There’s a very close connection between the latest academic knowledge and real-world business practice in RSM’s MSc Supply Chain Management. You’ll learn the latest theories and technologies in class from world-class researchers and academics, then you will see for yourself how supply chain knowledge works in the real world, because the Port of Rotterdam and other international supply chain hubs are right on your doorstep.

  • 137 average number of students in cohort
  • 40% international students in programme
  • 89% of graduates employed within 3 months after graduation
  • Examples of industries where graduates work: Energy/Oil/Utilities, Consulting
  • Examples of graduates’ job titles: Operations Manager, Supply Chain Consultant, Logistics Analyst

What you will learn

You can launch your career almost immediately. On average it takes only a month and a half to find a job after graduating from this programme; that’s faster than any of our other master graduates. Two-thirds of graduates from this programme said it was relatively easy to find a job for their first career move, according to our MSc Graduate Employment Report in 2019.

Many of them take their first career steps in logistics, consumer goods or consulting, as trainees, consultants and demand planners. The largest numbers of them work in large corporations, SMEs and large consultancy firms, but many students take other roles throughout the industry, perhaps starting their careers in supply chain or procurement. International graduates may find it slightly harder to find a job in logistics or shipping in Rotterdam itself, but your studies in this international port city give you a good view of  international opportunities.

The MSc Supply Chain Management organises its own industry-specific career fair every November, and there are many other career events and services available at RSM throughout the year. You can find them all on


A broad portfolio of topics from intra-logistics to strategic global collaborations between firms


Social and environmental sustainability as well as a focus on cost efficiency and performance


Working with variety of approaches to analysing the performance of supply chains, from analytic models to qualitative assessments


Your own positive changes to the practice of supply chain management

Programme highlights

  • Top-ranked international faculty

    Our top-ranked international faculty bring the latest supply chain management insights, methods and theories into the classroom

  • Research

    RSM is ranked top in Europe for research, based on an aggregate of research published in SCM academic journals over the past five years

  • Teachers

    Your teachers are active practitioners in the real business world of logistics and supply chains

  • Practical programme

    When you’re learning about management challenges, technologies and developments, you’ll learn from seeing them for yourself, via company visits, company projects, and guest lectures by expert practitioners from the industry

More about the programme


The RSM MSc in Supply Chain Management programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (26 ECTS). Master electives (18 ECTS) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. It is also possible to replace one elective with an internship or business project. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (16 ECTS).

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

Supply Chain Management teacher

A teacher's story

View all core courses below:

The course is a mix of lectures, case studies, and games. The lectures are meant to explain supply chain models and concepts making use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods involve theoretical frameworks, conceptual analysis, and evaluation of solution strategies whereas quantitative methods involve mathematical analysis, probability theory and basic concepts of microeconomics. Case studies depict a business scenario at a certain existing company; in which complex supply chain management decisions need to be taken. The situation is often partly described from the perspective of one of the key players in the decision–making process; furthermore, a certain degree of urgency is present as well. A teaching case requires very thorough preparation by the participant. Finally, students will be required to play game in a supply chain context, which will involve strategic and operational decisions.

Taught by Dr Q. Kong.

The course addresses the following topics on sustainable global supply chains: Supply chain risk management, supply chain network design, responsible supply chains and closed-loop supply chains. These four topics will be discussed in interactive lecture sessions and will be tested by means of team assignments, individual assignments and an exam. 

Taught by Prof Dr R. ZuidwijkDr M. Pourakbar, Prof Dr A. Veenstra and L. Nguyen, MSc

Success in a complex supply chain environment depends on your ability to make good decisions. This requires a systematic, data-driven and fact-based approach to decision-making and problem analysis. The same philosophy is also at the heart of scientific research. This course teaches you a variety of tools for business analytics and optimization modelling. You will explore the research that aims to solve decision problems in the supply chain management. Moreover, this course will prepare you for your thesis project, which starts in January.

Specific subjects include:

  • Business analysis in Excel
  • Linear and integer programming
  • Optimization software: CPLEX

Taught by Dr S. Lemmens

The Netherlands is well known for its expertise in distribution operations. Many American and Asian multinational companies have established their European logistics centre in the Netherlands, and it is the home base of many logistics service providers and operations. The logistics sector has a big impact on the Dutch economy. Warehousing and distribution are core businesses for many large and smaller firms. While most other courses in the SCM master focus primarily on external logistics and strategic issues, this course focuses on intra logistics (or facility logistics): process design and execution; operations, particularly those within facilities. External and intralogistics are strongly related and interdependent. We will address such questions as: what is the impact of a company’s physical distribution network on the intra logistics system, and vice versa? What storage systems should be used under which circumstances, what handling systems, what is the best layout, which information systems are appropriate, to which extent should processes be automated and robotized, and what is the resulting performance? Besides matters of system choice, operational storage and order picking strategies are also discussed.

