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BUU44680 Global Supply Chain Management

(10 ECT credits - Semester 1 & 2)


Dr. Sinéad Roden

Module Outline

Effective supply chains are the lifeblood of modern business. The most productive firms operating in modern economies are typically highly streamlined in their internal linkages, while concurrently 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 the Covid-19 crisis 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, food safety and security, supply chain traceability, supply chain relationship management, and future trends.

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 and examinations which require a blend of (a) study skills, to understand, internalise, and critically evaluate concepts covered in course materials and supplementary readings, (b) research skills, to explore how these concepts and theories apply in practice, (c) analysis of learning points, by reflecting upon the work produced by other students and considering additional insights that this reveals, and (d) teamwork and communications skills.

There will be invited guests joining us throughout the course of the module. These weeks are not optional and full class participation is expected. Depending on the location of the guest, some of these lectures may be held via Zoom. The class will be notified in advance

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. & P. Meindl, Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation. (Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd, 2015) 6th edition

General Supplemental Readings:

Supplementary readings relating to each theme of the course will be made available on Blackboard.

Module Prerequisite


Student Preparation for the Module

To prepare for this module students should study this module outline, secure access to a copy of the core textbook and begin to observe and reflect upon global supply chains with which they interact as consumers of products and services.


Assignment 1a: (Group Assignment): Case Study Analysis and Presentation 20%
Assignment 1b: (Individual Assignment): Reflective Analysis on Focus Area Presentations 5%
Assignment 2: (Individual Assignment): Critical Discussion Assignment   25%

Semester 2:

Assignment 2a: (Group Assignment): Focus Area Analysis 20%
Assignment 2b: ((Individual Assignment): Reflective Analysis on Focus Area Presentations  5%
Examination: 25%