Plymouth Business School

MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management

Build the skills and competencies to help businesses manage the planning, production and delivery of their products and services. Learn how advanced operations management, modern and sustainable supply chains, and the flow of information therein have become the bedrock of competitive advantage in an ever-changing global business environment. Become a confident professional in operations and supply chain management and make a decisive step towards securing a very exciting career.

Key features

  • Bridge the gap from your previous studies or work experience and acquire the specialist knowledge that will help you to join this rapidly growing industry. This programme is designed to be accessible to you, welcoming applicants from a broad range of undergraduate disciplines.
  • Lead the way in the industry by learning to view the supply chain and logistics sector with a distinctly contemporary eye – sustainability and environmental issues are embedded in all our modules, increasing your employability and better preparing you for the challenges that climate change presents the industry.
  • Examine the latest regulatory and governance in supply chains placing your knowledge and skills at the leading edge of the sector.
  • Take advantage of our programme of visiting speakers, and gain insider knowledge and important networking contacts to ensure you’re ready to enter the workplace immediately upon graduation. 

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • HRL710A Leadership and Management Essentials

      This module will provide learners with a rigorous framework of knowledge, skills and understanding concerning leadership and management that they will need whatever the degree of specialisation they later elect to follow.

    • MKT700A Marketing and Strategy

      The purpose of this module is to develop an understanding of the role of marketing and strategy in a range of contemporary organisations. It examines the major themes within the marketing arena and equips participants with the ability to evaluate and recommend appropriate actions to fulfil their objectives. Further to this, the module introduces key concepts and frameworks of strategy and develops students¿ abilities to apply appropriate analytical techniques used in strategic decision-making. The relationship between marketing and strategy and other business functions is explored. The module uses case studies to provide an integrative perspective on aspects of marketing and strategy within organisations.

    • STO700A International Business Environment

      This module provides a broad overview of the environment in which contemporary business organisations operate. It presents data sources and analytical approaches that can be applied to any specific sectors, industries and a range of locations through the world. Understanding the international business environment is a key aspect of organisational decision making and is critical to business success.

    • STO701 Knowledge Management and Decision Making

      Evidence has clearly shown that excellent business performance can only be achieved based on the right decisions underpinned by the effective management of knowledge. The ability to make good decisions is the mark of successful and promotable managers. This module introduces the major themes of integrated knowledge management and decision making (core concepts, processes, models), describing the key challenges of knowledge management and decision making under current business environment. It further develops an appreciation of knowledge management responses to decision requirements which need to meet the key challenges, and the important methods and technologies which can be used to support knowledge-based decision making. It will provide students with opportunities to develop key research, analytical and evaluation skills that would enhance decision makers¿ confidence in rational, evidence-based decision making to solve complex business decision problems.

    • STO702 Global Supply Chain Management

      One of the sweeping changes in the current global economy is global supply chain management (SCM). Effective management of global supply chains can take the advantages of not only global market but also global resources, to provide supply chains with formidable competitiveness. However, global SCM faces unprecedented challenges and can be more vulnerable because of their geographically long distance, high uncertainty and more sources of risks. This module will provide students with comprehensive knowledge in managing global supply chains, develop students, skills in analysing decisions related to global issues in SCM, and equip students with state-of-the-art technologies to move towards modern, professional and forward thinking supply chain specialists.

    • STO704 Operations and Project Management

      This module will focus on the key challenges facing Operations and Project Managers. It will examine key topics such as the management of processes, quality improvement, capacity and demand management, project planning, resource scheduling and risk management, along with communication, organisation and leadership practices.

    • STO705 Quality Management and Lean Thinking

      The module will look at the evolution of quality management and lean thinking, examining their historical, cultural and philosophical foundations, whilst also appraising a selection of popular tools and techniques which are commonly used to achieve significant operational improvements.

    Optional modules
    • ENT705SU Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth

      This module will develop a critical understanding of the methods of analysing growth strategies for the small business sector to determine the optimum way business ideas and projects can be taken to a higher level of growth, and in that way make a more substantial contribution to socio-economic growth in their regions

    • STO706 Operations Management for Competitive Advantage

      This module considers how to use business operations to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Operations strategy will be highlighted, showing how it needs to inform and underpin the design and improvement of all operational processes to ensure increased cost efficiency and maximise operational effectiveness.

