Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc (Executive) is a 20-month part-time programme. The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of 12 modules, taken over the first 15 months of the programme. The PgDip is awarded on the successful completion of the End Point Assessment, which takes a further five months.

Course modules

Supply Chain Strategy and Sustainability

Module Leader
  • Dr Heather Skipworth

    This module is intended to provide you with a sound foundation to the course by introducing the main concepts and principles that underpin Logistics and Supply Chain Management, including the important issue of sustainability. It presents the fundamental principles of contemporary logistics and supply chain management within a business context.  This unit 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.

    Global marketplaces are characterised by shortening product life cycles, increasing product variety, and highly variable demand that is difficult to forecast.  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.
    • A web-based simulated supply chain game which is played in teams and enables the participants to experience how the performance of an organisation’s supply chain is impacted by alignment between functions, strategy and its execution and alignment between partners in the supply chain.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Analyse and debate the basic principles underlying supply chain management and understand how the performance of an organisation’s supply chain is impacted by alignment between functions, strategy and partners in the supply chain and changing customer demands and supply chain risks.  
  2. Understand approaches to measuring the lead-time gap and evaluate ways to improve it, including the application of lean thinking.
  3. Evaluate how agile supply chains can be applied in practice to provide high variety and customised products and how they can be combined with lean approaches in a segmented approach to deliver high performing supply chains.
  4. Evaluate approaches to supply chain integration, both internally and externally, distinguishing supply relationships from arm’s length to Joint Ventures.
  5. Evaluate the concepts of sustainable development, sustainable retailing, corporate responsibility, environmental impact and ethics.

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:

  1. Have an understanding of the purpose of the procurement function and its role in the organisation.
  2. Have knowledge of both strategic and tactical issues in the management of procurement.
  3. Have an appreciation of the processes involved in procurement and their wider relevance to the supply chain processes of the organisation.
  4. Have practical knowledge of the role and use of automated and web-based applications used in procurement and supply operations.
  5. Be able to use tools and techniques to analyse and evaluate suppliers and supply markets.
  6. Be able to apply segmentation models to spending within an organisation.
  7. Be able to develop a procurement strategy, relevant to the supply chain and operational needs of the organisation.

Accounting and Finance for Supply Chain Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Lorenzo Prataviera

    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 four main themes:

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

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

  • Judge the effect of SCM decisions on financial performance;
  • Create simple sets of accounts from basic information;
  • Interpret financial statements to support decision making, planning and control;
  • Apply appropriate costing approaches to solve a range of business issues;
  • Use financial information to make informed SCM decisions.

Analytical Techniques for Supply Chain Management

Module Leader
  • Professor Emel Aktas

    Managerial decisions in logistics and supply chain management are heavily based on quantitative analysis using models from the management science discipline. Data, models, and available software have dramatically changed the operations in manufacturing, services, and logistics sectors. The module aims to provide students with an introduction to the role and the 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. Students will develop the ability to model and solve realistic decision problems in the context of logistics and supply chain management. This process will be facilitated by spreadsheet-based software packages where the students will have an opportunity to build their own spreadsheet models with emphasis on appropriate application of methods and interpretation of model outputs.


    This module will cover:

    • Introduction to Analytical Techniques
    • Probability Distributions
    • Sampling
    • Hypothesis Testing
    • Regression
    • Linear Programming Model Build
    • Linear Programming Solution
    • Decision Trees
    • Multiple Criteria Decision Making
    • Module Close and Assignment Q&A
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student 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 and inferential statistical techniques within the context of supply chain management.
  5. Construct mathematical models comprising a decision objective and associated constraints and use these models to solve decision problems and interpret the results.

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

Freight Transport

Module Leader
  • Professor Melvyn Peters

    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.

    • Freight transport in the supply chain
    • Landed cost modelling
    • Modal freight exercise
    • Guest Lecturer/s – Air or Sea freight
    • Road freight - vehicle selection
    • Road freight - operations
    • Road freight - routing and scheduling (workshop)
    • Urban/City logistics
    • Freight transport models and collaboration costing?
    • TMS and freight in the future?
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Categorise and critically discuss modal attributes, operational/environmental  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. Evaluate and choose between the different transport modes and combine them with other elements to form an efficient and effective supply chain.
  4. Plan and construct routes and schedules in a single depot environment and determine the impact of constraints on road freight vehicle productivity.

Inventory and Operations Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Banu Ekren

    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.

Project Management Introduction

Module Leader
  • Dr Chantal Cantarelli

    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, students should be able to:
      • 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.
      • Use Earned Value techniques to assess achievement and produce forecasts.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Apply the key tools and techniques in project management.
  2. Map and define both the stakeholders and also the risk management approaches for the simulation project.
  3. Identify, define, scope, schedule, track and bring to completion a project.
  4. Apply financial management process in a project management context.
  5. Reflect on the key learnings from the entire project and identify areas for improvement.