Taught by Prof. Dr Ir M.B.M. de Koster

In its very essence, purchasing involves everything one receives an invoice for. But what is the more substantive definition of this business process, particularly from a management point of view? Over the years, numerous definitions have been provided for Purchasing and Supply Management (PSM). In broad strokes, one could depict the development of definitions over time as moving from more operational, to tactical, to more strategic. We define PSM as “The design, initiation, control and evaluation of activities within and between organisations aimed at securing inputs from suppliers at the most favourable conditions.” (Van Raaij, 2016; Wynstra, 2006).

Central in any definition of purchasing and supply management is the process (at least as final objective) of acquiring inputs. As such, the economic transactions between actors are at the heart of purchasing and supply management. This is also the core difference with logistics or supply chain management, which focus on planning and controlling the amounts, routes and timing of flows of goods and services and associated information.

As a management activity, purchasing and supply has a quite rich history. In the 18th century, the United East India Company (in Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) already conducted make-or-buy analyses. While at a general level, the principles of purchasing and supply management may thus have remained largely the same, there are some particular areas of development in the last decade or so.

There is a growing realization that purchasing and supply management can contribute not only to the ‘bottom-line’ of organisations, but also to the ‘top-line’. In other words, the buying organisation does not only seek to reduce costs but also to increase the revenue-generating potential of the acquired inputs.  Another development is that organisations place growing emphasis on strategy development at the level of so-called purchasing ‘categories’. More and more organisations apply an explicit approach to segmenting their spend in terms of characteristics such as financial importance and supply or technological risks, and apply explicitly differentiated strategies for the different segments.

Last, but not least, PSM is changing due to the increasing digitalization. Digital procurement, or Procurement 4.0, brings new opportunities to the organisations, such as streamlined and simplified processes, data-driven purchasing decisions, and overall increased time for strategic activities. However, it also brings challenges: a complicated task to develop a suitable digital PSM strategy and choose appropriate IT solutions, but above all the need to rethink roles and skills of PSM professionals.

Taught by Prof. Dr J.Y.F. Wynstra and F. Chen MSc.

One of the main reasons why companies hire university graduates is because of their academic mindset and skills. This includes a critical attitude towards what is presented as “the truth,” the ability to assess the quality of research presented to them, and the competence to study a phenomenon in a structured way. These same qualities are required of you as you design and execute your Master thesis project. This course teaches you how to design your project, use the available literature, and collect and analyze data for empirical research. It follows the chronological steps of research design, data collection, and data analysis. On top of these basics, you will have the chance to go into depth for specific topics (methods and/or skills) that you will need for your own Master thesis, thereby allowing you to tailor your study program to your specific needs.

Taught by Dr Ried.

Great challenges, of economic, environmental and technical nature, are posed on companies in producing and delivering goods on demand, on the spot, right when and where customers demand them. Since production systems usually cannot follow the demand fluctuations instantaneously, distribution systems are required to bridge temporal and geographical gaps, and the gap in scale between production and consumption. The activities and decisions to be managed in such distribution systems are manifold and include distribution network design, the planning and managing of inventories deployed throughout the networks, linking sources and destinations through transportation, achieving coordination in channels. The rise of online retail and increasing urbanization poses new challenges in the last-mile and city logistics.  

This course focuses on the analysis, planning, and organization of these activities. The analysis, planning, and organization of decisions and activities in distribution is a daunting task in its own right. The task is compounded by the dynamics in the business context such as globalization and the rapid proliferation of applications of information and communication technology. Contributions from several fields have shaped today’s vision on how to master the challenges of fulfilment of customer demand. This course takes an analytical perspective on how to organize for performance of distribution networks. It captures key factors in quantitative models, which it then analyzes, thereby uncovering important trade-offs and performance drivers in distribution networks.

Taught by Dr N. Agatz and Dr M. Schmidt.

The aim of ‘Your Future Career’ is to prepare RSM students at an early stage in their master's for their careers.

The online modules will help you make crucial steps towards the most suitable career step, whether an internship or a job.

To pass the course, you need to gain a minimum number of points within a few months. You can decide if you want to reflect on your interests and motivations, develop knowledge of the job market, receive peer feedback on application materials, learn to love networking, or attend an interactive alumni career panel or workshop.

See this page for more details.


This course is overseen and guided by Dr Maciej Szymanowski and Lisanne Keir

View all electives below:

Modern supply chain management involves decision making in uncertain, dynamic, and complex environments. This course focuses on the use of simulation techniques to make better supply chain decisions under such conditions. For that purpose, the course combines relevant theoretical knowledge with application of simulation techniques with the help of computer-based tools. In particular, we shall focus on discrete event simulations. In all cases, we represent real-life supply chains using computer models. These models serve as a safe playground to study and evaluate supply chain decision making, allowing us to gain essential insights into how supply chain performance may be improved.

