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Supply chain management plays an important role in business’s operations and its success, but it can be fragile and highly influenced by external factors. We understand you don’t want to be limited, and that’s why our full time course covers all the learning areas and skills you will need to succeed, from the first to the last step of the chain. Accredited by CIPS, this course brings you the opportunity to get hands-on with our simulation games and to undertake a year-long placement in a company of your choice. Located in Chelmsford, you will create your own professional network by getting involved with our guest lectures and industry innovators.
You know that to successfully manage supply chains you need to know a lot – about a lot. And we know what areas your learning should cover to make sure you have the perfect skills your future employers are looking for, from project management and leadership to business analysis and strategic management.
You will find this course to be directly transferable to the real world. Throughout your time at ARU, you’ll adapt to the fast-moving pace of international supply chains, getting hands-on with our Managing Supply Chains in Practice module as well as with LINKS, our intensive supply chain simulation game. You can expect guest lecturers, industry innovators and field trips to the Jaguar plant, Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre or BMW in Germany. Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), you can expect to leave ARU with the advance purchasing, logistics and supply chain expertise you’ll need.
You will learn to adapt to this fast-moving discipline by getting hands-on in class and outside too; as part of this course, you will undertake a 34-week work placement in a company of your choice, what will boost your confidence and provide you with the perfect toolkit to get into the industry after graduation.
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, our course offers opportunities to learn from, and network with, practitioners and specialists in many industries.
The knowledge and skills you’ll develop will be useful throughout your career. Our graduates occupy all kinds of senior supply chain, logistics, quality, materials, operations and procurement roles.
MODULES & ASSESSMENT
Managing Supply Chains in PracticeSupply chain management encompasses the understanding of materials management or inventory management with the use of different strategic approaches to achieving same outcome. The term supply chain management is often used interchangeably with procurement and logistics management. Most often, students get confused or mixed-up with different terminologies with no real understanding of which is which as academics most often use different jargons to describe the same outcome. In understanding this model and to do well in it, students need to understand the broader supply chain management and be able to demonstrate that, supply chain management incorporates the broader strategic perspective as opposed to purchasing and or procurement. In modern days unlike the Barter system, Supply Chain Management has cemented its position as a key strategic management approach, enabling organizations to efficiently and effectively reach their goals in a constantly changing business environment complicated by risks, uncertainties, and competitor pressures. The global economy implies yet another level of complexity inherent to the management of large-scale, geographically dispersed project teams. Projects and programmes are often collaborative efforts where a number of organisations, including partners and sellers, work with the performing organisation to meet the goals of the project. In projects of today, interdependencies are the norm, and external dependencies are unavoidable in most cases. As a result, supply chain planners and managers need to spend time and effort in dealing with sellers, contractors, and partners. Therefore, they need to have thorough knowledge and understanding of management of the whole supply chain, including positioning of inventory, lead times, risks, contracting and procurement. In this module, you will learn how to optimise different components of the project supply chain, including end-user identification of need, opportunity assessment, prioritization tools (positioning each end-user requirements in strategic metric), purchasing, supply, inventory, continuous improvement, and benefits tracking. This module also explains legal and commercial aspects of the supply chain in addition to contract negotiation and performance management skills. Assessment for this module is based on a written assignment and a 3 hour exam.
Project ManagementThe ability to manage projects effectively is widely regarded as a key aspect of management in both private and public sector organisations. This module considers the nature of the project environment, the role adopted by the project manager and the relationships between projects and the objectives of the sponsoring organisation. Throughout the module reference is made to the practical tools and techniques which underpin the activities of the project manager and support the core objectives of the project. Tutorial exercises and case studies support this approach. Students are given hands-on experience of PC software tools – deployed to facilitate planning,costing, critical path analysis (CPA) and resource management. Subsequent PC-based activities include optimisation, progress monitoring, trouble-shooting and rescheduling. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Multiculturalism has been considered during the design of this module and will be considered when the assessment brief is written.
Research Methods for Business and ManagementThis module prepares students to undertake a piece of business or management research for their Masters project by developing appropriate knowledge, understanding and transferable intellectual and practical skills. Emphasis is placed on developing skills most likely to lead to a successful closure of a research journey set within any organisational setting identified by students in the role of either academic or practitioner researchers. Skills such as the ability to frame research aims, generate research questions/hypothesis, and research objectives, the ability to generate a conceptual framework, the ability to select and justify a particular research design and methodology and the ability to act as an ethical researcher so as not to spoil the field are all central features of this module. In addition the generation of core practical skills such as the ability to generate and analyse quantitative and qualitative data are central to this module. By developing this knowledge, understanding and transferable intellectual and practical skills the true aims of conducting research will be realised. Students will gain confidence in a range of cognitive and practical skills suitable to conducting research projects in a range of international business contexts so as to add to knowledge and understanding. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Multiculturalism has been considered during the design of this module and will be considered when the assessment brief is written.
Strategic ManagementThe module explores the core field of strategic management, and how strategy contributes to organisational performance. It focuses on your organisation’s internal and external environment, and addresses key issues such as competitive advantage.
