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Course overview

As a supply chain and operations manager you will have highly developed strategic abilities that ensure your business runs smoothly and maintains a competitive advantage. Our MSc will give you the broad skillset you need to excel in global management positions.

You will study modules that develop essential management techniques including supply chain planning, project management, decision making and quality control. You'll also be able to tailor your degree to match your individual career aspirations, and specialise in areas relevant to your chosen field.

You will graduate with a clear understanding of the methods, models and techniques that are used to resolve organisational difficulties. You'll be equipped with the analytical skills to understand the complexity of supply chain and operations management challenges in business, combined with creative thinking to generate potential solutions.

Why choose this course?

Top quality school

benchmarked against international standards

EQUIS and AMBA accredited

More than 19,000

Business School alumni connect you to a powerful global network of business contacts

6th in the UK

for research power

Course content

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of taught modules. Each module typically consists of 10 two to three hour sessions.

You will complete a 60-credit dissertation over the summer, and will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.

Modules

Core modules

Semester one

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
  • simulation
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.

Project Management

The module covers:

  • 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
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.

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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)

Semester two

Operations and Supply Chain Strategy and Practice

The module content is divided into three major parts:

  1. Strategy – Context of operations and supply chain strategy; the range of strategic decisions within and between operations; the impact of competition on operations and supply chains; supply chain strategies for coordination and integration; topical strategic issues faced by various industries and sector in their operations and supply chains, for example, sustainability, new technologies, etc
  2. Performance measurement – Concept and importance of performance measurement within operations and supply chain management; selection and application of key performance indicators; importance of intra and inter-organisational benchmarking and approaches to target setting
  3. Current practice – Current operations management, supply chain management, and logistics approaches in a range of industries/sectors; pertinent issues and drivers of change in practicing operations and supply chain management, including sustainability
Quality Management and Quality Techniques

There are two main divisions of the material:

Quality management

  • Historical introduction to the development of quality management thinking
  • The need for quality, definitions, ideas and concepts of quality
  • Quality gurus: Deming, Juran, Crosby, Taguchi, etc
  • Variation and quality improvement, problem-solving tools, Kaizen, Six Sigma
  • Culture change for Total Quality Management (TQM); empowerment, team-building, motivation
  • Business excellence awards (MBNQA, EFQM)
  • Quality Management Systems (ISO 9000); auditing and certification
  • Quality economics, quality performance measures, benchmarking
  • Supply chain quality
  • Service quality

Quality techniques

  • Process capability: Variation risk management, loss functions, capability assessment
  • PCIs, non-normality, Six Sigma approaches
  • SPC charts: Shewhart charts for attributes and variables
  • CUSUM, EWMA
  • Acceptance sampling for attributes and variables
  • Advanced quality planning - QFD and FMEA
  • Quality data management
  • Taguchi statistical robust design
  • Total preventative maintenance

Summer

Dissertation

The module aims to allow you to synthesise, apply and extend the knowledge you have gained in the taught component of the programme. The investigation of a current research topic will help to develop your theoretical and practical understanding of current problems in your area, as well as your research and communication skills.

Optional modules

One or two from:

Advanced Operations Analysis

Module content is organised around four themes:

  1. More ‘advanced’ forecasting techniques (including more advanced time series and causal models)
  2. Inventory modelling (quantity discount models; joint replenishment; reorder point – lot size systems; periodic review models; news vendor model; (S-1, S) model; multi-warehouse situations)
  3. Shop floor control: WIP and Little’s law; introduction to operations scheduling and sequencing
  4. Introduction to distribution logistics modelling, reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chains
Business Intelligence and Analytics

This module covers:

  • Basic concepts of business intelligence, analytics and decision support systems
  • Data warehousing
  • Data visualisation
  • Data mining, text mining and web mining
  • Big data
  • Implementation of business intelligence systems and decision support systems: case studies
  • Software package for business intelligence and analytics
Design of Operations Facilities and Systems

The module covers the following: 

  • Strategic issues in the location of businesses in a global context
  • Location modelling and the analysis of factors influencing the optimum selection of country, region and location
  • The facilities planning process and the optimum design of layouts
  • Quantitative approaches to location and layout modelling
  • Types of manufacturing layouts including cell manufacturing and layouts to support lean operations
  • Material handling and packaging solutions
  • Warehousing, storage, cross docking and order picking approaches
  • Logistics challenges and solutions for next generation manufacturing and service operations, including omni-channel retailing
E-Business

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. 

International Logistics and Transport

The module focuses on international transport and logistics management in the context of the global economy. It covers operational, technological, economic and regulatory issues relevant to contemporary transport and logistics practice.

Specific topics covered include:

  • modes of transport in a modern society
  • modal and inter-modal transport characteristics
  • organisation, regulation and competition in international transport and logistics
  • freight costs and pricing
  • trade and customs procedures
Procurement and Purchasing

The module covers:

  • strategic sourcing concepts
  • supplier management
  • supplier segmentation
  • category management
  • negotiation
  • retail buying
  • services sourcing
  • compliance
  • sustainability
  • procurement organisation
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.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Friday 18 September 2020.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

  • Dissertation
  • Examinations
  • Essay

Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework at the end of the relevant semester.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in a business, engineering or science-related discipline

Applying

You are required to submit a personal statement and a list of modules being studied in the final year (for applicants who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree).

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

UK students

Confirmed September 2020 *

International students

Confirmed September 2020 *

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

Our in-house Postgraduate Careers Team provides expert advice and guidance so that you can make an informed decision about the right career path for you.

Prior to commencing your course you can take part in pre-entry careers discussions and once on programme our MSc Accelerated Career Leader Programme is complemented by one to one career coaching.

Our support continues throughout your time at Nottingham and after you graduate. Business School postgraduates also have access to events and resources provided by the Careers and Employability Service.

Career destinations for our postgraduates include:

  • accountants
  • finance and investment analysts
  • higher education teaching professionals
  • investment bankers
  • IT business analysts
  • management consultants
  • marketing professionals
  • public relations professionals
  • university researchers

Some MSc graduates have gone on to doctoral studies, others have become entrepreneurs. Our Ingenuity Lab has supported a number of our MSc graduates in starting their own company.

Career progression

91.1% of postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School secured work or further study within six months of graduation.* £25,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £57,200.**

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.
** This is an average of all Business School postgraduates and so reflects the higher salaries earned by our MBAs who have several years professional experience prior to undertaking their studies.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Friday 18 September 2020. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.