MSc Business with Operations Management

Course Details

Gain a broad knowledge of business whilst specialising in the area of operations management. This course does not focus solely on one element of operations management, but fuses key elements such as operations analytics, project management and supply chain operations together to develop you into a successful operations manager.

You will begin Term 1 with three modules covering key business areas (Foundations of Financial & Management Accounting, Quantitative Methods for Business, and Strategy Analysis and Practice). Additionally the Operations Management module is the first of your specialist modules.

In Term 2 you will study Fundamentals of Economic Behaviour, another key business area, looking at microeconomics but with our unique behavioural science perspective. You will also do two more of your specialist modules (Operations Analytics, and Supply Chain Management). Finally you choose one optional module, allowing you to explore another field.

In Term 3 you will study your fourth specialist module, Project Management, and an optional module. You also follow the course content relating to either the Dissertation or Business in Practice route.

Optional modules
We offer a range of optional modules which reflect the research strengths of WBS across the business and management disciplines. Students on the dissertation route will take one optional module; students on the Business in Practice route will take two. Module availability may vary and that your first choice may not be guaranteed. Please see the drop down link for module descriptions.

Assessment

Assessment is a mix of exams, assignments, assessed group project work, and tests. Your dissertation or Business in Practice module brings all of your learning together.

Choice of Dissertation or Business in Practice route:

Dissertation route
If you are considering further academic study (PhD) and you would like the opportunity to research a topic relating to operations management, the 6,000 word dissertation enables you to test and apply the techniques and theories you have gained. You will be supervised and supported throughout, with the Research Methodology module helping you to prepare.

In total you will study eight compulsory modules and one optional module, and complete a dissertation and a Research Methodology module. 

Business in Practice route
If you would like to develop further applied skills to suit your career aspirations, you can complete your studies with our applied Business in Practice module. You will develop your business knowledge and personal skills with practical insights from our faculty and our CareersPlus & Corporate Relations team.

In total you will study eight compulsory modules, two optional modules and also complete the Business in Practice capstone module.

 

Core Modules

Operations Management

This is the introductory core Operations Management module for MSc Business with Operations Management. It establishes the basic principles and theories in Operations Management. The module aims to introduce core Operations Management topics across production/ service and hybrid operations and demonstrate Operations Management concepts across for profit, not for profit and 3rd sector organisations. The module will help students develop an understanding of the relationship between the Operation and the Strategy, highlighting the role of emergent strategy, and competitive advantage developed through operational capability.

Operations Analytics

The module will provide an awareness of the contribution that modelling and analysis can make to the solution of operational business problems. The aim is not to develop modelling and analysis skills explicitly, but to enable participants to become ‘critical consumers’ of modelling and analysis.

Supply Chain Management

The aim of this module is to provide a network perspective on managing operations and that emphasise that supply chain management is a core competitive advantage in today's business world. In particular, it aims to provide an understanding of the methods, techniques, practices and strategies involved in the integrated management of supply chains and networks across organisations and industries.

Quantitative Methods for Business

The module aims to provide an introduction to quantitative methods to students from non-numerical backgrounds. The module will equip students with an understanding of descriptive/inferential statistics and data presentation and enable them to apply the major tools needed for MSc level study and for the use of data analysis in the workplace.

 

Project Management

This module aims to span a range of sectors with a multidisciplinary approach, and to sensitise students to the strategic power of projects for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. The module provides conceptual, analytical and practical insights into the management of projects.

Strategy Analysis and Practice

This course is concerned with understanding in depth and applying in practice some models and concepts for building a firm's "competitive strategy", that is a business-level strategy that enables a firm to gain and sustain a competitive advantage in a given industry. This course is therefore not concerned with issues of corporate strategy, such as choices of internationalization and diversification.

To survive and prosper over the long-term in a given industry, a firm must be able to create and sustain over time a competitive advantage. This course equips you with the frameworks, analytical tools, and concepts that you need to complement your own intuition and skills in making sense of the organisational and environmental complexity and in identifying the sources of superior performances.

The course leads you into two areas of analysis: the external environment of the firm (the industry context), and the internal environment of the firm (its resources and capabilities).

 

Foundations of Financial & Management Accounting

The module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to financial reporting and management accounting. The unit adopts a user perspective, rather than a specialist accountant perspective. By the end of the module, students will be able to prepare simple versions of the main financial statements; use financial statement information to analyse the performance of firms over time and across industries; and demonstrate an understanding of the role and the importance of the auditor and corporate governance in ensuring the quality of financial statement information and user confidence in this information.

 

Fundamentals of Economic Behaviour

Study fundamental economic concepts and assumptions about the behaviour of individuals and firms, their interactions in markets and the role of government with respect to market failures of various kinds.