Supply Chain Performance ManagementThe module focused on how supply chain processes are improved and the performance of logistics processes is measured and managed. The definition and explanation of key performance indicators (KPI) is another key main focus on this module. An explanation of the different key areas of quality-, time- and cost-related measurements and their mathematical/logical links is given. Resulting from these findings a balanced scorecard is developed and given an acid test in practice. In this module an emphasis is made on quality and time-related indicators. Quality is explored based on traditional instruments (statistics, 7Q) and modern designs like 6 Sigma or Design of Experiments. These tools are examined about their viability for worldwide logistics processes. Embedding these tools in a quality loop leads to the management of these quality KPIs. Time-related measurements are identified and detailed with practical examples. Furthermore the question gets answered whether also a time-based monitoring can be used as an equivalent to cost controlling. As a practical example KPIs may be examined about their suitability to control an external logistics provider. Based on this example the implementation of KPIs into service level agreements would be examined and examples given for a bonus/penalty-clause scheme.
Supply Chain Strategy and OperationsSupply chain management is a major strategic concern for organisations, it is often stated that individual organisations no longer compete, but that the impetus of competition has shifted to supply chains/networks. A number of strategic philosophies and techniques are explored on the module that focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chain flow. This module highlights how the ever-demanding customer creates a need for managing the network from raw materials to end-customer across organisational interfaces. Therefore, supply chain networks rely on effective management of relationships and outsourcing arrangements. Supply chains can be fragile due to the participants and external risks, risk management strategies are applied within the module. Any logistics/supply chain strategy has to make trade-offs in terms of cost; quality; flexibility; dependability and time. These strategic priorities are explored in an intensive supply chain simulation game. The game simulations a product supply chain, including necessary functions produces results and statistics about the supply chain that the students must improve over the course of the semester. The overall aim is to provide an insight into the system consequences of decisions, focusing on operational decisions, e.g. procurement, manufacturing, distribution, transport etc. Here students will work in teams, to represent the management of the company, therefore, they must develop a strategy and work together to implement their decisions. The impetus is on real-life practice and the impetus here is on learning by doing. Within this module, students will build team-work; communication; analytical; project management; time management and presentation skills.
Sustainable Supply ChainsSustainability poses a considerable challenge to global supply chains, which are inherently complex and involve many partners. This module explores the concept of being sustainable in a supply chain context: both in internal processes and decisions, but also in the wider supply network considering the role of responsible procurement strategy. The concept of triple bottom line, which considers the financial; social and environmental effect of business, is explored. The focus then turns to how to manage the immediate and eventual environmental effects of products and processes associated with converting raw materials into final products. Therefore, lifecycle management is studied and sustainable strategies and practices across core supply chain activities, including procurement; production; logistics; packaging; warehousing and distribution. Transportation/logistics is often seen one of the most significant factors in environmental sustainability. Hence, transport mode, planning and routing processes are evaluated in the supply chain context. There is practical consideration of the effect of transport mode decisions on: cost; speed; convenience and environment. Organisations and supply chains must respond to the pressures for environmental sustainability as corporate social responsibility and legislation begin to take hold. Therefore, there is focus on how environmental impact will need to be monitored, as well as, more proactive practices such as the recycling, reclamation, remanufacturing and reverse logistics are being adopted. Closed loop supply chains and the associated activities of integrated waste management and reverse logistics are explored. The module also draws on the contextual issues, including: regulatory and legal frameworks, European and Global UN agreements, which continue to exert increasing pressure on supply chains to manage and improve environment impact. Consideration and application of carbon management ideas is also discussed. Overall, the module seeks to provide a contemporary view of sustainability and the future implications for managing supply chains.
Postgraduate Work Placement – Supply Chain ManagementThis postgraduate work-based major project module will allow you to undertake an extended project based on a work placement. It gives you the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt in your course by offering real-life practical experience in the field underpinned by engagement with key literature and theoretical insights relevant to the chosen industry sector. During this module you will source and undertake a 34-week work-based learning internship/project with a company or organisation where you will be supported in developing effective professional practices through guidance in generic and specific employability skills. You will also be supported with critical thinking and research skills development during the lectures and online resources to ensure you develop independent, critical and reflective learning practices to enhance your continuing professional development in the context of your own working environment and career aspirations. The module aims to provide you with experience of work and research in a business environment including familiarisation with a professional work environment. This module will be underpinned by employability skills training, reflective assessments and support from academic tutors and employers. You will be expected to be able to critically reflect on your own experience in writing and place this in the context of the industry and academic work on the sector in a 10,000 word research-based portfolio (accompanied by a diary which must draw on relevant theory and literature to evidence your learning of up to 5,000 words). In the portfolio you must demonstrate how you have engaged with a relevant research problem in the work setting, and supported this by drawing on relevant literature and applied theory, practical knowledge and learnings within a work-based environment. The overall assessment of up to 15,000 words aims to support and develop your ability to research real-life settings and industry issues, demonstrate professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer whilst also learning key communication and personal skills.
We focus on the knowledge and skills you’ll need as a purchasing, logistics and supply chain professional. Here are some of the ways we’ll measure your progress:
- team exercises
- restricted-time assignments
- problem-solving exercises
- development of plans and proposals
- a final project based on your placement year
This is a 24-month programme.
Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.