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Postgraduate Courses 2014

Value Chain Management (MSc)

Overview

Today’s businesses have become extremely complex and the international business environment is increasingly making processes unpredictable and uncertain. Our MSc in Value Chain Management programme teaches you how to add value and improve efficiency through effective management of resources within and between businesses.

The MSc in Value Chain Management is a progressive new programme – the only one in the UK to be accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

The programme focuses on the integration of key functions in the value chain in order to improve business performance and create sustainable competitive advantage. Delivered by a worldclass multidisciplinary group of academics, the programme is also enhanced by high-level input from our industry partners and the Centre for Value Chain Research.

Our graduates have gone on to work at strategic levels of management in supply chain, operations and marketing functions in a diverse range of sectors, including retail, consulting and manufacturing.

Kent Business School (KBS)

We are a world-class business school combining rigorous teaching with real world relevance and strong links to the business community.

Our research, which is within the top 30 business schools, underpins and enhances our teaching. Our flagship programme, the Kent MBA, has AMBA accreditation and together with our Master’s in Management, Marketing, Business Analytics, Human Resource Management, Logistics, Management Science, Value Chain Management and programmes in finance and accounting, we continue to attract applicants with a wide range of backgrounds from 102 countries leading to excellent results in the 2012 Guardian and Sunday Times university league tables.

Studying at KBS gives you the opportunity to increase your employability with real-life case studies, a student council and a business society. We have strong links to local and national organisations providing opportunities for projects, internships and graduate placements. The School attracts many high-profile speakers from industry and last year included visits and lectures from staff of the Bank of England, BAE Systems, Barclays, Lloyds Insurance, Cummins, Delphi and Kent County Council.

A wide range of funding opportunities is available for postgraduate students, including scholarships, bursaries, the Double Loyalty Scheme (for Kent graduates) and our Early Bird Scheme which offers a 10% tuition fee discount to students who apply before 31 March 2014) and commit early.

Course structure

The programme focuses on the integration of key functions in the value chain in order to improve business performance and create sustainable competitive advantage. As a student of this programme, you benefit from project work, live case studies with real organisations and guest lectures that will enhance your employability.

An innovative feature of the programme is the Student Implant Scheme, which partners you with a business organisation to work alongside (spending a minimum of three days within the organisation) and focus on for the dissertation, which will be based on a genuine value chain project.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

CB9026 - Value Chain Analysis

The aims of the module are to explore the use of value chain analysis to identify opportunities for improvement in supply chain performance.

This module will include:
Mapping the value chain (mapping physical flows, mapping information flows, mapping relationships);
Value chain performance measurement (value chain metrics);
Value chain performance improvement (lean thinking and value chain management, structural and behavioural management components);
Value Chain Analysis.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9027 - New Product Development and Innovation Management

• Innovation Management (e.g. innovation typologies / degrees of innovation, models of innovation and innovation management)
• Innovation Systems (e.g. people, leadership and organisation structures for innovation)
• Innovation Performance (e.g. determining how innovative an organization is)
• New Product Development (e.g. how to define and quickly implement concepts for new products, services and process)

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9040 - Data Mining and Forecasting

Detecting differences between groups:
Testing for normality, choosing the most appropriate test, interpreting the results

Classification and cross-classifications:
Measures of association; Goodman-Kruskal’s gamma; Chi-square tests

Data reduction and exploration:
Principal components; factor analysis; cluster analysis; property-fitting.

