A world-leading programme developed by Cranfield through a unique partnership with Rolls-Royce and the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. Designed for industry professionals to fit around demanding careers, the course has been designed to develop the skills to lead change in business.

At a glance

  • Start datePart-time: October
  • DurationTwo years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group project or dissertation 20%, Individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typeExecutive

Who is it for?

For those who recognise the potential for a long and successful career in manufacturing, Cranfield offers the ideal balance of academic study and practical work experience. This course addresses the need for highly trained operations professionals required to transform operations into a world-class business in all sectors of manufacturing. The Operations Excellence course is structured to allow maximum benefit from learning with minimum time away from the working environment.

Why this course?

Companies seek out streamlined processes to enable them to be more efficient, improve quality and be more cost effective. The Operations Excellence course brings together expertise across several disciplines to inform industry and help companies stay ahead of their competitors.

Students learn from other cohort members, from industry practitioners and from developing solutions to individual issues through group and individual projects.These industry experts teach alongside academics from Cranfield and Cambridge who have a wealth of experience in operations excellence.

We have exceptional facilities many of which are unique in the university sector. Students on the Operations Excellence course benefit from this infrastructure which also supports our work with industrial partners. Students have access to computing facilities and laboratories suitable for general purpose and engineering applications. A vast range of specialist software applications are available including Witness, SAP and CAD IDEAS.



Informed by Industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. Students who have excelled have their performances recognised through course awards. The awards are provided by high profile organisations and individuals, and are often sponsored by our industrial partners. Awards are presented on Graduation Day.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by a wide range of subject specialists here and from outside the University who draw on their research and industrial experience to provide stimulating and relevant input to your learning experience. Many of the lecturers have worked in industry themselves, some at Managing Director level, and have actual experience of leading productivity improvements.

Guest lecturers include speakers from Rolls-Royce plc, Primary People, Alan Roberson Associates, Global Closure Systems and Nissan.

Excellent staff to student ratios leads to focused discussion about real-world issues in implementing operations excellence.


Accreditation

The MSc in Operations Excellence is accredited by the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer.  Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Please note accreditation applies to the MSc award. PgDip and PgCert do not meet in full the further learning requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer.


Course details

Comprises an induction week, a series of taught modules, a manufacturing study tour, a group project and an individual thesis project. The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through written examinations and assignments. These provide key information for subsequent project work. The Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at University of Cambridge delivers two of the modules.

Industrially supported and relevant project work undertaken represents 60% of the total study time. It enables delegates to apply the knowledge and skills learnt from the taught element of the course and put them into practice. Projects are chosen to ensure delegates are able to relate the content directly to the performance of the business and its future success. The individual thesis work is particularly focused on the delegate’s company with critical thinking encouraged and supported by thought leaders from the University.

Students who have excelled in the course have their performance recognised through course awards, sponsored by Rolls-Royce, Arthur Corfe and Professor John Kay. These are presented to the winners when they Graduate.

Group project

The Group project gives a team of students the opportunity to take the responsibility for a consultancy type project working for an industrial sponsor. (Note: a dissertation can replace the group project.)

Recent projects include:

  • Rolls-Royce plc - Evaluation of engine assembly methods
  • Weetabix - Optimisation of combined heat and power plant
  • Linx - Development of a new manufacturing facility
  • NCT Leather - Maximising manufacturing capability.

Individual project

The individual project allows each student to demonstrate their independent learning ability and interest in advancing their knowledge through the pursuit of independent research and/or development work in an industrially relevant area and communicate their ideas, analysis and conclusions in written and oral formats. The subject of the thesis is agreed between the delegate and the supervisor and will normally be based around part of the taught material and/or a company problem. The project will be carried out at a company and/or at Cranfield University depending on the nature of the project.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group project or dissertation 20%, Individual project 40%

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2017–2018. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2018 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Business and Manufacturing Strategy

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide students with an overview of the main, established business and functional strategy frameworks, with their advantages and disadvantages.  Also to provide critical capability in analysing and developing strategies.

Syllabus
    • The main business strategy frameworks; Porter, Mintzberg, Boston Consulting
    • Harvard manufacturing strategy frameworks; Skinner, Hayes and Wheelwright, Garvin
    • New and developing frameworks and research including resource and competency based strategy
    • High performance strategies
    • Issues of Risk, Governance and Servicisation
    • Strategy process and implementation methods
    • Case studies.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the appropriate strategy frameworks and tools to use in building business and manufacturing strategies
  • Apply these frameworks and tools to the development of strategy in industrial situations
  • Assess critically the coherence and appropriateness of business and functional strategies.

Effective Factories

Module Leader
  • Dr Peter Ball
Aim

    To provide students with the knowledge of and skills needed to design effective manufacturing systems.

Syllabus
    • Group Technology/Cellular Manufacturing
    • Lean Enterprise Systems
    • Modelling techniques
    • Analytical tools eg. PFA, VSM
    • Equipment Specification
    • Workdesign
    • Productivity improvement and cost reduction techniques, eg. Kaizen, SMED.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the tools and techniques required for the design of effective manufacturing systems
  • Understand the procedures needed to specify and/or design production equipment and workstations
  • Demonstrate awareness of lean concepts as applied to manufacturing organisations.

Operational Availability and Risk

Module Leader
  • Petros Boutselis
Aim

    To develop knowledge and understanding of analytical and modelling approaches that can be used to support the planning and management of the supply network.