The course is divided into (mandatory) lectures in which students will learn the theoretical basics, and (mandatory) workshops, where students will learn how to build simulation models in Arena. The grade is based on three assignments. The lab sessions give students the opportunity to ask questions on the assignments.

Taught by Dr Loke.

Over the past two decades, purchasing and supply management (PSM) has evolved from a clerical function focused on buying goods and services at a minimum price into a strategic function focused on value creation and achieving competitive advantage. Many manufacturing and service firms realize that PSM does not only impact financial performance, but also other aspects such as innovation and environmental performance. In this respect, firms need to consider not only the day-to-day operations of PSM, but also more value adding and strategic issues such as the alignment of purchasing strategy with corporate strategy, establishment of supplier partnerships, supply risk management, sustainability objectives in supplier selection, understanding the complexity of procuring services, etcetera.

In this elective course, we build on and extend the core course Purchasing and Supply Management (BM05SCM) and involve students in PSM-related cases in various companies. This is done by blending theory (seminars on selected topics) and practice (work on a real case provided by participating companies).

Students are offered deep-dive seminars on four topics. Specific topics in this course may vary slightly per year; examples include:

  • Supply risk management
  • Supply chain sustainability
  • Capital contracting
  • Performance-based contracts
  • Supplier relationship and performance management
  • Purchasing performance management

Students also work in teams of 4-5 on a real PSM-related problem for a company and apply knowledge gained in the seminars of this elective and other SCM courses. At the end of the course teams present their solutions in a session that involves all students of the course and participating companies.

Taught by E. Haag Msc, dr A. Nikulina, and guest lecturers

The forecasting of product demand, new product success, risk events, prices, costs and capacity dynamics is an important activity in every day decision making in companies throughout the supply chain. It directly affects inventory management, procurement and production decisions, logistics resources and financial planning, and thus has a strong impact on the performance of individual companies, as well as that of a supply chain as a whole. The Supply Chain Forecasting elective is about acquiring a robust understanding of common and advanced forecasting methods used in practice, and about training programming skills to apply these methods in practical situations.

In particular, the following topics will be covered:

  • Forecasting methods based on smoothing
  • Econometric models, e.g., arima(x)
  • Machine learning techniques, e.g., decision trees, random forests, gradient boosting; and ensemble forecasting
  • Assessing the performance of forecasts
  • Forecasting intermittent demand, and the relation between forecasting and inventory management
  • Judgmental forecasting, and the influence of judgmental adjustments on forecast performance

Taught by Dr J. van Dalen and Dr R. Kuik.

The seaport of Rotterdam is the main gateway to the European market, although it is much more than a node in which cargo is transferred between ship and shore. The quality and competitiveness of the port is determined by its position in networks, both at a local level, and at a global level. These networks are transport links with the other major ports in the world – Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, New York/New Jersey, and the major ports in Europe Antwerp, Hamburg, Bremen, Le Havre, and multimodal transport links with the main destinations in the European hinterland. In addition, the port is also a network of industrial activity that facilitates a large number of supply chains with transport, storage, production and other activities. Finally, the port is embedded in a network of information exchange that enables safe and secure port operations, the efficient management of transportation in and around the port, and the smooth flow of goods through the port.

This course aims to provide a sound understanding of the role of the port in global networks, and let students gain experience with the development of new and innovative solutions for current problems that exist in this complex context. The elective will provide a variety of perspectives on the port from a number of disciplines, such as port management, legal aspects, public administration aspects, and business economic aspects. The assessment consists of an individual assignment, four team assignments, and participation.

Taught by Prof. Dr R.A. Zuidwijk

In this course we will focus on the procurement process and on value chain management in the healthcare sector. In many countries, healthcare represents one of the largest sectors of the economy; healthcare spend often amounts to 10% of a country’s GDP. This course builds on the key concepts as taught in the core course Purchasing & Supply Management (BM05SCM). This course expands into areas that are not only relevant in healthcare, but also in other sectors, such as services triads, performance-based contracting, best value procurement, European tendering, cooperative purchasing, and negotiation skills.

In healthcare value chains two types of purchasing can be distinguished: purchasing of healthcare and purchasing for healthcare. In purchasing of healthcare, which is done by for instance healthcare insurers, ‘healthcare’ is the service that is purchased. In purchasing for healthcare a diverse set of goods and services is purchased (e.g. catering, temporary labour and medical equipment).

A significant amount of money is spent in the healthcare industry on a yearly basis, which makes that there is a large potential for the purchasing profession to decrease spend, improve quality and increase innovation as well as efficiency. In this course we connect management theory about purchasing with specific characteristics of the healthcare industry.

Taught by Prof. E. van Raaij.

Companies of all kinds -- manufacturing or services – believe that their customers are most important and valuable assets. Strong customer focus is often identified as the most important

differentiator between the best and the worst companies. Hence, managing customer experience and guaranteeing a certain service level is of paramount importance.

