MSc Logistics Management (Defence Logistics Staff Course)
Programme Title: MSc Logistics Management (Defence Logistics Staff Course)
Duration: Typically 24 to 36 months*
School: Lincoln Business School
Basic Entry Requirements: At least five years of relevant work experience and may have an honours degree or equivalent; although this is in no way a prerequisite to acceptance – see below.
The MSc Logistics Management degree is delivered in a distinct way through collaboration with subject matter experts from the MOD, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration (DCLPA) and the defence industry.
Logistics underpins the ability to project military force. This capability must always ensure battle winning effectiveness but it has also to remain affordable in resource terms. This route to the MSc Logistics Management degree is offered to officers of the armed forces and their civil service equivalents on a part-time basis and is primarily aimed at those already in or about to enter senior logistics appointments.
The Director of the Joint Support Chain (DJSC), the military and civilian Skills Champion for logistics, has stated that:
The provision of effective logistics training and education to practitioners and operational commanders is vital to the continued operational success of the Armed Forces.
Hence, recognising the success and importance of the Air Logistics Staff Course in the development of RAF logistics officers and following a rigorous review of training needs, a similar requirement for professional development and training at Masters’ Level was identified for Royal Naval and Army officers and their civil service equivalents. Whilst acknowledging the suitability of the existing University of Lincoln (UofL) modular content within the MSc Logistics Management Programme, concerns were raised regarding the emphasis on the Air environment within the military content of the existing ALSC. Consequently, the emphasis on logistics within the Air environment was broadened to include significantly more defence wide topics and the Course was renamed the Defence Logistics Staff Course (DLSC). Hence, the key factors informing the introduction of the MSc Logistics Management can therefore be summarised as the development of a pivotal professional competence, manifest in the need to develop tri-service military officers and their civil servant equivalents for senior logistics appointments, founded on the development of logistics as a high-level skill that focuses on enhancing management ability to deal with value chain issues throughout the whole organisation and across the whole life cycle of operations and materiel.
Flexibility is a key feature of this programme and UofL Regulations do permit military students to formally interrupt their studies, at no extra cost for a period of up to 24 months in light of Out of Area or other such commitments. In effect students can stop the clock on their studies until they are in a position to continue.
The degree is delivered in a distinct way through collaboration with subject matter experts from the MOD, DE&S, DCLPA and defence industry. Each Cohort attends 8 one-week residential modules, delivered at the DCLPA at RAF Cranwell with the entire delivery being typically completed over a 20 month period. To achieve the right training delivery balance, lecture time is split between Service (40%), civilian (10%) and academic (50%) lectures. Academic lectures are provided by tutors from the UofL, who also provide academic support and post module assignment assessment. Successful completion of the 8 modules described below will see students complete the DLSC and will also lead to the award of a Post Graduate Diploma (PgDip) in Logistics Management with the UofL. The DLSC and associated PgDip are funded through a contractual agreement between the DCLPA and UofL. Students are then encouraged to continue on to complete the final dissertation which results in the award of a MSc Logistics Management. This stage will be self-fund by students who should be aware that the UofL do accept Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) under the ELCAS scheme – see below.
This module will introduce the student to some of the conceptual, theoretical and contemporary ideas underpinning the study of strategic management. This will provide the students with an awareness of topical corporate issues and enable them to synthesize some of the specialist functional knowledge gained in the preceding modules. The broad subject of Strategic Management will be covered with the aim of providing students with a cohesive framework of the overall business activity enabling students to critique their experience in relation to the theoretical concepts and to development their ability to evaluate the strategy process.
Management of Project and Contract Risk
The module aims to provide students with:
- The opportunity to explore relevant practice, theory and research in the areas of project management and risk management, particularly within the context of procurement projects.
- A multi-disciplinary approach, covering risk and legal perspectives, needed to construct a framework for improving management action and professional practice in a procurement environment.
- Incentives to investigate their own organisation’s procurement performance/
- Acquisition of advanced academic knowledge and support to explore and develop high-level skills in project management and risk management with respect to contemporary issues in logistics management/
- The ability to understand the legal issues and risks involved in the negotiation, formation and management of contracts, and in particular contracts for the sale and supply of goods and services.
