Sustainable Business Operations Management MSc

The latest events such as Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed companies to look at their global operations and supply chains more strategically, including how to digitise their products, advance towards services, and produce more sustainably, and as a result sustainable business operations management has quickly become business-critical areas of expertise in modern business.


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Course format

Internship / overseas study


1 year (full-time)

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Sustainable Business Operations Management at Aston University

Senior Lecturer Breno Nunes explains some of the main features of studying Sustainable Business Operations Management at Aston University.

Why study a postgraduate degree at Aston University?

A postgraduate degree is a great way to improve your career prospects. As well as opening doors, it builds on your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a competitive edge in a crowded job market.

Monifa Riley Testimonial

Student Monifa Riley, tells us about her experience of studying MSc Sustainable Business Operations Management. 

Read more

Gajanan Panchal

“Brexit will change the way British and EU businesses will need to be run. The radical shift will affect thinking about location, imports and exports, and logistical routes – essentially, an entire reconsideration of international business models.”

Gajanan Panchal 

Sustainable Business Operations Management Programme Director

Gajanan Panchal

“Brexit will change the way British and EU businesses will need to be run. The radical shift will affect thinking about location, imports and exports, and logistical routes – essentially, an entire reconsideration of international business models.”

Gajanan Panchal 

Sustainable Business Operations Management Programme Director

Course outline and modules

Our masters in Sustainable Business Operations Management will provide you with a unique and excellent learning experience that will allow you to understand and apply topics of sustainable business operations management at both domestic and international level.

Our graduates will be aware of the latest global economic, environmental, and social trends and challenges and will be able to respond through the management operations and application of technology accordingly and strategically.

The programme will allow you to contribute beyond private sector, being also suitable for public, non-governmental, and not-for-profit sectors.

Attracting students from all over the world, this course is a great opportunity to mix with people from different cultures and with diverse backgrounds. You’ll enhance your communication, teamwork and management skills, all whilst building a network of international contacts. It will also help you to appreciate the various approaches to manage operations and services in multicultural environments.

How will my skills develop?

As well as developing an in-depth understanding of advanced strategic operations on a global scale, you’ll learn how to apply theories and techniques in diverse socio-economic contexts, industrial sectors and cultural environments when designing, producing, transporting and selling a product or a service for a global market.

This course will help you to become critically aware of key issues such as sustainability, globalisation, digitisation, advanced manufacturing services and the impact of emerging technologies.

You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

During The Aston Global Advantage you’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

Practical experience

You’ll use recent real-world cases and practical experiences to bring your learning to life.

From critically evaluating key concepts of global operations and service management and learning how to formulate and communicate context-specific strategies, to gaining invaluable experience through The Aston Global Advantage and investigating a topic of your interest for your dissertation.

As well as a range of core modules, the specialist modules you can choose from, such as Service Operations Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Digital Marketing, allow you to tailor your learning and practical experience towards areas that interest you most.

As well as lectures, seminars, and presentations, you’ll also learn from leading academics who’ve carried out detailed research in this field and give you a deeper understanding the challenge businesses are facing and the skills required to drive more efficient and effective strategies.

How will this course help my career?

This course is designed to enhance your employability prospects. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you’ll have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.  

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The course concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. 

To find out more about the course, contact the Programme Director Dr Gajanan Panchal.


Core modules

Sustainable Operations Management

In this module you will gain a detailed understanding of how operations management contributes to business competitiveness. We examine the theories and approaches to effective planning and the organising of production and manufacturing processes, as well as those associated with the provision of services. With case studies and an innovative simulation challenge you’ll benefit from a highly-applied learning experience.

Strategic Business Sustainability

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferable skills you will gain throughout the year.

Ethics in Academic Practice

Applied Research

During this module we look at the research methods used in this area of study and work practice. You’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of methods and techniques used to collect and analyse information. You’ll be guided through the stages of the research process to ensure information is valid and reliable.

Research Project or Dissertation

The Research Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Choose two from the list below:

Enterprise Resource Planning

This module provides an understanding of different concepts in Enterprise System, the information requirements of business functional areas and examines the benefits and role of ERP. This is achieved through lectures seminars and simulations, where you will operate in teams to run an integrated system and critically evaluate a case study to propose a suitable system to support the strategic needs.

International Operations Strategy 

Managing Projects

This module gives a broad examination of the subject of project management, and how this supports the ever increasing requirement to co-ordinate and support business growth and development in an international context. It covers a broad range of theoretical and practical tools and provides the environment in which to apply them in practical work based situations.

Service Operations Management

Microeconomics of Competitiveness

Management of Innovation

Operations Management

Simulation for Decision Making

This module aims to combine the challenge of learning the theory of simulation modelling with collecting data in an external organisation using simulation modelling software, and group work to meet a deadline for the presentation of results. This skillset is useful as simulation is used in many organisations and consultancy units to provide descriptive predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Digital Marketing

During this module you will produce a strategic understanding of the opportunities provided by digital marketing and the challenges of preparing and formulating successful digital strategies. The module evaluates the role of digital media in marketing strategy and how new technologies can be embraced for marketing purposes. It evaluates the impact of web based innovations on marketing and consumer behaviour.

IPR Strategy

CSR, Sustainable Development & Policy

Corporate Governance, Regulation & Compliance

Life Cycle Thinking & Assessment

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree, minimum Upper Second Class (2:1)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee.
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date.
  • A completed application form.


International students
  • A good UK honours degree (2:1).
  • An equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston masters with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
  • For more information about completing a foundation year, visit our foundation year webpage.

Part-time route

The part-time option is not available to international students due to visa restrictions.

Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 


Our programme directors are our experts

Gajanan Panchal

Dr Gajanan Panchal
Programme Director, MSc International Business

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying you can email me via this link and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Our MSc Sustainable Business Operations Management course is taught through a mix of lectures and various applied learning sessions, where you might look at case studies from business and apply your knowledge to various scenarios. We favour problem-solving and action-learning methods in our modules.

Learning and teaching

As well as learning key theory and concepts, you’ll benefit by learning from industry professionals delivering guest lectures on their areas of expertise, providing valuable insight into global operations and service management and how organisations benefit from these skills.

You’ll be supported by our virtual learning environment at Aston University which has a wealth of resources to help you such as lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of your teaching sessions. Your lecturers will also be on hand to offer one-to-one support throughout the course.

You may also be given the opportunity to do company guided visits to places such as Amazon, Jaguar Land Rover, HP and Rolls Royce, amongst other global players.


There’s a variety of assessment methods, including exams, coursework, presentations and group work. For our assessments we use real or fictitious business scenarios. The practical assessments help you to develop the skills and competencies required for future job roles.


Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. Your options are not just limited within Europe, we also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.

You’ll be pleased to know that all of our overseas study programmes are all tuition-free and you’ll study and be assessed in English.


We believe that a work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and can give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. Choose a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas, and spend from one month to 12 months gaining valuable work experience. You’ll apply what you’ve learnt on a daily basis and develop a deeper understanding of your subject area.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to support start-up businesses and a local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You can work to solve strategic problems and make a real positive impact to growing businesses.

Our award-winning careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team are also available to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Placement case studies

Find out about Ememobong Etim’s placement as a Business Strategist and Development Analyst with Vitabonna Development Limited.

Find out about Suzhen Ye’s placement as an Assistant Marketing Director with First Plus Education.

Find out about Chloe Chan’s, Health Tech Services Internship at Holland & Barrett.

Find out about Piyushi Pawan’s placement as a Regional Marketing Coordinator for India, Aston University.

Universities Business Challenge Global Masters

All Aston University Business postgraduate students have the opportunity to take part in the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Global Masters. The UBC Global Masters is a team-based business simulation event that provides participants with the opportunity to act as a board of directors, who have taken responsibility for improving the performance of a company. 

Trips and visits

Your lecturers will arrange for a number of guest speakers to visit and deliver the course content. This will give you the chance to learn from experienced sustainable business operations management professionals. You’ll gain an insight into how different companies operate and the challenges faced in this area of business.

A large number of graduate employers visit campus during the year. There’s careers fairs, networking events and much more. You’ll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where’s the best place for you to start your career. 

Fees and scholarships


UK students (2024/25): £12,000

International students (2024/25): £23,500

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees and funding

UK postgraduate loans

If you're thinking about studying a masters course with us, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to help with course fees and living costs. 

Find out more here.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. 

Find out more about our scholarships here.


20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston University graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees. Students who have completed their first degree at Aston University will receive an automatic scholarship when applying for their course. If you are not an Aston University graduate there is still a range of UK and international scholarships that you can apply for.

This means that as an Aston University graduate applying to our MSc Sustainable Business Management course, you could save...


UK students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)


International/EU students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

As an Aston University graduate, you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

Career prospects

We have a track record for providing companies with highly skilled staff.

Our recent graduates have gone on to secure roles with prestigious international companies such as:

  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • IBM
  • Hewlett Packard
  • General Electric
  • Jaguar Land Rover.

Our strong links with industry have enabled us to tailor the course to meet the needs of employers looking for highly skilled graduates. Thanks to their input, we can help you gain a competitive advantage over other graduates and ensure that you hit the ground running when you secure your ideal role.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies, in order to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy.

Find out more about the post-study work visa.



Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.

Here's what our students say

Esteri Arungah

Esteri Arungah

"I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of the course, in regard to both the mandatory and optional modules offered. Personally, the combination of the mandatory modules and the optional modules I picked all seemed to intertwine and align with each other, therefore, focusing my learning on operations management."

Find out more

Zair Mahmood

Zair Mahmood

"The course was enjoyable throughout, making valuable friendships with fellow students and phenomenal support from lecturers during a time of turbulence of completing a masters online with no face-to-face interaction. However, the lecturers went above and beyond in providing exceptional content and support. That has allowed me to achieve a distinction, with a strong ability in completing a PhD in the following year."

Find out more

Frequently asked questions

Why study Sustainable Business Operations Management at Aston University?

As well as an active group of researchers in this field, our course has been designed with industry input to equip you with the right knowledge and applied experiences to excel in whatever specialism you are interested in.

Everything we teach you is applied to a real-world setting, so whether you want to run your own business, excel within a global operation or service economy, or assist other businesses as a consultant, you’ll have the right understanding and skill set to deliver strategic solutions.

We also provide you with a breadth of exposure to employers, such as an internship or a study abroad opportunity in your third term during the Business Project at the end. Not only does this bring your learning to life, it will really help you to secure a job once you complete the course.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in Sustainable Business Operations Management ?

Any business with a global outlook has a need for global operations, whether that’s to rethink their manufacturing footprint and relationship with suppliers, innovate, reduce costs, produce more sustainably or digitize their offering. Equally, the drive towards services continues around the world to increase GDP and productivity. So, the majority of sectors need the strategic skill set and experience to critically evaluate business decisions in these contexts to ensure the best course is taken commercially, culturally, and ethically.

This masters degree will not only give you the knowledge in the applied business sense, it will also give you an awareness of the other factors that surround these types of business decisions – socio-economic, environment, political etc.

You’ll also get to select more specialist modules to help you establish the understanding of particular areas which will help you shape your learning towards your career goals.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career. 

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 


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