Top Up MSc Strategic Procurement Management

Course Content

The MSc Strategic Procurement Management from University of South Wales provides Procurement practitioners with the knowledge, skills and competencies to perform more effectively at all levels within an organisation. The MSc is a rigorous ten-module course which will normally take part-time students 3 years to complete: however, it is available, via Management Development Centre Limited, to experienced Procurement professionals who are members of one of the industry-recognised professional institutes, as a part-time, one year course. In offering this, the University recognises the levels of knowledge attained in the profession and the value of practical experience in management. Candidates can gain a major academic qualification whilst still in their jobs, as teaching takes place over two residential weekends.

Candidates will attend two taught residential weekends, held at Moor Hall in Maidenhead. Unlike the professional qualifications, there are no examinations: each weekend module is assessed by means of assignments in the region of 6,000 words: following these, students are required to develop a formal Research Proposal. The final stage of the MSc programme involves a detailed research project: taking between 6 months and a year to complete, this is then written up as a dissertation of 18,000 words.


Course Content

Module 1 – Advanced Procurement

This module identifies and explores the development of the procurement and purchasing & supply function in terms of its contribution to competitiveness in all industry sectors, and looks at the stages of development of the function through an examination of various best practice models.  It explores the internal and external relationships required to manage procurement and purchasing & supply at the strategic level and looks at new, cutting edge philosophies impacting the field and business organisations.

Synopsis of module content

  • Strategic aspects of procurement and purchasing linking purchasing strategy to corporate strategy.
  • Purchasing structure organisation design
  • Purchasing systems
  • Controlling performance and the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement and purchasing
  • Commercial relationships
  • Buying internationally

Following the first module (weekend)  students will complete a piece of coursework which is designed to critically assess the activities that constitute contemporary strategic procurement and purchasing management and assess the student’s ability to critically evaluate strategic practices and suggest performance improvements in a real or case study organisational environment.


Module 2 - Research Methods

This module aims to develop the student’s understanding and skills of research in a management and/or professional development context, and will critically review a range of research methodologies and methods of providing management information for decision making.

Synopsis of module content:

This module will cover both the qualitative and quantitative approaches to carrying out research in addition to difference science philosophies.  The topics covered will include:

  • Understanding research philosophies 
  • Reviewing literature: conducting a literature review, identifying relevant theories, models and perspectives, developing information literacy to evaluate the usefulness of knowledge gained from the extant literature
  • Data collection methods
  • Research quality: reliability, validity, generalisability
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Practical issues: access to data, time management, ethics in business research
  • Data analysis: principles, reporting and presenting results, use of software and social media

Assessment will be by means of an individual portfolio (6,000 words) where students will have selected an appropriate research aim, formulated a relevant specific research question, identified, clearly described and justified the methods they will use to answer the research question and then conduct a small scale research project.  The portfolio will also contain a reflective log, reflecting on the individual’s experience of the research process (1000 words).


The Dissertation

The final stage of the MSc is the dissertation, usually based around a problem or issue within the student’s own organisation, which is to be submitted within twelve months of the date of the second module. During this phase, students will work with a supervisor towards the final product; this will consist of a dissertation of 18,000 words, which should demonstrate originality, understanding and the use of appropriate methodology. Although many dissertations involve exploratory research in fairly abstract areas, more applied research sets out clear recommendations for action, adoption or otherwise.

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