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NBS8120 : Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Christian Hicks
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of this module is to provide students with an overview of purchasing and supply chain management in today’s global environment. The issues and implications of sourcing decisions, including ethical and cultural considerations, will be covered. The module will also cover international supply chain management strategy and tactics, and the role of information technology in modern procurement practice.

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- Understand a critical comprehension of the concepts and theories underpinning the discipline of purchasing and supply chain management.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature and process of purchasing, suppliers management and development, and supplier performance measurement.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of supply network behaviour and the importance of supplier customer relationships in operations management practice.
- Critically evaluate the supply chain environment and understand the opportunities and constraints facing organizations.
- Critically apply the processes and frameworks relating to supply network configuration.

The module clearly emphasises the importance of purchasing with other corporate functions and other upstream and downstream partners in the overall supply chain. Participants are given the opportunity to develop their knowledge of the concepts and practices of all aspects of purchasing and supply chain management which can be applied for the benefit of their own organisations. The module will form a platform for further academic study or professional development where appropriate.

Within the programme curriculum selected critical skills are given particular emphasis: attention to research and analysis using qualitative and quantitative techniques, problem-solving, leadership and decision making, teamwork, communication skills and development of cross-disciplinary management abilities.

Outline Of Syllabus

Module content is divided into three major parts.

1. Purchasing-
1) The role and contribution
2) Sourcing Products and Services:
3) E-purchasing, purchasing strategy and the future of purchasing

2. Supplier Management
1) Supplier evaluation and selection
2) Suppliers management and development
3) Outsourcing and supplier relationships
4) Supplier performance measurement

3. Supply Chain Management-
1) Demand, supply and the management in supply networks
2) Planning and managing inventories in a supply chain
3) Forecasting
4) Contemporary Issues in Supply Chain Management: Global, green, international business and trade agreements, sustainable and ethical issues in supply

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture113:0033:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion164:0064:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study153:0053:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
NBS8118Purchasing and Supply Chain Management
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce the key themes on the module, group activities will allow students to apply their knowledge, and the examination will exam the students' knowledge and understanding on the subject

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A100N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
NBS8118Purchasing and Supply Chain Management1N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Case study1MMultiply case studies
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely.

Formative feedback
Lecture 1 – introductory lecture then students are broken down into 8 groups who consider different scenarios and present back to the group and get feedback.
Lecture 2 – lecture, then the students work on a case study ‘Toyota and the Aisin Fire’, address questions relating to the case, report back and get feedback
Lecture 3 – lecture then the students do a case study on 7-11, answer questions, do presentations and receive feedback.
Lecture 5 – the students play a dice game to learn about the impact of utilisation and the variability in process and arrival times. Their results are then linked back to key theory (Kingman’s equation) and the implications in terms of Lean principles are explained.
Lecture 6 – Lecture, then the students do a case study on Crank and Co. that explores issues relating to the organisation of purchasing departments. They then present their results and receive feedback.
Lecture 8 – Lecture and case study discussion in class
Lecture 9 – Lecture and case study discussion in class
Lecture 10 – Lecture – then a range of questions relating to make/buy decisions are posed – students present their answers and receive feedback.
Lecture 11 – “University Challenge Game” (Christmas ‘lecture’) – students are divided into teams of 4 that are invited to answer revision questions using the University Challenge format. Paul and I provide extra support/feedback and answer questions that can’t be addressed by the teams.

Reading Lists