    • STO707SU Sustainable Supply Chains

      Today's businesses operate/manage supply chains that design, produce and deliver a diverse range of products and services. The complex, global nature of supply chains introduces significant issues around environmental and social responsibility and sustainable practice. This module introduces major themes of sustainability and investigates frameworks for understanding this increasingly important aspect of supply chains. It develops an appreciation of responses to sustainable supply chain issues and the decisions, techniques and technologies used.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management programme specification 5343

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree, first or second class, or equivalent, in any discipline.

If English is not your mother tongue 6.5 IELTS with a minimum of 5.5 in any element in a secure English language test.

The University of Plymouth offers pre-sessional English language courses if you do not have this.

We welcome students from a broad range of disciplines who are keen to place their undergraduate discipline knowledge into the context of operations and supply chain management.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,500 £9,500
International £14,000 £14,400
Part time (Home/EU) £500 £500
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September, with some January starts also available. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Aiman Mohammed – current MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management student

"Moving to Plymouth and studying at the University of Plymouth was the front line of my race with life. The University of Plymouth has structured my foundation and broadened my vision in everything happening around me, provided me with more knowledge and developed my technical skills. It is my appreciation to everyone in the University".

Read more about Aiman's experience of the programme so far

Business and management with the University of Plymouth

The MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management programme is part of a suite of business and management programmes offered by Plymouth Business School these programmes cover marketing strategy, global supply chain management, leadership and the complex international business environment, with the opportunity to specialise in a specific subject area relevant to your current or future career.

This video provides an overview of the learning environment and what it is like to study postgraduate business and management with the University of Plymouth. Programmes in this suite include MSc Business and Management, MA Human Resource Management, MSc International Business, and MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management

Louise Rea – graduate profile

Just a month after submitting her dissertation, Louise Rea, who graduated in MSc Business and Management: Operations and Global Supply Chain Management in 2017 at Plymouth, took up the position as Projects Coordinator for The Dartington Hall Trust in South Devon.

Louise is now putting her business skills to good use for Research in Practice, who help organisations and individuals to access, understand and apply evidence in their work with children, young people and families.

Find out more about Louise's story

Field trips and visits

Our field trip to Bristol Port, one of the key links in British industry's supply chain, provided a very visual reflection of the complexity of operations and supply chain management and the logistical challenges it can present.

The port directly employs more than 575 people directly and offers one of the most cost-effective logistics solutions due to its ability to handle vessels of up to 130,000 dwt and its proximity, through convenient rail and road links, to the major population area of the UK; 43 million people within a 250km radius. 

It was an interesting and thought-provoking trip for all students regardless of their future career plans.


The Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER)

iSPER is a leading research Institute at the University of Plymouth and is home to a number of thematic areas relevant to the MSc International Business. Postgraduate students can take part in ISPER events and activities joining seminars from local and guest speakers from academic and business sectors. The two main groups which are of relevance to International Business students are:

  • MLBP (Maritime and Logistics, Business and Policy Group) 
  • The ProSerV (Product and Service Value Chain Innovation through Advanced Technologies)      

Find out more about the groups, their projects, publications and dynamic seminar and events series that you will be welcome to join by visiting iSPER.

Master Your Future – Faculty of Business Professoriate Scholarships

The Faculty of Business Professoriate Scholarships of £1,000 are awarded to selected students undertaking postgraduate study each year.

The opportunity to apply for a professoriate scholarship is available to applicants currently in receipt of an offer for postgraduate study.

Find out more and how to apply

Postgraduate loans

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £10,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

The loans will be available for both taught and research masters programmes across all disciplines and subject areas.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate study in the Faculty of Business can help you realise your ambitions and develop your potential as a manager and leader of the future. Whether you come to us as a newly qualified graduate or after a successful track record in industry we provide high quality, professionally accredited postgraduate programmes, and PhD and professional doctorate supervision.

International community

Play your part in out thriving international community of 3,000 students from over 100 countries studying full and part time programmes at the University.

We'll help you at every step of your journey from applying to settling in, during and after your postgraduate studies.