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BUU44680 Global Supply Chain Management

(10 ECT credits - Semester 1 & 2)


Dr. Paul Lyons

Module Outline

Effective supply chains are the lifeblood of modern business.  The most effective firms operating in modern economies are typically highly streamlined in their internal linkages while developing very close connections with their suppliers, business partners and customers.  The critical dependencies that companies and economies have on fluid global supply chains is evidenced, for example, by the effects of Brexit and the impacts on markets of trade tensions between the USA and China.  Whereas in the past, supply chains were mostly conceptualised in relation to manufacturing industries, global communications infrastructures and the internet in particular have significantly increased the importance of global supply chain design and management also in services contexts.      

This module begins by exploring the fundamental concepts underpinning supply chain management in contemporary manufacturing and services operations.  Students are then encouraged to elaborate upon these concepts by working in teams to research how global supply chains operate in a variety of business contexts. Having established this baseline of understanding during semester 1, in the following semester the module focuses on a number of more general contemporary issues facing managers seeking to design and optimise global supply chains.  These include issues such as those associated with environmental impacts and sustainability of these supply chains, international trading environments, geopolitical considerations, and technological impacts. 

On completion of the module, students will have acquired a deep awareness of the theoretical and practical considerations that govern the design and management of modern supply chains, with a particular focus on how global opportunities and challenges impact upon these structures in both manufacturing and services implementations.               

Learning and Teaching Approach

This module is taught over two semesters through two-hour lectures each week.  Students are also required to complete assignments which require a blend of (a) research skills to explore how concepts and theories covered in the course content may apply in practice, (b) quantitative skills to model the planning activities required in illustrative supply chain contexts, and (c) teamwork and communications skills.

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module, the student will be able to:

  • Draw on the concepts and theories covered in the module as lenses for better understanding how modern global supply chains operate and may be optimised;
  • Collaborate with fellow students in researching these applications of supply chain concepts;
  • Articulate how these concepts apply in a variety of business settings;
  • Analyse the impacts on global supply chain design and operations of currently topical issues such as sustainability, globalisation, and technological advances;
  • Apply basic quantitative techniques for optimising global supply chain operations;
  • Assess data available on the web and learnings offered in academic literature as resources providing deeper insights into global supply chain design and management.

Textbook and Readings

Required core course textbook:

Chopra, S. & Meindl, P. 2013. Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation, Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.

General Supplemental Readings

Weekly readings are listed within the Module Schedule as presented later in this document.  Additional readings may also be proposed as the module progresses.

Module Prerequisite



Assignment 1: (Group Assignment): Case Study Analysis and Presentation 20%
Assignment 2: (Individual Assignment): Production Plan Modelling  15%
Assignment 3: (Group Assignment): Focus Area Analysis 25%
Examination: 40%