Performance management in manufacturing and service companies is often complex because the performance is affected by coordination requirements among multiple resources and the customer. To understand the objective of this course better, consider “time” as the performance measure reflecting customer experience. For instance, in a manufacturing system, fulfilling a customer order in a timely fashion requires coordination among several resources such as, supplier (providing the raw material), planner (planning the machine capacity), scheduler (scheduling the job), worker (working on machine setup), and machine (processing the job). Therefore, lower is the coordination delays among the resources, better is the performance measure positively affecting the customer experience. Likewise, in a service system such as a restaurant, fulfilling a customer order in a timely fashion requires minimizing coordination delays among the tables (seating the customer), order takers (taking the order), and kitchen resources (preparing the food). Hence, to manage manufacturing and service system performance, there is a growing importance on analyzing the system and estimating the measures that are good indicators of customer experience such as customer “waiting time.”

This course will focus on approaches to estimate the performance measures and design systems for superior performance. The complexities in managing customer performance are further increased because of the sources of uncertainties present in the system such as uncertain number of customer arrivals. The students will also learn approaches to manage system performance in the presence of business uncertainties. Through this course, the students will develop skills in building quantitative models for manufacturing and service systems, which can be analyzed rapidly to provide insights for decision making. We will also try to incorporate behavioural aspects of service and manufacturing operations in the quantitative models. The skills will be developed through a mix of concept lectures, cases, experimenting with software tools, and a course project.  Some prior exposure to simulation tools will be helpful to keep pace with the course learnings.

The students will develop analytical thinking and learn to deal with practical issues while executing the course project, develop skills for quick performance analysis of systems, and also learn to develop managerial insights from models, which is an important skill to possess for executing complex on-the-job assignments in manufacturing and service organizations. The concepts discussed in each lecture will build on the learnings from the previous lectures. Hence, the students are advised to prepare thoroughly with the course material. A detailed course outline will be posted on Canvas. 

Taught by Dr D. Roy.

Commodities are critical for the global economy as they literally power the world, feed the planet and provide the essential inputs in all the devices (e.g. smartphones) and household appliances (e.g. shampoo) that make our lives easy. Commodity trading involves the transformation of commodities in time (through storage), space (through shipping) and form (through processing). Commodity trading firms (CTFs) such as Vitol, Trafigura and Cargill are for a large part responsible for the supply and delivery of commodities to their clients, often large manufacturing firms, in which they take on (and offset) various forms of risks (e.g. price volatility, geopolitics, the weather, foreign currency exchange and operational risks such as delays in delivery) for their clients. Commodity trading thus involves highly dynamic information-intensive tasks and capabilities in the field of logistics, finance and technology.

The value of the world’s traded commodities is estimated to be around 6 trillion US$ annually. The way supply chains of physical commodities are managed by various trading firms and how these trading firms are capable of securing delivery to clients under volatile and risky conditions is the topic of the course. No better place to study this than in Rotterdam:  Europe’s gateway for the global trade in physical commodities. Rotterdam forms the heart of the ARA-region (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp), a global price reference point for crude oil and used as geographical benchmark in many commodity delivery contracts and freight prices. Commodity traders make use of the port to ship the commodities to markets and many have actual logistical assets (tank storage and warehouses) and processing operations (e.g. refineries)  in the port in addition to the trade desks,  supply chain support functions, head offices or holdings in the city.

This course is taught by Dr W. Jacobs.

The Syrian civil war, the Ebola epidemic, Covid-19, hurricane Katrina, the Rohingya crisis, the earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti, the Japanese tsunami, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the HIV/AIDS epidemic,… the world has experienced many large humanitarian crises in past decades. Climate change, population growth, and rapid urbanization will likely only increase their frequency and impact in the future. At the same time, the world is still facing several substantial development challenges. For example, nearly 2 billion people still lack access to basic medicines and more than half the world population still lacks access to essential health services.

These health and humanitarian crises come with extreme demands for logistics, technology, and operations management. Extreme in terms of operating conditions. Extreme due to the scarcity of resources. And extreme in terms of consequences for health and well-being. For example, managing disaster response is like organizing the next Olympic Games without knowing where it will take place, when it will take place, and how many people will come. Though this seems pretty impossible, the way response is being prepared and managed is a matter of life and death for many. Similarly, increasing access to medicines and health services in low and middle income countries is about addressing a disproportionally heavy burden of disease with very limited resources (doctors, clinics, outreach/vaccination teams, transportation, infrastructures, money…). Maximizing the effectiveness of available resources is hence key, which is exactly what logistics, technology, and operations management is about.

