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Global Business Operations - MSc

Business Operations Management is a very popular management subject and leads to highly valued roles within the global job market due to the increasingly high value placed on it by industry. It exists in every business no matter the size and industry, and it plays a key role directly affecting business performance and global economics....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  


Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham City Business School
  • Faculty Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Business Operations Management is a very popular management subject and leads to highly valued roles within the global job market due to the increasingly high value placed on it by industry.

It exists in every business no matter the size and industry, and it plays a key role directly affecting business performance and global economics. For example, as retail businesses transform their practices in the digital era with online shopping, the logistics industry is currently experiencing huge growth which is forecast to continue well into the future.

Professional Placement option

For our Global Business Operations degree, you will have the opportunity to take the Professional Placement version of the course, which is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability and transferable skills. The placement experience will allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study, with support from our Careers+ team as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Please note that placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.

For full details, please click here.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The MSc in Global Business Operations course will provide you with the academic and practical expertise to help you develop an exciting professional future in this high demand industry. Combining theory and practical application this course follows a “practice-oriented” approach to equip you with the most up-to-date knowledge and tools currently used in business practice, by covering multiple aspects such as operations management, supply network, finance management, procurement, warehousing, outsourcing, transportation, strategy, digital supply chains, ethics, governance and sustainability.

The course will enable you to develop your personal capabilities and competencies of critical thinking, creativity, professional communication, presentation and teamwork. Industry speakers, field trips, live projects in collaboration with real businesses and skills in leading edge business software tools will be embedded in the course to enable you to create a robust and competitive CV that will allow you to apply for the job or role you aspire to.

Your future career could be in areas such as operations, supply chain management and logistics leading to jobs such as Supply Chain Manager, Operations Manager, Warehouse/Inventory Manager, Logistics Clerk, Purchasing Officer, Supply Chain Analyst to name but a few. Graduates have the potential to attain very senior positions in this industry such as CSCO (Chief Supply Chain Officer) and COO (Chief Operating Officer) which receive very attractive salaries.

Significant evidence identifies operations, supply chain and logistics specialists as important future roles which are in high demand by industries, yet there is still significant shortage of these skills and talents in the market. This course provides an opportunity for you to join the industry at an exciting time, with a practice-based qualification that gives you the skills and competencies to perform successfully.

Why Choose Us?

  • Guest speakers from industry
  • Access to real world business-based case studies
  • Field trips to businesses (for example Jaguar Land Rover, John Lewis, ASDA) available to give you experience of global business operations
  • You will be able to work on exciting projects for real-life clients through our Business Advice Centre, giving you exposure to the challenges and issues faced by businesses as well as the chance to develop successful solutions. Opportunities are available with local, regional, national and even global businesses such as BMW.
  • The Centre also offers expert support for your own entrepreneurial ideas, so you can start planning your own start-up or take your existing business to the next level. Following graduation, you will have the opportunity to apply for STEAMhouse Business Incubator membership.
  • Practice based teaching principles will give you insights and experience of real businesses to learn exactly what their needs are and what methods and techniques they are currently using
  • Research informed teaching principles will ensure you learn the most up to date knowledge
  • You will study in our state-of-the-art City Centre Campus in the UK’s second city.
  • You will work alongside other international students giving a real experience of what it is like to work and collaborate with your peers.
  • You’ll be taught by highly qualified module tutors with significant professional practice experience of a range of management and global business roles.

Entry Requirements

We require one of the following:

Essential Requirements
Essential - Entry to Stage One

An honours degree of a British University or equivalent institution (minimum 2:2)

An equivalent graduate level qualification from an overseas university or equivalent institution (minimum 2:2)

A pre-masters programme approved by Birmingham City University

A pre-masters programme with a minimum of 55% average

Other qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Additional information for EU/International students

Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications are welcome. Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

English language requirements 2020/21

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

Other accepted qualifications Visit our English language page

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 Year
  • £9,000 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 Months (Professional Placement)
  • £9,900 per year

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 Year
  • £16,300 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 Months (Professional Placement)
  • £17,930 per year

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

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research. You will also have access to CLASS by Cirrus, the leading ‘off the shelf’ software written exclusively for warehouse design and simulation.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites and available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud Licence

Students studying on a course with a requirement to use Adobe software can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

The module will deliver the fundamental understanding as well as the applied aspects of supply chain, logistics, operations functions and global supply network in real businesses. The module will follow the supply chain flow to introduce each operational function including procurement, manufacturing, inventory, delivery and customer service and how each function works together to support the business as a whole.

The module will discuss operations management from both the company level and the whole supply network level. You will develop your understanding of the company and its supply network, the relationship of each company within the same network, as well as the multiple roles a company could play within different networks.  Through this module, you will be able to map out the global supply chain network, design global logistics, and shape the footprint map.

This module focuses on the key function of procurement, inventory, and warehouse management within operations and supply chain management. The module will introduce you to the areas of procurement, forecasting, inventory management and warehouse design, as these activities are all closely related to each other in practice.

The module will consist of two key themes. One theme is procurement and forecasting. You will learn the importance of procurement in business, the role of forecasting and management of inventory level and the bullwhip effect. You will understand these activities in an organisational context via simulation games. The second theme is inventory management and warehouse design. 

This module aims to develop your understanding of the main financial objective of the firm i.e. wealth maximisation and how it is achieved through alignment of financial decisions under constraints from within and outside the organisation. The module covers topics such as financial statements analysis, budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, time value money, investment appraisal, working capital management, sources of capital and choice of capital structure. You will be able to understand and apply key concepts and theories in accounting and finance and assess the implications of financial decisions for a business firm.

