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Postgraduate Courses 2015

Value Chain Management (MSc) (suspended)

This programme will not be running for 2015 entry. You may be interested in our other Business-related programmes.


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.

About Kent Business School

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 university league tables.

Studying at Kent Business School (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.

The School currently has 60 PhD students, who form a dynamic and close-knit research community.

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 2015) 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.


Please note, the optional modules shown for our programmes are not guaranteed and are subject to change. Optional modules offered in any given year are based upon the availability of the relevant resources within the School.

CB8031 - Marketing and the Value Chain

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB8032 - Strategic Information Systems

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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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

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9056 - Strategic Sourcing

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9081 - Strategic Management of Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB996 - Introduction to Logistics and Supply Chain Management

The module consists of the following parts:

• Overview of Logistic Systems and Supply Chain (SC)
• Definition and discussion of the main SC drivers including responsiveness vs. efficiency
• The facility location activity
• The distribution activity including transportation
• The inventory activity
• The forecasting and sale activities
• Marketing, sourcing, procurement and technology.
• Analysis of some cases studies and use of excel throughout whenever found necessary

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB8027 - Production and Operations Management

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB953 - International Marketing Strategy

This module will combine lectures and seminars to present, transfer, discuss and summarise international marketing concepts and frameworks. Specifically the module will cover the following topics:

1) Analysis of socio-economic and cultural conditions in international markets
2) Marketing research and intelligence
3) Identification of International segments and niche markets
4) Alternative international market entry methods
5) Corporate and business ethics in international contexts
6) International marketing mix strategies

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9061 - Responsible & Sustainable Value Creation

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB9055 - Dissertation for MSc in Value Chain Management

Credits: 45 credits (22.5 ECTS credits).

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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 60 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 partners the Consumer Insight Service in the Centre for Value Chain Research; Hong Kong Baptist University, with whom we offer a joint Master’s programme in Operational Research and Finance Business Statistics; University of Castellanza (Italy); Audencia Nantes Business School (France); Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences (Denmark); Universiti Teknologi Malaysia; University of Ingolstadt, Bayern (Germany); City University of Hong Kong; Renmin University of China, School of Business.

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; Journal of Product Innovation Management; European Journal of Operational Research; and Psychology & Marketing.

Careers and employability

You gain much more than an academic qualification when you graduate from Kent Business School – we enhance your student experience and accelerate your career prospects.

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.

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

Most recent Research Assessment Exercise: 55% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

AMBA-accredited MBA.

Member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), CIPD, CIM and CIPS.

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.


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).


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.


Dr Marian Garcia: Reader in Agri-Environmental Economics

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


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.


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.


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.


Dr Krystin Zigan: Lecturer in Applied Management

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


Enquire or order a prospectus

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


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


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.

Related programmes


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