Supply Chain Management (Professional Practice) Degree Apprenticeship

BSc (Hons)

Launch your career in the supply chain and logistics sector and work with one of our partner employers.

Course type
Work-based degree
Entry requirements
Duration

4 Years

Start date

Course overview

There has never been a more significant time to progress a career in the supply chain and logistics sector. With rapidly evolving global affairs from Brexit through to the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the need for highly skilled staff has never been greater. 

The course embraces a strong culture of leadership and innovation from the very start of your career. With Aston University, you’ll learn how to play a part in revolutionising, shaping and simplifying the exciting and rewarding supply chain world that propels the economy and enables all of society. 

Why choose Aston University?

degree
Degree with experience
Gain a full honours degree as well as 4 years’ relevant work experience and no tuition fees to pay
supply_chain
Located at the beating heart of UK manufacturing and supply chain
Aston University has over 30 years of experience delivering specialist supply chain courses
Tef_gold
Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Triple Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
Leadership
Mastering leadership excellence
Develop coveted leadership skills from the best start of your career

Course description

Aston University is based in the heart of the UK at the cross-section of the supply chain and manufacturing network.

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What will we provide 
You will receive mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals, enhancing your practical knowledge. 

By successfully completing this programme, we will award you with:
•    a BSc in Supply Chain Management (Professional Practice)
•    An apprenticeship certificate.

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What will you provide
As an apprentice, you will be required to balance academic work, full-time employment, and on-the-job training. You will be expected to engage with teaching materials, online lectures, and in-person sessions. You will need to submit coursework and other assessments in a timely manner.

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What skills will we teach
Skills required for a career in logistics or supply chain management include inquisitiveness, problem-solving skills, and skills in simulation, modelling, and forecasting.

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Career prospects
This programme leads to a range of career paths in the logistics and supply chain management industry. Apprentices can pursue careers in logistics operations, logistics operatives, logistics operation management, supply chain management, supply chain control, and international procurement management. It provides practical experience and qualifications relevant to the career path, allowing apprentices to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the industry. Employers offering supply chain management schemes include, retail, pharmaceutical, automotive, and logistics. 

How you will learn

Apprenticeships are structured differently to a traditional degree. You'll spend the majority of your time in the workplace doing a real full-time job as well as studying for your degree part-time. Study time is structured to fit around your job. Your apprenticeship is designed in partnership with your employer, so you don't need to worry about your work and study commitments clashing. They work hand in hand.

For each module, you will attend two on-campus sessions lasting two days, usually in week one and week seven of each term. This is an opportunity to meet face-to-face with peers and our teaching staff, who are expert practitioners with extensive industry experience, to further develop learning through lectures, workshops and group discussions.

The course is supported by distance learning using our virtual learning environment. This platform allows apprentices to access a comprehensive range of study materials, pre-recorded material, academic journals, databases and much more.
You will also be supported by an apprenticeship tutor who will work with you to identify your development needs and to evidence your achievements throughout the apprenticeship.

What you will learn

In Supply Chain Management Professional Practice BSc Degree Apprenticeship at Aston University, you will acquire comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in supply chain management, logistics, and business operations. You'll develop expertise in optimising supply chains, enhancing efficiency, and driving strategic decision-making, preparing them for successful careers in this field.

Facilities

At Aston University, apprentices enjoy full access to all the facilities available to regular students. This inclusive approach ensures that apprentices can take advantage of the university's library, labs, study spaces, cafes and more. By providing equal access to these facilities, Aston University supports apprentices in their educational journey, enabling them to thrive in both academic and practical aspects of their chosen fields.

Course objectives

  1. To provide students with the opportunities to realise their academic potential through appropriately conceived and useful learning experiences. 
  2. To equip graduates with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in the supply chain profession as identified in the Supply Chain Leadership Professional Degree Apprenticeship Standard at level 6.
  3. To provide students with appropriately structured and relevant curricula, combining teaching in theoretical and knowledge-based principles with tangible application to the work environment. 
  4. To introduce the students to the principles of the research process and their relevance to modern methods of management within the context of logistics and the supply chain.
  5. To create an awareness of professional development within the workplace and to develop the skills and attributes of lifelong learning. 

