Quality and Operations Management

120 credits (MSc, 2 years )

Continuously improving business processes is of increasing importance for companies competing in today's global markets. For society, there is a strong need to sustain work opportunities by realising and utilising the potential in existing businesses. Companies need to compete both by bringing new products to the market and by improving existing products and processes. These two aspects constitute the rationale underlying this master’s programme.

Programme description

Aimed at improving the processes through which new and existing products and services are developed and delivered, we now witness a strong upsurge in the industry’s interest in improvement techniques and philosophies. Examples are Six Sigma, Lean Production and Lean Product Development. Many industrial companies and public organizations are using improvement programmes based on these or similar ideas. Success in these programmes requires a change in mindset together with organisational transformations. Engineers equipped with the knowledge and competence required for leading quality driven change processes and business improvement are therefore crucial.
This Master’s programme in Quality and Operations Management supports you as a student in acquiring the knowledge and skills required to manage, improve and transform organisational processes.

The programme gives you a thorough understanding of tools for identifying customer needs and business opportunities. You will be trained in the skills needed to manage the process of developing and delivering products and services. A strong focus will be on the usage of different qualitative and quantitative tools. Another focus will be on production and delivery processes, in both manufacturing and service and on the tools and techniques for their improvement. You will acquire a number of competencies needed to manage improvement and change processes, whether they concern product development or production. These skills include leadership, project management and change management.

Location: Campus Johanneberg

Educational methods

The programme’s pedagogic frame is built on your participation and responsibility for your own learning process. Within the theoretical parts of the education and in order to improve your ability to present ideas both in written and oral form, you will write, present and discuss cases and term papers at seminars.
In the programme, a number of group projects will be carried out, all of them in cross-cultural teams. This provides a training arena for cross-cultural group work preparing you for taking the lead in cross-cultural improvement projects. 
 

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Please note that the above schematic view corresponds to the academic year starting in autumn 2018. Minor changes may occur.

​The programme consists of one compulsory block of 60 cr here 15 cr are alternative compulsory, which gives the student a chance to choose between three alternatives.  The alternatives are all industrially based projects, focusing on quality improvement, operational improvement or product development. The third semester includes 30 cr elective courses, although we recommend the course Change Management & Improvement Processes.​

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Research connections

All courses and projects are taught and supervised by active researchers in the field of quality and operations management and we apply or include our current research to examples, cases, projects and regular lectures. As a student, you will be able to take part in research discussions and analyses.
 
The programme is also connected with industry through guest lecturers in various courses and an industrially based project course. The industrial cooperation is facilitated by the division’s research collaboration with various companies and organizations, e.g. SKF, Volvo Trucks and the Region of Västra Götaland.
 
In the project courses – Six Sigma, operations improvement, or product development – you will carry out a project in close co-operation with a company. In the Six Sigma project an employee from the company involved will work together with a group of students carrying out a Six Sigma project in that company. The operations improvement project is similar to a small research study where a group of students investigate a problem of interest to a certain company e.g. through interviews and study visits. The product development project concerns development of a prototype for a company. 

Career opportunities

Graduates of the programme can find positions as quality and improvement process facilitators, problem solvers or change agents, production, quality or product development engineers or project managers. There is also the prospect of working within management in the above mentioned areas as well as management consultants or academic researchers.
 
Examples of positions acquired by students of earlier versions of this programme are: management consultants, production engineers, quality engineers, Six Sigma Black Belts, project leaders in product development and company internal quality consultants. Future career opportunities are not restricted to manufacturing organizations, but also include service providing organizations and public services.

STUDENT INTERVIEW
“Sustainability is a part of all courses”​
​​​Quoc Hung Dang, Vietnam, Quality and Operations Management

Why did you choose this programme?
– It seemed like the perfect match for me since I have a bachelor’s in industrial management and wanted to learn more about this field. Chalmers sustainability motto spoke to me and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is part of all our courses. Our lecturers constantly keep us updated about the latest knowledge and research in the industry.  But the focus is not only on what is going on right now. We train to have a long-term vision too and learn how to make things better in 20-30 years. 

What have you been working on?
– A classmate and I teamed up with an employee from an electric manufacturing company outside of Gothenburg. We got to go there, see what they are doing and understand their needs, and which challenges they are facing. They presented a problem to us and we came up with ideas on how to solve it based on what we have learned here at Chalmers. 

What do you like the most about your programme?
– We don’t only learn the theory, but we have a lot of opportunities to practice everything we have learned too. In both case studies and projects where we work together with team members from the industry. It’s an opportunity I didn’t have in my home country. 

What do you want to do in the future?
– I would like to become a researcher in a field where I get to learn new things every day. 

Published: Fri 26 Nov 2010. Modified: Wed 16 Oct 2019