Operations Management

Module description


Operations management is concerned with managing processes, and how organisations create value in the production of goods and services.  This field of study is applicable in manufacturing and the service sector, from small retailers and professionals to banks and insurance companies, hospitals and utilities.  We study how firms achieve competitive success through improving the processes involved in delivering products and services, and reducing costs through increased efficiencies.  The module covers operations strategy, process design, planning and control, project management, quality, global supply and supply chain management, and improving how the product/service is delivered.

Additional Information


Diversity is encouraged and celebrated through the analysis of a wide range of global case studies and examples. Operations plays a key role in identifying how the traditional distinction between countries being ‘developed’ or ‘less developed’ is being replaced by ‘innovation rich’ vs. ‘innovation poor’ countries.


Sustainable supply chain frameworks and management philosophies are an essential feature of operations management through the provision of modern and eco-efficient customer solutions.

External Engagement

The lecturing team draws on theoretical frameworks, mathematical approaches and industrial practice from the perspective of their extensive theoretical and practical experience. Teaching is based on lecturers’ published research as well as their involvement with operations management practice.


You develop your skills in analytical thinking, critical evaluation, relationship-building and team-work, communication and influence, planning, controlling, measuring and organising.

Full module specification

Module title:Operations Management
Module code:BEM2007
Module level:2
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Stephen Disney - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to a broad range of operations management concepts, within the context of systems theory.  In addition to introductory sessions which explore the characteristics of operations management strategy and systems, a number of broad areas provide the framework for study:

  • Operations Strategy
  • Process design - including product/service, process, supply chain, layout and flow, and job design 
  • Planning and control - including capacity, supply chain, JIT/lean and quality
  • Thematic change programmes/philosophies (e.g. TQM)

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Understand the major theories, concepts and practices of operations management
  • 2. Analyse the effectiveness of operations management practices in a wide range of organisations and sectors (manufacturing, service and public sector)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical principles through their application to organisational problems
  • 4. Analyse and challenge organisational practices using systems concepts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Undertake research to gather secondary evidence from both library and internet resources
  • 6. Engage in debates to challenge academic enquiry and business practice

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Lectures12Whole group lectures
Workshops10Fortnightly workshops
Online content8Online blended learning content
Preparatory reading60Pre and post session guided reading
Revision and examination preparation60Revision for MCQ test and examination

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case study analyses and operations problemsIn 5 x two-hour tutorial sessions, in groups of 40 to 50 students1-6Oral feedback provided by tutor in tutorial session

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
MCQ2030 questions, written examination format -1 hour1-5Online result
Examination802 hours1-6Report posted on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination2 hour Exam 1-6August Assessment period
MCQ testMCQ test (1 hour)1-5August Assessment period

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to operations management Transformation model & Operations Performance
  • Operations strategy, Process design, Process mapping
  • Service Considerations
  • Planning and control and Capacity Management
  • Project Management: Project Network Diagrams, Gantt Charts, PERT
  • Quality Management and Cause and Effect Analysis
  • Lean Management, Theory of Constraints, Value Stream Mapping
  • Product and Service Layouts
  • Revision

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R. (2016) Operations Management, 8th edition, Pearson. ISBN 978 292  09867 8

Additional material from learned journals and specific papers will be provided on ELE.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=214

Origin date


Last revision date