The Cranfield Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The programme has been co-designed with senior logistics and supply chain professionals and is delivered by Europe's largest specialist logistics and supply chain management faculty. It will provide you with the specialist knowledge and skills that you need to further your career as a logistics and supply chain professional.


  • Start date30 September 2019
  • Duration1 year
  • DeliveryTaught modules 60%, individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus
Logistics FT
An introduction to the Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc

Who is it for?

  • Recent graduates with a good undergraduate degree who want a broad understanding of logistics and supply chain management and wish to prepare for a first professional role and future career in the field.
  • Logistics and supply chain professionals in the early stages of their career looking to enhance their knowledge and skills and move to the next level professionally.

Class Profile 2018/19*

Male 48% - Female 52%
Age Range:
20 - 46 years
Average Age:
27 years
Number of Nationalities: 29
Nationality: UK/EU: 13% - International: 87%
Cohort Size: 194
Average Class Size: 40

*The above data combines the 2018/19 class profiles for our Logistics & Supply Chain Management MSc and Procurement & Supply Chain Management MSc.

Term Dates

Orientation Week:
30 September 2019 – 4 October 2019
Term One:
7 October 2019 – 20 December 2019
Term Two:
13 January 2020 – 27 March 2020
Term Three:
14 April 2020 – 3 July 2020
Term Four:
6 July 2020 – 11 September 2020

Why this course?

Cranfield School of Management was ranked 1st outside US and 11th globally in the Supply Chain Management World ‘University 100’ annual survey 2016, and 2nd in the Top 20 for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for providing young people in this field with the skills and mix of expertise required to develop as supply chain leaders of the future.

More than just an academic institution, Cranfield School of Management’s world-class research, expertise and teaching result in practical management solutions that are transforming the world of business today. For 50 years, we have been working with leading companies across the globe, pursuing our mission to improve the practice of management.

Our aim is to develop logistics and supply chain professionals who can take the skills they develop on our programme and make a significant difference in the marketplace. Many of our faculty are regarded as leading experts in this area, combining excellent reputations for teaching with experience drawn from the commercial world. Our approach to teaching is designed to nurture your practical business skills and confidence, and places huge emphasis on real-world challenges.

You will gain an in-depth understanding of supply chain strategy and sustainability, how to analyse and design effective supply chain operations, how to use data, models and software to solve problems and inform decisions, the role of warehousing in modern supply chains, procurement strategy, inventory, operations management, accounting, freight transport and project management.

Modules include a combination of interactive lectures, participative workshops, case studies and presentations from high-profile visiting speakers.

In addition to the modules, the individual thesis offers the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have developed on the programme.

Watch our student and faculty videos to find out more

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Abigail Dzomeku

Every lecture, course activity and guest speaker session has been well thought out and planned. I now understand and am aware of the huge wealth of opportunity that exists in industry for us on completion of this course. I feel very motivated and well equipped for working in industry.

Abigail Dzomeku, current student, Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc, 2017

Informed by Industry

Our full-time faculty team work closely with our advisory board of senior logistics and procurement professionals from global organisations. Their experience and advice drives the continued development of our supply chain courses ensuring they are relevant for today’s global supply chain environment.  Our faculty is also supported by a diverse team of international visiting industry speakers and professors.

Teaching team

Cranfield boasts Europe's largest specialist logistics, procurement and supply chain management faculty and is renowned as a centre of excellence in this field. Our full-time faculty team is supported by a diverse team of international visiting industry speakers and professors.


Our Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. Upon completion of this course, you will be eligible for full membership of both institutes.

CIPS logo   CILT logo

Cranfield School of Management is also the first UK-based University to gain the European Logistics Association accreditation. Upon completion of the course, you will be eligible to apply for the designation cESLOG (European logistician), which is valid for five years.


Course details

The course comprises ten core modules and four elective modules. This enables you to tailor the course to suit your personal career plan. You will have the opportunity to attend a study tour, subject to additional cost. The culmination of the learning process is your opportunity to undertake an individual thesis project which is in-company or Cranfield led, the topics of which cover a broad range of areas.

Study Tour

The study tour is a unique opportunity to experience a supply chain perspective in a different economic region in Europe. You will gain first-hand experience of how supply strategies in the region are influenced by different pressures (both internal and external) and you will gain a rich understanding of the differences between supply chain practices.  The tour normally takes place over three to four days.  On your return you will have gained valuable insights and will appreciate the diverse nature of supply chain management.

Please note that the study tour is subject to additional costs.

Individual project

You will undertake an empirical research project for your individual thesis, enabling you to apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt during the course. This provides the opportunity to work in an original way, and may involve undertaking a project with either an industrial sponsor or on a Cranfield led project, the topics of which cover a broad range of areas.


Taught modules 60%, individual project 40%

School of Management 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 run 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

Supply Chain Strategy and Sustainability


    This module will explore the ways in which good practice in these fields can contribute to achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Overarching aspects of Supply chain sustainability are explored, such as corporate responsibility and ethics. Further the Global Supply Chain Game will enable students to understand through an interactive and competitive business game the principles of building an efficient global sourcing and supply chain under conditions of uncertainty so as to achieve high levels of profit and product availability.

    The module explores how the competitive landscape is constantly changing, and the role of logistics and supply chain management in meeting the challenges raised.  Research from Cranfield faculty is integrated with our own case studies, originating from a network of companies in a range of sectors to demonstrate particular concepts around agile and lean supply chains.


