Whatever the industry, and whether operating globally or nationally, it’s more important than ever for businesses to manage their supply chains and ecosystems carefully in order to succeed. Companies, government departments, and international organisations cannot survive for long without rigorous, efficient and strategic management of supply chains and logistics. They need to demonstrate their resilience against disruption and adversity, the incorporation of new technologies, and the application of e-security, location, and outsourcing decisions in a world of rapid technological change, global industrial restructuring and retrenchment and onset of dangerous climate change.
On our one-year International Supply Chain Management MSc, taught at our Central London campus, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the forces at work and knowledge of sophisticated tools to strategically manage both large, complex, technology-based supply chains, as well as more traditional ones. You’ll cover logistics and procurement often across national boundaries, companies, regions, and time-zones.
Our focused and highly relevant curriculum is based on current thinking and real-world experience and needs in managing supply chains globally as technologies, markets and the international business and trade environment are changing fast. You’ll learn from senior academics and experienced practitioners, with input from CEOs and senior executives across a range of industries. These industry connections have informed the content and design of the course.
We recruit students from arts, sciences, manufacturing, business, management, and services and prepare them for successful careers across many industries: high technology manufacturing, engineering, electronics and computing, service sectors, fashion and clothing, food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals and bio medical, aid agencies, disaster relief and NGOs.
This MSc is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and is studied at our Central London campus.
This year we will be running the following insightful mandatory modules:
In this module you will develop an understanding of the critical issues and application of project management. You will look at the tools, techniques and body of knowledge involved in each stage of the project management life cycle, including project initiation, planning, execution, control and closure. You will consider how project management is applicable to all types of organisation and essential to the corporate strategy.
In this modules you will be introduced to the concept and definition of supply chain management, how it is increasingly recognised as a competitive strategy and the influence of supply chain management and other major functional activities to a firm's success.
This module will introduce you to the main concepts and principles of global logistics and the growth of International trade. This has increased the volumes of products that are shipped across the world as well as the number of overseas facilities and supply chain partners. Companies are reliant on freight forwarders for the best service and cost options. This module covers all aspect of international trade, physical transportation, inventory management, warehousing, simulation tools and techniques.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the key aspects and practices in the management of operations and processes, including scheduling of activities, procurement and the supply chain. You will look at the concepts and theories of quality management, including planning, control and assurance, and learn how to apply these as part of the project management process. You will consider the historical evolution of operations and production management concepts, from craft production, through to mass production, lean production, agile manufacturing, modular manufacturing and mass customisation. you will also examine the totality of the tools comprising lean methods of production and kaizen continuous improvement activities.
In this module, you will be introduced to a number of traditional and contemporary costing approaches that increase the visibility of cost and aid decision-making in the supply chain. Financial flows are the basis of trade and supply chain managers need to be as competent in following the financial trail as they are in following the product trail. Business environments today are more turbulent and volatile. Hence, there is greater awareness of the financial dimension on ‘the bottom line’ and a positive cash flow is as important as profit. Totals costs, revenue generation, fixed capital and working capital are the financial issues to be considered when supply chain strategies are created.
This modules provides you with an understanding of the theory and principles of risk management, the role of risk management in the successful running of the supply chain and the impact on supply chain performance. Examples of supply chain risk management in global organisations will be discussed as well as the approaches for risk mitigation and supply chain resilience.
In this module you will be introduced to the concept of sustainability and to megatrends impacting the supply chains of the future. Sustainability is a key concern to supply chain managers particularly since the globalisation of supply chains, where economics, ethics and the environment most widely known as the triple bottom line are critical in supply chain decision-making. Supply chains of the future are characterised by a number of key trends emerging from developments in technology and material sciences. Using the latest reports and examples from practice this course covers major trends and developments we see emerging in supply chains.
In this module you will be introduced to various information systems and technologies that can contribute to the efficient management of the supply chain. By examining the role of information in international supply chains, students will learn the need for information visibility and transparency across the supply network and the barriers to achieving it.
This module provides you with the theory and practice of global sourcing and procurement. More specifically, through case examples the relation between global sourcing, offshoring and outsourcing and the achievement of low cost manufacturing are explained. The challenge between timely delivery and product quality from global supplier networks, factors to consider whether to insource or outsource, offshore or re-shore, supplier selection and evaluation, supplier scorecards, total cost of ownership models and a detailed analysis of the role of purchasing and procurement managers.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the common quantitative and qualitative methodologies used when conducting business research. You will look at relevant analytical, theoretical and contextual research, and learn to use software tools to analyse and critically interpret empirical findings and data. You will consider how to prepare a research proposal and examine relevant frameworks for research ethics, reliability, and validity.
- Project by Dissertation
All modules are core
Teaching & assessment
Over the 12 months of this course, you’ll take ten taught course units, attend various seminars and workshops and complete a final project or dissertation. Each term is made up of five taught course units. And at the end of the year, you will apply the techniques and theories you’ve learned during the taught elements in a Masters level thesis of 12,000–15,000 words on a supply chain related topic. The dissertation will typically consist of a literature review followed by empirical work, involving either qualitative or quantitative research.
You’ll learn from highly experienced practitioners, including input from CEOs and senior executives from international firms across a range of industries. These industry connections have informed the content and design of the course, in a way that will not only build on your existing knowledge and experience but increase your chances of finding employment at a salary level higher than the graduate national average wage in your chosen sector.
Your first degree should be in a relevant subject.
This course requires a UK 2:2 (Honours) or equivalent. Relevant professional qualifications and/or experience in an associated area will also be considered.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start. Find out what scores we require.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Graduates of our supply chain courses have proven to be highly employable and pursued careers across a range of industries.
Roles in supply chain and logistics management can vary and are not limited to professionals who oversee the implementation and operations of supply chains, outsourcing, procurement, transportation, and logistics. A typical role could include taking ownership of a specific aspect of a supply chain project, ensuring that it is delivered to all stakeholders and meets the competitive needs of an organisation. You might be the person who provides detailed knowledge on a specific supply chain management discipline, or provides professional support services to a range of supply chain and procurement needs of an organisation, including international aid and disaster relief logistics management and planning.
With an MSc, you can progress your career in a wide range of positions in industry, make substantial contributions to multidisciplinary teams, strategically managing domestic and international supply chains, logistics, procurement, global sourcing, finance, technology acquisition, and risk management, amongst others. This will help you progress through an organisation into senior management positions or change career paths across industries, government, and NGOs. Some industries you could go into include:
- Electronics, Mobile Communication and Computing
- Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare
- Food and Agriculture
- Textiles, Clothing and Fashion Industries
- Finance and International Banking
- Manufacturing, Aerospace, Automotive, Heavy Engineering
- High –tech Materials and Components Start-Ups
- Minerals, Oil &Gas
- Commodities Trade, Procurement and Distribution
- Music, Film Production, TV Production
- Government Departments
- International Aid, Disaster Relief and NGO
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £11600
International students tuition fee per year**: £19000
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the programme via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.