This course provides an introduction to the important field of Health & Humanitarian Logistics and corresponding UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Though it covers some theory, the main focus will be on learning by doing. Through case studies, a simulation game, guest lectures from people who work in the humanitarian sector, individual and group exercises, you will work on real and complex challenges related to disaster relief, medicine supply chains, and health service delivery in low and middle income countries. Examples include: Where should one locate warehouses to pre-position relief goods? What/how much to stock there? What logistics network should one set up to handle incoming relief goods after a disaster? How to optimize the dispatching of these goods? What technology is useful to support relief activities? Should governments adopt a push or a pull system for medicine supplies to health facilities? Are vendor-managed inventories a solution for weak inventory management skills in pharmacies and clinics? Should drones be used to perform medicine deliveries? In what contexts should one use mobile (i.e., travelling) healthcare providers instead of traditional health facilities? How to screen for epidemic outbreaks?

Given the increasing need for smart use of data in this sector, much emphasis will be put on analyzing datasets and using analytics techniques to support decisions/ generate insights. While doing so, you will be asked to use the knowledge, methods, and models you have acquainted yourself with during your studies. If you have a background in logistics and supply chain management, you are encouraged to use data analysis and optimization techniques and mathematical models (e.g., for network design, planning, routing, and inventory control). If you are not familiar with these methods and models, you are encouraged to address the challenge using your intuition and methods and models you are familiar with. All students will be challenged to critically assess applicability of such methods and models (which have typically been developed to address business challenges) to the challenge considered. What are the hidden assumptions? What pieces can be transferred? What pieces need to be adjusted?

In parallel, the course will cover some basic concepts, background knowledge, and theory about Health & Humanitarian Logistics, including:

  • The goals the health & humanitarian system aims to achieve,
  • The stakeholders in the health and humanitarian system,
  • How the system works (or is supposed to work),
  • The context in which health and humanitarian actors operate,
  • Objectives and their quantification (e.g., through disease state modelling and epidemic modelling)
  • The role of logistics in the system, and key logistics challenges,
  • New technology (e.g., blockchain, drones) and new business models for addressing these challenges,
  • Technology and management approaches for logistics decision making

Taught by Dr H. de Vries.

The course addresses some of the topics that are very relevant in today’s global supply chains. The aim of the elective is to provide the student with en­hanced knowledge on the complexity of supply chains and how it is aggravated by international legal and compliance requirements. Additionally, it aims to provide the student with en­hanced knowledge on how customs, tax law and FTAs regulate and facilitate cross-border trade and logistics in order to offer a broader and more comprehensive perspective on the mana­gement of such cross-border supply-chains. This elective contributes to the academic knowledge and skills of Master students by discus­sing the law and practice of cross-border trade and logistics from academic, business and regulatory perspec­tives. The delivery of the core course is a mix of lecturing, class discussion based on cases and exercises, and student assignments.

Upon completion of this course, students can:

  • Explain supply chain design issues that play a role in an international/global context;
  • Discuss the importance of compliance in global supply chain management and how several strategic level decisions are impacted by this.
  • Distinguish between different tax laws and how they impact supply chain management;
  • Demonstrate importance of data sharing in global supply chains, its required IT structures and legal challenges associated with this
  • Identify how globalization led to the emergence of risks such as counterfeiting and learn about strategies to combat it.

Taught by Dr M. Pourakbar.

SCM students have the opportunity to combine the writing of their thesis with an internship with a company (minimum of 168 hours) and replacing an elective course. The internship should be solely related to the thesis research and the selection of the internship should be in consultation with the thesis coach or thesis coordinator. The Company Based Research Project will be assessed separately from the thesis (on a pass/fail basis) by the thesis coach and a company supervisor.SCM students have the opportunity to combine the writing of their thesis with an internship with a company (minimum of 168 hours) and replacing an elective course. The internship should be solely related to the thesis research and the selection of the internship should be in consultation with the thesis coach or thesis coordinator. The Company Based Research Project will be assessed separately from the thesis (on a pass/fail basis) by the thesis coach and a company supervisor.

Taught by Dr R. Kuik.

Operations Management (OM) encompasses a broad field of study, covering not only the design and management of processes in manufacturing and service organizations that create value for society, but also the search for rigorous laws governing the behaviors of physical systems and organizations. Encompassing such a broad range of topics, OM frequently overlaps with other academic streams, such as quality management, operations research (OR), finance, and marketing, and employs methods from these streams. In doing so, the methods employed in OM research are generally heavily oriented towards the development of normative (mathematical) models. This approach has proven to be highly valuable for the advancement of the field of OM, as these models enable us to explain and predict the impact of certain decisions and actions on supply chain outcomes. At the same time, because models always offer a simplification of reality, they are subject to certain rigid assumptions that might not reflect reality accurately. For example, such models commonly assume that:

  • People are deterministic and predictable
  • People are independent
  • People are “stationary” (no learning, fatigue, or problem solving occurs)
  • People are not part of the product or service
  • People are emotionless
  • Work is perfectly observable

As a result, these models often leave a substantial part of the variance in their outcome variable of interest unexplained. The field of Behavioural Operations Management (BOM) is driven by the departure from the assumption that all agents participating in operating systems or processes – ranging from decision-making managers to workers – are fully rational or at least act that way.