Syllabus
    • Principles and concepts of risk and availability modelling
    • Supply network modelling frameworks
    • Concepts of probability and systems thinking for supply networks, and operational availability.
    • Information from data and statistics for supply network design
    • Formulation of resource allocation problems for delivery value.
    • Solve mathematical programming problems for through-life decisions using suitable software
    • Introduction to the ideas of continuous simulation including System Dynamics, Agent Based Modelling and Discrete event simulation

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Evaluate the issues involved in building availability and risk models of systems as a means of supporting the management of the service support and supply network.
2. Examine the underlying concepts of discrete and continuous simulation and mathematical programming and their application to the study of delivery for value, defining operational availability and system effectiveness.
3. Use "soft" methodologies in the problem formulation phase of a study and use modelling and simulation in design and in supply network planning.
4. Evaluate the issues arising during the collection, organisation and analysis of statistical data, in order to evaluate reliability and root causes.
5. Formulate a description of the supply network activities in the form of a conceptual model that can be used to capture common understanding, identify problematic areas and develop relative models of operational availability and risk.

Management Accounting and Human Resource Management

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide students with an understanding of management accounting principles and cost engineering methods and to provide a practical understanding of different management styles, team roles and different cultures.

Syllabus
    • Objective, principles, terminology and systems of management accounting
    • Inter-relationships between functional responsibilities within a company
    • Business game
    • Cost engineering
    • Personal style and team contribution
    • Interpersonal dynamics, leadership, human and cultural diversity.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Understand the objectives, principles, terminology and systems of management accounting
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of inter-relationships between functional responsibilities in a company
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of different management styles, team roles, different cultures, and how the management of human diversity can impact organisational performance
  • Understand the principles of cost engineering.

Manufacturing Assessment and Improvement

Module Leader
  • Salonitis, Dr Konstantinos K.
Aim

    To provide students with knowledge and techniques needed for the assessment and improvement of manufacturing systems.

Syllabus
    • Performance measurement
    • EFQM  
    • Best Factory Award
    • OEE, TPM and FMEA  
    • Statistical Process Control
    • Business Process Re-engineering
    • Lean Aerospace Initiative.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of tools and techniques to assess and measure manufacturing performance
  • Apply process capability assessment techniques
  • Apply maintenance measurement and management tools
  • Demonstrate awareness of re-engineering tools.

Production Planning and Control

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide students with an introduction to the fundamental concepts and methodologies of production management.

Syllabus
    • Capacity management
    • Scheduling
    • Inventory Management
    • Manufacturing Information Systems (MRP, MRP11, ERP)
    • Just-in-Time systems.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Understand the determinants of capacity, the concept of the key determinant, and the issue of the order/size mix
  • Appreciate the complexity of scheduling, and be aware of simple scheduling rules
  • Understand independent and dependent demand, and the resulting impact on the design and management of manufacturing inventory systems
  • Understand the basic logic of an MRP system and data accuracy requirements, the basic elements of MRP11 and ERP systems, and issues surrounding successful implementation
  • Understand the basic characteristics of Just-in-Time manufacturing systems, including the operation of a Kanban system, and the Toyota Production System
  • Analyse a manufacturing system involving capacity constraints, inventory objectives and scheduling rules.

Realising Competitive Manufacture

Module Leader
  • Dr Patrick McLaughlin
Aim

    To raise the students’ understanding of the role of the manufacturing function within the wider business context, and to develop skills in the design and realisation of competitive manufacturing strategy.

Syllabus
    • Competitive manufacturing strategy concepts
    • Benchmarking of manufacturing system performance  
    • Manufacturing strategy in business success
    • Strategy formation and formulation, leading on to system design
    • Structured strategy formulation and system design methodologies
    • Approaches to strategy formulation in differing business contexts
    • Realisation of new strategies/system designs, including approaches to implementation
    • Case study on design of competitive manufacturing strategy.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

  • Describe the role of manufacturing within business strategy
  • Define and explain manufacturing strategy process and content, emergent and intended strategy, competitive edge criteria and decision areas
  • Explain how the various approaches to manufacturing strategy formation complement different business circumstances
  • Demonstrate manufacturing strategy formulation
  • Apply a structured methodology for manufacturing strategy formulation
  • Assess the impact of a proposed manufacturing strategy on business performance.

Technology Management

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide students with the principles and practice of Technology Management.

Syllabus
    • Technology in business context
    • Technology management processes
    • Technology strategy and planning (including road mapping, foresight, scenarios, etc)
    • R&D portfolio management, IPR management, valuation
    • New venture creation and entrepreneurship
    • Make versus Buy/strategic alliances and partnerships
    • Technology management in applications.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Understand the broad issues that link technology, business and industry evolution
  • Demonstrate the use and value of a process framework for supporting effective technology management
  • Demonstrate the use of various core tools and techniques encompassed by technology management
  • Understand how to plan for different future scenarios
  • Understand how pipelines of sources of technology are managed to create sustainable business growth
  • Understand how technology can be applied to market opportunities through new venture creation
  • Understand how internal and external resources/capabilities can be balanced to achieve business goals
  • Understand how technology is managed within your company.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2018 to 2019 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (21 April 2017).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.


MSc Part-time £2,200 *
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,980 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.


MSc Part-time £2,200 *
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,980 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.


Funding Opportunities

To help students find and secure appropriate funding, we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England
A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship
The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)
The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries
Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans
Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Erasmus+ Student Loans
This new loan scheme for EU students is offered by Future Finance and European Investment Fund and provides smart, flexible loans of up to £9,300.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree in a relevant science, engineering or related discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

IELTS Academic – 6.5 overall
TOEFL – 92
Pearson PTE Academic – 65
Cambridge English Scale – 180
Cambridge English: Advanced – C
Cambridge English: Proficiency – C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.


Your career

Individuals selected to participate in this programme will be able to deliver significant business benefits to their employer/sponsoring company immediately. In addition, the greater depth and breadth of skills gained will enable graduates to progress to more senior roles in the future.

Applying

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at this time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

Apply Now