Taught course

Strategic Quality Management

University of Portsmouth · Department of Operations and Systems Management

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Working professionals without an honours degree who have substantial relevant experience and the academic potential to achieve the award will also be considered. Applicants to the part-time course are subject to interview. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This course is suitable for graduates wishing to build a professional career in Quality and Business Improvement, as well as experienced professionals who want to develop knowledge, understanding and business management and skills in Quality and Business Improvement. It will lead to an advanced qualification that will support your practical industry knowledge and experience.

This programme is taught full-time over one year, part-time through distance learning.

Find out more about this course, our facilities and generous scholarships by attending one of our regular open evenings where you can meet teaching staff and current students. Alternatively, join our next online SQM information session.

What will I experience?

You will be introduced to a broad range of current theory and best practices covering operational, functional and strategic quality management. Critical thinking and self-directed study are important aspects of working at postgraduate level and the programme includes practical ways to deepen existing skills, which can be applied in both academic and business settings.

The course provides you with a deep understanding of quality and its role in the organisation together with techniques to enable you to make a significant contribution to an organisation’s strategic vision for success. It will also help you in the effective implementation of policies to achieve customer focus and continuous improvement. You will be working with academically qualified and enthusiastic staff with research and consultancy experience and links with industry.

If you are studying by distance learning resources for the course are available via the university’s intranet online learning system – you will need a fast, reliable Internet connection. To facilitate your study, you will be able to join in web-based interactive sessions with lecturers and other students and our University Library has extensive online resources that can be accessed via the internet at any time.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course provides you with quality, organisational and people management skills, and techniques to enable you to make a significant contribution to an organisation’s strategic visions for success. It will also enable you to make an effective contribution to the implementation of policies in order to achieve customer focus and continuous improvement.

Our graduates are in employment in quality management roles, operations management, training and development, and auditing and business process improvement.

Portsmouth Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM),) and the British Quality Foundation (BQF). On completion of the course, students are able to use their MSc qualification as part of their portfolio of evidence to apply for individual membership of the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI).

Module Details

The course is very flexible. You can either study full-time or part-time in Portsmouth in a classroom environment or part-time by distance learning, supported by thorough online resources.

This well-established course comprises four units followed by a dissertation:

  • Business Transformation through Quality Management introduces you to the fundamental concepts of Total Quality Management and Organisational Behaviour, focusing on the application of these concepts in the organisation. It includes driving a culture of continuous improvement and managing change.
  • Quantitative and Research Methods evaluates concepts of quantitative methods and the application of specialist statistics to aid decision-making within organisations. It also covers the theory and application of research methodologies to support organisational improvement activities. These skills are further developed in the dissertation.
  • Business Operations – the Quality Management Perspective will give you knowledge of business systems for quality planning, quality standards and the benefits accruing from integrated management systems and their application in the workplace to generate organisational efficiencies. It shows you how tools such as SERVQUAL, FMEA, QFD and Benchmarking can help evaluate how an organisation is performing against their strategic vision and goals.
  • Strategic Organisational Excellence looks at the links between concepts of excellence (as used by EFQM and other excellence models) and their use in the strategic management of an organisation. It explores issues raised by variations in culture and sector, both within the organisation and in its relationships with its stakeholders. It will also introduce you to Corporate Social Responsibility and Quality in the Supply Chain.
  • The Dissertation provides the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to identify, design, plan and undertake research and effectively communicate your findings in an individual research project. Your dissertation will focus on a specific quality management issue of your choice, which may relate to a work situation. You will receive one to one supervision during the dissertation.

Programme Assessment

The course uses a range of teaching methods including formal lectures, tutorials, in-class exercises and work based assignments. Classes are also interactive with the use of case studies and invited speakers. The University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) further supports student study by hosting a range of activities and resources online. There will be staff-led online tutorials with other students for distance learning. We encourage and develop critical thinking and self-directed study, with academic support from University Tutors.

Student Destinations

The aim of this course is to enable you to improve performance at a professional and organisational level. In turn, this should boost your own career prospects by helping you to take the next step up the managerial ladder.

Our previous graduates have gone on to undertake a variety of roles in the Public and Private sectors including quality manager/director, quality engineer, quality adviser, quality analyst, quality consultant, quality environmental and health and safety manager, amongst others.

On successful completion of the course you are eligible to apply for Associate and Practitioner membership of the Chartered Quality Institute. You also may qualify for Chartered Quality Professional status through the qualification route, subject to satisfying the work experience criteria - at least five years' quality management or systems experience, two of which should be in a managerial or supervisory capacity (including the management of people, processes or systems).

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £7,700 *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
Full time: £14,000 *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 2991