
12 months full-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (Upper 2nd class hons degree from British University or international equivalent)
Other requirements
Personal statement and a list of modules being studied in the final year (for applicants who have not yet completed their bachelor degree).
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
Please note, this course is no longer accepting applications for 2016 entry.


This course explores the decisions made to tackle management problems in business, industry and the public sector, with a focus on operations management.
Read full overview

The Business School offers six closely-related MSc courses in the field of operations management attracting students from many countries.

These courses explore the decisions made to tackle management problems in business, industry and the public sector. They look at methods, models and techniques that are used to resolve organisational difficulties. The courses integrate management techniques and technologies they control. 

These courses will suit you if you have qualitative and quantitative skills and are a graduate in management, computer science, engineering or a related discipline and want to pursue a career in operations management. You will also need an ability to analyse problems in a structured way. 

Such is the demand from employers for graduates with analytical skills who can apply critical thinking to problem resolution, you can expect to enter a career in management science and/or operations and supply chain management.

Your concluding dissertation, which is undertaken during the summer, demonstrates your integrated knowledge, methodology and practical skills. 

Presessional English for Academic Purposes

The Centre for English Language Education (CELE) runs 10-week and 5-week Business and Management English language and study skills courses. These courses are designed in collaboration with Nottingham University Business School and prepare students going on to programmes in business and management.

If you are close to the English language level you need to go on to the Business School's MSc course and you meet the entry requirements for the relevant CELE course, you may be eligible for a joint offer. This means that:

  • you only need one TIER 4 visa and CAS
  • you take a 10 or 5-week English Language and Academic Skills preparation course, and then go onto your MSc course
  • you have a guaranteed place on the MSc course
  • your progression to the MSc is automatic, provided you attend and complete all the coursework

For more details, please visit the CELE website

Students who enter via the CELE route are exempt from paying the school's £1,000 reservation fee. For more details, please contact wendy.bull@nottingham.ac.uk

Key facts

  • The Business School, across all three campuses (UK, China and Malaysia), is EQUIS accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) - one of the world's leading accrediting bodies for business schools
  • In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 we rank 6th for 'research power' out of 101 UK business and management institutions
  • We are ranked 12th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings 2015 (76th worldwide)

Course details

The MSc Operations Management is taught on a full-time basis over one year.

During this time, you must accumulate 180 credits to qualify for the award of MSc.

You will take 120-credits' worth of taught modules, which are examined during two 15-week semesters.

Each taught module typically consists of ten two or three hour sessions. Assessment is by a combination of individual essay or group project and written examination.

The remaining 60 credits of this course are allocated to a dissertation, which is completed over the summer period for submission in September.



Semester one

Core modules

Management Science for Decision Support

The emphasis in this module is on formulating (modelling) and solving models with spreadsheets. The topics covered include: modelling principles, optimisation and linear programming, network models, introduction to integer programming, key concepts of probability and uncertainty, decision theory, queuing systems and simulation.

The module aims to provide an understanding of the methods and techniques of Management Science with applications in business and industry, including Operations Management and related areas. Students should learn how to apply the more common techniques for a range of problems.

Managing Contemporary Operations: Fundamentals and Challenges

Contemporary operations management is introduced through the vehicle of lectures and case studies. 

The module aims to:

  • give students an appreciation of the importance of operations to business success and the role of operations management
  • provide them with the knowledge and understanding of how the key variables of a business inter-relate
  • provide an introduction to the analytical skills needed to understand business operations and processes
  • provide them with examples of current best practice and associated initiatives and to critique their applicability in different contexts
  • recognise the challenges associated with implementing changes associated with initiatives
Supply Chain Planning and Management

Module content is divided into three major parts.

  1. Fundamental supply chain concepts; The importance of supply chain management and logistics; Classification approaches; Buyer-supplier relationships and sourcing decisions.
  2. Supply chain management processes; Forecasting for supply chain and production management: qualitative and quantitative approaches (regression and causal modelling, time series methods); Inventory: forms, functions, decisions, and models. Inventory positioning. Supply chain dynamics and the bullwhip effect.
  3. Planning, scheduling and control approaches - Aggregate planning. Hierarchical planning and control. MRP-based planning and control. Capacity management strategies. Introduction to shop floor control. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

The module aims to provide a thorough introduction to supply chain management and supply chain planning processes relevant to contemporary operations. The module focuses on concepts, processes, models and techniques, and emphasises the role of information integration and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.


