Curriculum

Curriculum

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.

    • Your objective is to maximise value for the end consumer while minimising your costs. To do this, you need to integrate business processes not only in your firm, but also between other firms in the supply chain. In this core course, you will learn techniques for forecasting demand, planning production, choosing optimal levels of inventory and managing operations. You will also learn the importance of collaboration and creating synergies within the supply chain – which benefits all members. This core course has a strong focus on management, and is based on the analysis and evaluation of complex business situations. You will use case studies to learn how to take effective actions. This course is particularly valuable for students pursuing careers in operations firms, or those aiming to become consultants for operations firms.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. Q Kong and T Lu

    • There are far more indirect connections between businesses than direct ones. Indirect connections include increasing numbers of international partnerships as well as co-operation agreements, supra-national bodies, and of course supply chains.

      Managing supply chains requires a global focus because business processes have become integrated at a global level. But working in a global context adds complexities and tensions. You need to co-ordinate local effort and global competition, integrate cultures and information systems, and navigate the risks of exchange rates and regional politics. On the other hand, a global context also offers new possibilities and business opportunities. Those working in this global environment must understand what role they play, what relationships can be forged, and where competition arises.

      This core course deals with the structure and dynamics of international logistics with a special focus on the information technology currently used to improve performance in logistics chains. You will learn through lectures, class discussions based on cases and assignments, and presentations. At the end of this course you will be able to apply your new knowledge and insights into the complexities and concepts of global supply chains.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Prof. dr. RA Zuidwijk and dr. M Pourakbar

    • 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 how to collect and analyse data, for modelling as well as empirical research. You will also explore the research that aims to solve supply chain problems and build its management theory.

    • Firms increasingly outsource parts of their development, production and delivery processes to specialised external suppliers. This means that managing suppliers is very important to the success of the firm in terms of costs and prices, but also in terms of quality and delivery performance, and now increasingly in terms of innovation. This course deals with the strategic, tactical, and operational processes of purchasing and supply management.

      Review the course guide for more details. 

      Taught by Prof. dr. JYF Wynstra and Anna Nikulina.

    • This course prepares students for the design and execution of a research project in the area of supply chain management, in particular their thesis project.

    • The Netherlands is home to several thousands of warehouses, terminals and crossdocks – transfer stations for unloading materials from incoming trucks or trains directly onto outbound trucks, trailers, or trains with little or no storage time. All of these facilities employ thousands of people, and are important in separating supply from demand, keeping supply chain costs down, increasing responsiveness, and adding value for customers.

      Using case studies, you will learn about process design, management, and the execution of operations in such facilities. We will address questions such as: what is the impact of a company’s distribution structure on the internal logistics system? What storage systems should be used under which circumstances? Which handling systems or layouts are best? And what is the resulting performance? We will also explore the subjects of operational storage and strategies for picking orders.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Prof.dr.ir. MBM de Koster

    • Companies producing goods ‘on demand’, ‘on the spot’, or exactly when and where customers need them face major economic and technical challenges. Distribution systems are required to bridge temporal and geographical separation, as well as the gap in scale between production and consumption. So there are several activities and decisions to be managed in these distribution systems. They include:

      1. design of the distribution network
      2. planning and managing the linked inventories at the source and at the destination
      3. co-ordinating channels
      4. organising information
      5. forecasting demand
      6. setting and maintaining standards of customer service.

      You will focus on analysis, planning, and organisation of these distribution activities. The dynamics of the business context – in terms of globalisation and the rapid growth of information and communication technology – make this a challenging task.

      Mastering the challenges of fulfilling customer demand is a result of contributions from several fields. This course takes an analytical perspective to the task of organising distribution networks for optimum performance. You will identify and analyse important factors in formal models, to uncover important trade-offs and performance drivers in distribution networks.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. R Kuik

    • 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.

      Review the course guide for more information.

      Taught by dr. EA van der Laan

    • Traditionally, supply chain management focuses on the flow of products from supplier to the end customer; the ‘cradle to grave’ process. Growing concern about the environmental sustainability of using up finite resources, pollution and emissions has increased the pressure on society to manage products responsibly after they have been used. This is known as ‘closing the loop’ or a ‘cradle to cradle’ process. This elective course explores the strategic and operational issues of closed loop supply chains; those that aim to recover products after use in such a way that they can be meaningfully reintroduced into the forward supply chain, and in the process, contribute to the creation of value for the firm.

      In addition, the reduction of the firm’s carbon footprint means cheaper sourcing, improves perception of the company image, and improves value to the customer. There is also valuable information to be gained from having the opportunity to inspect your products after they have been used, which can lead to product innovations and competitive advantages for your firm.

      To sustain the cradle to cradle process as an economically-viable operation, managers must reconsider the design of supply chains – collection, recovery and redistribution – as well as develop markets for the re-use of products and materials, and invest in the design of products to make disassembly and recycling easier.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. EA van der Laan

       

    • Supply chains are formed by agents working together for a common purpose. Three sets of obstacles may prevent supply chains from reaching their goals. First, achieving a common goal may be difficult because individuals pursue different objectives. Second, even when all agents share a common purpose, they face coordination problems. Finally, the limited cognitive capabilities of individuals may prevent that a desirable outcome arises.