Forecasting methods:
Moving averages, exponential smoothing and measures of forecasting accuracy

Drivers of Change in Sales Demand:
Managing weather and seasonal changes in sales demand

The computer package SPSS will be used for this course including EXCEL in some occasions.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9056 - Strategic Sourcing

The module will include:

  • Introduction to Purchasing

  • Sustainable Procurement

  • Global Sourcing

  • Contract Negotiation and Risk Management

  • Supplier Relationship Management

  • Supplier Development

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9061 - Responsible & Sustainable Value Creation

A synopsis of the curriculum


  • Business Ethics
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Sustainability
  • Social Responsibilities of sectors and industries
  • Stakeholders of organisations: consumers, employees, suppliers, competitors, shareholders, civil society, government
  • Value Creation
  • Implementation of Socially Responsible and Sustainable programmes and initiatives
  • Cross Sector Value

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB935 - Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management

• Introduction to OB and HRM
• Strategic HRM
• Performance Management
• Strategic Recruitment and Selection
• Diversity and Equal Opportunity in the Workplace
• Organisational Culture and International HRM
• Reward Management
• Learning and Training at Work

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB966 - Simulation and Optimization Software

The aim of the module is to give students hands-on experience in using industry-standard optimization and simulation modelling software in order to structure and solve complex and large-scale managerial problems.

Optimisation Modelling - this topic will involve:

• Learning about how to efficiently formulate linear/integer programming models
• How to use commercial software to build and solve optimisation models
• How to use optimisation software to solve and analyse business related problems of operational/tactical/strategic importance (e.g. project investment, logistics, and location planning)
• The importance and steps involved with carrying out a sensitivity analyses (e.g. the meaning of dual variables
• How to calculate the range of optimality of input variables)

Discrete-Event Simulation - this topic will involve:

• Learning basic queuing theory, including its key assumptions, benefits and limitations
• Core theory and technical details pertaining to discrete-event simulation
• How to build working simulation models using commercial software that mimic real-world systems
• The meaning of common discrete/continuous distributions and how they can be used to model key aspects of a problem
• How to systematically analyze the results of a model.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9028 - Retail Management

• An Overview of Retail Management
• Gathering Information and Targeting Customers
• Choosing a Store Location
• Managing a Retail Business
• Merchandise Management and Pricing
• Communicating with the Customer

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB8027 - Production and Operations Management

• Operations strategy and competition
• Quantitative methods; forecasting and linear programming
• Process strategies and capacity planning; queuing systems
• Layout and location strategies; logistics
• Production planning and scheduling; inventory management
• Quality control, workforce management and supply chain

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB8028 - Knowledge Management

A synopsis of the curriculum

  • Introduction to knowledge management
  • Knowledge and related concepts
  • Knowledge management models and frameworks
  • The social context for knowledge management systems
  • The design and implementation of a knowledge-based strategy

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Assessment

The programme involves a taught and a project component.

The taught programme is assessed by a mixture of coursework assignments throughout the year, and by examinations in May and June.

Once these are completed, you work full-time on the project component and write a dissertation based on this, applying techniques and insights presented in the programme to a specific problem.