    The module comprises the following content:

    • Supply chains and competitive advantage introduces the principles of logistics and supply chain management and the potential impact on a focal firm’s competitive position and its organisational vision and performance.
    • Supplier relationships covers the different types of supplier relationships from arm’s length transactional to Joint Ventures, explores the nature of collaboration between supply chain members and supplier networks.
    • Managing the lead-time and lean thinking explains how to measure and improve lead-time gap and describes the implementation of lean thinking, identifies the seven deadly wastes and techniques to reduce waste in the supply chain.
    • Agile supply chains are necessary to thrive in volatile demand situations experienced in many markets today. This session compares and contrasts agile with lean, provides a framework for agile supply chains, including capabilities and practices to improve agility.
    • Variety challenge focuses on proliferating product ranges and strategies that can be employed to deal with this, such as mass customisation, form postponement and design for the supply chain.
    • Segmented supply chain strategy explores how supply chain strategy can be differentiated to meet different customer needs, and new market strategies/business models.
    • Integrating the supply chain explores internal integration between functions and external integration between supply chain members, integrations effect on firm performance and how it can be improved.
    • Sustainable retail analyses sustainability issues in relation to the retail supply chain, examines sustainability practices followed by major retailers and discusses sustainability of omni / online retail supply chain
    • Supply chain sustainability concepts examines some of the global trends impacting on the sustainability of supply chains and discusses some of the strategies to improve the performance of SCs against the triple bottom line (i.e. environmental, social, and economic/technological implications).
    • Corporate responsibility and ethics understands the business case for major brands to convert to sustainable sourcing and addresses the challenges of aligning suppliers behind a major market transformation effort.
    • New trend in supply chain such as supply chain risks and resilience, diversity, innovation,and disruptive technologies
    • Global Supply Chain Game

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Analyse and debate the basic principles underlying supply chain management and the potential impact on sustainable competitive advantage.
  2. Distinguish evolving supply relationships from arm’s length to joint ventures and explain the potential roles of co-ordination and collaboration.
  3. Apply approaches to measuring the lead-time gap and evaluate ways to improve it, including the application of lean thinking.
  4. Evaluate the different characteristics of agile supply chains, and how it can be applied in practice to provide high variety and customised products.
  5. Apply approaches to segmented supply chain strategy, which go beyond the idea of lean and agile supply chains.
  6. Evaluate approaches to supply chain integration, both internally and externally, and understand possible effects on firm performance.
  7. Evaluate the concepts of sustainable development, sustainable retailing, corporate responsibility and ethics.

On completion of the Global Supply Chain game you will:

  1. Understand the principles of building a competitive global sourcing and supply chain network and the interaction between the elements of the network.
  2. Understand how such a network is managed in the design and operation of supply networks.

Principles of Strategic Procurement

Module Leader
  • Dr Farooq Habib

    The course will explore the subject of procurement and supply in the industrial and commercial context, explaining its role and purpose within the supply chain. Students will learn how procurement has developed, the skills and information needed by procurement professionals, the academic theory and knowledge accumulated on the subject area and the use of specific tools and techniques employed in managing the procurement function. In addition we will explore and use some of the recently emerged technologies within e-procurement which are designed to improve both process and cost management.

    • General issues affecting P&S and the role of Procurement, including drivers, context, structures, objectives
    • Supply strategy and segmentation approaches & matrices; buyer-supplier collaboration and partnerships; and trust and power issues
    • Managing complex inter-organisational relationships across multiple and diverse stakeholders
    • Supplier selection, development and evaluation, including make versus buy decisions, negotiation and contract,
    • e-Procurement – approaches, benefits and limitations
    • New trends in purchasing: retail industry
    • International sourcing, supply risks, and sustainability challenges

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Understanding of the purpose of the procurement function and its role in the organisation.
  2. Knowledge of both strategic and tactical issues in the management of procurement.
  3. Appreciation of the processes involved in procurement and their wider relevance to the supply chain processes of the organisation.
  4. Practical knowledge of the role and use of automated and web-based applications used in procurement and supply operations.
  5. Use tools and techniques to analyse and evaluate suppliers and supply markets.
  6. Apply segmentation models to spending within an organisation.
  7. Develop a procurement strategy, relevant to the supply chain and operational needs of the organisation.

Inventory and Operations Management


    To provide comprehensive overview of the role of Operations in the organisation’s collaborative/constructive working environment, business models and performance, within the overall context of Supply Chain Management/external environment, and enable them to analyse and design effective supply chain operations with the ultimate goal to improve the match between demand and supply.


    The module covers:

    • Supply Chain operations analysis
    • Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
    • “Push and Pull” systems
    • Just-in-time
    • Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems
    • Demand Management and Forecasting
    • Sales & Operations Planning
    • Inventory Management
    • Capacity Management, Sequencing and Scheduling
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Analyse and map operations within a supply chain context to identify where activities add values.
  2. Contrast between push and pull systems in order to formulate the future manufacturing operations.
  3. Appraise different inventory and resource management approaches within the supply chain.
  4. Appraise different tools and techniques used in the Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems, including demand planning and master production planning.
  5. Formulate operational strategies for matching demand and supply.
  6. Assess alternative improvement opportunities within the supply chain to address changing markets, risks and sustainability challenges.

Accounting and Finance for Supply Chain Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Simon Templar

    The aim of the Accounting and Finance module is to introduce a number of traditional and contemporary accounting approaches that will increase the visibility of financial information and support management decision making.


