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University of Exeter Business School

Operations Management: A Sustainable Perspective

Module titleOperations Management: A Sustainable Perspective
Module codeBEP1030
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Alison Ashby (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Operations management is applicable in manufacturing and all aspects of the service sector, from small retailers and professionals to banks and insurance companies, hospitals and utilities. The module presents three main topics: the design of the product/service; the control of the product/service; and improving how the product/service is delivered with recognition of sustainability throughout. You will be expected to evaluate and analyse information under these topics to develop some understanding of the complexities of managing modern-day operations. The module will help students gain an insight into the importance of managing people, processes and systems to deliver sustainable value.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim 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 and systems, three broad areas provide the framework for study:

• Design - including product/service, process, supply chain, layout & flow, and job design.
• Planning and control - including capacity, supply chain, lean and quality.
Improvement - including performance measurement/improvement methods, process reliability,thematic change programmes/philosophies (e.g. TQM)

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. examine the major concepts and practices of operations management
  • 2. evaluate the effectiveness of operations management practices in a wide range of organisational types (manufacturing, service and public sector)

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. synthesise theoretical principles through application to organisational proble
  • 4. appraise organisational practices using systems concepts

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. present findings in a written format with supporting evidence
  • 6. undertake research to gather secondary evidence from both library and internet resources
  • 7. engage in group activities and manage work constrained by time and deadlines; engage in group activities, and formally reflect on and appraise personal contributions;
  • 8. prioritise activities and manage work constrained by time and deadlines

Syllabus plan

• Introduction to Operations Management
• Transformation Model
• Key Concepts
• Planning and Control
• Strategic role of OM and Operations Strategy
• Process Type and Layout
• Design of Products & Services
• Sequencing and Capacity Planning
• Supply/Demand Management
• Sustainable Operations Quality Management and Business Improvement
• The future of Operations Management

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 activity11Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity14Tutorials
Guided Independent Study125Asynchronous activities on ELE, preparation for in class activities, group work, plus research, analysis and writing of individual report.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Report1500 words2-8Oral feedback provided by tutor in tutorial session
Individual Report3000 words1, 3, 5, 6, 8Oral 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
Group report in response to given business analysis project (groups of 4 - 6 students)30Group report of 1500 words + 500 word reflection on individual contribution2 - 8Written feedback provided via ELE
Individual Report70A written account of an investigation of a business operation - 3000 words1,3,5,6,8Written feedback provided via ELE

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group report in response to given business analysis project (groups of 4 - 6 students)Individual Report 30%2-6, 8July/August assessment period
Individual ReportIndividual Report 70%1,3,5, 6, 8July/August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

A student will be referred in all components of the assessment that they have failed, if the student fails the module with an overall mark below 40%.

A student if deferred via a single component will be re-assessed in that component  only

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Slack, N, Chambers, S, and Johnston, R. (2019) Operations Management, Essex: FT Prentice Additional material from guided reading of learned journals (specific papers provided).

All students on the programme will have access to additional material via ELE

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources 

·        ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages



Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As recommended during classes

Key words search

Operations management, Systems thinking, Planning, Control, Process

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date