Modules and learning outcomes

The apprenticeship is taught at undergraduate level (Levels 4-6) over four years, covering a broad range of supply chain and logistics skills with a central focus on practical and profitable development. 

Stage 1 modules

Stage one of the apprenticeship is taught at Level 4 and typically takes 16 months to complete. This stage is designed to help learners become effective in the workplace by developing the core knowledge and skills to enhance productivity. 

Module titleCredits
Workplace skills30
Warehousing and transport operations30
Logistics management30
Financial management30
Total120

 Stage 1 outcomes 

 

  • Describe the requirements of health and safety legislation and the approach to safety in their organisation.
  • Discuss the organisational structure of their employer, the nature and requirements of the customer base and the ethical, environmental, political, economic, technological, and legal environment.
  • Contribute effectively within a team environment and analyse and visualise data and communicate effectively in writing and orally within a professional setting.
  • Discuss the role of warehousing and transportation within the network and explain the principles of warehouse layout design and develop processes for receiving, put away, storage, replenishment, crossdocking and dispatch. 
  • Explain the regulatory framework of road transport operations and develop a proposal for a compliant road transport service including route planning, vehicle scheduling, service costing and pricing.
  • Apply the principles underpinning network design and describe the fundamental principles of Inventory; identification and classification and apply techniques of inventory measurement and control.
  • Discuss the inter-relationship between manufacturing, logistics operations, inventory and reverse logistics and measure and monitor the performance of supply chain operations through the application of key performance metrics.
  • Understand and interpret a range of accounting information and analyse the financial performance and position of a business using financial ratios. 
  • Effectively use a range of basic management accounting tools to assist with management decision making, budgeting and performance evaluation. 
  • Discuss the limitations of accounting information and explain the implications of these limitations for the analysis and interpretation of that information.

 

Stage 2 modules

Taught at Level 5, the second stage typically takes 16 months to complete. This stage is designed to extend subject knowledge, apprentices learn how to drive performance and develop their leadership and management capabilities. 

Module titleCredits
Supply chain analytics30
Purchasing principles for global supply chains30
Developing management capability30
Managing projects and performance30
Developing leadership capability15
Total 135

 

Stage 2 outcomes

  • Apply quantitative models and tools for the short, medium and long term supply chain planning. 
  • Develop optimisation mathematical and simulations models using common software packages to aid quantitative-based supply chain decision-making., and evaluate types and uses of data collection, storage, and analytics. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand the regulatory framework of international trade whilst recognising when it is appropriate to seek specialist legal advice.
  • Explain the role of sourcing and procurement in the global supply chain and apply key principles of contract negotiation, management of supply risk and measurement of supplier performance.
  • Apply techniques and decision-making methods in selecting modes of international transport and evaluation of the risks and liabilities of multimodal transport chains, and discuss the sustainability and ethical aspects of the global supply chain.
  • Effectively plan a project for timing, cost, risk and resources and demonstrate understanding of sustainable business practice and how the balance between cost and waste minimisation and customer, employee and other stakeholder satisfaction is secured.
  • Analyse the effectiveness of a business design of key performance indicators and apply quality and lean six sigma tools and techniques to improve performance.
  • Apply the concepts and principles underpinning supply chain finance with particular emphasis on the application of financial management in a supply chain environment. 
  • Employ the knowledge and practical skills which work most effectively in organisations when leading, influencing, delegating, coaching and resolving conflict within a supply chain environment. 
  • Demonstrate high performance leadership behaviours to drive a high-performance culture and to influence internal and external stakeholders across the supply chain. 
  • Safeguard the interests of internal and external stakeholders through ethical management of risk and safety.

Stage 3 modules

The final stage of the Degree Apprenticeship is taught at Level 6 and takes 16 months to complete. Apprentices will explore the application of supply chain strategy, incorporating disruptive technologies and continuous innovation.

Stage three of the programme includes a major work-based project. This gives apprentices the opportunity to stretch themselves and showcase their learning by focusing on an in-depth supply chain challenge or issue in their organisation. The end result is a major project report delivering valuable insight for the organisation.

