Postgraduate Research Project
You can carry out the project on campus or as part of an industrial placement. Placements in industry will be subject to meeting academic requirements. If you are completing your project in industry you will have an industrial supervisor who will determine the topic. You will design the study; and gain familiarity with previously published literature, together with the methods/techniques. You will use data collection and appropriate quantitative analysis in preparation for the report and poster presentation.
Factory Design and Operations for Food Production
This is a year-long module. You will learn the theory in autumn semester and do the new product development project in spring semester.
In autumn semester you will learn:
- Manufacturing Principles e.g. factory design/layout, location, HACCP, Hygiene, cleaning
- Business Operations e.g. food Law, labelling, brands, entrepreneurship, auditing, specifications
- Industry Case Study: single industry case study focussing on how various manufacturing principles and business operations are implemented in the brewing industry
In spring semester you will be working in a team to respond to a marketing brief. Your team will then turn this conceptual piece of paper into the real product. Your teams manage raw material selection, processing development, marketing research, microbiological testing ensuring the product is safe for consumption and consumer testing to see if consumers would purchase. Packaging materials will also be designed. The team will make this all a reality in the space of approximately eight weeks and finish by presenting at our showcase event.
Core Skills and Technologies of Food Manufacture
This module prepares you with the skills necessary for competent working within the food industry. It therefore equips graduates with a wide range of skills necessary to seek employment as masters graduate in this sector. The module covers:
- Food composition, including physical and chemical properties of key components used in food production, and also functionality of each ingredient to create the final product. Understanding the principle of food preservation and hygiene requirements within food factory.
- Food processing includes the role of water in the food factory and thermal processing; pasteurisation, sterilisation, heat flow and unit operation required to transform the materials to a food product as well as the effect of these operations on each ingredient.
- Food analysis including the quality of the final product in terms of safety, quality measurements and sensory evaluation. Measuring the key components of food, e.g. protein, salt and sugar. Appropriate use of data and statistics for quality management. You could also could get the Foundation Certificate in Sensory Science of IFST (Institute of Food Science and Technology).
- Develop reporting skills includes design the experiment, do the practical and analyse the data. Knowledge can be demonstrated by poster, viva & writing a report.
Food Manufacturing Case Studies
This is a problem-based learning module. Learning results from the process of working towards the understanding and resolution a problem. You will develop skills in diagnosing and solving challenges relating to the manufacture, distribution, and storage of food products.
You will work for two weeks to tackle real-life industry problems. You will solve these technical problems by producing corrective and preventative actions. To do so you must have a fundamental understanding of food material science, food safety, food quality, and legislation, which comes from applying knowledge learnt in other modules.
You will gather relevant information, synthesise an argument, and disseminate a solution. You will be directed to appropriate literature and sources of information necessary for the successful completion of the task in the time available. You will present your findings through oral presentations and written report appropriate for company directors. It will develop the skills of teamwork and problem solving, and also help you really understand how you want to develop your career.
Quality Management and Quality Techniques for Industry
There are two main divisions of the material:
- Quality Management: a historical introduction to the development of quality management thinking and the need for quality, definitions, ideas and concepts of quality. You will be introduced to quality gurus such as Deming, Juran, Crosby and Taguchi. You will cover variation and quality improvement and problem-solving tools such as Kaizen, Six Sigma, Culture Change for Total Quality Management (TQM). You will also study business excellence awards (MBNQA, EFQM), quality management systems (ISO 9000), auditing and certification. Quality economics, quality performance measures, benchmarking and supply chain quality will also be covered.
- Quality techniques covers topics such as process capability, variation risk management, loss functions and capability assessment. We will cover PCIs, non-normality and the Six Sigma approaches. You will look at statistical process control charts such as Shewhart charts for attributes and variables, and acceptance sampling for attributes and variables. Advanced quality planning, quality data management, Taguchi statistical robust design and total preventative maintenance will also be covered.
Supply Chain Planning and Management
The module takes a dual approach covering both the business processes and the quantitative models and techniques necessary for supply chain planning and management. It is divided into three major parts.
- Supply chain concepts and definitions:
- Fundamental planning and control concepts for supply chain and operations planning: classification of operational and supply systems
- Inventory - forms, functions, decisions, models
- Capacity - definitions and planning
- Forecasting for supply chain and production management:
- Planning, scheduling and control approaches: aggregate planning, hierarchical planning and control
- MRP-based planning and control
- JIT principles, kanban systems
- Theory of Constraints (TOC)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems
- Supply chain collaboration:
- Planning and control across the supply chain
- The bullwhip effect
- Supply chain collaboration approaches – continuous replenishment
- Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI)
- Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR)
The module introduces fundamental concepts in project management. You will learn:
- Definitions and classifications of projects.
- Objectives in project management - time, costs, quality.
- Resources and resource management. Critical Path Methods and resource scheduling.
- Performance measurement and costs.
- Project lifecycles. Project teams and leadership in project management.
- Managing risk in projects. Analysis of project successes and failures. Project management software.
The Global Food Industry
This module covers a series of business and legal topics that are directly relevant to those working in the global food industry. In particular, those trading ingredients and finished products on a management level. The topics include:
- food economics and business
- risk management
- the global food market
- excellent operation
- leadership and management in a food factory
- import and export food
- business planning
- innovation management in the food industry
- business finance
- dealing with food crisis
- understanding different global food industries e.g. brewery, tea and coffee and flavour.
This module is one-week intensive course. It provides an in-depth study of flavour generation by biochemical and chemical means, how flavour is delivered to the sensors and perceived by humans and how flavour can be analysed both instrumentally and sensorially. The module covers:
- The biochemical origin of flavours
- The key chemical pathways for thermal flavour generation
- The release of flavours from foods during eating
- The interaction of flavours with the sensors in the mouth and nose
- Flavour legislation
- Flavour analysis and flavour formulation
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.
Aims of the module:
- To familiarise the strategic management issues and technology developments associated with e-business.
- To provide a solid strategic business view of the uses of web technologies and information systems.
- To help understand how and why e-businesses are successful or not, i.e. what makes them 'tick'.
Service Operations Management
The module covers:
- 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 ideas and concepts will be illustrated and delivered through examples and case studies.
Managing Contemporary Operations: Fundamentals and Challenges
This module provides a general introduction to the management of operations. This includes an introduction to the core concepts and theory within operations management with many examples of good practice. These examples take the form of short videos in class, a number of cases, and visits to three different operations. Students will be working in teams for assessed coursework, with a final exam.
Core concepts and theory include:
- The transformation module, and an introduction to competitive priorities, and structural/infrastructural requirements
- Operations for products and services, and how they differ
- Understanding processes; Little's Law
- Introduction to lean theory
- Introduction to quality and services management
- Introduction to supply chain management
- Challenges in contemporary operations management
This material will be developed and expanded on in modules covering more specialist areas.