    The module has five main themes:

    • Interpretation of financial statements;
    • Exploring the relationship between accounting information, management decision making, financial strategies, and financial performance;
    • Applying traditional and contemporary accounting tools and techniques, which can be applied to support business management decisions; 
    • Exploring the many cost trade-offs between business processes (Make v Buy).

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Judge the effect of decisions, transactions and events on financial performance;
  • Create simple sets of accounts from basic information.
  • Understand the main variables affecting working capital management;
  • Interpret financial statements to support decision making, planning and control;
  • Apply an appropriate costing approaches to solve a range of business issues;
  • Apply a number of financial tools and techniques to appraise alternative capital investment opportunities;
  • Use financial information to make informed management decisions.

Analytical Techniques for Supply Chain Management


    The module aims to provide an introduction to the role and relevance of analytical techniques in logistics and supply chain management. From simple graphs to deterministic and stochastic optimisation models, it offers transferable skills to use associated techniques for the practice of these disciplines. You will develop the ability to model and solve realistic decision problems in the context of logistics and supply chain management, with a good understanding of complex information, big data, and analytics. This process will be facilitated by spreadsheet-based software packages where you will have an opportunity to build your own spreadsheet models with emphasis on appropriate application of methods and interpretation of output.


    This module will cover:

    • Introduction to module and analytical techniques
    • Linear programming model formulation
    • Linear programming model solution
    • Decision trees
    • Multi-criteria decision making
    • Probability distributions
    • Statistical sampling
    • Hypothesis Testing
    • Linear Regression
    • Simulation modelling
    • Module close and revision tips

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the theoretical principles that underpin a range of statistical methods and analytical techniques as they apply to supply chain management.
  2. Critically evaluate the limitations, strengths and weaknesses of a range of statistical and analytical techniques.
  3. Appraise the options and select the appropriate technique to solve a given problem.
  4. Demonstrate effective use of descriptive statistical techniques (measures of central tendency, measures of spread) within the context of supply chain management.
  5. Apply in an appropriate manner inferential statistical methods (sampling, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing) to supply chain problems.
  6. Construct mathematical models comprising a decision objective and associated constraints and use these models to solve decision problems and evaluate the results.
  7. Solve decision problems using appropriate software tools and correctly interpret the results.

This module is distinctive because it will provide you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of alternative tools and techniques to solve realistic supply chain problems using appropriate software tools.

Freight Transport


    The Freight Transport module provides a sound foundation in road, rail, air and sea freight transport. The focus is primarily from a user perspective in order to provide a logistics and supply chain management viewpoint. However, in road freight, the module also covers more detailed fleet management and operational aspects, recognising that many organisations operate their own road transport fleets but also reflecting the importance of road freight as the primary inland freight mode in most geographies for national and urban freight traffic.


    The module consists of the following elements:

    • Freight transport in the supply chain
    • Sea freight: container shipping and ports
    • Air freight
    • Rail and intermodal freight
    • Transportation Management Systems
    • Road freight (regulation and markets)
    • Road freight (vehicle selection, costing and financing)
    • Road freight operations (productivity and constraints) + CVRS workshop
    • Urban/City logistics
    • Modal freight exercise

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Categorise and critically discuss modal attributes, operational issues and market structures for different transport modes.
  2. Construct and apply freight transport cost models and assess the cost/service trade-offs inherent in the proposed transport solution.
  3. Recognise and calculate the impact of lead/transit time on overall supply chain efficiency and effectiveness.
  4. Evaluate and choose between the different transport modes and combine them with other elements to form an efficient and effective supply chain.
  5. Plan and construct routes and schedules in a single depot environment and determine the impact of constraints on road freight vehicle productivity.

Information Systems and eBusiness


    To provide theoretical and practical knowledge about:

    • The value of information and the role of information systems (IS) for supply chain management.
    • The opportunities provided for the supply chain management operations of companies by applying the information systems, and also the challenges that they will have when implementing the information systems.
    • The role of information systems in e-business and the impacts of e-business on supply chain management of companies.

    • The value of information and knowledge management for supply chain management
    • The ICT landscape across the supply chain; Capturing and sharing information in SC,
    • The role of information technology in business, supply chain cyber security.
    • Identifying technology-enabled business change opportunities
    • Ensuring benefits realisation from technology-enabled business change investments and agile development
    • ERP systems
    • E-Commerce and Omni-channel
    • Quality of SC data
    • Collaborative Tracking and Tracing
    • How the future of logistics ICT will look like; Group assignment introduction

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Assess the value of information for managing supply chains and recognise the importance of managing information including information quality and data sharing.
  2. Critically evaluate and identify the appropriate information systems required for supporting different functions related to managing supply chains of companies. 
  3. Identify the potential opportunities provided by implementing new information systems required for supporting different functions related to managing supply chain of companies.
  4. Recognise and analyse the potential opportunities provided by implementing new information systems for supporting the internal and inter-organisational supply chain operations of companies.
  5. Analyse the potential difficulties of implementing inter-organisational information systems for managing supply chains and the solutions for solving such issues.
  6. Formulate the processes for implementing internal and inter-organisational information systems.
  7. Identify the functionality of ERP systems for managing operations of companies.
  8. Evaluate appropriate eBusiness solutions for supply chain problems.
  9. Recognise and analyse the opportunities and challenges made by development of e-commerce, considering the role of ICT in online selling.
  10. Analyse and practice the applications of data standards in supply chain management systems.

Project Management Introduction

Module Leader
  • John Algar

    This is an introduction to the subject. However, it is our contention that projects are the building blocks of strategy. Also, the module provides a logical and simple process by which you may approach their own modules and objectives, and may well be a valuable source of confidence for taking on major elective projects later in the year.

