International Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Distance Learning) - MSc

Distance Learning
September 2016, January 2017
Online Learning Online
£7,500 for UK/EU Distance Learning 2016 entry (view all fees)

Accredited by the internationally respected Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), our International Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc covers complex production flows, production processes, distribution and materials management, channels of supply, procurement strategies and logistics systems management in the UK and international logistics sectors.

You’ll be keen to pursue logistics and supply chain management at a high level and our graduates have gone on to secure employment with world-leading companies such as BAE Systems, Palletways UK, and Ishida Europe.

Other distance learning courses the school has to offer is the MSc International Project Management (Distance Learning).

Read our FAQs about this course

What's covered in the course?

This highly rigorous course is directly relevant to the industry’s current and expected future needs and is designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge to thrive in the complex world of logistics and supply chain management.

You’ll develop an in-depth understanding of internal and external global customer requirements, logistics and supply chain practice and the interpersonal skills necessary to liaise and work in cross-cultural operational teams.

Throughout your course, you will benefit from our strong links with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and you will develop a strong academic standing, plus have the opportunity to apply that knowledge to real-life problems in the logistics sector.

The course will enable you to develop your practical and organisational skills too, so that you will be able to demonstrate that you can confidently manage international projects that are frequently subject to changing legislative controls.

The Master's project will give you the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge to practical problems and to investigate an enterprise systems management research topic.

Throughout your course, you will be supported by expert staff, who have a wide range of academic, research and industrial experience in sectors such as bioenergy, supply chain management, manufacturing and electronics.

Why Choose Us?


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Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

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This course is open to International students

School of Engineering and the Built Environment

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New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

This course is accredited by:

CILT logo

Entry Requirements

UK students

Applicants are expected to have obtained an honours degree in a relevant technology-related subject, with at least a 2:2 classification.

Alternatively, provide evidence of a portfolio of relevant industrial experience to successfully enter the course.

Person Specification

You should hold a minimum Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline. However, if you can provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills you need to successfully complete the course, we can consider your application without a degree-level qualification.

The course is designed primarily for delegates with prior knowledge of information systems and/or technologies, logistics and distribution, and who wish to specialise in a course that will extend them intellectually and practically according to their abilities.

The course will provide reflection on individual learning experiences with an opportunity to acquire skills in response to the market need for competent Logistics and Supply Chain practitioners capable of operating across multi-national organisations embracing differing cultural dimensions.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 DL 25 months £7,500
Jan 2017 DL 29 months £7,500

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 DL 25 months £7,500
Jan 2017 DL 29 months £7,500

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans


The MSc award is achieved by passing all 180 Credits. A PgCert is achieved by passing any 60 taught credits and a PgD is achieved by passing any 120 taught credits.

Strategic Planning for International Supply Chains
15 credits

The Module will consider in depth the effect of increasing competitive demand on all parts of the supply chain, how companies can gain competitive advantage by aligning both their internal and external supply chains to enhance customer satisfaction, product profitability, customer-supplier partnerships, manufacturing, and distribution efficiencies. The module considers the areas of strategic planning for the international supply chain. Pipeline management and the control of procurement and supply management.

International Logistics Systems Management
15 credits

This Module provides an in-depth understanding of the concept of reconfiguration of international logistics systems in a global context. In addition to transport, warehouse and product identification systems management this Module also covers risk management in logistics systems.

The module covers three broad topic areas and will provide in depth knowledge of logistics systems, transportation systems and warehouse systems management and consider current logistics optimisation and sustainability factors. Involving the application of environmental compliance and auditing systems. In addition, the consideration of military operations, environmental disaster management and reverse logistics.

Research Methods and Professional Development
15 credits

This module will focus on Research Philosophies, Research Methods, Quantitative & Qualitative Data Acquisition, Academic Writing, Professional Practice, Research Ethics, Literature Review, Referencing & Bibliographies, and Academic Journals & Electronic Resources.

The delivery and assessment of this module will involve the writing of a literature review, in the form of an academic research paper. Students will enhance their knowledge, professionalism and research skills by selecting and applying appropriate research methods. This module aims to prepare students for their dissertation at masters’ level. In relation to this, students will present their literature review as an academic poster.