Problem Solving and Innovation
This module is designed to help students develop their problem-solving skills further whilst expanding the conceptual frameworks that students use to think about these situations. Students look at some more unusual approaches to the solving of complex problems and at techniques used outside their own organisation and experience. Throughout the module students will be expected to draw upon their own experiences and relate these to the theories, concepts and methods being presented. The scope of the module includes a wide range of models, methods and techniques that promote creative thinking at various levels of the organisation. For example, there will be emphasis on the value of creative problem solving undertaken by both individuals and groups and a focus on the value of generating a culture of innovation at an organisational level. Intervention in organisational problem situations inevitably involves issues of human values, power, knowledge and the relative appropriateness of the outcome(s) of the intervention. Students will be encouraged to critically reflect on these issues and to explore their implications.
Purchasing and Supply Chain Management
During the past years, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management as a discipline has changed considerably in many companies and organisations. This is reflected in the increased attention this discipline is receiving from business managers and practitioners. Considering the amount of money generally involved in the preparation and execution of purchasing and supply decisions, this is not a surprise and it has been argued that an effective and efficient operating purchasing and supply function can make an important contribution to company results. Traditionally, the purchasing department acts as the intermediary which negotiates the agreements and contracts with suppliers and supervises their compliance to the agreements. However, this ‘traditional’ role is changing rapidly and purchasing & supply chain managers are assuming more strategic roles within organizations, focussed on getting better performance from suppliers and active management of supplier relationships. This module is designed to enhance students understanding of the academic concepts associated with Purchasing & Supply Chain Strategy and to enable them to construct a framework for the application of these ideas within the context of practical Logistics environments.
Managing Self and Leadership
This module is designed to provide the students with an opportunity to explore the behavioural and leadership aspects of organisational life. A focus for the module will be the student’s own experience and they will have the opportunity to examine the extent to which this, together with both organisational behaviour and leadership concepts, provide a vehicle for enhancing their understanding of organisational life. The module will provide a framework for the development of self-awareness, awareness of self in relation to others and interpersonal and social processes as they impact on leadership and organisational effectiveness. It is intended that the module will enable the students to develop a conceptual understanding but one that is grounded impersonal experience and has practical relevance. It is also intended that the module provide a vehicle for the students to develop their abilities in relation to learning and group skills that have relevance for the programme as a whole.
Logistics & Operations Management
This module aims to introduce students to the key concepts within Logistics and Operations Management and build a framework within which they can critically analyse the performance of these functions. Broadly speaking Logistics and Operations Management is about the way in which organisations deliver outputs in support of the organisation’s strategic objectives. In order to supply those outputs economically, efficiently and effectively Operations/Logistics managers need to understand their customer’s requirements so that they can plan the best methods for meeting them. As the economic environment becomes more volatile Logistics and Operations is faced with a more complex and dynamic task. However, within that environment the Logistics and Operations functions are still capable of providing opportunities for organisations to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Supply Chain & Quality Strategy
Supply Chains can involve the sourcing of raw materials, the sub-contracting of office services or the logistical distribution and transportation of finished products. Their common feature however, is the efficient and effective planning and control from initial source to end consumer. Thus, if planning and control is the process of reconciling demand with supply, then the nature of the decisions taken to plan and control an operation will depend on both the nature of demand and the nature of supply in that operation. Subsequently, this means sharing of ‘quality’ information and regular communication; both internally and externally; in order to integrate activities more closely than if merely markets linked them. The module is designed to enhance the students understanding of the concepts of Supply Chain and Quality Strategies and build a framework for these functions within a Logistics environment.
This module provides the skills, which will enable students to carry out a research project on a topic of management, which is of relevance to them and their organisations. Students will be briefly introduced to the main philosophical traditions of management research. The appropriate use of a range of research methods and techniques within defined philosophical contexts will then be discussed. The ability to not only to collect but to interpret, analyse and evaluate relevant data and information will be developed. The requirement to underpin research endeavours by means of a rigorous literature search will be highlighted. The need for students to demonstrate critical and analytical skills, with appropriate theoretical underpinning will be emphasised.
