MO9700 - Global Supply Chain and Operations Improvement

What will I learn on this module?

This module addresses global contemporary operations and supply chain issues, challenges, strategies and tools and will develop you as an active learner. The mission of this module is three-folded:

1. This module aims to provide you with an underpinning knowledge about supply chain and operations improvement, whilst investigating the ongoing developments in theory and practice within the global context. You will learn strategic theories and gain knowledge associated with performance improvement inside, outside and beyond the organisations that enable value chain strategies to be put in place. The key themes include:
• Global Operations and Supply Chain Strategy
• Quality Management Models, Strategies and Systems
• Industry 4.0
• Robotic Process Automation
• Service Operations Improvement
• Performance Measurement and Benchmarking
• Process Improvement strategies
• Lean Management
• Location Management
• Supplier Development
• Global Supply Chain issues
• Process and product Design
• Postponement
• Global Logistics and Transport

2. This module aims at developing your practical problem solving skills in the global operations and supply chain context by analysing contemporary issues through interactive case study analysis in each of the weekly seminars. You will have opportunity to analyse cases relevant to the various theoretical themes and discuss with your tutor, fellow students and team members to answer the relevant questions with the facilitation of your seminar tutor. Your development in linking theory into practice is supported by regular seminar-based analysis of contemporary case studies that align to the different theoretical themes presented in the modules through the lectures. This practical seminar work further supports your development in team-based research and underpins the module’s assessment activities.

3. This research-informed module also aims at developing your research skills. You will have opportunity to learn more about critical reading and writing of peer reviewed academic journal articles individually and with your seminar group. You will develop your team-based research skills including collaboration, research framework development and oral presentation.

On completing this module, you will be able to demonstrate your developed capability to analyse global operations and supply chain issues, underpinned by relevant knowledge and be able to implement suitable improvement strategies and tools.

How will I learn on this module?

This module encourages you to develop your practical, integrated and cross-functional view of global supply chain and operations to solve business problems relevant in the real world. The module delivery consists of lectures and seminars to support your learning of theoretical and practical strategies. It will demonstrate how core elements of supply chain and operations management interact and are dependent upon on each other to fulfil the purpose and objectives of a business operating in a global environment.

You will learn through a series of linked lectures encompassing the primary functions of the operations and supply chain improvement set out in an integrated approach that relates to the global context. The lectures will explore the complex interactions between these primary elements, and in doing so, reflecting the dynamic nature of operations and supply chain improvement and providing the theoretical basis of the module.

The seminars promote interactive learning relevant to these elements through individual case study analysis, interactive team-based discussion, journal article analysis and guided and facilitated activities, thereby offering the opportunity to relate theory from the lectures into practice Your learning will develop theoretical, research, practical and personal skills useful for your study as well as operational and leadership skills. In addition to business-related skills and strategies, you also have opportunity for research skills development, personal development and problem solving skills such as team working, presentations, task delegation and debating skills during seminars and as part of your independent study.

The design of this module will encourage your development as an independent learner, enabling you to explore issues arising and make extensive use of the available information technology. You will have opportunity to work on different ranges of relevant and current case studies to identify a series of relevant contemporary operations and supply chain issues and challenges and their interface and integration; and to utilise problem solving strategies or tools to address the issues.

As part of your independent learning, you will also have opportunity to review the current peer reviewed journal articles and relevant contemporary issues and discuss your understanding of the content, literature and methodology with peers in a debating environment facilitated by the seminar tutor and within your own small research team bubble. This would promote an integrated and aligned approach of practical and theoretical analysis of the contemporary issues in global operations and supply chain improvement to address the likely direction of the global operations and supply chain in the future.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by the member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input, alongside other academic staff members. The use of a teaching team allows that subject specialist staff will deliver lectures and seminars.

The seminar sessions will be delivered to groups of up to 20 students and will be facilitated by a group of academic staff with subject speciality who can offer support and guidance.

Your module is also supported by an e-learning portal, which accommodates lecture material and seminar instructions, supportive learning resources, alongside assessment details and various support facilities such as electronic reading list comprising your “recommended to purchase” and to read book(s), academic reports, conference papers and journal articles that are relevant to principles of operations and supply chain management. The module lectures will be supported by electronic recordings available through the module e-learning portal.

The module summative assessment contains two different assessment types to promote learning through team elements, practical activities, research and theories. This includes an Individual 3,000 words assignment, which reflects a critical evaluation of different operations and supply chain improvement theories, strategies and tools through both practical and theoretical contributions (80% of overall mark). The other component is a team oral presentation that would focus on more practical aspects of operations and supply chain improvement through research and analysis of a real world contemporary case study (20% of overall mark). Adequate assessment support such as a marking guide, marking rubric, assessment briefing and assessment surgery will be provided for you. Seminar time will be dedicated to assessment briefing and associated formative feedback. There will be electronic recordings of the briefing and guidance for both assessment components.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Understand the context of global and regional integrated operations and supply chain improvement, its likely future direction, and the impact of its strategies and tools on their future direction in global business. [MLO1]
• Demonstrate understanding of improvement tools, key skills, and techniques that are applicable to various sectors, location and sizes of organisations through the support of contemporary research. [MLO2]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Develop problem solving skills relevant to the global business context that related to various contemporary operational and supply chain issues and strategies, with the support of cross-functional thinking, critical reading and research. [MLO3]
• Demonstrate effective team working and presentation skills. [MLO4]

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment:

Assignment (80%):
Individual 3,000 words assignment: a critical evaluation of different operations and supply chain improvement theories, models, strategies and tools through their practical and theoretical contributions. This assessment covers [MLO1], [MLO2] and [MLO3].

Group presentation (20%):
A team presentation focussing on the practical aspects of operations and supply chain improvement. You, as a team of students, will select a real-world case study and will critically evaluate the level of operations and supply chain improvement opportunities using theories and literature. Your group will be established for seminar activities from the beginning of the module. This assessment covers [MLO1], [MLO2], [MLO3] and [MLO4].

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will take place through group work, assignment discussion and reflection, discussion board activity on the e-learning platform, case study activity, and theory/practice related discussions. Criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected and how you will be assessed on your performance. You are required to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice where appropriate. Case Study, theory/practice related discussions and a research-tutored approach to embedding research into teaching will be predominate the formative assessment in the teaching delivery relating to the operations and supply chain improvement strategies and tools, where verbal feedback and seminar-centred discussion summary will provide you with the necessary formative feedback.





Module abstract

Global Operations and Supply Chain Improvement is of paramount importance for any business leader. Improving operations and supply chains is concerned with enhancing products and services through maintaining and sustaining well-managed supply network, with focus on efficiency, quality and technology application. This module provides an underpinning knowledge about operations and supply chain improvement, investigating ongoing developments in theory and practice within the global context. You will learn about strategic theories and gain knowledge associated with performance improvement internal and external to the organisations that enable value chain strategies to be put in place through a number of key themes. Lectures provides theory to create a platform for significant knowledge development and the interactive activities in seminars develop you as a potential problem solver by linking theory to practice. The module assessment involves enquiry-based critical evaluation of contemporary challenges in global operations and supply chain context. Your overall learning experience is research-led through directed study involving up-to-date individual and team based-research, research-tutored through seminar activities that explicitly assess internationally-oriented contemporary outputs and research-oriented where you develop the competencies in assessing and evaluating these academic outputs.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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