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University of Exeter Business School

Operations Project

Module titleOperations Project
Module codeBEMM785
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Kellan Nguyen (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

You will undertake an independent research or consultancy project based upon an operations topic of your choice. The report will consist of 10,000 words and contain relevant analytical tables and figures. The project will allow you to demonstrate the skills you have learned during the programme. These skills include the following: operations management or supply chain analytics, project planning, visual representation, and writing. Each student will be supported throughout the project by an operations management or analytics academic. 

The supervised operations project or dissertation represents the culmination of the MSc Global Operations Management, where you either develop a theme as provided by an academic member of staff, or you can decide on a topic yourself. This provides you with the opportunity to apply operations concepts or challenges from real world settings. Primary research collection during this period (e.g., production data, interviews), is encouraged, including contact with organisations who may require specific assistance.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module enables you to tackle real world operational challenges by selecting the most effective methods and analysing the results or outcomes. The types of methods available for you to choose from will range from statistical analysis to semi-structured interviews and case study analysis. Whilst methods such as analytics and statistical analysis will have been covered in-depth in terms 1 and 2, the taught sessions at the beginning of this module will cover  the importance of framing operations research problems using literature reviews, use of research questions & conceptual frameworks, as well as hypotheses and propositions.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key business processes and structures, and the role of operations management in decision support.
  • 2. Critically analyse and discuss current issues and influences relevant to the ongoing development of global - and local - operations management, and its application in business settings.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Critically analyse the use of data within a business operations context, identifying strengths and limitations.
  • 4. Critically analyse and interpret relevant academic, technical and industry literature.
  • 5. Work with stakeholders from a range of backgrounds to identify the need for, design, develop and deploy operations management solutions within a business environment.
  • 6. Communicate effectively through presentations and written reports, presenting methodologies and findings in a way that is appropriate to the intended audience.
  • 7. Contribute effectively to managerial decision processes in operation management within a business context.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 8. A balanced global & local outlook: Our graduates are engaged and prepared for the demands of business and society.
  • 9. An ethical ethos: Our graduates understand the social, financial, and environmental factors that can impact on corporate sustainability and are able to make decisions openly and responsibly.
  • 10. A critical thinker: Our graduates have a commercial awareness that enables them to critically analyse, conceptualise and evaluate the challenges facing business.

Syllabus plan

The Operations Project requires a considerable degree of proactive study and initiative on the part of the student and is therefore unlike traditional taught modules. You will attend briefing sessions and preparatory workshops and lectures that will cover the following content, before embarking upon your project independently:

  • Preparing an operations management relevant proposal for your project;
  • Identifying relevant data and developing appropriate research questions or hypotheses;
  • Devising a literature review;
  • Successful planning and project management
  • Working with project stakeholders, and your supervisor;
  • Constructing a professional operations management / business report

You will need to maintain contact with your supervisor and any collaborators throughout the time that you are working on your project.

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity12Preparatory lectures and workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity8Meetings with supervisor
Guided Independent Study430Background reading, research, analysis and preparation of project proposal and report.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Progress meetings with supervisor8 hrs 1-10Verbal
Project proposal 2000 words1-10Verbal and written

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
Final report10010,000 words1-10Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Final reportFinal report1-10Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

There is no formal reading list for this module, however you are likely to draw on resources used within other modules, and in particular those used for pre-requisite modules.

You may find that resources focussed on consultancy, data science in a business setting, and operations analysis tools and techniques are helpful throughout the development of your project.  The following illustrative examples are available in online format from the University Library:

  • Bowden, J. (2011).  'Writing a Report: How to Prepare, Write & Present Really Effective Reports.’
  • Burman-Brown, R. (2006) ‘Doing Your Dissertation in Business and Management.’ Sage Study Skills.
  • Biggs, D. (2010) 'Management Consulting: A Guide for Students.' Cengage Learning.
  • Fisher, C. (2010) 'Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An Essential Guide for Business Students.' Financial Times Prentice Hall.
  • Lavin, P.  (2005) 'Excellent Dissertations!: Planning, Managing and Writing a Dissertation Project for Undergraduates and Taught Postgraduates.' Open University Press.
  • Provost, F., & Fawcett, T. (2013). Data science for business. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.
  • Pochiraju, B. & Seshadri, S. (Eds.). (2019). Essentials of Business Analytics: An Introduction to the Methodology and its Applications.  Cham: Springer
  • Stephan, F and Smith, I (2019) ‘A Practical Guide to Dissertation Writing,’ Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Wickham, L.  (2016) 'Management Consulting: Delivering an Effective Project.' Pearson, 5th Edition.

In addition, you will draw upon a wide range of additional resources specific to your individual project.  Further examples of relevant resources will be available via the module ELE pages.  

Key words search

Operations Project, Operations Management, Supply Chain Analytics,

Credit value45
Module ECTS


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date