      Governance of a supply chain addresses these concerns by designing appropriate ownership, decision and income rights. Ownership rights address the question ‘Who owns the assets’, i.e. the ‘make-or-buy’ decision. Decision rights address the question ‘Who has control (regarding the use of assets)?’. Finally, income rights specify the ‘Benefits and Costs’ that are associated with the use of an asset, thereby creating the incentive system faced by decision makers. Successful governance of supply chains will contribute to accomplishing the three goals of providing (individual) incentives to develop the (joint) supply chain, coordinating the optimal combination of productive resources across parties, and to deal with the cognitive limitations of supply chain parties. The game theoretic methodology is introduced and applied to formulate the main insights. Concepts are developed incrementally to highlight their logic, while no mathematical skills are required beyond the high school level.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. dr. G.W.J. Hendrikse.

    • Modern supply chain management involves decision-making in uncertain, dynamic and complex environments. This course focusses on the use of simulation techniques to make better decisions under such conditions. You will learn relevant theoretical knowledge and apply it immediately, using simulation techniques on computer-based tools.

      The objective of this course is to provide you with the skills to perform reliable simulation studies, as well as to shape your understanding of supply chain decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

      Review the course guide for more information.

      Taught by dr. ME Schmidt

    • In most public and private organisations, managing the activities of purchasing and supply is recognised as a strategic one which affects bottom-line profitability as well as top-line growth. The objective of this course is to deepen your conceptual understanding and practical skills in strategic sourcing using a mix of the latest theory and practical examples. We will focus on strategic issues facing today's purchasing function, such as global sourcing, the governance of supplier relationships, and managing the risks associated with the process of supply.

      Review the course guide for more information.

      Taught by FME Nullmeier

    • Did you ever wonder how to make a business case for a company that is depending on resources that are becoming scarce? Or did you think of the effect of the (bad) indoor air quality on your work and the effects on the productivity within companies? This master elective by Michael Braungart’s Chair Cradle to Cradle for Innovation and Quality offers you to learn more about Cradle to Cradle and the added value of this approach for our economy, ecology and the social and cultural aspects.

      The Cradle to Cradle design paradigm offers a positive approach for the environmental challenges that we are facing today. The Cradle to Cradle approach has proven that it is possible to produce products that do not harm the people and the planet, but support their health while generating profit at the same time.  During the lessons you will learn about the Cradle to Cradle principles, how this approach can be implemented within a (existing) company, and we will provide a rich overview of practical solutions and real life applications.

      Complimenting study of the theoretical base, teaching will utilise practical examples that can be found in the case studies, illustrated by products in the class room, and through guest lectures by managers who have been working with the implementation of Cradle to Cradle in their companies.

      In our Cradle to Cradle teaching we take a multidisciplinary approach integrating several RSM master programs. This elective is strongly connected to the MSc Supply Chain Management (including the Closed Loop Supply Chain elective) and the MSc Global Business & Stakeholder Management programme, but can also be selected as a free elective for students who are interested in the added value of Cradle to Cradle in their own discipline. This elective will be evaluated through an assignment.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by DMPE den Held

    • The seaport of Rotterdam is much more than a node for the transfer of cargo between ship and shore. It is also an important hub for global trade and logistics, and the main gateway to the European market. Its position in these networks determines the Port of Rotterdam’s quality and competitiveness at local and global levels.

      The port is also a network of industrial activities such as transport, storage and production that facilitate a large number of supply chains. It is also embedded in an information exchange network 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 provides a thorough understanding of the role of the port in these networks by exploring the development of new and innovative solutions for current problems. The elective incudes lectures, guest speakers and visits to port companies, as well as a study of relevant academic literature. You will join a team of your fellow students to carry out a small research project.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Prof. dr. RA Zuidwijk

    • 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 Behavioral 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.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Jelle de Vries.

    • The service sector represents the largest segment of most industrial economies. For example in the US, it accounts for approximately 78% of GDP and 80% of employment. Operational excellence is a key factor in service business. However, understanding service operations is not straightforward because services are intangible, highly variable, neither sortable nor transportable, and they involve a significant amount of customer contact. You will learn about the logistical and operational aspects of various service sectors, including after-sale services, health care systems, and the financial and transportation sectors.

      Review the course guide for more information.

      Taught by dr. M Pourakbar

    • 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 blackboard.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by Debjit Roy.

    • 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.
       
      The course is a mix of lectures and workshops. Some of the lectures will be taught by guest lecturers from practice. The workshops are sessions with 10-20 students, in which there will be ample opportunity to discuss the concepts in-depth and/or to practice specific skills.
       
      The lectures and the workshops will be attended by both taken together with students from the institute for Healthcare Policy and Management as well as Supply Chain Management.

      Review the course guide for more details. 

      Taught by Prof. Erik van Raaij

    • 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. In total, twelve sessions of three hours cover a number of preparatory topics, topics from public law, topics from private law, and topics that conclude and synthe­size. Details are provided in the lecture schedule.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by prof. dr. R.A. Zuidwijk and dr. M. Pourakbar. 

    • Forecasting the demand for products, the likelihood of success, risks and the dynamics of capacity are important every-day decisions for companies throughout the supply chain. They affect the management of inventories, procurement and production decisions, logistics resources and financial planning.

      Forecasting not only influences the performance of individual companies; it also affects the performance of the supply chain as a whole. This elective explores how forecasting performance is affected by the choice of models, the characteristics of the demand process, the interaction between forecasters and information technology, the incentives of the planners and the behaviour of channel partners.

      Review the course guide for more details.

      Taught by dr. J. van Dalen.

  • 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 ECTS achieved.

    For more information, please click here.

Note regarding taking courses: 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 taking a certificate class about supply chain management, please refer to our Open Programmes section.