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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Why study supply chain management and logistics?

We’ve all probably taken a moment to think about how products move all over the globe and how the same services can be offered in different countries. This is where supply chain management and logistics come into their own.

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We’re sure that it has crossed your mind how a consignment of goods makes its way from one continent to another, or how multinational corporations can supply global services. The answer lies in the field of supply chain management and logistics. Combining skills from business, data science, management, engineering, and communication, supply chain management provides an interesting degree option and equips you with in-demand skills. We take a look at what studying the subject is like, where you can study it and what sort of career you can expect to have.

 

What is supply chain management?

 

It’s important to get our definitions down first. So, what is supply chain management exactly? Well, supply chain management refers specifically to overseeing and managing how goods and services move between locations, businesses and people. 

 

Supply chain management is concerned with providing solutions to find the most efficient and cost-effective way to get products or services to those who want and need them. To be successful in the field you need to have your eye on the details and manage all aspects of a supply chain from planning and design to monitoring activities and measuring demand. 

 

The field often takes cues from other subject areas such as industrial engineering, information technology and marketing. Working in supply chain management means you need to be able to optimize and improve existing systems and processes, both exciting and challenging at the same time. 

 

Discover some of the top business schools in the UK.

 

What is logistics?

 

You can think of logistics as a very skilled intern of supply chain management. It is one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle in getting a supply chain to function optimally. Logistics is primarily concerned with how to make sure that goods get from the point of production to the desired destination. 

 

This can be as simple as transporting apples 100 kilometres from a farm to a factory or making sure that fresh seafood caught in Japan makes it to the dinner plate of a patron in New York the following day.

 

You’re probably wondering what the precise difference between supply chain management and logistics is. Well, put simply, supply chain management refers to overseeing a multitude of processes to ensure efficiency and competitive advantage, while logistics is one of the tools which is used to do so.

 

Discover some of the universities where you can study supply chain management in Canada:

 

 

What will I study in a supply chain management degree?

 

Degrees in supply chain management can be studied at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, including an MBA in supply chain management. There are also variations in the areas of specialisation of supply chain management you may focus on, for example, business or logistics. While there will be differences between the curricula on offer, you can be assured that you will cover some core modules.

 

For an undergraduate degree in supply chain management you may study:

 

  • Accounting
  • Marketing 
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Economics 
  • Business operations
  • Systems management 
  • Risk management 
  • Leadership and ethics
  • International law
  • Mobile commerce
  • Operations strategy
  • Project management 
  • Business intelligence

 

A postgraduate degree in supply chain management can see you study:

 

  • Advanced accounting 
  • Business strategy
  • Supply chain analytics 
  • Business forecasting 
  • Advanced data analytics 
  • Global logistics 
  • Finance and risk management 
  • Process management

 

Remember to always check with your prospective institution before applying or enrolling for a course to ensure that the curriculum and degree focus suits you. This just requires open and honest communication with a university representative, including through an international office. You can also enlist the services of an education counsellor to help. 

 

Take a look at these institutions in the UK that offer supply chain management qualifications:

 

 

What are the entry requirements for studying supply chain management?

 

If you are interested in studying supply chain management you have several options available to you. This can be a certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate qualification. We’re focusing here on the minimum and baseline entry requirements for BSc, MSc and MBA degrees in the field.

 

BSc supply chain management

 

  • Minimum of a B grade pass at A-level; GPA 3.0; 29 International Baccalaureate 
  • IELTS score of 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5

 

Remember that you can always take a pre-sessional English course to get up to speed with the language entry requirements. Make sure to also have a look at our guide to understanding English language test scores if you are unsure.

 

MSc supply chain management

 

  • An undergraduate degree in a related subject 
  • An academic qualification with a second-class 2:1degree pass (B grade / GPA 2.6 to 3.0)
  • IELTS score of 6.5 with no band lower than 6.0 or equivalent
  • Academic reference may be required 

 

You also have the option of taking a pre-masters course or progression route course if you don’t meet all of the entry requirements. This will get you ready for the rigours of an academic degree at the postgraduate level.  

 

What are the career prospects for supply chain management graduates?

 

We know that one of the most critical questions you’ll have on your mind is what the career and job prospects for graduates in the field are. You’ll be happy to hear that supply chain management jobs have seen a significant uptick in recent times, especially with the boom in online retail. Employers are looking for skilled graduates so having a postgraduate degree is also an advantage.

 

Remember that you are not limited to working in only one area, as supply chain management has several areas of specialisation. Some of the roles that you could fulfil include:

 

  • Supply chain design 
  • Warehouse design and management 
  • Network design 
  • Logistics management 
  • Data analytics 
  • Transportation logistics 
  • Inventory management 
  • Import/export specialist
  • Distribution management 

 

You also do have the option of taking up work placements or internships during your degree to see what types of roles or work may suit you in the industry. 

 

Perhaps you now have a better idea if a degree in supply chain management would suit you. If not, you could always read our guide to matching your study and career path, how to conduct some more research and the top 10 reasons to study abroad

 

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