Purchasing and Supply Chain Management MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours) or international equivalent, and demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years’ relevant professional experience will also be considered. Directly relevant degree disciplines include business studies, economics, geography, management, and operations research. However students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply.
If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.
Through an advanced programme of study and research, this course equips you with the specialist knowledge and skills to identify problems and develop solutions within both purchasing and the wider supply chain.
The course addresses the strategic role of purchasing and supply chain management. It also examines the impact of changes in the regulatory and policy environment, and the effect of new technologies and techniques on current and future problems within the supply chain. The course will develop your knowledge of best practice in this field, and enhance your understanding of the importance of business process and activity integration.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
You will develop a range of knowledge about purchasing management, including the purchasing management process, negotiation techniques, supplier appraisal and the buyer's role.
Logistics and the External Environment
With this module you will increase your awareness of the external influences that companies must take into account in the design and operation of their logistics systems.
Sustainable Supply and Procurement
You will examine topics related to green logistics, procurement and supply chain management.
Research Methods and Project Preparation
These modules will increase your knowledge and competence of the research process and the application of research methods.
Financial Analysis for Managers
This module aims to develop your analytical skills and understanding of corporate financial reports.
Business Process Integration with SAP
You will consider the role of information and process integration within organisations, focusing on enterprise-wide software and business process integration. Opportunities to study for SAP-accredited courses are offered in association with this module.
Retail Supply Chain Management
By examining retail markets (by country and sector), this module investigates developments in the control of the supply chain between retailers and manufacturers.
Supply Chain Management Project
Students use their workplace and wider professional experience together with the skills and abilities developed in their academic studies to undertake a serious research investigation into a topic related to Purchasing and/or Supply Chain Management. The topic chosen may be relevant to their work or be of interest to the student. They develop their analysis in partnership with a supervisor who advises and guides them throughout. The project is a very important part of the study programme. Its aims, content and the manner of execution reflect the integrative nature of projects at Master’s level.
You will examine the importance of the project in modern organisations, with particular reference to managing projects.
International Aspects of Business Law
You will gain a greater understanding of different aspects of international law, and be able to apply them to business.
All students on our full-time business Masters courses can apply to undertake the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module. This is an 8 week unpaid accredited internship, which can be taken in addition to option modules and will help students to gain invaluable work experience. The internships, which are with London-based organisations, take place during the summer period. To apply, students must submit a completed application form and a copy of their updated CV to the Business Experience Team; the team then shortlist from the applications and conduct group meetings with the applicants.
Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship. We have received very positive feedback from both postgraduate students and employers and expect that the internship programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
Rachel Lander, Course Leader
Past students of the course have developed successful careers in both supply chain management and procurement. Course graduates work in both large and small to medium companies all over the world. Examples include Unilever, Puma, and Sony. In today's complex and demanding environment where sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative are sought, this course will help you acquire the qualities to either advance in your current role, or gain new employment. Areas of work you could consider include purchasing and contract management, supply chain management, operations/logistics management and supply chain planning and development. Alternatively, you might want to continue onto research or further study. On successful completion of the course, if you have three years' relevant work experience you may be awarded Member of Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS) status. Alternatively, you can apply to CIPS for MCIPS status at a later date, once you have acquired the necessary work experience.
Length of course
One year full-time or two years part-time, starting in September or January
As a purchasing and supply chain management postgraduate, you can look forward to excellent career prospects in purchasing and contract management, supply chain planning and development and operations management.
With the MSc Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, you'll be particularly well-placed to pursue opportunities within organisations that require senior business people to have sound judgement, as well as taking personal responsibility and initiative.
All Full-time Postgraduate (MA, MSC and MBA) WBS students have the opportunity to undertake a 2 month part-time unpaid internship in local organisations, so as to further enhance their academic experience. Our internships take place during the Summer and are in various fields including Marketing, Project Management, Retail, Marketing Communications, Finance, HR and the charity sector.
In order to apply, students must complete an application form (along with a copy of their updated CV) and submit this to the Business Experience Team (BET). Subsequently we then shortlist from the applications received and conduct group meetings with the students, which provides them with an opportunity to understand more about the internship programme and for the BET to better understand their internship aspirations. Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship.
We have received very positive feedback from both our Postgraduate students and employers and expect that the Internship Programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
The Business Experience Team also offers full-time overseas postgraduate (MA, MSc, MBA) students the opportunity to take part in our WBS Mentoring Programme. We will match students with a senior professional (mentor) from their field of expertise to give them an exact insight into British working practices and policies. Experienced professionals in any business field share their career experiences and knowledge with students who may wish to venture down a similar path in the near future. Our mentors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Marketing, General Management, Finance and Entrepreneurship. In addition, our mentors typically offer 3 hours of their time over a 3 month period to the mentee (student). In addition, to one-to-one meetings, students are encouraged to keep in touch with their mentor over email and telephone.
At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.
Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.
We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Business and Management - why Westminster?
In a bid to provide invaluable work experience to our full-time postgraduate business students we are giving you the opportunity to apply to undertake an 8-week unpaid accredited internship with a London organisation.
The School has Approved Training Organisation (ATO) status, granted by the Association of Project Management Group (APMG).