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University of Exeter Business School

Operations Management

Module titleOperations Management
Module codeBEMM784
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Umair Tanveer (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module is the backbone of the MSc Global Operations Management, offering a comprehensive introduction into operations management and its relevance to both the internal workings of the firm, supply networks, and the fast-moving world of global trade. In term 1 there are ten core lectures covering fundamental topics such as Operations strategy, production & operations, process flow & bottlenecks, services & service quality, queuing theory, resource planning, inventory management, and the role of technology in operations management.

Operations management is an important, exciting, and challenging subject because it enables organizations to provide services and products that we all need. It is central to constant changes in customer preference, networks of global supply & demand, and developments in new technology (e.g., digitalisation, artificial intelligence, Blockchain). Operations management is a key topic in world trade because solutions must be financially sound, resource-efficient, as well as environmentally and socially responsible. Whether at home, overseas or in the workplace, Operations management governs how we all experience and manage processes and operations as part of an increasingly connected world.

The second half of this module, commencing in term 2, comprises guest speakers and case study review sessions. Students are required to complete a supervised assignment, which will apply some of the core themes to an operational setting of their choice. The supervision will include the opportunity to meet with an assigned supervisor. On completion of both elements of the module, students will have grasped not only the basic language of operations, but emerging global challenges and opportunities for which the field of Operations management is uniquely positioned to address.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to offer a comprehensive introduction into the role played by Operations management in the internal firm and external global environment.

The objective of the module is to offer learning opportunities which span both the operational context within the organization, as well as its role in managing global networks. The module will include both theory & practice, incorporating research and case studies from world leading academics as a means of enriching the student learning experience. Typical topics to be included on this module will include:

•   Operations strategy,
•   Process flow & bottlenecks,
•   Services & service quality,
•   Queuing theory,  
•   Enterprise resource planning,
•   Inventory management,
•   Supplier network management,
•   The role of technology (digitalisation, artificial intelligence, & blockchain) in managing operations.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Apply concepts and theories to apply a strong understanding of Operations management;
  • 2. Critically analyse contemporary operations issues to understand their impact on operations management practice;
  • 3. Discuss emerging tools, techniques and practices in operations management;
  • 4. Discuss the implications of contemporary developments in operations management for how we live & work;
  • 5. Propose detailed, well-evidenced and integrated practice in all areas of operations management;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Critically evaluate the impact of operations management on the firm and wider global environment;
  • 7. Apply a detailed understanding of how to measure and monitor performance in operations management;
  • 8. Effectively utilise information & data in operations management to support organisational decision making;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Reflect upon recent changes in the global environment and how this may impact on how operations are managed in future.

Syllabus plan

 Typical topics to be included on this module will include:

  • Operations strategy,
  • Process flow & bottlenecks,
  • Services & service quality,
  • Queuing theory, 
  • Enterprise resource planning,
  • Inventory management,
  • Supplier network management,
  • The role of technology in managing operations.


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 hours2020 x 1 hr Lectures with occasional guest speakers and case study review sessions
Contact hours2020 x 1 hr Tutorials
Guided independent study60Pre- and post-session reading
Guided independent study60Assignment and exam preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Class test30 mins1-9In class

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
Written exam502 hours1-9Written feedback
Written single assignment503000 words1-9Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written single assignmentWritten single assignment1-9Next re-assessment period
Written examWritten exam1-9Next re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Slack, N., & Brandon-Jones, A. (2018). Operations and process management: principles and practice for strategic impact. Pearson UK.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

•   Gunasekaran, A., & Ngai, E. W. (2012). The future of operations management: an outlook and analysis. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(2), 687-701.
•   Waters, D. & Rinsler, S. (2014). Global logistics: New directions in supply chain management. Kogan Page Publishers.
•   European Operations Management Association (Euroma) - http://www.euroma-online

Key words search

Operations Management, Operations, Process, Performance

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date