UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0120: Operations

Masters, level 7
MBA students only
Delivery method
For full-time students 8 x 3 hour sessions over two weeks. Part-time students 8 x 3 hour sessions over two weekends.
In class test (2 hours) 35%
Group coursework 15%
Group coursework 2 15%
Individual coursework 10%
In-class test 2 (90 minutes) 25%
Previous Module Code

Course overview

Operations management is the design and management of the processes that transform inputs into finished goods or services. Operations is one of the primary functions of a firm similar to Finance or Marketing.

The first part of the module provides a foundation for understanding the operations of a firm by exploring two simple questions:

·         How do companies actually do things?

·         How does technology enable this?

The first part of the module will focus on operations and management of technology in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, retailing, transportation, among others. This part of the module helps operations managers to address the challenge to produce goods and services and deliver them in an efficient manner and in accordance with the business strategy of their company. Typically, this involves balancing the needs for satisfying customer demand, on-time delivery, lower costs, and higher quality. In addition, technology is often times intertwined with the operations of a firm, so we will also see the interplay between technology and operations, and together how they can provide a critical competitive advantage.

The second part of the module explores mathematic models to make operations decision. These decisions include staffing, scheduling, pricing, order quantity and cycle. We focus on qualifying and optimizing the metrics of production and service systems. These metrics includes waiting time, profit, revenue, inventory costs, etc. The optimal decisions can be usefully implemented in real-life systems.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be conversant in the language of business operations, and they will be able to use both quantitative and qualitative tools to analyse basic operational issues. They will understand the ‘physics’ of material, work and information flows within companies, and they will learn how the design and management of a firm’s processes interact to determine a firm’s cost structure and its ability to compete effectively in terms of non-cost measures such as quality, variety and speed. Students will also develop a process based view of managing information and technology.

Upon successful completion of the module, students will also be able to:

·         Understand key ideas and concepts in operations management, such as product and service development, process analysis and design, process complexity and variability, capacity analysis, queueing management, revenue management, inventory management, and supply chain design;

·         Understand the range of operations management issues that organisations are addressing using business analytics, such as demand forecasting, process improvement, yield management, product and service personalisation, supply chain optimisation; and

·         Understand how organisations are using data and analytics to improve operations decisions.

Topics covered

·         Introduction to scientific management and Operations

·         Operations strategy

·         Process design and management

·         Capacity Management

·         Lean Operations and Quality Management

·         Inventory Management

·         Supply Chain Management

·         Technological Innovation

·         Product and Service Design

·         Managing Data and Information Technology

·         Queueing metrics

·         Linear Programming and Sensitivity Analysis

·         Integer Programming

·         Revenue Management

·         Newsvendor, EOQ and Inventory Systems

·         Forecasting

Assessment summary

In class test (2 hours) 35% Group coursework 15% Group coursework 2 15% Individual coursework 10&

In-class test 2 (90 minutes) 25%

Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.

Essential reading

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement”, by E.M. Goldratt and J. Cox, North River Press.  This is a business novel set at a manufacturing plant. It is a pleasurable read which teaches important operations management concepts along the way.

Past versions of this module

MSINCG06 17/18

Last updated Friday, 17 August 2018