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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OENG5201M Continuous Improvement in Engineering Supply Chains

15 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Gerard Duff

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Entry requirements for the Online Engineering Management MSc programme

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The goal of this module is to equip students with knowledge, methods and tools needed to identify improvement opportunities in Engineering supply chains. The module will be structured around the six sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) continuous improvement process. Students will learn how to apply methods for the Define, Measure and Analyse phases and be introduced to Engineering supply chain improvement case studies to reflect the Improve and Control phases.


The goal of this module is to equip students with knowledge, methods and tools needed to identify improvement opportunities in Engineering supply chains. Students will learn how to apply the six sigma DMAIC process to Engineering supply chains and gain experience of the first three stages.

For students with an interest in completing a dissertation in the subject area of this module, they will learn key characteristics needed to define projects at the last two stages which could form a dissertation project.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Identify key characteristics of Engineering supply chains associated continuous improvement methods and processes;
2. Map out bills of materials for case study products and use these maps to inform the definition of supply chain structures;
3. Apply value stream mapping techniques to Engineering supply networks and use them to identify metrics for continuous improvement programmes;
4. Analyse (using manual and emerging computational methods) Engineering supply networks to identify improvement opportunities;
5. Describe and identify failure modes that occur in Engineering supply chains;
6. Discuss current industry practices for the improvement and control of engineering supply networks.


What is an engineering supply chain?
Including why companies work in supply networks; key benefits and challenges; the transition from make to print to design and make networks; network performance; product and supply chain mapping developed through our research.

The role of continuous improvement in engineering supply chains:
Including processes such as DMAIC and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Verify) and ways of identifying, defining and delivering improvement opportunities.

Value stream mapping and the application of digital technologies:
Including how to map a value stream, results from current research projects related to computer simulations and data analytics.

Failure modes applied to supply chain systems:
Introducing students to ways in which supply chain failures occur, current industry practice in addressing these failures and current research activities.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning71.007.00
Discussion forum61.006.00
Independent online learning hours28.00
Private study hours109.00
Total Contact hours13.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study will include directed reading and self-directed research in support of learning activities and discussions, as well as in preparation for assessments.

Independent online learning involves non-facilitated directed learning. Students will work through bespoke interactive learning resources and reflective activities in the VLE.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Online learning materials will provide regular opportunity for students to check their understanding. Regular group activity embedded into learning will allow self and peer assessment providing opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors. These activities are part of the teaching and learning methods and are not to be considered as formative assessments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1500 word project report60.00
Poster PresentationDefining product and supply chain maps/metrics30.00
Reflective log500 word summary of weekly progress report10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit: 100% individual assignment

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/05/2022


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