More specifically, BOM explores the interaction of human behaviors and operational systems and processes. Specifically, it has the goal of identifying ways in which human psychological and sociological phenomena impact operational performance, as well as identifying the ways in which operations policies impact such behavior.

In this course students will be exposed to studies and activities that demonstrate behavioral dynamics in a range of work contexts. Students will be encouraged to come up with examples of situations in which behavior impacts performance and will analyze data to establish the impact of such behavioral effects. In-class discussions will enable a thorough understanding of the phenomena treated in each session and offer students ideas about how the insights are applicable in many types of contexts.

Taught by Dr M. Becker-Peth

The growing concern about scarcity of resources, pollution and emissions has increased the pressure on society to put more emphasis on sustainability development. From a company perspective there are several ramifications in terms of resource availability and costs, compliance with national and international legislation, and its perceived image to the outside world. Product reuse and recycling (“closing the loop”) can seriously contribute to business value creation and the reduction of environmental footprints at the same time. However, to sustain economically and ecologically viable operations one may have to thoroughly redesign existing supply chain processes (manufacturing, holding inventories, distributions) and integrate new ones (collection, recovery, redistribution).

This course enables you, as a future manager, to understand the relevant trade-offs related to economic, ecologic, and social aspects of doing business, and to apply the necessary tools and concepts to tackle the challenges in trying to close the loop.

Taught by Dr Lemmens.

The best performing and most highly motivated students may be invited to take part in the Supply Chain Management Honours programme. This part of the programme is on top of the regular one-year MSc in Supply Chain Management programme, and includes two additional courses.

This gives the most able students an opportunity to further broaden and deepen – and demonstrate – their knowledge, and to apply it to company-based project at one of RSM’s partners.

Honours students will complete the extra elements before graduation. Students successfully completing the Honours programme will receive a certificate indicating the additional EC achieved.

The first phase of the thesis trajectory entails finding a research topic and a supervisory team. The program offers a wide array of themes and coach profiles for you to work with. Each research theme offers a broad research area, flexible enough to allow students to specify and investigate their own research questions. Moreover, the themes typically also provide a set of specific topics and potential research avenues. Different themes require different research approaches. The research themes are as following:

  • H2O - Healthcare and Humanitarian Operations
  • Material handling and Facility Logistics
  • Purchasing and Supply Management
  • Transport and Distribution Networks
  • Supply Chain Forecasting and Analytics
  • Global Sustainable Supply Chains and Smart Ports
  • Behavioral Operations

Generally, in our program, there are two types of master thesis projects:

  • Theory-oriented projects: aim to contribute to theory development and/or theory testing. Usually, empirical data is used to build/test theory or to validate the research framework.
  • Practice-oriented projects: aim to contribute to the knowledge or to help solve a problem of a practitioner. Usually this is combined with an internship at the practitioner via a so-called ‘Company based project’ or CBP.

During the SCM Thesis trajectory the students will be individually coached by their coach and co-reader. The trajectory is organized along the following phases/deliverables:

  1. Thesis information session
  2. Preliminary Thesis Proposal and coach assignment
  3. Dragons’ Den
  4. Co-reader assignment
  5. Thesis Proposal
  6. Final Thesis
  7. Oral Thesis defense

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM MSc courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements. If you are interested in learning more about corporate social responsibility, sustainability, or business ethics, please refer to our Open Programmes section.

For more information on all international opportunities offered at RSM, visit the website of our International Office.

Learn more

Why this programme?


Honours Programme

International exchange


Career opportunities

MSc Supply Chain Management alumnus

An alumnus talks about RSM’s MSc in Supply Chain Management

MSc Supply Chain Management recruiter

A recruiter talks about RSM’s MSc in Supply Chain Management

While not all our graduates become CEOs, all gain an outstanding qualification in logistics, supply chain management and operations, and subsequently enjoy premium prospects for coveted positions in international business. 

Many positions are related to supply chain management, including:

  • Supply chain manager
  • Distribution manager
  • Warehouse manager
  • Operations manager
  • Production planning
  • Inventory manager
  • Sourcing/procurement/purchasing manager
  • Logistics information systems manager

These job titles suggest you can find employment in a vast number of private, public or non-profit organisations in any sector. All companies, including service-oriented and non-profit organisations, operate supply chains and have value-adding processes which need continuous improvement. The job market in logistics is therefore relatively insensitive to the state of the economy. In recessions, processes have to be redesigned to improve efficiency and competitiveness. In economic booms, processes have to be adapted to create new opportunities and beat the competition.