International Project and Process Management
30 credits

This Module introduces students to integration of management by project with the processes involved in any organisation providing an overview of competing methodologies and their application. In parallel, students are offered an insight into how operational processes are structured, owned and managed. These topics are undertaken against a background international supply chain management and marketplace positioning. This module has three broad topic areas: Developing an understanding of the principles of project management and management of projects across private, public and 3rd sector organisation; Developing an understanding of the management of operations within and beyond the organisation; and Introduction of the key concepts of supply chain management together with market place positioning and the required organisational response to balance quality, cost and delivery.

Developing Resource Capability
30 credits

This module assesses key resources within the organisation, specifically people, finance and information technology. It offers students an insight into the value placed on each resource and the necessary integration to develop resource capability in order to successfully integrate corporate and operational strategies.

This module has three broad topic areas:

  • Management theories and techniques required to optimise human resources and develop key competitive advantage;
  • Assessment of the financial environment in which organisations’ operate and an introduction to some of the management accounting techniques essential for successful project and operational management;
  • and The role of, Information Technology and Enterprise Systems Management as a resource in developing resource capability and supporting business strategy.
Global Distribution and Materials Management
30 credits

This Module considers the effect of increasing competitive demand on the global supply chain, with the resulting necessity for Distribution and Materials management decisions adding value, efficiency, effectiveness all at reduced cost across all functions and internal and external supply chains.

Master's Project
45 credits

This will identify a substantial work-based practical problem or research topic.

While we aim to give you a thorough academic grounding in supply chain management and logistics, this course will also ensure that you will have the necessary practical skills to undertake a high-level role in a complex logistics and supply chain environment.

You’ll focus on industry-relevant learning, consider the latest developments in logistics, transport and supply chain management thinking, examine issues connected with the enhancement of the logistics and supply chain industry practice, study innovative reverse logistics and empties planning, and look at how you can create a resilient supply chain.

You’ll be assessed in a number of ways, depending on the module. We use project reports, record keeping and oral presentations, although we may use time-constrained tests where appropriate. Assessment focuses largely on projects and case studies and we make personal development planning an integral part of the learning process.

Your academic year is divided into three and you will study: developing resource capability, international project and process management, global distribution and materials management, research methods and professional development, international logistics systems management, and strategic planning for international supply chains.

You will also complete an MSc dissertation project, which will identify a substantial work-based practical problem or research topic.

You can enrol in either September or January. If you enrol in September, you can complete the programme in 13 months (full-time) or 30 months (part–time). If you enrol in January, the full-time course will take 17 months to complete.

Course Structure

Online Study Period 1 (13 weeks)

International Project and Process Management (30 Credits)

Online Study Period 2 (13 weeks)

Developing Resource Capability (30 Credits)

Online Study Period 3 (6 weeks)

Research Methods and Professional Development (15 Credits)

Online Study Period 4 (13 weeks)

Global Distribution and Materials Management (30 Credits)

Online Study Period 5 (13 weeks)

International Logistics Systems Management (15 Credits)

Strategic Planning for International Supply Chains (15 Credits)

Online Study Period 6 (19 weeks)

MSc Dissertation Project (45 Credits)

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

CILT logo

This degree course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Further Study

There are opportunities to apply for a research (MPhil or PhD) programme in an area of logistics or supply chain management that you are interested in. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

Student stories Christopher Cheesman

Logistics at NATO

Already working in the field of logistics for NATO, Christopher Cheesman was looking for a Master's level qualification that he could study from Luxembourg, and the distance learning course from Birmingham City University fitted the bill.

When he joined the course, he was a member of the Management and Planning Section, working as part of the General Manager's staff in the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency. He has since continued in the same field of work, although he has now been promoted to lead the team. The Agency has been through a major integration with two other agencies to form the NATO Support Agency and the General Manager that Christopher works for leads the integrated group.

Enhancing employability

Graduates with the knowledge and practical skills that are taught on this course are in high demand.

This is because the logistics sector has identified a growing need for managers who can competently identify and provide solutions to a wide range of logistical and supply chain problems.

It means when you graduate from this course, you will stand out as a candidate who can operate at a senior level in this field. Typical roles for graduates of the MSc International Logistics and Supply Chain Management   include supply chain managers, distribution managers, logistics managers, logistics analysts, and procurement managers.