Optional Modules

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

The aim of the module is to introduce you to current thinking and debate in the area of researching equality and diversity in organisations and the labour market. In particular the module aims to build on knowledge developed during core modules by offering detailed thematic study of the area making explicit links with current empirical research conducted by staff in OHRM.

Managing Human Resources in Contemporary Organisations

Through this module you’ll be introduced to a range of debates that are central to the human resource management and employment relations field, including the 'high commitment' models of human resource management. It will also provide you with an in-depth insight into a number of the specific HR practice areas, including: recruitment and selection; training and development; job design and teamworking, pay and rewards; unions and HRM, and equal opportunities and diversity management.

During this module you will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the development of human resource management as a field of study.
  • Critically appreciate the contribution made by each of the core disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, law, economics).
  • Analyse specific human resource management problems in their wider social context.
  • Understand, evaluate, and marshal critical social science research on human resource management.
  • Extrapolate from existing research and scholarship to identify new or revised approaches to human resource practice
  • Demonstrate advanced study skills including written communication, location and retrieval of relevant reading from library stock and electronic resources, using information technology, employing appropriate quantitative methods.
Business Analytics for Managers

This module introduces you to the theory and practice of conducting business analytics projects. It adopts a business analytics methodology which enables you  to (a) analyse a complex business situation, (b) identify high value opportunities for business analytics and (c) deliver an effective business analytics project. The module adopts an experiential learning philosophy by giving you a guided and mentored experience of conducting a realistic consulting project.

People & Organisations

The aims of the module are to: 

1) Introduce students to the principles, theories and research underlying the academic disciplines concerning the behaviour, leadership and management of people and organisations (Organisational Behaviour, OB and Human Resource Management, HRM) at four levels of analysis: individual, group, organisational and societal. 

2) Develop a critical appreciation of the behavioural and social sciences as they relate to the study of behaviour in organisations. 

3) Introduce students to a critical understanding of the practice of management, leadership and people management in particular. 

4) Provide students with structured opportunities to practice applying OB and HRM principles, theories and research to analyse and solve organisational problems. 

Governance and Corporate Responsibility

Appreciate the wider institutional location of business activity. Examine how firms are both 'takers' and 'givers' of governance and regulation in a variety of formal and informal ways.

Digital Working & Organisational Transformation

To be effective in modern organisations requires an understanding of the dynamics of digital work. This module equips students with a broad understanding of the tools and organisational arrangements driving this shift towards digital working, and provides them with techniques and frameworks to operate effectively in this more dynamic and fluid work environment. The module reviews major trends and changes in the workplace arising from the increased adoption of digital tools to support work practices in modern organisations. It reviews major drivers of adoption of these tools and the emergence of new dynamics of interactions and patterns of work.

Leading for Innovation

This module aims to develop a greater understanding of how to foster an innovative work environment. It also aims to understand how to develop leaders for innovation.

 

Behavioural Economics

This module introduces students to the ways in which economists and psychologists have used behavioural theories and experimental methods to provide extensions to, or alternatives to, the conventional economic wisdom covered by most standard Microeconomic courses. It will examine recent cutting-edge research and consider the implications of that research for individual decision making, the operation of markets and public sector policy-making.

Design in Business

The objectives of this module are to:

  • Provide students with an appreciation of the roles of design within a business context
  • Develop in students a good understanding of the contribution design can make to innovation and organisational success
  • Critically examine various innovation and design approaches and processes, and the scope and content of design in both product and service contexts
  • Provide insights into the functions and contributions of professional designers
  • Discuss the emergence of 'design thinking' and its importance to business
  • Explore the issues related to the management of cross-functional teams
  • Examine the impact that design and designers can make on organisational performance.
Digital Marketing Technology & Management

This module aims to provide an overview about how today's firms use digital marketing technologies to achieve their business objectives. Students will require theoretical and practical subject knowledge and understanding, cognitive and methodological skills (e.g. written assignment, critical reflections, discussions in seminars, hands-on exercises) and social/soft skills (e.g. leadership and team work).

Forecasting for Decision Makers

The module aims to providing training on methods that aid decision making when managers face an uncertain future. The module covers methods for short-term and long-term forecasting of product demand and macroeconomic variables. The module discusses how forecasting aids decision-making.

Business, International Finance & Economics

Exposure to the global economy brings new ideas, technologies, and management practices to a business. Whether looking to build a new plant, sell to a new market or find global business partners, exploiting opportunities in new markets or regions poses fresh challenges.

Many of those challenges arise from the different business environment that's present in countries around the world. What does an understanding of economics tell us about which countries and regions will see markets develop quickly in the medium term? Which governments act in ways that pose macroeconomic risks and which do not? How can resources and intellectual property be managed effectively? Which economic theories offer strategies to foster talent and help staff respond to new opportunities?