Learning outcomes

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide advanced study in the design and management of sustainable value-creating, consumer-driven businesses
  • provide you with a range of conceptual, analytical and research skills in value chain management and the various activities that add value to a company’s product or service in order to win a competitive advantage
  • educate you as a manager and business specialist to operate in co-ordinated, multi-enterprise organisations and thus improve the quality of management as a profession
  • provide career development opportunities by enhancing operations and value chain knowledge and understanding and professional competence in individuals who are already experienced managers and who wish to enhance their competence through a structured course of study
  • add value to your first degree by offering you a theoretical and practical examination of the factors necessary for effective value chain management in today’s global and highly competitive markets
  • develop an appropriate range of cognitive, critical and intellectual skills, research skills and relevant personal and interpersonal skills
  • enhance the quality of applicants to Kent Business School programmes, both from the UK and overseas
  • build on close partnership with Kent Business School Centre for Value Chain Research and business partners in the delivery of the programme
  • develop new areas and methods of teaching in response to the advance of knowledge, changes in technology and the needs of students.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • requirements of a value-creating, consumer-driven business design and the management elements of the value chain in order to win a competitive advantage
  • key features of value chain management and the various organisational activities that add value to a company’s product or service
  • specific strategies to maximise the flow of products/services and information and raw materials to the final point of consumption
  • methods of winning cost advantage and achieving the value proposition, ways of maximising collaboration within the value chain, competitive management of demand and channels and competitive management of distribution and operations
  • the relevant literature pertaining to a given problem
  • the uses and limitations of a range of research methods/techniques in the field of value chain analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, and an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses for providing information and evaluating options in a chain environment.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • critical thinking and creativity, managing creative processes in yourself and others, organising thoughts, analysis, synthesis, critical appraisal. This includes the capability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, detect false logic or reasoning, identify implicit values, define terms adequately and generalise appropriately
  • learning through reflection on practice and experience
  • the ability to select, organise, develop and synthesise complex material
  • formulate and test hypotheses using the appropriate statistical analysis of data
  • the ability to plan, work and study independently and use resources in a way that reflects best current practice and anticipated future practice
  • integrative capability to communicate and co-ordinate, or eventually lead, a team of multifunctional specialists.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • problem-solving and decision-making: establishing criteria, using appropriate decision techniques including identifying, formulating and solving business problems, the ability to create, identify and evaluate options, the ability to implement and review decisions
  • the ability to conduct research into value-creating business design and the management elements of the value chain in order to win a competitive advantage
  • the ability to identify key features of value chain management and the various organisational activities that add value to a company’s product or service
  • prepare technical reports
  • analyse business records and consumer spending data
  • use literature and secondary data sources effectively
  • give technical presentations to informed audiences
  • use statistical and computational tools and packages.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to communicate effectively through oral and written presentations
  • the ability to apply statistical analysis skills
  • information and knowledge: scanning and organising data, abstracting meaning from information and sharing knowledge
  • the ability to demonstrate competence in the use of ICT
  • demonstrate interpersonal and group working skills by performing effectively within a team environment
  • personal effectiveness: self-awareness and self management, time management sensitivity to diversity in people and in different situations, the ability to continue learning.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Kent Business School occupies a purpose-designed building consisting of executive learning facilities with wireless provision throughout. Each postgraduate student is assigned a specific member of academic staff who acts as your first point of contact throughout your studies. There is a lively postgraduate community at the School, with plenty of space to relax and interact with your fellow students and our academic staff.

An international focus

Kent Business School has more than 50 internationally recognised academics from 22 different countries. Most of our teaching faculty are involved with researching the latest issues in business and management, working with organisations to provide new insight for business leaders and policymakers. Their knowledge and findings feed into the programmes to ensure they are both cutting-edge and globally relevant.

Worldwide partnerships

Kent Business School has close links with: ifs (Institute of Financial Services); dunnhumby, who partner the Consumer Insight Service in the Centre for Value Chain Research; Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, where we have strong research links in tourism management; Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences (Germany); Chinese Academy of Sciences; Hong Kong Baptist University, with whom we offer a joint Master’s programme in Operational Research and Finance Business Statistics; University of Castellanza (Italy); University of the Littoral (France); University of Lille (France); University of Rouen (France); University of Deusto (Spain); and University of Tasmania (Australia).

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Critical Perspectives on Accounting; Quantitative Finance; Human Resource Management Journal; International Journal of Market Research; European Journal of Operational Research. Details of recently published books can be found within our staff research interests.

Careers and employability

In today’s business climate employers are increasingly demanding more from new employees, we are therefore proud that they continually target our graduates for their organisations across the globe. Employers respect our robust teaching and reputation for delivering international business expertise, leading global research and an outstanding international learning experience.

Kent has an excellent postgraduate employment record: over 90% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2012 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

From the moment you start with us, our efforts are focused on helping you gain the knowledge, skills and experience you need to thrive in an increasingly competitive workplace.

For more information on the services Kent provides you to improve your career prospects visit www.kent.ac.uk/employability.

Professional recognition

The MSc in Value Chain Management is accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

Kent Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the Association of Business Schools (ABS).

National ratings

Kent Business School was ranked within the top 30 business schools in the UK in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

55% of our Business and Management studies research was rated as “Internationally excellent” or “World leading”.