You can use a number of resources in finding a career, such as the journals and professional organisations listed below:

  • APICS, the Association for Operations Management
  • CSCMP, the American Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals 
    (formerly CLM).
  • ELA (European Logistics Association) . Journal: Logistics Europe.  
  • VLM (Vereniging Logistiek Management).
    This organisation also represents APICS in the Netherlands. Journal: Logistiek, published by Elsevier. 
  • NEVI (Nederlandse Vereniging Voor Inkoopmanagement).
    Journal: Tijdschrift voor Inkoop en Logistiek, published by SDU.  
  • VELA (Vereniging van Logistieke Adviseurs).

All graduating students receive the journal ‘Supply Chain Magazine’ published by Springer free for one year. Head-hunting companies such as Logi-Search, Tempo Team, Plimsoll Adviesgroep, Young Executive Recruitment (YER), BLMC Executive Match and Logistics Recruitment have a specialist division for operations and logistics. Job hunters can also consult lecturers and RSM Career Services for help.

Non-EEA nationals who have earned a diploma from a higher education institute in the Netherlands can apply for a special residence permit called the orientation year after completing their studies. The 'Orientation Year for Graduates Seeking Employment' is a residence permit aimed at retaining foreign talent for the Dutch labour market. During this orientation year you are free to work without a work permit. Participants who find a job during this period can change their orientation year into a residence permit for Highly Skilled Migrants under more favourable terms.

For the most up-to-date information please visit the following website.

Career progress

Many students find positions within multinational firms and organisations, partially thanks to relationships they have developed with representatives from the world of business – as well as peers – during the programme’s corporate and other networking events. Students applying for jobs in their home countries are equipped with knowledge and skills to take with them.

Find the Employment Factsheet for your MSc programme here.

View LinkedIn profiles of our graduates

You can read more about our graduates and their career progress from their LinkedIn profiles.

Tip: you can see more of our graduates’ profile information if you are not signed in to your LinkedIn account. Sign out of LinkedIn, then click the links.

Good to know

Career Centre

Alumni networks

MSc employment report

Vacancies for SCM students

Studying at RSM

Student in MSc Supply Chain Management

A student talks about RSM’s MSc in Supply Chain Management

The RSM Experience

Education for life

Studying at RSM will be a life-changing experience. Your master degree will prepare you for a fulfilling professional life as a capable, self-assured individual. It will make you valuable to business and attractive to employers because it teaches you skills that make the most of your innovative mind. You will be challenged in and outside of the classroom, and you will gain an education based on the latest developments in business. Your master degree from RSM will include RSM’s promise of life-long learning, and membership of the more than 40,000-strong alumni network that is present in more than 110 countries which hosts activities and events all over the world.

Open intellectual culture

Your education at RSM is valuable. You will learn from academics who produce the highest quality research and the most innovative management thinking. In the classroom, sharing and questioning opinions is encouraged – yours and those of your fellow students, as well as the professors’. Many of RSM’s faculty members are young and passionate professors and researchers with outstanding academic credentials. Their work is published in top international management journals.

Engaging environment

Professors’ doors are always open for students who have questions, projects or ideas. Depending on the study programme, students have different opportunities to tailor their programme. This can, for example, take the form of a minors course, an internship, an exchange at one of over 160 partner schools worldwide, elective choices, the participation in a consulting project with a company or public sector organisation, or a thesis project in their specific area of interest. RSM’s strong links with local and international businesses and organisations offer opportunities for practical projects and real-life collaborations.

What is your ‘I WILL’?

RSM’s I WILL movement allows you to define your goals, your ambition, your drive. It’s our forward-thinking community that asks you to say something about your future. Your I WILL statement becomes part of the spirit of RSM’s diverse community of students, researchers, staff, professors, alumni and others related to the school. Making a public commitment to your goal will allow you to achieve it faster and better. What is your goal?

Rotterdam, a future-oriented city

Living and studying in Rotterdam has never been better. Rotterdam is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the world and many multinational companies have their headquarters here. The city is famous for its stunning modern architecture, such as the Centraal Station or its covered food market, the Markthal. At the same time, the city authorities are forward-thinking in improving its liveability. There’s no shortage of restaurants, museums and theatres, yet Rotterdam is still an extremely student-friendly city with plenty of affordable student housing, and a bustling nightlife that includes events organised by students associations.

Find out more about life in the city of Rotterdam.

RSM Master Students

Talk to a student ambassador!

Learn more about student life

More information

SCM Master Study Club

Explore the campus

Life in the city

Coming from abroad

Fees & scholarships

The 2024-2025 tuition fee for the MSc programmes is approximately €22,500 for non-EEA students. The Dutch government contributes towards this cost for students who hold a nationality from a country belonging to the European Economic Area(EEA). These students therefore only pay the statutory fee €2,530 in 2024-2025.

