Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1K512
Tied to H1K514
Tied to H1K509


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with an in-depth understanding of a range of product and process improvement tools and their applications in business and research;


  • The product and process improvement process / Six Sigma
  • Design of Experiments including Taguchi Methods
  • Manufacturing Process Control.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to measure quantatively the current quality levels, patterns of variability and capability of any business process;
  • The ability to narrow down from a wide range of possible root causes to the Red X family of influential input factors;
  • The ability to use efficient Design of Experiment techniques to optimize, control and make robust a complex process.
Key Skills:

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

  • Workshops to cover the QIM principle;
  • A team-based business improvement case study to develop and consolidate the learning from the workshops;
  • Assignments will be write ups of the case studies;
  • Examinations to assess knowledge, understanding and application;

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 weekly 3 hours 21
Tutorials 19 weekly 1 hour 19
Teaching Day 1 7 hours 7
Preparation and Reading 103
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 67%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 33%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students are provided with typical design questions throughout the course which they can attempt to answer and seek feedback.

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