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.

Overview

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

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, NVIDO 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.

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 a two day induction, eight taught modules, 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 one 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 and Arthur Corfe. 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.
  • Siemens - Developing a cost of quality model

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%

Modules

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 compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2018–2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 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

Aim

    To introduce the context of manufacturing strategy and to provide students with the frameworks and methodologies used to build and assess manufacturing strategies, and to provide critical skills to analyse and determine when to apply these frameworks.

Syllabus
    • Strategy frameworks (Porter, Mintzberg, Boston Consulting Group, Skinner, Hayes & Wheelwright, Platts, etc)
    • Operations Strategy – Types (Corporate, business and function), levels of Strategy, Operations leader role.
    • Strategy charting
    • FIT model – Aligning Operations Capabilities to Market requirements
    • Understanding Competitive criteria
    • Understanding Competitive advantage and the types
    • Capabilities – Capability architecture, Capability to competitive advantage, Improving Capabilities
    • Resource analysis and coordination
    • Performance measurement process (Balanced Scorecard, etc)
    • Strategy Implementation – Hoshin Kanri, etc
    • New and developing frameworks and research including servitisation and resource and
    • Competency based strategy
    • Case studies
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Differentiate between strategy frameworks and tools to use in developing business and manufacturing strategies.
2. Critically appraise the coherence and appropriateness of corporate, business and manufacturing strategies.
3. Evaluate the impact of a proposed manufacturing strategy upon business performance.


Effective Factories

Aim

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

Syllabus
    • Principles of Manufacturing & Factories
    • Design of layouts
    • Human centred factory design
    • Cellular manufacturing
    • Factory dynamics and modelling variability
    • Capacity, demand and load; identifying key capacity determinant; order-size mix problem; coping with changes in demand.
    • Scheduling rules; scheduling and nested set-ups.
    • Role of inventory; dependent and independent demand; economic order quantity; uncertain demand; inventory management systems and measures.
    • Maintenance management
    • Industry 4.0


Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Differentiate the applicability of different layout types applicable in manufacturing business.
2. Assess how production layout and system design influences productivity.
3. Appraise the effectiveness of cellular configurations.
4. Evaluate maintenance strategies for production systems.
5. Evaluate the impact of Industry 4.0 on factory layout, automation and systems, to provide a visual factory and a flexible manufacturing facility

Technology Management

Aim

    To provide students with knowledge of the principles and practices of Technology Management as a route to create competitive advantage within Operations.


Syllabus
    • Technology in business context
    • Technology management processes
    • Technology strategy and planning (including road mapping, foresight, scenarios, etc)
    • IPR management
    • Technology management tools and toolkits
    • Strategies for visual communication
    • Technology insertion
    • Make versus Buy / managing partnerships / open innovation
    • Technology management in application

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Assess the broad issues that link technology, business and industry evolution.
2. Appraise pipelines of sources of technology in terms of managing sustainable business growth.
3. Assess how internal and external resources/capabilities can be balanced to achieve technology strategy objectives.
4. Evaluate how technology is managed within the student’s company.


Leading Change in Operations

Aim
    To develop student understanding of selected models of change management along with the skills, competencies and approaches required to achieve successful change leadership.
Syllabus

    Specific areas that will be covered include:
    • Systemic, people and organisational change
    • Leadership appropriate for establishing and sustaining change
    • Different approaches to achieving change
    • Cultural aspects to initiating and sustaining change
    • Psychology of change
    • Leadership style for the student
    • Emotional engagement of people involved with the change
    • Gauging effectiveness of the change

    Ensuring sustainability of the change implemented

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
• Evaluate the different aspects and issues likely to be encountered in leading change in processes, systems and organizations
• Appraise strategies and approaches for managing change, including the impact of any change
• Design and formulate an appropriate change programme
• Evaluate the potential sources of resistance to the change programme and formulate strategies which can be used to successfully overcome them
• Evaluate the effectiveness of change and estimate the likely change programme trajectory


Operations Assessment and Improvement

Aim
    To provide students with knowledge and techniques needed for the assessment and improvement of operations systems.
Syllabus

    This module is based on how performance of an operations function can be evaluated and how performance improvement actions can be identified and developed into an improvement plan.
    A lecture approach and case evaluations will be used to present theory and practice, with emphasis on pragmatic techniques to evaluate and improve performance. Cases will be used to explore interaction between the taught concepts and to develop greater understanding of how operations performance can be improved. Specific areas that will be covered include:
    • Objective, principles, terminology and systems of management accounting.
    • Inter-relationships between functional responsibilities within a company
    • Performance measurement
    • Evaluation of potential improvement actions
    • Developing an improvement plan

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Describe the principles, objectives, application and limitations of management accounting.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of tools and techniques to assess and measure operations performance.
3. Evaluate operations performance within student’s own organization
4. Develop appropriate improvement interventions for application within student’s own organization

Innovation Management

Aim
    To develop student understanding and competency in the enablers of effective innovation management and in appropriate design and implementation actions for development of improved innovation capabilities.
Syllabus

