MO0494 - Operations and Supply Chain Improvement

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What will I learn on this module?

The management of operations and supply chains is reliant on the improvement and integration of all different functions within an organisation, so that they can work together cohesively and towards the same overall objectives. It is all about performance improvement inside, outside and beyond the organisations that enable value chain strategies to be put in place. As in any business the goals and objectives are always moving, but as in any well - ordered system the underpinning knowledge supports and informs the change process.

The module aims to provide an introduction to improvement of operations and supply chain in local, national and international context with particular attention to the quality and efficiency context and with some focus on global aspects. Furthermore, the module aims to provide this underpinning knowledge whilst investigating the ongoing developments in theory and practice within the subject area. In this challenging environment, there are concepts, tools and methods that managers can use to deal with operating problems in a global environment. The mission of this module is to provide you with a comprehensive framework for addressing operational and supply chain issues, challenges, tools and strategies in global context.

You will learn different key international operations and supply chain topics such as:

Global Operations and Supply Chain Strategy
Operations Sustainability
Goods and Service Design
Quality Management Models and Systems
Lean Six Sigma
Global Supply Chain Management
Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Performance Measurement and Benchmarking
Process Improvement
Lean Management
Capacity and Inventory Management
Cross- Functional integration and collaboration
Location Management
Forecasting and Demand Management
IT in Global Supply chain and Operations Management
Supplier Development
Global Supply Chain issues
Process and product Design
Global Supply chain Issues
Global Logistics and Transport
Global Supply Chain Risk Management

This module will facilitate your learning and skill development to identify the global implications of operations and supply chains improvement and how to make decisions in dynamic environment. The module will present the contemporary issues, challenges, strategies and tools in global operations and supply chain management in theoretical, technical and practical format.

On completing this module, you will be able to demonstrate and develop knowledge, understanding and capability to analyse key international integrated operations and supply chain contemporary issues and challenges and use relevant strategies, tools and techniques to address them in any business globally.

How will I learn on this module?

This module encourages you to develop your practical, integrated and cross-functional view of the international operations and supply chain improvement in order to solve business problems in the real world. Delivery consists of lectures and seminars to encourage your learning of theoretical and practical strategies, and skills in an integrated environment of the global operations and supply chain management. It will demonstrate how core elements of operations interact and are dependent upon on each other in order to fulfil the purpose and objectives of a business in a global environment. The exciting challenges facing practitioners in operations and supply chain management will be highlighted, and particular emphasis will be placed on the role of the operations and supply chain process improvement theories, strategies and tools.

This will be achieved through a series of linked lectures encompassing the primary functions of the operations and supply chain concepts and theories set out in an integrated approach to promote operations and supply chain improvement in a global context. The lectures will explore the complex interactions between these primary elements and in doing so reflect the dynamic nature of operations and supply chain improvement. The seminars promote interactive learning relevant to these business management elements through individual case study analysis, team-based discussion, research analysis and guided and facilitated seminar activities. It is intended to develop theoretical, research, practical and personal skills useful for your study in level 7 as well as operational and leadership skills. In addition to business-related skills and strategies, you also have opportunity for research skills development and also personal development and problem solving skills such as high performing team working, presentations, task delegation and debate during seminars and as part of independent study.

The design of this module will encourage your development as an independent learner, enabling you to explore issues arising and make extensive use of the available information technology. You will have opportunity to work on different ranges of relevant and current case studies to identify a series of relevant contemporary operations and supply chain issues and challenges and their interface and integration; and to utilise problem solving strategies or tools to address the issues. You will also have opportunity to review the current peer reviewed journal articles and discuss your understanding of the content, literature and methodology with peers. This would promote an integrated and aligned approach of practical and theoretical analysis of the contemporary issues in global operations and supply chain management to address the likely direction of the global operations and supply chain in the future.

Participants can therefore expect the reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all seminar sessions through undertaking activities which facilitate them to apply theory to ‘real-life’ situations, critically analysing and making recommendations for appropriate ways forward for the organization/individual.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by the member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input, alongside other academic staff members. The use of a teaching team allows that subject specialist staff will deliver lectures and seminars.

You will be provided with a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of various academic reports, conference papers and journal articles that showcase the application of various quantitative techniques presented in the module.

The seminar sessions will be delivered to groups of up to 20 students and will be facilitated by a group of academic staff with subject speciality who can offer support and guidance.

Your module is also supported by an e-learning portal (eLP), which accommodates lecture material, seminar instructions, supportive learning resources, alongside assessment details and various support facilities such as recorded lectures and electronic reading list comprising your “recommended to purchase” and to read book(s), academic reports, conference papers and journal articles that are relevant to principles of operations and supply chain management.

The module summative assessment strategy contains two different assessment types to promote learning through team elements, practical activities, research and theories: An Individual 3,000 words assignment, which reflects a critical evaluation of different operations and supply chain improvement theories, strategies and tools through both practical and theoretical contribution (80% of overall mark), and a group presentation that would focus on more practical aspects of operations and supply chain improvement through research and analysis of a real world contemporary case study (20% of overall mark).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1) Understand the context of global and regional integrated operations and supply chain improvement, its likely future direction, and the impact of its strategies and tools on the future direction in global business. [MLO1]
2) Demonstrate understanding of improvement tools, key skills, and techniques that can be used in any global or regional operations and supply chain management area in different sectors with different sizes of the organisations with the support of contemporary research – enriched material. [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3) Problem solving skills in global business context associated with different contemporary operational and supply chain issues and strategies, with the support of cross-functional thinking, critical reading and research. [MLO3]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4) Demonstrate effective team working and presentation skills. [MLO4]

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:

Assignment (80%):
Individual 3,000 words assignment: a critical evaluation of different operations and supply chain improvement theories, strategies and tools through both practical and theoretical contribution. This assessment covers MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.

Group presentation (20%):
A group presentation that would focus on more practical aspects of operations and supply chain improvement. The group of students will select a real – world case study and will critically evaluate the level of operations and supply chain improvement opportunities using theories and literature. These groups would already be established for seminar activities from beginning. This assessment covers MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will take place through group work, assignment discussion and reflection, discussion board activity on the e-learning platform, case study activity, and theory/practice related discussions.
Criteria will be provided to enable participants to understand what is expected of them and how they will be assessed on their performance. Participants are required to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice where appropriate. Case Study, theory/practice related discussions and a research-tutored approach to embedding research into teaching will be predominate the formative assessment in the teaching delivery relating to the operations and supply chain improvement strategies and tools, where verbal feedback and seminar-centred discussion summary will provide students with the necessary formative feedback. This assessment covers MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4.





Module abstract

perations and Supply Chain Improvement is one of the most common business principles with which employers expect you to be familiar as part of real world business problem solving initiative, regardless of the size, sector or location of the business and your position. Through studying this module you will develop both practical and theoretical knowledge and skills to tackle real world business problems associated with operations and supply chain processes. Gaining sustainable competitive advantage is the vital topic that every post graduate business student as the future business manager or leader needs to understand. Operations and supply chain improvement is at the heart of the creation of wealth for businesses, value for customers, and the improvement in the living standards of citizens of all countries and in such a demanding global market. Operations and supply chain improvement is important because it is concerned with creating value adding services and products upon which we all depend. It is also exciting because it is at the centre of so many changes affecting business world, customer preference and technology globally.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time (with advanced practice in second year)
2 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

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