    Project Management Introduction (PMI) demonstrates how management respects no boundaries (either in terms of functional silos – departments, etc. or theoretical disciplines). PMI provides additional opportunities to practice personal communication skills, and generally the module provides a basis for personal development and increased confidence and self-awareness.

    Students share their experiences of Project Management Introduction week.



    The central aims of this module are to develop an introductory understanding of: 

    • The fundamental principles of project management applied in the contemporary environment of enterprise projects.
    • The application of the main techniques and processes of project management in a team-based application of the planning/execution/control cycle.
    • On completing this module, you should be able to:
      • Develop an Executive Summary (a concise one page overview of the project) linking the project to higher level organisational objectives.
      • Scope the project by creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
      • Identify key task sequences and the critical path using network (logic) diagramming.
      • Set up a graphical representation of the schedule using the bar chart (Gantt), and track progress against the baseline schedule.
      • Use knowledge of resource availability to adjust schedules (resource levelling) and establish realistic milestones, lead times and deadlines.
      • Recognise appropriate levels of detail for the scoping and scheduling process, the change management, the progress reporting requirements and the delivery.
      • Develop and manage budgets and cash flow for a project.
      • Have used Earned Value techniques to assess achievement and produce forecasts.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Apply the key tools and techniques in project management.
  2. Identify, define, scope, schedule, track and bring to completion a project.
  3. Apply financial management process in a project management context.
  4. Brief and manage consultant project staff on behalf of your organisation.

Physical Network Design


    This module aims to introduce the concepts and techniques of network theory and analysis and use these to demonstrate how physical networks are designed, redesigned and optimised and how current supply chain trends and challenges are influencing this design.  All aspects of the module are illustrated by the use of practical examples, ranging from manual calculations through to computerised network optimisation software.


    This module will cover:

    1. Introduction to Physical Network Design modelling.
    2. Advanced modelling techniques and their application in network design and logistics.
    3. Emerging trends in supply chain network operations and the impact on their design.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of practical aspects of supply chain strategy and the underlying cost trade-offs.
  2. Apply the concepts of good design to the analysis of the Physical Network of a Supply Chain.
  3. Evaluate the use of a range of network analysis concepts and techniques and select the appropriate techniques for the design of a new or the analysis of an existing network.
  4. Develop analytical models using a variety of manual and computer based techniques.
  5. Assess the impact of current logistics trends on the supply chain network operations and design.



    The module provides a thorough grounding in the role and operation of warehouses including the range of storage and handling equipment, the design of warehouses and the use of information technology.  It emphasises on the strategic use of methods to analyse the wide range of available options. Additionally, the module focuses on developing the students’ ability to discern and use appropriate warehouse design techniques.

    This module is taught in light of the wider context of an organisation’s supply chain strategy and, thus, equips students with the means to tackle the warehousing aspects of complex supply chain problems.


    The module covers:

    • Introduction to warehousing
    • Conventional palletised systems
    • Automated palletised systems
    • Non-palletised storage and handling systems
    • Order picking
    • Receiving and despatch
    • Warehousing information systems
    • Warehouse design
    • Computer aided design and simulation
    • Warehousing in modern supply chains
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should have:

  1. A sound appreciation of the role of warehousing within modern supply chains.
  2. A comprehensive knowledge of the range and applicability of equipment types used for warehouse operations.
  3. A practical understanding of recent developments and trends in warehouse technology and information systems.
  4. A conceptual understanding of principles, methodologies and practices employed in the design and management of warehouses and their operations.
  5. A systematic understanding of how warehouse design decisions should be made with regard to the various options for layout, equipment, staffing and operational processes.
  6. The ability to analyse alternative methods of warehouse operations in a systematic way, with regard to layout, equipment, processes and supporting information technology.
  7. The ability to summarise and critically discuss how a warehouse should be designed to meet an organisation’s supply chain strategy.
  8. The ability to assess and evaluate warehousing issues within complex supply chains.

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Logistics Outsourcing

Module Leader
  • Melvyn Peters

    The outsourcing of logistics has developed rapidly over the last ten years.  The 3PL (Third party Logistics) providers have become part of a very competitive and dynamic industry.  The overall aim of this elective is to take you through the various aspects related to selecting (tendering) and working with a third party logistics contractor.  Additional aspects, covering the development of new logistics outsourcing business models (Fourth Party Logistics- 4PL), will also be covered.


    This module will cover:

    • The development of Third Party Logistics.
    • 3PL Contractor Selection Framework Tender Evaluation.
    • Implementation and Contract Management.
    • Contract Management and Dispute Resolution.
    • New logistics outsourcing business models.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Describe the relative advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing logistics operations.
  2. Apply a tendering framework to a logistics outsourcing process and to construct a tender evaluation tool.
  3. Develop meaningful key performance indicators and describe their role in on-going contract management.
  4. Describe and apply the different contractual types with respect to 3PL outsourcing and the new emerging business models.

Performance Measurement in the Supply Chain


    Performance measurement and management (PMM) has been on the agenda of both academics and practitioners in both private and public sectors for several decades. However, despite the substantial resources invested in PMM by organisations, research shows that PMM-related initiatives, such as the implementation of scorecards or the adoption of PM procedures, can often fail to bring the intended benefits. Moreover, sometimes they turn out to be detrimental to the performance of the organisation! 

