Postgraduate study

Supply Chain and Operations Management MSc

This course explores the decisions made to tackle management problems in business, industry and the public sector, with a focus on supply chains and operations.
 
  
Duration
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent) in a business, engineering or science-related discipline
Other requirements
Personal statement and a list of modules being studied in the final year (for applicants who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree)
IELTS
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
September
UK/EU fees
£12,465 - Terms apply
International fees
£21,465 - Terms apply
Campus
Jubilee Campus
School/department
 

 

Overview

Any of our closely related operations management courses will suit you if you have qualitative and quantitative skills and want to pursue a career in operations management:

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

Integrating management techniques and the technologies they control, they will equip you with the analytical skills to understand the complexity of operational management challenges in business as well as fostering your creative thinking to generate potential solutions.

Depending on your chosen course, you will undertake modules in management science for decision support; managing contemporary operations, and supply chain planning and management in semester one. During semester two, you will be able to develop in depth knowledge and skills in your chosen course and will be able to choose from a variety of options in order to focus on your career aspirations.

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK. Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Specialist business and management courses are available and you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once. Students who enter via the CELE route are exempt from paying the school's £2,000 course deposit. For more details, please contact us.

Key facts

  • Part of an elite group of EQUIS and AMBA accredited business schools
  • 6th in the UK for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework, with teaching underpinned by the latest developments
  • An inspiring research portfolio worth £799m
  • 91.1% of MSc graduates from Nottingham University Business School secured work, self-employment or further study within six months of graduation
  • More than 19,000 Business School alumni connect you to a powerful global network of business contacts
 

Full course details

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.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of individual assignments or group projects and written exams.

 
 

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

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

  • fundamentals of operations management: operations as a transformation process, the context of operation strategy, how operations add value and enable businesses to compete and/or deliver effective services, differences between services and goods and the goods-service continuum, the role of operations management (strategic, tactical, operational)
  • performance measures: developing performance measures for operations and benchmarking (including customer facing)
  • types of production (ETO, ATO, MTO, MTS), P:D ratios, role of inventory within operations and supply chain, process design including standardisation, order fulfilment processes and their management
  • managing key operations variables: defining capacity and capability, reconciling demand and capacity, handling variety, mass customisation and postponement, service quality vs. cost trade-offs
  • 'push' vs. 'pull systems', theory of constraints, JIT, including Toyota production system (TPS)
  • detection and elimination of waste and the lean philosophy, practices and techniques
  • quality and quality initiatives, unconditional service guarantee
  • step and continuous improvements, issues associated with implementing initiatives and change in general

A factory visit will be organised early on in the module to provide you with some exposure to industrial operations.

 
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

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 and control approaches, Aggregate planning. Hierarchical planning and control. MRP-based planning and control. Capacity management strategies. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Just-In-Time (JIT) and Theory of Constraints (TOC). Methods and techniques for planning and control.
 

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

You will research and prepare an individual dissertation on an approved subject in the area of Supply Chain Management. The dissertation will emphasise leading edge thinking in theory and practice of the subject, through critical awareness of current published research and research methods.

 

Optional modules

One or two from:

Advanced Operations Analysis

This module covers:

  • more advanced forecasting techniques (including more advanced time series and causal models)
  • 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)
  • push/pull/conwip and TOC production systems
  • shop floor control; buffer management and line balancing
  • operations scheduling and sequencing
  • managing variety and variability; postponement; mass customisation
  • managing MRP based planning and control systems
  • organising the planning and control function, sales and operations planning and operations planning and control software
 
Business Intelligence and Analytics

This module covers:

  • basic concepts of business intelligence and decision support
  • data warehousing and ETL online 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 (for example, Pentaho)
  • artificial intelligence and expert systems: an overview
 
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
 
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 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.

 
Procurement and Purchasing

The module covers:

  • sourcing strategies and structures
  • supplier selection and segmentation
  • services procurement
  • retail buying
  • negotiation
  • supplier involvement
  • public sector procurement
  • sustainable procurement
 
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 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

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.

 
 

Careers and professional development

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

Postgraduate careers team

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.

As soon as you have accepted your offer of a place at the Business School, we can begin working with you to support your career planning needs. You can take part in pre-course careers discussions and take advantage of remote and online support through Career Leader, an online assessment tool which helps you to measure your business interests and motivations before starting your course. Our support continues throughout your time at Nottingham and after you graduate.

Employability and average starting salary

91.1% of postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School who were available for employment 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 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

 
 
 

Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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