Taught course

Operations Management

Heriot-Watt University · Edinburgh Business School

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class) or its non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

Global College - successful completion of our one-year Pre-Masters Graduate Diploma in Business Studies or the four-month Pre-Masters (Accelerated).

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

Months of entry


Course content


Knowledge in operations management is an important requirement of managers across all business functions and there is an increasing demand for operations management specialists in every type of organisation.

The MSc Operations Management programme has been designed to provide an opportunity to expand, refine and enhance knowledge for those who have worked in industry or previously studied a similar subject. This one-year master’s degree will blend cutting-edge academic thinking with best practices from the industry, to provide you with a highly employable skillset and set you up for careers in operations management.

During the master’s programme, you’ll develop a critical understanding of the features, boundaries, terminology, and conventions of operations management. You’ll study five specialist-taught courses that focus on examining operations management-related theories and practices within a variety of organisation settings, such as industrial, commercial, public, and third sector. You’ll develop a range of specialist skills, techniques, and practices within operations management, informed by the forefront of developments in the discipline. You’ll be instructed on contemporary operations strategy, service operations management, process analysis, and improvement concepts, tools, and techniques to allow you to identify, conceptualise and define recent problems associated with practice, innovation, and implementation of processes and techniques in operations management. You’ll use theories and models to support and understand a range of operations management issues and apply your problem-solving skills to generate strategic options to resolve operations management problems and improve the operational performance of organisations.

Beyond the taught skills and knowledge, you’ll gain key transferrable skills which will set you up for life after graduation. You’ll gain crucial written and verbal communication, ICT, critical evaluation, teamwork, and decision-making skills which will allow for your continued professional development and transition to the workplace. be equipped with the ability to think critically, identify problems, evaluate options, and communicate solutions which will enable you to effectively implement your specialist knowledge to any operations problem you may face in your career.

You’ll have the opportunity to specialise and choose two optional courses – from measuring and managing performance, strategic innovation management, systems thinking and analysis, big data analytics, and project management – to customise your learning and develop your specific interest. Your operations management dissertation will allow you to further build on these subject interests, by presenting you the opportunity to carry out an original research project at the forefront of knowledge. The knowledge base, subject and transferable skills you will gain will prepare you for lifelong learning and personal development.

Our Expertise

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active academics whose work contributes to the Centre for Logistics and Sustainability which has fed into the UK Government’s carbon policy and the logistics operations of organisations such as:

  • Tesco
  • Coca-Cola
  • John Lewis
  • DHL
  • Sainsbury’s

Heriot-Watt University stands at the forefront of logistics research and specialises in the study of management, integration, reform, impact, and modelling of logistics activity, particularly from an environmental and sustainability perspective.

You’ll learn from academics, whose work provides government, industry, commercial and other sectors with insight into logistical trends, transport benchmarking and road use throughout the UK and Europe. Much of our research output is transformed into practical management guides, tools, and techniques.

Heriot-Watt University has teamed up with engineers from the University of Cambridge to form the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, a collaboration with a major five-year funding grant whose purpose is to research engineering and organizational solutions to make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

The Centre for SRF will look to develop innovative technical and operational solutions to road freight transport challenges to meet Government emissions reduction targets for the road freight sector, mapping out ways to provide an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions due to road freight transport by 2050.

Your learning environment

The MSc Operations Management programme is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and group work allowing you to get to know and build relationships with your peers, the teaching staff and academics.

Outside of the classroom, you can join Heriot-Watt’s Business Society which holds regular social events and provides networking opportunities and insights into relevant career prospects.

Customise your learning

You’ll learn from the core six courses, with the choice of two optional courses to explore the area of operations management that interests you the most. This gives you the opportunity to customise your degree to match your specific interests or career pathway by selecting a specialist course.

In semester three, you’ll explore in-depth your chosen area of Operations Management through your dissertation. You will prove your mastery of the subject area by developing new insight from analysis of valuable primary research.

You can choose whether to study the programme full-time, part-time, or by course. This flexibility allows you to fit your postgraduate studies around your lifestyle. The full-time course will last 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. If you decide to study part-time, you register for two courses per semester and progress to the dissertation at the end of your second year.

You may have the opportunity to Go Global on our Inter-Campus Transfer. Opportunities for postgraduate study abroad are assessed on a case-by-case basis and if you are interested in studying at our Dubai campus or Malaysia campus for a semester or longer, you should contact the Go Global Team.


We work closely with industry to ensure our course content is up-to-date and reflects the current and emerging needs of industry and employers. You’ll gain the right blend of knowledge, practical skills, and soft skills to set you up for life after graduation.

The Operations Management master's degree will equip you with the mind-set, knowledge and ability to manage any organisation’s logistical processes. The degree will provide you with the crucial blend of skills that employers so desperately look for. You’ll gain experience in online collaborative working, business communications, and synthesising diverse information sources, which is highly valued by employers worldwide.


MSc Operations Management is accredited by The Chartered Logistics and Transport through its operations management sector.

Fees and funding

UK students
£9,152 (full-time) £4,576 (part-time)
International students
£20,376 (full-time) £10,188 (part-time)

See University website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    21 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office