    If organisations are to realise value and become more sustainable in the longer term, it is crucial to understand how exactly performance measurement and management practices deliver improved performance. Even more, when several interconnected organisations form a part of a supply network, the measurement task is particularly complicated. Does performance measurement in supply networks deserve special treatment? Do the general principles of organisational performance management still apply? These are some of the questions the module will address. 

    This module will focus on the types and structures of performance measurement systems such as the Balanced Scorecard and the Performance Prism and on the design of appropriate strategy and success maps, performance targets, and indicators.


    This module covers:

    • The roles of performance measurement;
    • Target gaming and unintended consequences of performance measurement;
    • Performance management;
    • The Balanced Scorecard and the Performance Prism;
    • Developing performance indicators and assessing their robustness;
    • Visualising performance data for communication and decision making;
    • Conducting performance management reviews.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Be able to identify and discuss the key aspects of performance measurement systems;
  2. Understand the key processes associated with the design of a performance measurement system;
  3. Be familiar with current research in performance measurement in general and performance measurement in supply networks;
  4. Be able to explain the theoretical underpinnings of performance measurement and management practices;
  5. Be able to analyse and evaluate an existing performance measurement and management system in an organisation;
  6. Be able to evaluate the robustness of a wide range of performance indicators;
  7. Be able to discuss the issues and nuances of measuring performance in supply networks;
  8. Guide strategy execution through a comprehensive organisational performance measurement system;
  9. Develop strategy/success maps;
  10. Design and evaluate performance indicators;
  11. Explain and communicate their decisions about the key aspects of performance measurement and management in organisations.

Business Process Outsourcing


    Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a strategic initiative by which an organisation sub-contracts to a third-party provider activities and responsibilities of specific business processes.  This can include processes related to Customer Service, Information Technology, Procurement, Logistics, Accounting or Human Resources.  The aim of this module is give you the knowledge and skills to evaluate where and when BPO initiatives are appropriate and to understand how maximise the value and minimise the risk from BPO relationships.


    This module will cover the following topics:

    • Outsourcing and Business Strategy
    • Managing the Outsourcing process
    • Developing the Business Case for Outsourcing
    • Selecting Outsourcing Service Providers
    • Managing the Outsourcing Relationship
    • Contracting and Negotiating for Outsourcing
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the reasons that motivate an outsourcing decision.
  2. Develop and justify a business case for Business Process Outsourcing.
  3. Describe and explain the key stages in the process of outsourcing.
  4. Identify and analyse the key factors for outsourcing supplier selection.
  5. Understand how to manage an outsourcing relationship.
  6. Recognise potential risks in outsourcing and prescribe mitigating actions.

Designing and Managing Resilient Supply Chains

Module Leader
  • Dr Uta Juttner

    The main thrust of this elective is that organisations can and should develop supply chain resilience as means to building routines for non-routine events. In today’s interconnected world future supply chain professionals have to recognise potential risks of experiencing a supply chain disruption and be able to prepare for, react to and recover from the unforeseen supply chains, i.e. to develop resilience. This module explores the dimensions, approaches, decision-making and causalities of resilience. Insights from retrospective and real time case studies will provide the basis for understanding the vulnerability of today’s global supply chains. Moreover, they will enable you to experiment both with the perspectives of supply chain planners anticipating supply chain risks and improving the resilience of the supply chain design and supply chain continuity managers responsible for ensuring rapid recovery after a disruptive event.


    Introduction: Supply chain risk management, vulnerabilities and resilience

    • Introduction to the key concepts
    • Examples of large scale disasters and their impact on global supply chains
    • Ripple effects in supply chains 
    • Trade-offs in supply chain resilience management (e.g. redundancy versus efficiency; centralisation versus dispersion a.s.o)

    Supply chain risk and vulnerability analysis

    • Overview of existing methods for identifying and assessing supply chain risks and vulnerabilities
    • Application of a selected methodology

    Resilient supply chain design principles issues and their implementation

    • Collaboration
    • Velocity
    • Flexibility
    • Visibility

    Real-time case study project on supply chain risk and resilience

    • Presentation of a supply chain resilience case by a supply chain representative from industry

    Individual written assignment related to the supply chain resilience case presented.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Describe the relationship and causalities between supply chain risk management, supply chain vulnerability and supply chain resilience.
  2. Assess the effect of contemporary supply chain practices in routine- and non-routine situations.
  3. Identify the key steps involved in developing and implementing resilient supply chain designs.
  4. Evaluate the management challenges of formulating and implementing resilience into supply chains.
  5. Identify key concepts from literature / business practice and synthesise them into a resilient supply chain design framework, which is subject to review, development and critique.
  6. Have an appreciation of how organisations and human beings can prepare and respond to disruption in specific situations and contexts; how an effective and efficient recovery is enabled and how companies and human beings learn from past disruptions in the supply chain.


Module Leader
  • Dr Nicky Yates

    Increasingly organisations are realising the enormous benefits of using simulation models to test and evaluate decision alternatives before making a final investment decision.  A good simulation model can provide valuable insight into the behaviour of a system (e.g. a supply chain) highlighting the dynamic interactions of which it is comprised, often illuminating unexpected issues or indeed benefits.

    The overall aim of this elective is to provide you with a good appreciation of the application, strengths and weaknesses of simulation modelling techniques and the software that can be used to support decision-making in logistics and supply chain management.  You will gain hands-on experience of using spreadsheet models including the use of specialist simulation add-ins and general purpose simulation software to solve decision problems in a specific supply chain management context.

