Managing Operations

Module description


This module shows the strategic importance of operations management, to illustrate how operations performance can impact on the success of the whole organisation. Although the main focus is on technology, systems, processes and facilities in the production and flow of goods and services, Managing Operations is also about the general principles an organisation can use to guide its decision-making. Particular attention is given to product design and the process choice decisions facing organisations in pursuit of ‘delighting’ the ever demanding customer; the customer who today typically expects; quality, value for money, and consistently excellent customer service.

Key areas covered in this module include; making the best possible use of people and equipment, through different strategies for managing capacity and inventory (make-to stock and make-to-order for example), planning and control, simulation of service outcomes and organising for improvement.

Additional context is provided by considering a contemporary and increasingly complex operating environment where attention is turning to such matters as; super-efficiency, service operations, strategic sourcing, e-commerce, transnational networks, and sustainability, as the new requirements for competing in the modern business world.

Additional Information:

Diversity is encouraged and celebrated through the analysis of case studies on international companies, including TNT, Zara, RyanAir, IKEA, RAC and Singapore Airlines.
The Teaching Team operates an inclusive policy of multiculturally mixed group construction and composition for group and pair work.

Sustainable supply chain frameworks and management philosophies, such as the triple bottom line, are included in the module content. Also, students are required to complete a group assignment in which they research and present on the supply chain sustainability of a selected company.

External Engagement
This module draws on guest lecturers who are either academics from other universities or industry professionals in operations management. They provide practical insight into theoretical frameworks, and employ innovative delivery techniques.

Students develop their skills in analytical thinking, relationship-building and team-working, communication and influence, planning and organisation.

Full module specification

Module title:Managing Operations
Module code:BEMM114
Module level:M
Academic year:2017/8
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Nav Mustafee - Lecturer
  • Dr Ian Hipkin - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the role played by operations managers in setting an operations strategy through which products and services can be designed and delivered. The module will provide you with conceptual frameworks and practical examples of how operations can be analysed in manufacturing and service environments.

This module is designed to enhance your involvement in the learning process through the use of active learning techniques including group work, case studies and individual reflective journals.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. understand the major theories, concepts and practices of operations management from the perspective of transformational activities
  • 2. synthesise from a range of approaches to operations strategy and apply within to a variety of problem contexts
  • 3. analyse complex operations using the concepts of supply chains, applying simulation tools to plan capacity and design processes
  • 4. analyse the effectiveness of operations management practices in a wide range of organisations and sectors (manufacturing, service and public sector)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. demonstrate an understanding of theoretical principles through application to organisational problems
  • 6. analyse and challenge organisational practices using systems concepts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. present analytical findings in written and oral formats
  • 8. critically evaluate alternative approaches
  • 9. generate and record reflective observations
  • 10. undertake research to gather secondary evidence from both library and internet resources
  • 11. engage in group debates to challenge academic enquiry
  • 12. manage your time and to work to specified deadlines

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
Contact hours20Lectures (2 hours per lecture)
5Tutorials (1 hour)

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial based case study5 x 1 hour sessions1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10Oral feedback in tutorial session
Simulation Workshop3 hours1,3,5,8,11Oral feedback in workshops
Tutorial assignment 1 (researched in pairs)10 minute presentation1,4,5,6,7,9,10,12Peer feedback with guidance from tutor

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
Individual assessment251500 words1,3,5,8,10,11,12Assessment grade and formative feedback
Examination752 hours1,2,3,4,5,6,7Assessment grade

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual assessmentIndividual essay (1500 words) 25%1,3,5,8,10,11,12Complete by August referral period
ExaminationResit Examination (2 hours) 75%1,2,3,5,6,7August referral period

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to operations management
  • The role operations of in organisational performance
  • The strategic contribution of operations management
  • Design of processes and products
  • Modelling and simulation
  • The management of capacity and scheduling
  • Global supply chains
  • Operations improvement and the management of quality
  • Lean approaches in operations management

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


  • Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R. (2013) Operations Management, 7th edition, Essex: FT Prentice Hall. ISBN-10: 0273776290, ISBN-13: 978-0273776291

Additional material from academic journals and specific papers will be provided

Other reading:

  • Brown, S., Bessant, J. and Lamming, R. (2013). Strategic Operations Management,3rd edition, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Johnsen,T.E., Howard, M. and Miemczyk,J. (2014) Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, 1st edition, Abingdon: Routledge.


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