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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OLUB5209M Delivering Sustainable Solutions

15 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Alistair Norman

Taught: 1 Jan to 28 Feb, 1 Jan to 28 Feb (adv year) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to meet the programme entry requirements prior to studying the module.

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Students will have the opportunity to examine current practice in supply chains/networks and organisational operations ( including, but not limited to design, procurement and logistics) and contrast mainstream approaches to these practices with viewpoints which emphasise sustainability best practices in the evaluation and delivery of these functions. The module will help to identify the key drivers that incentivise or mandate the adoption of sustainability best-practices across a range of levels from Government policy to consumer pressure as well as the potential barriers or restraining forces which may impede the adoption of such. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate such practices in an organisational setting ( their own, or another with which they are familiar), design and set out rational arguments for appropriate targets for change and set out plans to effectively deliver such change in the organisational setting.


The objective of the module is to provide students with a critical insight into select tools and frameworks enabling them to apply these tools, frameworks and key components in order to achieve sustainable solutions in operations and supply chains/networks (hereinafter 'supply chains'). When studying the module students will consider:

1. Key factors promoting the adoption of practices to drive sustainability into operations and supply chains/networks.
2. Barriers which may impede the adoption of sustainable practices within operations and supply chains.
3. How to identify and action sustainable operational and supply chain practices.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Contrast traditional perspectives on operations and the supply chain with perspectives / best practice which challenge this orthodoxy and emphasise sustainable practices.
2. Evaluate and discuss such key perspectives which emphasise sustainability goals in the operations and supply chain context and identify the key components of a holistic approach to sustainable operations and supply chain. Discuss appropriate performance measures supporting such perspectives.
3. Identify and synthesise the key drivers (including technologies and design / delivery approaches) which encourage or incentivise organisations to incorporate sustainability goals and actions into their operations and supply chains and evaluate the extent to which organisations adopting such goals into practice have seen the projected benefit, or other benefits, from their actions.
4. Identify and synthesise the key barriers which are in place at a range of levels (for example - global, regional, national, organisational) which can impede the ability / will of organisations to incorporate sustainability goals and actions into their operations and supply chain.
5. Formulate action plans to deliver change in line with sustainability goals in an organisational context and debate and refine the process by which such change can actually be effected in such a context.
6. Communicate persuasively and at an advanced level to set out evaluations of operations and supply chain contexts, set out effective targets for change, and highlight how to support desired change with associated delivery processes.

Skills outcomes
Students will have the opportunity to bring a range of influencing factors together in an assessment of a current operations/supply chain context (or an appropriate subset) to demonstrate fit with organisational strategies and wider priorities.


Indicative content:

1. Traditional approaches to supply chains including the operational context and functions of the organisation.
2. Alternative perspectives on operations and supply chains / networks in line with best practices in sustainability in the organisational context.
3. Drivers for the adoption of sustainable practices across operations and supply chains, associated benchmarks, and available technologies / mechanisms for change / strengthening such drivers.
4. Barriers to the organisational adoption of sustainability best practice in the organisational operations and supply chain context, and potential means of addressing such barriers.
5. Frameworks and approaches which can scaffold / support the development of action plans for change in line with sustainability best practice.
6. Change management and project management approaches which can support the delivery of organisational change in line with sustainability best practices.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning61.006.00
Discussion forum61.006.00
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours114.00
Total Contact hours12.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

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

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

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1. The module’s digital learning materials provide regular opportunities for students to check their understanding and gain feedback (e.g., case studies with short answer questions and automated feedback, MCQs with detailed feedback on correct/incorrect answers).
2. The individual unit webinars and discussion forums provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors.
3. A scaffolded exercise (project report) is required during the early units, designed to help students identify and progress with a topic for their essay. Students will be able to obtain educator’s feedback via suitable means (e.g. webinars) for this exercise and the essay (building on the desirable change identified in the project report to set out desired change targets, justify them by wider reference to frameworks and technology affordances, and set out a plan for such change to be effected).
4. The module assessments (2,000 word essay, 1,000 project report) will enable student progress to be monitored. Under normal circumstances feedback is provided for Assessment 1 before Assessment 2 is due, so students can build on this feedback in their second submission.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Project2,000 word problem-centred report70.00
Project1,000 words30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

If a student is required to re-sit the project report, they will be required to identify either a different organisational setting or a different subset of the organisational operations / supply chain.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/01/2023


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