Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap
Tied to N1KE12
Tied to N2KE12
Tied to N2KF12


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • BUSI51E15: Service Operations Management


  • To provide students with the opportunity to study key topics in manufacturing operations management at an advanced level.


  • Linking business and operations strategy; business variables and their impact on operations; variety, value and quality: design and quality audit; organising the organisation: structures and decisions.
  • Inventory management; recourse management; operational planning; review of scheduling and loading techniques; characteristics of manufacturing and service systems.
  • Review of manufacturing and control systems: MRP, JIT, OPT: Optimised Production Technology: 'theory of constraints'; decision making; standard crisis and deep decisions; steps in the decision making process; rational approaches to decision making; identification of cases and symptoms; resolution, involvement, acceptance, equality.
  • Operational change; new product and service development; project management quality management; process control, product control; quality costs; quality circles; continuous improvement; quality standards.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have a critical understanding of the concepts and theories underpinning manufacturing operations;
  • Have a critical appreciation of the relationship between business and operations strategy.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Be able to analyse the role of the operations manager in the service environment;
  • Be able to examine and evaluate the use of a variety of operations management tools and techniques.
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

  • The learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, seminars, facilitated discussion sessions and guided reading. Extensive use will be made of case studies and business simulations. All sessions have a high participation element, and an emphasis on action-learning.
  • Assessment of this module is by summative assignment, designed to: test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge; test conceptual understanding and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 3 Daily 2 hours 6
Seminars 3 Daily 3 hours 9
Practicals 3 Daily 1 hours 3
Preparation & Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Individual written assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 3,000 words (Max.). 100%

Formative Assessment:

Feedback on group and individual activities undertaken during contact hours. Feedback on learning set reflections and action points related to this module.

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