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BU2560 Introduction to Operations Management

(5 ECTS credits)
Hilary Term, Semester 2


Dr Richard Keegan

Module Content/Outline:

Operations management relates to transformations of materials,people and information for the production of goods and the delivery of services.  The working of an operation has always been an enigma.  On the one hand, the operation is a visible part of the organisation where people or equipment can be seen to be working away and where something happens.  On the other hand, the operation will neither come right nor stay right of its own accord and, even if challenged, answers to the following questions are not obvious:

  • What makes it work as it does?
  • Could it work better in its current form?
  • What different forms could it take and still get the same result?
  • What market, internal or environmental change would cause most disruption to the working of the operation, and with what knock-on effects?

This module introduces Operations Management as the act of combining people and technology in an organisation so as to produce goods and to deliver services now and in the future.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • Make effective use of the basic vocabulary of operations management.
  • Explain what is meant by the contribution of operations management to the competitiveness of the firm.
  • Define and explain the choices in structuring and running the operation.
  • Critically evaluate operations performance, defined in terms of quality, dependability, flexibility, speed and cost.
  • Apply operations management models and frameworks to business situations.
  • Incorporate learning from other business and relevant BESS subjects into the operations management paradigm.

Lectures/Contact hours:

  • 2 hours lectures per week

Recommended Texts/Key Reading:

Keegan R., O'Kelly E, Oak Tree Press, Lean Service: A practical guide for SME owner managers


The overall grade for Operations Management will be made up from:

  • Two multi choice question tests, set between weeks 1-6, accounting for 5% each, of the overall grade.
  • A one hour Multi Choice Question test will be set for week 8, accounting for 30% of the overall grade.
  • A 1,200 word essay will be set, accounting for 60% of the grade.

Penalties for late submission:

Students unable to submit a term assignment for medical reasons must produce a medical certificate to the School of Business Studies office within three working days of the missed submission date. Certificates received after that time will not be accepted.


1.5 hr examination - 100%