Our graduates have gone on to forge very successful careers with world-leading organisations including:

  • Logistics Manager
  • WEG Electric Motors (U.K.) Ltd
  • Logistics Manager
  • Ishida Europe
  • Head of Sales & Product Development
  • DHL Manufacturing Logistics Services
  • Logistics Operations Manager
  • Staffordshire Perkins UK
  • Palletways UK
  • Regional Manager (Middle East & Africa)
  • APL Logistics
  • Procurement Manager
  • BAE Systems

Wajeeh Ahmed has launched his own logistics business in Dubai since completing his Masters course.

After he graduated, he was promoted to regional manager of service quality (Middle East and Africa) and later became the country manager.

Earlier last year, he decided that he had the confidence to launch his own logistics and supply chain company – Texture Shipping – based in Dubai.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

This is a highly regarded qualification by the logistics sector. Many of our graduates have been promoted within their existing organisations, or gone on to work with  companies such as WEG Electric Motors (U.K.) Ltd, Ishida Europe, DHL Manufacturing Logistics Services, Palletways UK, APL Logistics, and BAE Systems.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus. We offer a wide range of technology to help you with your studies.

We have an ongoing strategy to upgrade and further develop our well-equipped laboratories. These plans are supported by global technology providers such as PTC and Technosoft. These two companies alone have recently donated more than £11 million worth of computer aided design, product lifecycle management and knowledge-based engineering software.

In addition, more than £750,000 worth of capital investment has been made in upgrading our engine emissions test facilities, environmental laboratory and thermodynamics equipment.

Test Cell Facilities

The key features of our test cell include:

  • 340 kW fully transient dynamometer
  • Full exhaust gas analysis both pre and post after treatment system
  • Ammonia slip analyser, EGR CO2, THC and non-methane HC

Exhaust Analysis

The key features of our exhaust analysis facilities include:

  • Signal Group Analysers in 3 racks with heated sample systems
  • Sierra BG-3 particulate mini-tunnel
  • AVL 415S smoke meter

Environmental Lab

The environmental lab is part of the Centre for Low Carbon Research (CLCR) and is home of the bioenergy and bioprocessing research group at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

The suite is divided into three main areas a wet lab/pilot facility a fully equipped analytical suite and a microbiological lab. This newly refurbished facility offers state of the art analysis and testing of environmental samples as well as scientific evaluation of lab scale and pilot scale technologies and processes.

More about our facilities

Jahangir Akhtar

Associate Professor

Jahangir Akhtar is an associate professor in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment.

Jahangir worked in the electronics industry and manufacturing systems, prior to moving into the public sector to work on accessing European funds for the City Council and provide training support local businesses. He worked with Rover Group and their supplier development programs and later joined Birmingham City University formally University of Central England (UCE), initially as consultant to external bodies and then moved in teaching in 2004 on postgraduate programs.

Christine Lloyd

Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Centre for Low Carbon Research

Christine started teaching at the University in 2008 but before this, she spent most of her career in Higher Education in research, ranging from lean and agile operations in manufacturing whilst at the Universities of Swansea, Cardiff and Bath. Here she was engaged with many different companies including Ford, Johnsons, BAT, Balfour Beatty, Nissan, and Boots.

Christine’s interests emanating from her MPhil in economic development and innovation led to an appointment as a Research Fellow for the Centre for Regional Economic Development at the University of Central Lancashire based in Carlisle.  

Again working with businesses Christine helped provide support for a range of funded projects ranging from research into rural diversification post-foot and mouth to local government procurement. When she was appointed at the University of Swansea on an all-Wales sustainability project, she became interested in bioenergy and how this could become a viable business.

Christine’s MSc dissertation on reverse logistics considered recycling methods, generating value from ‘waste’ and how this generates value. This led to her current PhD research in supply chain integration in bioenergy which has subsequently led to her involvement with two Interreg IVB projects in bioenergy within the Centre for Low Carbon Research at the University.

Christine teaches mainly on postgraduate programmes in logistics and supply chain management. I have also taught other PG courses at Cardiff, Bath, Ulster and on the Engineering Diploma at EIGSI, La Rochelle.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295