In this module students are encouraged to develop the process and practice of independent learners. A collaborative approach between tutor and student is considered desirable and effective. Such practice involves devising frameworks, which empower students and harness the students’ aims and ambitions, energy and enthusiasm, potential and resources. This module is based upon student focussed/student centred practice; it acknowledges the multiple and complex difficulties of the teaching/learning process and seek to establish significant learning that is meaningful to students. The purpose of the Dissertation is to enable students to undertake in depth independent study. In keeping with the spirit of this Masters programme, it does not rule out a conventional dissertation or project but seeks to allow a more flexible outlet. Students will undertake an in-depth study of a topic of logistics but will be encouraged to explore other learning environments and to take responsibility for its assessment. A Learning Contract will be agreed between students and tutors, which will ensure mutuality of intent, process, practice and mode of assessment.
This route to the MSc Logistics Management degree is offered to officers of the armed forces and their civil service equivalents on a part-time basis and is primarily aimed at those already in or about to enter senior logistics appointments. In addition, the MOD may at its sole discretion also invite members of the defence industry and overseas military who meet the entry requirements of UofL to be students on the Programme. All applicants will be initially screened and selected by their parent service or organisation. They will be experienced logisticians and will be in, or have the ability to enter a senior logistics related appointment. Prospective students will normally have had at least five years of relevant work experience and may have an honours degree or equivalent; although this is in no way a prerequisite to acceptance. The UofL will ensure that the proposed students satisfy the university entry requirements for post experience MSc students.
How You Are Assessed
The course and associated assessments are at Masters’ level hence, applicants should be prepared to offer the commitment and dedication to produce work of an appropriate standard. Throughout the programme assessment methods are designed to enable you to develop your potential and are based on the development of close working relationships between tutor and individual student. Hence, assessment strategies will reflect the focus of the course on independent self-managed learning.
Typically, students are expected to take 24 to 36 months to complete the full programme including the final dissertation stage, but this will vary according to each individual's personal circumstances and work commitments.
This programme is accredited by both the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS). This means that successful students will be in a position to apply for Full Chartered Membership of these Institutions. The degree is also approved by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Student and MOD Benefits
The degree offers distinct benefits not only for the student but also the MOD.
Benefits for Students
- Professional Development and Career Enhancement: Real benefit gained from building upon previous professional skill sets, relationships and sharing experiences with other professional logisticians.
- International Recognition: through professional development and accreditation.
- Enhances Professional Competence: Capitalise on the high level of skills and learning demonstrated in the workplace and improve your knowledge by overlaying current military issues against academic and industrial thinking.
- Competitive Edge: Develop and enhance the necessary skills to maintain a competitive edge within the joint logistics arena.
- Supported Learning: All students have access to tutors for expert guidance. Access is also available to the University’s extensive online learning resources.
Benefits for the MoD
- Improved Performance and Competitive Edge: Investment in staff development encourages increased motivation, confidence and creativity within the workforce.
- MOD Led: Learning and outcomes are structured around MOD key stakeholder requirements and working practises, keeping the MOD in control of developmental needs.
- Practical Skills: The course is designed to equip logistics officers and civil service equivalents with skills and knowledge that can be put to immediate use in the workplace.
- Tangible Benefits: Student work has been utilised by the MOD to realise measurable operational improvements, budgetary savings and to drive future policy and strategy.
How to Apply
Two cohorts of 25 students enrol per calendar year and applications should be made in accordance with Annex A to 2012DIN07-091 through single service points of contact as shown, no later than 4 months prior to the start of each course. A provisional allocation of places has been given to each Service. Applications will be considered by appropriate Service Career/Branch Managers or, in the case of civilian applications, by DH Log Skills, on behalf of the Logistics Skills Champion. Defence Contractors’ applications should be submitted through IDT (A).
Successful completion of the eight modules as described above will see students complete the DLSC and will also lead to the award of a Post Graduate Diploma (PgDip) in Logistics Management with the UofL. The DLSC and associated PgDip are funded through a contractual agreement between the DCLPA and UofL.
Students are then encouraged to continue on to complete the final dissertation which results in the award of a MSc Logistics Management. This stage will be self-fund by students who should be aware that the UofL do accept Enhanced Learning Credits (ELCs) under the ELCAS scheme.
The UofL ELCAS Provider Code is: 1283
Contact Details for Further Enquiries
Further information on the DLSC can be obtained from the DCLPA, Logistics Management Training Squadron (LMTS) Course Manager, OC LMTS at RAF Cranwell (95751 6503 or 01400 266503).
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