    By the end of this module you will have the skills and confidence to apply or recommend the use of simulation methods to address decision problems in your future career and, if needed, in your thesis project.


    The module includes the following main subject areas:

    The underlying principles/concepts of simulation techniques:

    • The advantages / disadvantages of using simulation techniques compared to other analytical methods.

    Monte Carlo simulation:

    • Using spreadsheets and Crystal Ball1 (an Excel Add-in) to solve stochastic simulation problems, e.g. forecasting, warehousing and SC process models.

    Discrete event simulation:

    • Using a general-purpose simulation software package, WITNESS , to model a supply chain operation.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. A practical framework for designing a simulation model in the logistics and supply chain environment.
  2. An understanding of the theoretical principles that underpin a range of deterministic and stochastic simulation modelling approaches.
  3. An understanding of the limitations, strengths and weaknesses of simulation modelling.

This course is distinctive because it provides you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of alternative simulation modelling tools and techniques to solve logistics and supply chain problems.  More than 80% of the module contact hours are spent building and experimenting with simulation models.

On completion of the Simulation Elective you will be able to:

  • Given a decision problem select an appropriate simulation technique to test and evaluate solution options.
  • Demonstrate their ability to construct simple Monte Carlo models using Crystal Ball software.
  • Describe the limitations and assumptions inherent in the different techniques taught on the course.
  • Understand the principles of deterministic and stochastic modelling approaches.

Retail Logistics

Module Leader
  • Professor Michael Bourlakis

    Over the past decades, retailers have increased their power in the supply chain becoming key chain members and dominating a range of logistics activities. A detailed analysis of the retailers’ logistics activities will expose and analyse these issues. 

    Thus, the aim of this module is twofold. Firstly it aims to provide an overview of the breadth of Retail Logistics operations in modern retail organisations. This involves raising awareness and understanding of the key strategic issues involved in the way retail organisations manage their logistics activities and facilities within and beyond the firm boundaries. Secondly, the course aims to provide participants with an understanding and appreciation of the key contemporary trends in retail logistics.


    The module will include the following topics:

    • Retail buying and retail procurement.
    • Retail transportation & retail warehousing.
    • Efficient Consumer Response, Quick Response.
    • Customer Service and Out-of-Stocks.
    • Retail supply chain performance measurement.
    • Information technology in the retail supply chain.
    • Sustainability practices in retail logistics.
    • Evolution of retail supply chains.
    • Omni channels / Key future trends.
    • Global Retail Logistics.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Reflect and evaluate the activities, functions and processes associated with managing the Retail Logistics operations.
  2. Assess critically the significance and application of Retail Logistics theories, concepts and frameworks in the broader context of the retail organisation in its competitive and changing environment.
  3. Discuss and explain the strategic role of logistics operations for retail firms.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the key trends that have an influence and impact on modern Retail Logistics operations.

Six Sigma

Module Leader
  • Dr Farooq Habib

    The Six Sigma elective will build on and develop some of the analytical skills introduced during the core modules of the Course in terms one and two. It will be situated in the context of Quality methods and Total Quality Management (TQM) describing their development from Deming to the present day. The elective will provide an understanding and practical utilisation of the Six Sigma methodology following the Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control (DMAIC) approach. You will be able to combine theory with practical case work which will experiment with quantitative and qualitative techniques employed in the solving of typical supply chain problems. The elective is designed to bring you to the equivalent level of a 6 Sigma ‘Green Belt’, enabling them to design solutions to organisational issues.


    The course is structured using the DMAIC methodology used widely in 6 Sigma project management:

    • Define: evolution of TQM & 6 Sigma: Deming, PDCA, DMAIC; designing projects for improving supply chains.
    • Measure: qualitative & quantitative methods used in value stream mapping and measurement.
    • Analyse: tools and techniques used in the analysis phase; practical exercise on use of FMEA.
    • Improve: based on a case study in a manufacturing company, where a process of improvement must be put in place to turn around the company’s performance.
    • Control: continuation and completion of the case study, evaluating how to control the newly designed solution going forward and manage benefits.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Appraise a variety of quantitative and qualitative techniques and evaluate their use in solving logistics problems.
  2. Evaluate a realistic case of 6 Sigma use within a manufacturing/industrial environment.
  3. Apply 6 Sigma tools to problem solving and performance improvement in the supply chain.
  4. Demonstrate a knowledge of TQM and 6 Sigma use within logistics & SCM.
  5. Appraise the range of techniques and solutions deployed within the 6 Sigma toolset.
  6. Formulate use of appropriate analytical tools to analyse and solve problems in the supply chain.
  7. Design a supply chain improvement strategy using 6 sigma techniques.

Sales and Operations Planning


    S&OP is seen by many large organisations as being a critical cross functional process where senior supply chain managers and directors are expected to show leadership This module examines how a typical Sales and Operations Planning process works in a large multi-site commercial organisation.  It then explores the challenges in implementing the process and the insight that can be delivered to prevent avoidable strategic planning errors.

    The module gives a thorough foundation in the methodologies that underpin an effective S&OP process so that it can be adapted to fit the different configurations of organisation in which students will find themselves employed. The module will extend students supply chain management skills involved in managing difficult interactions including:

    1. Managing the interfaces between supply and demand led organisations driven by conflicting objectives.
    2. Managing the tensions and behaviours driven by the unpredictability of demand and constraints in supply.
    3. Managing the consequences of the need to prioritise and the realisation that not all markets, products and services are of equal importance.
    4. Managing context-specific performance metrics.
    5. Managing an S&OP process that is not working effectively.