This module aims to equip you with the relevant knowledge regarding digital supply chain and transportation management. This includes the various systems that integrate different elements of the supply chain to provide the visibility and information required to drive supply chain operations and minimise waste.

This module will enable you to critically evaluate the tools employed for supply chain analytics. The increasing role of information technologies in the design and operation of modern supply chains will be analysed. You will be equipped with the practical knowledge necessary to use various open source analytical and supply chain simulation software, such as Excel, SPSS, Sim8 and Arena amongst others. This module integrates digital technology with more traditional business systems and business network practices to give rise to a notion of a smarter, more ‘autonomous’ supply chain.

This module is based on theoretical and practitioner based, learning approaches towards embedding key operations management principles, frameworks, methods and case studies on the formulation and implementation of operations strategy in manufacturing and related industries. Also, the module covers business strategy and the business status analysis models and tools, as well as discussing the relationship between business strategy and operations strategy. The module is in stage two of MSc Global Business Operations Course with the aim to develops your knowledge to higher and holistic levels. This includes theoretical and contemporary practice perspectives to catalyse an understanding of strategic decision making by organisations as well as a range of transferable employability skills.

This module is designed to give you the research skills and insights necessary for the study and investigation of business organisations and business-related data. These skills will impact directly on your ability to understand and evaluate information from a variety of sources and where appropriate undertake primary research. You will become aware of the many tools and techniques that can help judge and interpret research outcomes.

Sustainability issues has attracted more and more attention from people, companies and governments. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been set by United Nations to be a "blueprint” to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. This module will lay the foundations for robust ethical assessment and a critical understanding of corporate governance, social responsibility and supply chain sustainability.

The module also looks at sustainability in the context of supply chain management. The objectives of sustainability are to satisfy the triple bottom line – social, economic and environmental goals must be met. You will develop the understanding to apply the triple bottom line to operations and supply chain management in related topics such as ethical purchasing and supply chain, reverse logistics and corporate social responsibility. This module will provide insight into ethical theories, corporate governance, and circular economics.

The Major Project provides the practical and theoretical focus for the MSc Management programme and is the culmination of your programme of study. The aim of this module is to provide a framework for you to undertake a substantial piece of disciplinary-relevant research. It is founded upon Birmingham City Business School’s teaching and learning philosophy which integrates theory and practice.

The module is related to the Research Practice, one of which you will study at the beginning of Stage 3, whereby you will develop your understanding of research and then put into practice your theoretical understanding via this module. This module will enable you to build on and develop your professional management skills such as project management, problem solving, critical analysis and synthesis of data to produce appropriate research outcomes. As such it is highly relevant to your career, providing essential skills to create an evidence base for subsequent managerial judgements and decisions.

This module provides two options routes for student to choose based on their interests and need:

  • Route 1: Traditional Dissertation;
  • Route 2: Live Business Advice Project either individual on in group via BAC (Business Advice Centre)

The specific requirement of each route will be made clear in the assessment brief provided for each application of the Major Project. The module provides a framework for integrating the principles, tools and methods of your programme, developing your practitioner skills via project management, research methods, analytical tools and techniques. The project requires a high degree of professionalism in your role, managing the supervisory relationship and (where relevant) collaborations with other students and internal and external stakeholders.

Although there is some recommended reading for devising the research project the essential reading will reflect the negotiated topic and/or the organisation under investigation.

In order to complete this course with a Professional Placement you must successfully complete all of the above modules in addition to the below (totalling 240 credits):

This module is designed to provide you with the opportunity to undertake a credit bearing, 20-week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. 

The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

You will be able to start your Professional Placement once you have successfully completed the competitive recruitment process and passed at least 120 credits of the 180 credits required for the Master’s award.   The length of a standard full-time Master’s course ‘with Professional Placement’ will, therefore, be extended to 18 months and will consist of 240 credits, 60 of which will be awarded following completion of the placement.

The module is assessed on a pass / fail basis via a portfolio of work to document and evidence your experience throughout the placement.  The credits awarded following successful completion of the Professional Placement module will not count towards the classification of the final award.  Formative feedback will be provided on at least two occasions prior to the final submission of the portfolio.  The portfolio submission will include a poster or reflective artefact to enable you to evaluate concisely your professional journey and the graduate attributes you have gained throughout the placement experience.

You will be expected to reflect on your current skills, behaviours and attitudes within a professional environment and demonstrate how the Professional Placement has served to enhance these.

The Professional Placement cannot be repeated.  If you receive a fail following submission of your portfolio, you will have one further opportunity to resubmit.  Failure in the resubmission will result in automatic transfer back to the non-placement version of the standard Master’s course. 



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.

Business Advice Centre

The Business Advice Centre (BAC) is the Business School's hub that offers a range of support services to you throughout each stage of your student learning experience.

We have a range of support solutions for students as well as opportunities to enhance your employability and entrepreneurial qualities.

Whether you are considering starting your business, connecting with real companies or enhancing your graduate opportunities, the Business Advice Centre can help you.

Find out more

International Students

Welcome to the Birmingham City Business School, home to students from over 70 countries all around the world!

Birmingham City Business School is one of the UK’s largest, most established and most respected business schools. Our programmes are practice based and many have an international focus, which means your course will be entirely relevant to today’s business world. Almost all of our courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, are open to international students.

We also have links with universities across the world, including Europe, the USA, China, India and Malaysia.

International Services

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

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

Facilities and Staff

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Our staff

Dr Shishank Shishank

Senior Lecturer in Operations Management

Dr. Shishank Shishank has a multidisciplinary background with a PhD in Operations Management from the University of the West of Scotland. His PhD brings together both management and engineering concepts and was titled Outsourcing: Decision-making during the stages of Design and Engineering.

Full Profile

More about Shishank