Choose one module from:

Fundamentals of Management Information Systems

The module covers the following:

  • Fundamentals IS concepts: definitions and typology
  • Historical context, including the evolution of the internet
  • Why IT matters to the modern business
  • Key technologies; Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Systems (ERP), the Cloud, Knowledge Management
  • Digital Business Models
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Digital Business Ecosystems
  • Law and IT
  • Technology adoption
  • Management of IT: insourcing, outsourcing, maturity models

The module aims to provide a broad-based introduction to the field of Information Systems, acquainting students with key technological trends in the field, and providing an understanding of the managerial issues involved in the effective deployment of information systems (BIS).

Project Management

The module covers the following:

  • Definitions and classifications of projects
  • Objectives in project management - time, costs, quality
  • Activity identification
  • Resources and resource management
  • Critical Path Method, Programme Evaluation and Review Technique, and resource scheduling
  • Performance measurement and costs
  • Project lifecycles and models
  • Project teams and leadership in project management
  • Managing risk in projects
  • Critical Chain Planning Method
  • Analysis of project success and failure
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Project Management software

The module introduces fundamental concepts in project management. Students will gain understanding of the scope and variety of project types, understand key variables in project management and learn methods, techniques and approaches that are important in successfully managing projects to meet objectives in a wide range of contexts.


Semester two

Design of Operations Facilities and Systems

The module covers: Strategic issues in the location of business in a global environment. Location models and the analysis of factors influencing the optimum selection of country, region and location. The facilities planning process and the optimum design of layouts. Lean manufacturing. Cell manufacturing and just in time production. Material handling and integrated production systems. Warehousing and logistics. Quantitative approaches to location and layout modelling. Computer aided layout design. Planning techniques. Design for next generation manufacturing and services.

The module aims to:

  • give students the knowledge and analytical skills to evaluate the influence of markets, raw materials, labour, government policy etc on strategic decisions for location of manufacturing and service facilities in a dynamic global economy
  • provide the analytical skills for the design of layouts which optimise performance, minimise operating costs, and support strategic marketing and business objectives
Quality Management and Quality Techniques

Quality and its management are key aspects of modern business, and have a great impact on both industrial and service sector enterprises.

This module aims to develop an understanding of the issues involved and the approaches employed in quality management, and a knowledge of the techniques of quality improvement.

Service Operations Management

The module covers the following:

  • The role of operations management in services
  • Comparative analysis of similarities and dissimilarities and manufacturing and service operations
  • Unique features of services
  • The development and delivery of a service package
  • Design of service operations
  • Strategies for balancing capacity and demand
  • Strategies for structuring and managing queues in services
  • Understanding and managing customer expectations and perceptions in services and their implications on quality of service provision
  • Tools and techniques for service quality management
  • Strategies for creating, developing and expanding services nationally and globally
  • The role of ICT in enhancing strategic and operational efficiencies of services
  • Service supply chain management

The module aims to:

  • illustrate the growing importance of services in today's economy and the role of operations management in improving strategic and operational efficiencies
  • provide an in-depth coverage of the issues involved in designing, planning and managing inter and intra-organisational service operations

Choose one module from:

Advanced Operations Analysis

This module builds further on the fundamental planning and control concepts, tools and techniques, introduced in Supply Chain Planning and Management. The module is more quantitative in nature and aims to provide a thorough understanding of the tools and techniques that can be used to analyse, plan and control operations in contemporary businesses.

Business Intelligence and Analytics

This module covers the following:

  • Basic concepts of Business Intelligence and Decision Support
  • Data warehousing and ETL On-line analytical processing (OLAP)
  • Multidimensional data cubes
  • Data, text and Web Mining
  • BI and business proves improvement
  • Deriving business value from BI: case studies
  • Implementation of BI: management challenges
  • A look at Open Source BI systems (eg. Pentaho)
  • Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems: an overview

The module aims to provide students with a practical grounding in the theory, techniques and technologies of business intelligence (BI) and decision support. In order to demonstrate the relevance of theory to practice, it will provide practical experience of designing and building a business intelligence system involving a complex multi-agency database.


The e-Business module is aimed at future managers and business people who want to know how information and communications technologies (ICTs) can help them to be successful in their careers by understanding how companies use these technologies.

The module aims to:

  • familiarise participants with the strategic management issues and technology developments associated with e-business
  • provide participants with a solid strategic business view of the uses of web technologies and Information Systems
  • help participants understand how and why e-businesses are successful or not, i.e. what makes them 'tick'
International Transport and Logistics

The module focuses on international transport and logistics management within the global business environment. As such, it covers a breadth of operational, technological, economic and regulatory issues relevant to transport and logistics practice. Specific topics covered include: the modes of transport and their underlying operational and economic characteristics, the nature of regulation and competition in international transport and logistics operations, freight costs and pricing, and relevant trade and customs procedures. Lectures are further underpinned by seminars and group activities.