    The content of this module is based around innovation and its application in a business to improve performance. A lecture approach and case evaluations will be used to present theory and practice, with emphasis on pragmatic techniques to evaluate and improve innovation capabilities. Cases will be used to explore interaction between the taught concepts and to develop greater understanding of how innovation capabilities can be improved. Specific areas that will be covered include:

    • Innovation impact on business performance
    • Innovation types
    • The role of teamwork and communication in innovation
    • Innovation enablers and inhibitors
    • Practicalities of developing an innovation capability
    • Change management strategies to improve innovation capabilities
    • Performance measurement of innovation performance and innovation capability

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Evaluate the concept of innovation, the role of innovation and its use to improve new business performance.
2. Assess the challenges organisations face when implementing improved innovation capabilities.
3. Describe the enablers and inhibitors for different innovation types.
4. Assessinnovation capability Evaluate innovation capabilities and propensity within an organisation.
5. Develop appropriate interventions to improve innovation capabilities within an organization.


Supply Chain Management

Aim
    To provide students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of contemporary supply chain management, with an emphasis on effective operations practice.
Syllabus
    • Principles of supply chain management for competitive advantage
    • Management of supplier relationships
    • Introduction to agile and segmented supply chains
    • Management of global supply chains
    • Supply chain resilience and risk management
    • Supply chain management tools and modelling approaches

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Appraise the basic principles underlying supply chain management and the potential impact on an organisations competitive position and its performance
2. Evaluate evolving supply relationships and explain the potential roles of co-ordination and collaboration
3. Assess the different characteristics of agile supply chains, identify pre-conditions to agility and propose capabilities and practices to improve supply chain agility
4. Assess key aspects of a customer responsive supply chain strategy within defined service and demand profiles


Team Management

Aim
    To provide students with knowledge and awareness of models and techniques required to assess, understand and work with the skills and competencies of different team roles, personality types, management styles and cultural differences in the context of organisational team-working.
Syllabus
    • Individual/personal motivations, styles and team contributions
    • Interpersonal dynamics, tensions & synergies
    • The personal nature of team leadership
    • The characteristics and management of high performing teams
    • Human and cultural diversity
    • Emotional intelligence in the management of self and others
    • Key frameworks for team assessment, building and development

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Assess the inherent difficulty in maintaining productive inter-relationships between different functional responsibilities within an organization, and how team management impacts upon organisational performance.
2. Appraise the dynamic and multi-dimensional nature of teamworking and of team management.
3. Evaluate different personality types, leadership styles, management approaches, team roles and cultures.
4. Evaluate methods for recognizing and resolving tensions, disagreements and conflicts within teams and between individual team members.


Manufacturing in Practice (Study Tour)

Aim
    To provide students with examples of manufacturing operations that can be compared and contrasted to identify best practice and opportunities for improvement.
Syllabus
    Visits to a range of manufacturing operations.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Describe examples of good practice in operations and discuss how it could be implemented.

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

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 *
  • * This course has an annual registration fee and a fee per taught module. The fee quoted above is the annual registration fee and this amount will be invoiced annually. The fee for each taught module is £1,980 and this amount will be payable on attendance. The course consists of 8 taught modules with each module usually worth 10 credits. Where a module is worth either 5 credits or 20 credits then the module fee will be adjusted accordingly (so a 5 credit module fee will be halved and a 20 credit module fee will be doubled).

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • 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.

MSc Part-time £2,200 *
  • * This course has an annual registration fee and a fee per taught module. The fee quoted above is the annual registration fee and this amount will be invoiced annually. The fee for each taught module is £1,980 and this amount will be payable on attendance. The course consists of 8 taught modules with each module usually worth 10 credits. Where a module is worth either 5 credits or 20 credits then the module fee will be adjusted accordingly (so a 5 credit module fee will be halved and a 20 credit module fee will be doubled).

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

For information on the apprenticeship levy please contact our dedicated Cranfield Apprenticeship team at E: masterships@cranfield.ac.uk 

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.

GREAT China Scholarship
The GREAT Cranfield University Scholarship China is jointly funded by Cranfield University and the British Council. Two scholarships of £11,000 each for Chinese students are available.

Masters Loan from Student Finance England

A Masters 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 Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £4,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. The scholarship is open to female students from the UK.

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

Cranfield University has partnered with Future Finance as an alternative source of funding for our students with loans of up to £40,000 available.

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 Masters courses.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers Postgraduate Masters Scholarship

IMechE is offering a number of postgraduate research Scholarships worth up to £6,500 to graduates with a 2:1 honours IMechE accredited BEng(Hons) degree to allow them to undertake an IMechE accredited Masters degree.

IGEM Postgraduate Masters Scholarship
The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) is offering postgraduate Masters Scholarships worth £6,500 to those studying an Engineering Council accredited degree.

Royal Aeronautical Society
The Royal Aeronautical Society offer Centennial Scholarships for those studying an accredited course.

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.

How to apply

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.