Entry requirements

A good first degree (2.1 or equivalent). A background or interest in marketing would be beneficial. An individual telephone interview will form part of the selection process.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research activities at Kent Business School are broadly organised into five areas:

Research in our Marketing group cuts across four main domains including, marketing strategy and performance; product development and innovation; buyer behaviour; and the management of supply (value) chains and market delivery systems.

Projects cover a wide range of themes ranging from the marketing department’s influence on organisational performance, determinants of marketing innovation, brand and product development success, and pricing, advertising and distribution effectiveness, to marketing information/decision-support systems utilisation, value co-creation by open innovation, and consumer evaluation and processing of product communications.

The group has a long tradition in its sectoral focus on the food industry which has complemented its aim of promoting empirical, international and interdisciplinary research to enhance marketing theory and practice. Ongoing and future projects will continue to extend its sectoral foci to emerging market economies, high-technology and new (social and digital) media environments. In addition, the group’s empirical and policy-oriented work is supported by the strong links with industry and an international network of research partners.

For more information on our Applied Research Centre see Centre for Value Chain Research.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Louise Ashley: Lecturer in Human Resources Management

Career success; organisational politics; ethnic diversity; gender diversity; political skill; politicians; occupational psychology.

Profile

Dr Nader Azizi: Lecturer in Operations Management

Operational research (mathematical optimization), computational intelligence (metaheuristics, swarm optimization and evolutionary algorithms) and human-centred design (workforce flexibility acquisition, task rotation and scheduling).

Profile

Professor Andrew Fearne: Professor of Food Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management; value chains; food marketing; consumer insight; loyalty card data; buyer-supplier relationships; value chain analysis; sustainability; consumer behaviour.

Profile

Dr Marian Garcia: Reader in Agri-Environmental Economics

Crowdsourcing; open innovation; online communities; co-creation; value creation; food industry; innovation performance; customer-valuefocused innovation.

Profile

Dr Epameinondas Katsikas: Lecturer in Accounting

Management accounting, the effect of change in management accounting systems, performance measurement, accounting innovations, public sector management, institutional change and benchmarking. The role of management accounting change and institutionalisation in public sector organisations.

Profile

Dr Shenxue Li: Senior Lecturer in Strategy

Knowledge management; organisational learning; dynamic capabilities; corporate rigidity; global talent management; decision-making; local knowledge; multinational company; international strategy; cross-border management; China.

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Dr Chloe Preece: Lecturer in Marketing

Arts marketing in film and visual arts; production and consumption in the visual arts; construction of authenticity.

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Dr M. May Seitanidi: Senior Lecturer in Strategy

Social partnerships: between business and nonprofit organisations with an emphasis on their role as facilitating agents of organisational and social change. Sustainability and corporate social responsibility and the functional role of conflict in achieving sustainable social outcomes across economic sectors.

Profile

Dr Krystin Zigan: Lecturer in Applied Management

Intellectual Capital Theory; Strategic Management in Non-profit Organisations; Performance Management.

Profile

Enquire or order a prospectus

Download a prospectus (PDF - 2MB) or order one below.

Contacts

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827726

F: +44 (0)1227 761187

E: kbsadmissions@kent.ac.uk

School website

Graduate School

Resources

Download a subject leaflet (pdf)

Our subject leaflets provide more detail about individual subjects areas. See:

Open days

We hold regular Open Events at our Canterbury and Medway campuses. You will be able to talk to specialist academics and admissions staff, find out about our competitive fees, discuss funding opportunities and tour the campuses. You can also discuss the programmes we run at our specialist centres in Brussels, Athens, Rome and Paris at the Canterbury Open Events. If you can't attend but would like to find out more you can come for an informal visit, contact our information team or find out more on our website.  Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

General Open Days

  • Saturday 21 June 2014 – Medway
  • Saturday 12 July 2014 – Canterbury

Related programmes

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MSc

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Last updated: 17/04/14

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