Students will gain a knowledge and understanding of relevant operational and theoretical issues applicable to the management of logistics and transport in the global business environment, in particular the requirement for business competitiveness and operational efficiency. The analysis of interdependencies between operational, technological and regulatory aspects is a key theme throughout the module.

Management Information Systems: Theory to Practice

The module covers the following:

  • Designing Information Systems: tools of the trade
  • Relational databases and SQL
  • Systems thinking: soft systems and sociotechnical design
  • Alignment of IT and business strategy
  • Data Manipulation
  • Technology, organisation and change
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Interface Design

The module aims to provide students with a non-technical introduction to the applications of information technology as a tool for innovative managers to re-design their organisations. The module will introduce students to current issues and debates regarding Information Systems (IS) in a modern business and will provide practical experience of designing and building a simple information system using standard tools and methods.

Management Science for Decision Support II

In this module, the emphasis is on decision modelling and algorithms for decision making. The topics will include Simplex algorithm for linear programming, Branch and Bound algorithms for integer programming, Dynamic programming, Non-linear programming, Multi-criteria decision-making, Combinatorial optimisation and meta heuristics. Examples illustrate the use of these algorithms for decision making

This module will build on the knowledge gained in the earlier module Management Science for Decision Support. It aims to introduce some additional management science techniques and show how they can be used to approach day to day issues faced by the business community. The ideas covered in this module will extend students' understanding gained from the earlier modules. On completion of this module, students will be able to approach specific business problems using management science techniques.

Procurement and Purchasing

The module covers the following:

  • Sourcing strategies and structures
  • Supplier selection and segmentation
  • Services procurement
  • Retail buying
  • Negotiation
  • Supplier involvement
  • Public sector procurement
  • Sustainable procurement

This module introduces students to the topics of sourcing, procurement and purchasing. It provides students with an appreciation and understanding of strategic sourcing, and the issues, decisions and techniques purchasing managers should be familiar with, in particular: Costs related to sourcing decisions, and how to compare different sourcing alternatives. Behavioural factors and the impact of incentives in sourcing and dealing with suppliers. Organisational forms for purchasing and controlling of this function, centralisation of purchasing and maverick behaviour. The relationship with suppliers and the involvement of suppliers. Factors to consider when preparing for negotiations and conducting them.


The simulation approach. Discrete event simulation. Computer simulation and software. Random sampling, experimental design and interpretation of results. Agent-based simulation. Web based simulation. Continuous system simulation. Hands on work with an appropriate simulation software package and associated assessed exercise.

Simulation is an important tool for aiding the design and management of operations in manufacturing and service industries. The module introduces the principles, roles and practice of simulation. The mechanics of simulation, the conduct of a simulation study, and the software available will all be covered. An assessed hands-on exercise demonstrates the use of a particular software package and its application in a practical context.

Supply Chain and Operations Strategy and Practice

The module aims to give an in-depth coverage of supply chain and operations management in the context of contemporary operations, taking into account the major competitive drivers. The module addresses the scope, impact and importance of supply chain and operations management and the major decisions that need to be made in today's world of global supply and global markets, by using the appropriate strategic frameworks. This module aims to give participants an understanding of productivity on the intra and inter-organisational level, and of the analytical skills (concept, tools and techniques) to achieve incremental and step changes in performance to realise the strategic intents: the skills to develop and apply work standards in manufacturing and service planning and control, and the knowledge and understanding to design performance systems considering the competitive forces. Finally, the module aims to provide insights on supply chain and operation management practices and approaches in a wide range of industry/sector contexts.



12,000-15,000 word individual dissertation on an approved subject relevant to the MSc Operations Management.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding may be available through the Business School.

UK/EU students

Funding information can also be found on the Graduate School website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Postgraduate Careers Service

As a postgraduate student at Nottingham University Business School you will have access to our specialist in-house Postgraduate Careers Service to help you develop your career management skills and explore your career options. 

Through a combination of your academic studies and the careers support on offer you will be in an excellent position to enhance your career prospects.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 87% of postgraduates in the Nottingham University Business School who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,611 with the highest being £34,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career destinations for our graduates include accountants, finance and investment analysts, higher education teaching professionals, investment bankers, IT business analysts, management consultants, marketing professionals, public relations professionals and university researchers. 

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Get in touch
+44 (0)115 951 5614
  or +44 (0)115 846 6979


Jane Flint/Ruth Evans
Nottingham University Business School
Jubilee Campus

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