The patterns of world trade and the responses of governments have always been in constant flux. Businesses can't rely on traditional markets in the medium- to long-term. The pandemic has disturbed even the recently-established patterns of global economic growth. Strategic business decisions require an appreciation of the economic thinking that underpins these new patterns of growth and the changes in international finance that support them.

This module will provide real world examples and case studies to illustrate how economic thinking helps businesses make the most of new opportunities, while managing the risks associated with expansion into new markets and regions.

The module has been developed for business and management students across the WBS MSc portfolio and draws on ideas and research from macroeconomics, microeconomics, international finance, business strategy and development economics. No previous experience of economic analysis is required.

 

Big Data Analytics

This module will cover a wide range of cutting edge research in Big Data Analytics, with a particular focus on the extensive value of data from the Internet, much of which is freely available if you have the skills to mine it.

This module involves learning to program in R, but no prior programming knowledge is required.

Module aims will include:

  • Linking stock market movements to online data
  • Measuring sentiment with online data
  • Predicting consumer behaviour with online data
  • Getting quicker measurements of key economic indicators with online data
  • Measuring where people are and where they are going with mobile phone data and online data
  • Predicting crime and epidemics
  • Understanding social networks.

The module will also teach you the practical skills needed to work with online data.

You will learn:

  • How to mine data on Google searches
  • How to mine data on Wikipedia page views
  • How to mine data on photographs uploaded to Flickr
  • How to make data visualisations
  • How to design and execute a small data science project of your own

As part of this, the module will teach you how to use R, an industry standard programming language for data analytics.

Digital Business Services

This module focuses on how digital technologies enable organisations to offer digital services that aim at improving customer experience as well as firm performance. The module assumes no prior knowledge of technology and prepares students to engage with technology-related conversations (e.g., designing a new digital service) at the modern workplace. 

The module has three themes. The first theme is gaining competitive advantage using a digital business strategy and covers concepts such as motivations for digital transformation. The second theme provides an overview of what today’s managers need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, social media, and data analytics. The last theme focuses on the lifecycle of digital service provision, covering key concepts such as technology selection and sourcing, agile implementation, and risk management.

 

Entrepreneurship & Business Venturing

In this module you will study the contexts, components, and processes of entrepreneurial behaviour in different types of organisations and focus on key issues in developing business proposals and plans.

International Business

The module aims to develop a critical awareness of the issues, problems, concepts, and skills associated with the development of international business strategy and operations. Topics will include: the drivers and processes of internationalisation, cross-cultural management challenges, the assessment of overseas investment opportunities and the specific challenges of emerging markets.

 

Strategic HRM

Strategic human resource management is concerned with the creation of value through the management of human and social capital in organisations. The value of HRM is realised when the capacities and motives of individuals, groups are directed towards the strategic objectives of the organisation. The aim of the module is to provide you with a deep understanding of this strategic role of human capital management and the tools with which to analyse and manage it.

We will consider what it means to align the HR function with strategic objectives. We will ask whether all human capital is equally valuable. We will debate the extent to which human capital and its associated outcomes are quantifiable in a meaningful way. We will examine whether HRM can support both efficiency and flexibility at the same time. Ultimately, the class will provide a range of models and tools for managing human capital in a strategic

Case Studies in Data Science & Economics

The module aims to provide training in applying data science methods to contemporary economic problems by looking at case studies. Specifically, the module aims to give you the opportunity to conduct a data science project using economic data. You will discover how to replicate and extend a data science case. The module aims to give the appropriate grounding in economic analysis, while developing your research and communication skills. 

A formative group exercise will be set whereby groups will be given data and asked to conduct a statistical analysis of the economic problem. This will serve as a "dummy run" for the individual assignment, and there will be in-class feedback. 

Corporate Finance

This module aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of corporate finance theory and practice. It reviews how firms raise money, manage their finances and distribute profits to achieve their goals. 

Research Methodology

If you select the dissertation route, Research Methodology becomes a compulsory module for you and it gives you the academic skills to confidently approach your dissertation topic. The focus is on epistemological foundations, the design of a research project, the preparation for and execution of valid and reliable business research (whether qualitative or quantitative), and on the writing up and presentation of research results.

Dissertation or Business in Practice

Business in Practice

The Business in Practice module is the core capstone module for students who choose this route instead of the dissertation route. It will illustrate business theory in practice by combing academic lecture input with expert practitioner insights, and will also provide intensive personal work-skills development via WBS CareersPlus team. The module is taught over two intensive weeks incorporating an innovative and exciting business simulation. The module is assessed through a Firm Analysis assignment and an Individual Reflective Journal assignment.

 

Dissertation

If you select the dissertation route you will work with an allocated academic supervisor and research a topic relating to Operations Management. The module is assessed by a 6,000 word formal dissertation. 

 

See indicative compulsory and optional modules for this course More Less

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