Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Module Cap
Tied to NPK017
Tied to N1KP17
Tied to N1KD17
Tied to N1KB17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to explore the contribution, which Purchasing and Supply Chain Management can make to competitive advantage. Emphasis is placed on giving students an in-depth understanding at an advanced level of the complexities of managing supply chains. Further emphasis is placed on critically evaluating the principal processes, which add value, primarily in manufacturing, but also in service sectors.


  • Introduction to SCM.
  • Definitions of SCM.
  • The importance of SCM.
  • Supply chain models.
  • Supply Chain Mapping.
  • Purchasing and Supply.
  • Supplier selection.
  • Supplier development.
  • International supply chains.
  • Buyer-supplier relationships.
  • Power and trust in supply chains.
  • Purchasing and SCM Strategy.
  • Competencies and skill requirements.
  • Logistics and Demand.
  • Information Flow.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
  • e-Supply Chains.
  • Logistics.
  • Demand Management.
  • Future Trends and Research.
  • Future trends in Purchasing and SCM.
  • Performance Management.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • have a critical understanding of the role of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management in competitive strategy;
  • understand the complexity of supply chain mapping;
  • have a critical understanding of the buyer-supplier relationship debate;
  • be able to understand the challenges involved in identifying, acquiring and managing the various resources, which are required in both manufacturing and service industries;
  • have specialist knowledge of the pitfalls in trying to manage such complexity within the business environment;
  • have a critical appreciation of the assumptions, implications and limitations of supply chain management.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • be able to recognise the need/opportunity to use the main supply chain management techniques;
  • be familiar with the language required to discuss the use of these techniques with functional experts.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The written assignment will test students’ understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 24
Preparation and Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University