Information Systems and eBusiness

Module Leader
  • Dr Abhijeet Ghadge

    To provide theoretical and practical knowledge about:

    • The value of information and the role of information systems (IS) for supply chain management.
    • The role and impact of information systems in e-business.
    • The opportunities and implementation challenges provided by information systems in supply chain management.
    • ERP Principles and Implementation
    • ERP hands-on
    • Data Quality and Security in Supply Chains
    • E-Business Models
    • Blockchain Technology for Supply Chains
    • Data Analytics for Supply Chains
    • Technological Trends in Supply Chains
    • Technological Trends in Supply Chains
    • GS1 e-learning (Barcode and RFID)
    • Innovation for Digital Supply Chain Management 
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Identify the functionality of ERP systems for managing operations of companies.
  2. Assess the value of information for managing supply chains by recognising the importance of data quality and data security.
  3. Evaluate appropriate eBusiness models/solutions for supply chain problems.
  4. Formulate the processes for implementing internal and inter-organisational information systems.
  5. Critically evaluate and identify the appropriate technology/information systems required for supporting different functions related to managing supply chains. 

Physical Network Design

Module Leader
  • Dr Nicky Yates

    The heart of any logistics and supply chain operation is its physical network.  The location of factories, distribution centres, suppliers, customers and so forth and the means by which they are linked, fundamentally affects the efficiency with which an organisation’s network operates. 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.

    Watch the Physical Network Design module video

    1. Introduction to Physical Network Design modelling.
    2. Principles of Network Modelling – including manual and spreadsheet models.
    3. Advanced modelling techniques and their application in network design and logistics.
    4. Network Algorithms for tactical planning.
    5. Optimisation in Network Design.
    6. 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.


Module Leader
  • Dr Hendrik Reefke

    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.

Strategic Management


    Strategic Management is concerned with the future direction of the organisation; determining its scope, establishing objectives and formulating strategies to achieve them. In order to do this, leaders must understand the needs and priorities of the organisation’s stakeholders, anticipate and react to changes in the organisation's environment and harness and develop the organisation’s internal resources and capabilities.  The overriding aim of this module is to build students confidence in undertaking these activities, so that as leaders they can form and communicate a credible and believable view of their organisation’s future direction and scope.  


     The module will cover:

    • We begin by examining the different levels of strategy and the joint importance of strategy content and strategy process.
    • We then explore strategic management at the business unit level, introducing the notions of industry analysis, resources and capabilities and sustainable competitive advantage.
    • We then turn to corporate level strategy, dealing with issues such as parenting advantage, corporate value creation logics and modes of corporate development.
    • Finally we address the challenge of how strategies can be turned into action and the particular role of strategic leadership within this.
    • Throughout the module a range of tools and techniques for strategic analysis and choice will be introduced.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Describe the key issues and concepts involved in formulating both competitive and corporate strategies.
  2. Appraise and differentiate between corporate, business unit and functional strategies.
  3. Evaluate strategic challenges facing organisations.
  4. Think strategically and confidently in making strategic decisions.
  5. Critically apply practical skills and use various strategic management concepts and techniques.

Applied Organisational Behaviour

Module Leader
  • Professor Richard Kwiatkowski

    Organisations are run by and for people, and the success or failure of an organisation depends on the people in that organisation. It is rarely an absence of planning that causes organisational difficulties; rather it is the failure of management in understanding and managing complex personal and interpersonal systems that can lead to significant problems. Similarly, an acute and critical understanding of these dynamic relationships can lead to profound and enduring success and benefit for the individual, the team, the organisation and wider society.

    Success in management, particularly at senior levels in organisations, depends on understanding organisations, the people in them and the relationship between the internal and external environments within which they exist, and in ensuring that they work effectively.

    In this module students will be introduced to various aspects of people and organisations. This module combines models, theories and ideas from organisational behaviour, psychology, and sociology in order to provide students with a basic understanding in recognising, understanding and utilising what has been termed the "human factor" in organisations; including ways of conceptualising organisations and how people behave within them.

    This module is served as an introduction; further suggestions of reading and of consequent activities will be provided.

    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • Decision making
    • Influencing and negotiation
    • Organizational politics
    • Understanding and working in teams
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Apply a number of different ways of conceptualising people in organisations;
  2. Assess the importance of relationships at work, group dynamics, effective teams and leadership and propose different approaches to work effectively with others accordingly;
  3. Apply theories, models, and ideas from the module to examine the evidence of the focal context and issues in order to enhance personal capability, including identification of gaps in knowledge, skills, and competence, and propose specific personal and professional development agenda.


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. As a result, they 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 above the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.