For EEA nationals who have already completed a master in the Netherlands (and obtained the diploma) the tuition fee for a 2nd master is approximately €13,200.

Please note that all these tuition fee tariffs are subject to change.


The number of scholarships is limited and mainly merit based. If a scholarship covers only the tuition fees, be aware that you need to finance your own living expenses (rent, food and insurances) for the duration of your studies. RSM does not offer scholarships for the pre-master programme. We do however offer a maximum of 2 scholarships per academic year to RSM pre-master students enrolling in an MSc programme.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) offers multiple scholarships to prospective students from non-EEA countries who are not entitled to pay the EEA tuition fee, provided their grades are considered ‘excellent’. RSM also offers one scholarship, the Erasmus Trustfonds Scholarship, to students from EEA countries. 

Besides scholarships awarded by RSM, there are also scholarships awarded by the Dutch government or other organisations that are available if you meet certain criteria such as nationality, age, etc We have listed some of them below but we encourage you to use resources such as Grantfinder or the Scholarship Portal to find additional scholarships.

Scholarship tips

  • Contact the Ministry for Higher Education in your home country to see whether there are scholarship options.
  • We have virtual information session covering all you need to know about scholarships and financial aid. Watch it here.

For students from the Netherlands or the EU/EEA, it may be possible to apply for limited funding towards payment of your tuition fees. Find out whether you meet the nationality and age requirements and read more information about the application process here.

Other expenses

After having filled in all of the necessary application information on the Online Application Form (OLAF) and uploaded the required documents, applicants with a degree obtained outside the Netherlands will be asked to pay a non-refundable €100 handling fee. This fee can be paid online via the Erasmus Payment System which uses either iDEAL (for those with a Dutch bank account) or PayPal (which can be linked to any bank account or credit card worldwide). It is important that applicants complete the payment process as indicated, otherwise the system cannot register the payment.

The additional expenses in addition to tuition and general living costs (see below) vary per programme and may include:

  • Study materials such as books, readers and business cases
  • Costs involved in kick-off meetings
  • Costs related to travel, international excursions and compulsory exchange semesters or internships abroad

For a reasonable standard of living in the Netherlands, you should have an income of between €1,000-€1,600 per month depending on your lifestyle. Further information about the costs of living in the Netherlands and related subjects can be found on this website. Below is an example of monthly expenditures:

Furnished accommodation, including gas and electricity  €   500-900
Medical insurance  €   50
Telephone/internet €   15-25
Food €   200 - 300
Books, recreation, clothing €   200 - 300
Public Transportation €   50
Total €  average 1000 - 1625
Other potential expenses:  
Buying or renting a bike €  100 - 250 (for the full 3 years)
In private residence (not student housing) yearly municipal and water taxes €  100 - 300 (per year)

Please ensure, prior to your arrival at RSM, that you have or will have sufficient funding available to finance your stay at RSM. Finding a part-time job, may be an option, but can not be guaranteed. You should therefore not rely on finding other ways to supplement your income during your studies. For additional information on obtaining a part-time job, visit the website of the Nuffic.

For EEA students there are no formal restrictions in finding work in the Netherlands, but students with a lack of Dutch language skills will find it difficult to secure employment. Non-EEA students are subject to labour regulations, which makes the likelihood of obtaining a work permit very small. We therefore ask students not to rely on this possibility. We do not encourage students to combine studies with the heavy workload from a part-time job.

Immigration & housing

Immigration & visas

Find out everything you need to know about entry visas & residence permits for non-EU or EEA students at RSM.


Finding housing in Rotterdam can be tricky. To help you in your search for housing, we have compiled some helpful resources

thumbnail for SCM promotion video with students and academic director

It's quite practice-oriented, so I feel I am learning new skills every day from the real business world and from company visits and guest lectures; it’s a great way to integrate theories and practices. I enjoy the nice vibe, my smart classmates and the helpful professors, but most of all I enjoy the way the courses are designed. Our courses combine lectures and workshops in creative and interesting ways. For example, we visit a real warehouse after learning about warehouse assessing; and we go to a logistics industry fair to find innovative solutions. I feel that professors and staff work very hard to teach us as much as possible and efficiently. If you are interested in logistics or supply chain, and want to learn data analysis and elementary programming for the real business world, then this is for you! It’s a great starting point for a career in logistics, in a supply chain department or a consultancy role in these fields.

Chenzhi Hu (MSc Supply Chain Management 2020)

Chenzhi Hu

Is it right for me?

This programme is for you if you want to create a positive change on supply chain management in practice.

This programme is for you if you have a hard-working and down-to-earth attitude.

Are you still in doubt?

Would you like extra information or support? We are here to help!

More to explore

18 September 2023

Webinar hosted by the Academic Director

SCM corporate partnership

Student talking with professor

Take a virtual tour across our campus

RSM campus

Will you lead or will you follow?

I Will