    The aim of this module is to give students a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practice of S&OP, and in doing so providing them useful tools, technologies and approaches they can implement in their future careers.

    • Definition and discussion of what S&OP is
    • What the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is looking for
    • The S&OP Process and Benefits
    • Challenges (including short case)
    • Pre-requisites for S&OP
    • Main interactive case study, with syndicate groups and multiple S&OP cycles

    The first 5 parts will be delivered over 2-4 hours and give the students a thorough understanding of the principles of S&OP. The last part 6 is an extended case study, which will run over a full day.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Critically assess weaknesses and strengths of an S&OP process.
  2. Create a plan to implement or improve an S&OP process.
  3. Be able to participate on an informed basis in decision making discussions in S&OP balancing insights from both supply and demand.
  4. Understand the point of view of other S&OP participants and to manage the likely behavioural drivers of dysfunctional behaviour.

Formulate or adapt appropriate performance metrics to enable effective and balanced decision making.

Social Network Analysis in a Supply Chain Context

Module Leader
  • Dr Leila Alinaghian

    Social network analysis (SNA) involves mapping and analysing the relationships and flows between people, groups, organisations, computers, countries and any other connected entities. Specifically, SNA analyses various characteristics of the pattern of relationships and draws inferences about the network as a whole or about those belonging to it considered individually or in groups. The rich data from this process provides evidence to enable organisations to understand to what extent their networks impact their organisation, both internally and externally.


    Network analysis reveals the reality of how people are connected (or not), irrespective of hierarchy, role and governance. Through this process organisations can identify;

    • Bottlenecks: Identification of communication breakdowns both between and within groups.
    • Overloaded: Actors who supply and receive information from a large number of actors.
    • Decision chokes: Actors who approve decisions for a large number of actors.
    • Value creators: Actors who are top sources of novel ideas.
    • Bridge actors: Actors who bridge (informal) communities.


    Network analysis can help to identify who an organisation should partner with and therefore how to strategise the supply/customer base to help to unlock their innovation potential and to also create resilient and agile end-to-end supply chains. Through this process organisations, for example, can identify:

    • Bottleneck suppliers: Suppliers connecting those who would be unconnected otherwise and their implications for network risk and resilience.
    • Bridge suppliers: Suppliers connecting industries as sources of innovation and network agility.
    • Suppliers with an attractive portfolio of relationship.
    • Communities of knowledge such as supplier clusters, suppliers associations, etc.

    An introduction to Social Network analysis 

    • The fundamental building blocks of a network
    • Concepts and principles
    • Collecting network data
    • Network analysis applications
    • Communication network game
    • Create, visualise and analyse a real life social network Group Exercise

    Social network analysis in organisational contexts

    • Intra-firm networks and power and influence, knowledge transfer and learning, collaboration, creativity, project governance and performance
    • Inter-firm networks and innovation

    Visualising and analysing networks using software

    Supply chain management: A social network analysis perspective

    • Supply chain analysis: a network perspective
    • Supply networks structural properties and the operational and strategic performance implications
    • Key applications
      • Managing supply chain relationships
      • Selecting and evaluating partners
      • Making the supply chain as a whole resilient and competitive
    • Data sources
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Describe and critically discuss the key concepts, principles and theories of social network analysis.
  2. Apply social network analysis to quantify and assess the descriptive network measures and interpret the implications of these measures for both individuals and network as a whole.
  3. Critically evaluate theories and application of social network analysis approach in various organisational settings (e.g., intra-firm networks such as employees/managers, teams/groups communication networks, inter-firm networks such as partnerships and supplier/customer networks).
  4. Use an appropriate social network analysis software package to critically examine important issues in the field of social network analysis.
  5. Create, visualise, and critically analyse and evaluate supply networks by applying social network analysis concepts, theories and methods.

Planning and Resourcing for Road Freight Transport

Module Leader
  • Melvyn Peters

    A great deal of technology is used in the planning and management of logistics operations.  This is particularly true for road freight transport, where for many years a number of vehicle routing and scheduling software packages have been developed.  This elective is aimed at providing an opportunity for an in depth and detailed hands-on experience of the UK’s leading Computer Vehicle Routing and Scheduling (CVRS) software package – Paragon.   In addition, the elective provides both conceptual and practical insight into the key planning elements for road freight transport including the main steps in the determination of resource requirements.


    The elective broadly consists of the following stages: 

    • Initial training on the use of Paragon (from data input through to interpreting routing/scheduling results).
    • Familiarisation with the base case.
    • Build the base case model using Paragon.
    • Develop the base case model to solve the case study problems.
    • Write up of the process, results and interpretation of the output plus conclusions, recommendations, etc. 

    The first session will consist of a brief introduction to Paragon. Participants will then be divided into groups.  Each group will then use Paragon to work through some exercises for data preparation, simple scheduling and multi-depot scheduling.  This will be a laboratory based session. 

    The second session will also be laboratory based and groups will be able to continue their use of Paragon for the Handy Hardware case study/assessment.  Supervision will be on hand for this.  The third session will be timetabled for additional work on the case study in the laboratory.  This will not be supervised. 

    Each group will be expected to complete the case study using Paragon in their own time.  The final session will consist of a presentation by each group of their findings and recommendations to the teams.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Describe the detailed data requirements and modelling constraints of commercially available CVRS packages.
  2. Plan, construct and test multi-depot simulations using commercially available CVRS software.
  3. Assess cost and service trade-offs inherent in different operational scenarios.
  4. Evaluate CVRS output and make reasoned judgments in the absence of complete data.
  5. Demonstrate their understanding and use of CVRS models by preparing and presenting a report suitable for senior managers.