Module TitleCredits
Technology and Innovation30
Strategic Supply Chain Management.30
Total60

Stage 3 outcomes 

  • Explain the nature of disruptive technology and make the case for innovation and research and identify the features of different digital technologies and their application within a supply chain environment. 
  • Analyse the market forces, strategic objectives, resources, and practices needed to apply different digital and automation technologies in the supply chain. 
  • Evaluate automation and supply chain digital transformation plans and develop a business case for implementation.
  • Apply tools of strategic analysis and evaluate how the value proposition affects supply chain strategies and service operations for the end customer. 
  • Manage risk and resilience within the supply chain and develop and align supply chain strategies with the company’s corporate and financial strategies.

Entry requirements

You will need to apply for a Degree Apprenticeship role or already be employed in a job in England with responsibilities aligned with the degree content. Please see the how to apply section below for more information.

Entry requirements are set by the hiring business and not Aston University so they vary between organisations. Apprentices are selected based on their applications, an interview and an assessment process which is tailored to your apprenticeship position.

Indicative entry requirements are given below, but please note that each employer may set their own criteria. 

You will need:

Three A Levels at CCC or above, or equivalent BTECs.*
Have a minimum of Grade C/4 or above in Mathematics and English

*Please note:
Employers may specify their own entry criteria that can exceed this.
Candidates who do not have three A Levels at CCC may be considered on a case by case basis with aptitude and experience taken into consideration.

At least Grade 4 or C GCSE Maths and English

You will also need to meet the government's eligibility criteria:
 
  • Have been a UK/EU/EAA resident for the past three years or more prior to starting the course 
  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship you are applying for is due to start 
  • Be aged at least 16 years old to meet government funding criteria. 
 

If you are already employed in this industry, you should discuss with your manager if your organisation is working in partnership with Aston University. If they are, you will make an application through your employer.

If your employer is not yet an Aston partner, they can get in touch with our Apprenticeships Team to find out more information about working with us.

Course fees

You will not have to pay tuition fees as a degree apprentice as the costs are met by the UK government and your employer*. In addition to your fees being paid, you will also earn a salary while you study, so there is no need to apply for Student Finance.

The funding band for this degree apprenticeship is £21,000. This is the full cost of your apprenticeship which will be paid for using your employer's apprenticeship levy.

*Employers may require students to pay the fees for resits.

Assessment

Overview of how students are assessed, more detailed explanations of assessment with hyperlink if required
By successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded a BSc in Supply Chain Management (Professional Practice). You will also achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction.

Apprentices are assessed through coursework assignments that are applicable to your organisation.
You will also produce a portfolio to showcase your personal and professional development throughout the degree apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship concludes with the end point assessment. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your academic, personal and professional development achievements throughout the apprenticeship.
This consists of a review of your final project, followed by a professional discussion showing that you have met the requirements of the degree apprenticeship standard. After the interview, the assessors consider what grade should be awarded for the apprenticeship.

Career prospects

This programme leads to a range of career paths in the logistics and supply chain management industry. Apprentices can pursue careers in logistics operations, logistics operatives, logistics operation management, supply chain management, supply chain control, and international procurement management. It provides practical experience and qualifications relevant to the career path, allowing apprentices to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the industry. Employers offering supply chain management schemes include, retail, pharmaceutical, automotive, and logistics. 

Frequently asked questions

Why study a Supply Chain Management (Professional Practice) – Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship at Aston University?

With Aston University's great links with industry and experienced teaching staff will help you to develop the specialist professional skills alongside your practical work experience in order for you to excel your career.  

This is an exciting new degree apprenticeship that has been designed in close collaboration with leading industry experts. This means we ensure that the knowledge, skillset and behaviours developed on this course closely match the needs and expectations of the supply chain and logistics sector.  

In addition, the course embraces a strong culture of leadership and innovation from the start. You’ll learn how to play a part in revolutionising, shaping and simplifying the exciting and rewarding supply chain world that propels the economy and enables all of society.  Graduate with experience, a formal degree qualification and no-debt, whilst propelling your future career.

Why partner with Aston University for a Degree Apprenticeship?

At Aston University we work really closely with our employer network, not only to ensure courses fit around the roles that apprentices have, but also to ensure the skills and knowledge they develop fit the needs of their organisation and add value to their business. 

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