Business and Supply Chain Management BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Business and Supply Chain Management
Are you interested in how goods move from raw material into the hands of consumers? Do you want to learn valuable in-demand business skills that allow you to help organisations gain an advantage over their competitors?
Supply chains are the networks of people, processes, information and organisations involved in manufacturing goods and distributing products and services to consumers. On this BSc (Hons) Business and Supply Chain Management (SCM) degree, you’ll learn how this supports every aspect of our economy, drawing on practical examples from the likes of companies such as H&M, Ikea, ZARA and Coca Cola.
You'll investigate how external factors and events such as panic buying, Brexit, new technology and the climate affect supply chains, and see how companies optimise their SCM to sell similar products as their competitors at cheaper prices. You'll also learn foundational business and management skills you can apply to any business career.
You'll study topics such as risk management, logistics management and ethics and sustainability, and use professional software, systems and tools.
In years two and three, you'll choose modules that match your interests and ambitions. After your second year, you can apply your skills in industry on a year-long work placement or experience another culture by studying abroad for a year.
Supply chain management is a profession where there's currently a skills shortage. So you'll be in high demand when you start your career after the course.
90% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)
BSc (Hons) Business and Supply Chain Management degree entry requirements
- A levels – BBB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112–120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 29
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this degree course, you'll:
- Use the same SAP systems supply chain management (SCM) professionals use
- Develop hands-on skills using our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) simulation and our Business Simulation Suite, which features a corporate reception area, practice interview room and a boardroom with video-conferencing facilities
- Cover topics valuable to your future career including procurement and supply, risk management in SCM, legal aspects of SCM and enterprise systems and processes
- Uncover and analyse the latest consumer buying habits and how they're affecting supply chains
- Benefit from the findings of research happening now at the University in areas such as digital supply chains and smart technology
- Develop transferrable skills such as communication, teamwork and creative and critical thinking, which are valued by all employers
- Combine your SCM studies with a foundation in accounting, economics and management to set you up as a well-rounded business professional
You can also:
- Get valuable experience in the industry by taking on a work placement within a business between years two and three
- Study abroad at one of our partner universities
- Expand your network by meeting professionals in industries related to your studies
Careers and opportunities
Supply chain management is a complex industry that demands a specific set of skills and knowledge.
The industry is currently facing severe shortfalls in qualified professionals:
- 1.2 million new roles are needed to meet demand by 2022 according to UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)
- The number of adverts targeting supply chain professionals was more than 3 times higher than the UK average in 2019
This means you're likely to have many career opportunities when you finish the course.
Any company that provides products and services needs supply chain management professionals. With your skills and knowledge, you could work in areas such as:
- Supply chain management
- Purchasing and procurement
- Procurement management
- Logistics analysis
- Distribution management
- Supply coordination
Previous graduates have gone onto work for companies such as:
- Automotive (RR)
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
Previous students have completed placements at:
- Johnson & Johnson
We'll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You'll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service will help you find relevant work experience during your course.
We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies.
Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry when you finish the course. You can get help, advice and support for up to five years after you leave the University.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
If you're interested in setting up your own business while you study, you can get support on this course from the Entrepreneurs in Residence programme. Our Entrepreneurs in Residence are experienced business professionals who work with us to deliver group workshops and 1-to-1 drop-in clinics to help you plan and market your business idea.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Business and Supply Chain Management degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
Modules currently being studied
Core modules in this year include:
- Business Accounting
- Business Operations and Systems Management
- Economics for Business
- Managing People in Organisations
- Marketing Principles and Practice
- Quantitative Methods and Data Analysis
- Business Innovation Development Project
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules include:
- Procurement and Supply
- Risk Management and Supply Chain Vulnerability
- Business Logistics Management
- Leadership, Ethics, Governance and Sustainability
- Legal Issues in Procurement and Supply
Optional modules for this year currently include:
- Financial Decision Making and Control
- International Business
- Electronic and Mobile Commerce
- Approaches to Decision Modelling
After your second year, you can do a paid placement year to get valuable experience in the industry.
Core modules include:
- Operations, Strategy and The Supply Chain
- Business Improvement and Creativity
- Dissertation or Independent Study Project
Optional modules for this year currently include:
- Project Management for Enterprise
- Critical Leadership: Theory and Practice
- Cross Cultural Awareness in Business
- Business Intelligence
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Study year abroad
Between your second and third year you can study abroad at one of our partner universities. This allows you to experience a different culture, enhance your CV so you stand out in the job market, grow your confidence, and open up personal and professional opportunities.
We have partnerships with Universities in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Classes are delivered in English.
You'll get support from the faculty's Global Support Office and UoP Global with identifying and applying to suitable destinations, and ongoing contact and support during your year abroad.
I first chose BA (Hons) Business and Management, but I really enjoyed the Business Operations module, so I switched to Supply Chain Management from my second year. The modules are all really fun and interesting and the staff are all great and know their subjects really well.
Teaching on this course includes:
- Business suite sessions
- One-on-one tutorials
Teaching staff profiles
These are some of the expert staff who’ll teach you on this degree course.
Dr Philip Brabazon, Senior Lecturer
Philip graduated in Mechanical Engineering and became a manufacturing development engineer in a multi-national company. He moved into the area of operations risk management, focusing on high hazard sectors where he developed quantitative and qualitative risk assessment methods to assist companies and regulators deal with considerable changes, including downsizing, outsourcing, privatisation and new regulations resulting from major accidents (Piper Alpha, Ladbroke Grove, Sea Empress). He gave expert testimony to the Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry (Part 2) which considered the future organisation and management of the British rail sector.
Chris Milner, Senior Lecturer
During many successful years working in the service and consultancy sectors, in roles relating to strategic and operations management. Chris specialises in Operations & Quality Management, Performance Measurement, Continuous Improvement, Improvement Cycles, Change Management, Creative Problem Solving, Employee Participation and Inclusivity. He has published a number of papers in reputable Journals, and presented research through Asia, Europe and America. His Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a Critical Evaluation on how Service Based Organisations Sustain Incremental Performance Improvement.
Briony Boydell, Principal Lecturer
Briony Boydell is a long standing member of the Operations teaching team having joined the University in 2001 from IBM UK. Briony’s teaching specialism is in the area of Business supply chains and procurement. Briony is an experienced course leader having run programmes across the business school most notably in the role of European Business and Supply Chains.
Dr Banu Lokman Senior Lecturer
Banu graduated in Industrial Engineering and received her MS and PhD degrees for her studies in multi-criteria decision making (MCDM). She worked as a planning engineer in the Research and Development Department of a defence electronics company. She has been selected as a Board Member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) MCDM Section. She also served as the secretary of the International Society on MCDM.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- Reflective work
- Computer-based assignments
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you're assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
- Year 1 students: 58% by written exams and 42% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 27% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 56% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 48% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 47% by coursework
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.
A typical week
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – early October to January
- Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
- Teaching block 2 – February to May
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
Extra learning support
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
You’ll have regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor. They’re also available by appointment if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
Student engagement officers
In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have support from student engagement officers. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing, and refer you to specialist support services if you need extra help or support.
Study support tutors
You'll have help from a team of study support tutors. Based within the Faculty of Business and Law, these tutors are familiar with the specific requirements your assignments and work closely with faculty academics. This means they can give you focused support with the specific study skills you need to be successful on your course – face-to-face, by phone and email, and by video call.
They can help with:
- Academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations, projects and literature reviews)
- Reflective writing skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
If you're a mature student returning to study, specialist support is available.
Academic skills support
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- Academic writing
- Note taking
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from librarians who specialise in business and law.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £15,500 a year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – J9N1
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.