Business Model Generation

Module Leader
  • Dr Denyse Julien

    Given the disruptive shifts taking place in most sectors in response to the impact of technology and innovation on the supply chain, the ability to articulate clearly an organisation’s current business model and also to develop innovative new business models is critical to the ongoing success of the business.

    The Strategyzer business model generation tools provide a systematic approach to understand and design new and or improved business models.  The approach was first published in 2010 and has since that time become widely used in many organisations and also by many consultants.

    This elective aims to expose you to the concept of a business model and to provide them with a practical and innovative approach to business model generation.


    This elective will include the following:

    An introduction to Business Models 

    • The fundamental building blocks of a business model
    • Overview of the Strategyzer canvas

    Development of an in-depth overview of the case study organisation and the business context in which it operates.

    Mapping of the customer profile and the value proposition using the canvas tools.

    Articulation of the current business model of the case study company using the business model canvas.

    Identify key opportunities/threats to the case study company’s current business model.

    Create a proposed future business model that leverages on a key competency of the company or that counters potential threats to its current business model.

    Reflect on how these tools and approaches can enable more entrepreneurial approaches.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Describe and critically discuss the key building blocks of a business model.
  2. Apply the Strategyzer business model canvas and tools to a case study company to articulate the current business model.
  3. Critically evaluate the potential threats to the case study company’s current business from new technologies, other businesses, and trends from the broader environment in which the organisation operates.
  4. Develop a potential new value proposition and articulate the new business model to counter the disruptive effects of the potential game changers identified previously.
  5. Critique their current and future business models and identify the strengths and weaknesses in the models.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2019 to 2020 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (24 July 2018).

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 Full-time £13,000

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.
  • For self funded students a non-refundable £1,000 deposit is payable on offer acceptances and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee. 
  • 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 Full-time £23,500

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.
  • For self funded students a non-refundable £1,000 deposit is payable on offer acceptances and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee. 
  • 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

Specific funding opportunities for this course

Cranfield Scholarships

We have a number of Cranfield Scholarships available for UK/EU candidates. These are awarded at the course director's discretion and are based on merit as well as considerations of financial need. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please indicate so in in the financial details section of your application.

Alan Harrison Half-Fee Scholarship

A half-fee scholarship is available for an outstanding UK/EU candidate. The scholarship will be awarded based on the strength of the application as a whole, i.e. an applicant's achievements, academic credentials, professional track record and personal merit, and on the interviewer's report, i.e. an assessment of the applicant's communication and interpersonal skills, leadership potential as well as the candidate's likely contribution to the cohort. Please note that the deadline for this scholarship has now passed.

Additional scholarships and bursaries

To help students find and secure appropriate funding we have collated details of a range of scholarships and bursaries available which contribute towards fees and/or living costs for graduates applying for full-time Masters courses in business and management.

Find out more

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from talented candidates of all backgrounds and each application is considered on its individual merit. Usually candidates must hold either a:

  • first or a second class UK honours degree in a relevant discipline, or
  • international degree - equivalent of UK qualifications

Candidates who do not meet these criteria may be considered if they have a professional qualification (e.g. CIPS, CILT, APICS) together with 5 years' post-qualification relevant work experience. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements.

If you are currently studying at a Chinese university, please view our specific entry requirements for further study at Cranfield School of Management.

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 - 6.5 overall and 6.5 in the writing component

TOEFL - 92 and a writing score 21

Pearson PTE Academic - 65

Cambridge English Scale - 180

Cambridge English: Advanced - C

Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English III - pass

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

95% of School of Management students were employed within 3 months of graduation*.

The Cranfield Career Development Service offers a comprehensive service to help you develop a set of career management skills that will remain with you throughout your career.

During your course you will receive support and guidance to help you plan an effective strategy for your personal and professional development, whether you are looking to secure your first management role, or wanting take your career to the next level.

Cranfield Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc graduates have secured jobs with a diverse range of companies including Airbus, Tata Consultancy Services, Group Lotus, Adidas, Lidl, BMW Group, Toyota Motors, HelloFresh, KPMG, Kuehne & Nagel, Bentley, Saint Gobain, United Biscuits, Heineken, Eli Lilly UK, Unilever and Deutsche Bank. Their roles have included Buyer, Supply Chain Analyst, Logistics Manager, Demand Planner and Supply Chain Operations Manager.

*based on those students for whom we hold data, across all School of Management full-time master's courses (2015/16 cohort).

How to apply

Our students do not always fit traditional academic or career paths. We consider this to be a positive aspect of diversity, not a hurdle. We are looking for a body of professional learners who have a wide range of experiences to share. If you are unsure of your suitability for our Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc programme we are happy to review your details and give you feedback before you make a formal application.

To apply you will need to register to use our online system. Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it.

Application deadlines

There is a high demand for places on our courses and we recommend you submit your application as early as possible. The following application deadlines apply for entry to the course in September 2019.

  • Applicants domiciled in mainland China must submit their applications by 30 April 2019
  • Applicants from all other international students requiring a visa to study in the UK must submit their application by 30 June 2019
  • There is no application deadline for Home/EU applicants, but places are limited so we recommend you submit your application as early as possible

Once your online application has been submitted together with your supporting documentation, it will be processed by our admissions team. You will then be advised by email if you are successful, unsuccessful, or whether the course director would like to interview you before a decision is made. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.