The course

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MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management is the fully-accredited flagship masters degree from Heriot-Watt’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management department - a recognised centre for excellence in the subject across both research and teaching.


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The masters degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh Business School calls upon established industry links and sector-leading research to equip students with cutting-edge expertise. 

This MSc is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and has built a reputation for producing graduates of the highest calibre over the past 25 years. It will give you access to the knowledge of world-leading researchers and practitioners, and allow you to gain professional insights direct from industry.

This is a Specialist MSc

MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management is a Specialist MSc programme led by academics at the Edinburgh Business School. As a Specialist MSc, this degree gives those who have worked in the field or studied a similar subject previously, the chance to expand, refine and enhance their knowledge. 

This 1-year Masters programme focuses almost entirely on the area of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. It blends cutting-edge academic thinking with best practice from industry to give graduates and professionals the opportunity to advance with a highly employable skillset.

The Edinburgh Business School approach

Our mix of research-led, industry-focussed learning offers the ideal preparation for those who aspire to build successful careers in the ever-advancing discipline of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

If you study this programme you will develop expertise across key areas of the subject, including:

  • Big data business analytics
  • Demand planning and forecasting
  • Freight transport
  • Inventory and material management
  • Maritime economics and logistics
  • Procurement
  • Quality management
  • Risk and resilience management
  • Sales and operations planning
  • Supply chain and logistics strategy
  • Supplier Management
  • Sustainability

Transferrable skills for industry

On top of expertise you will gain in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, this programme will equip you with the ability to think critically, identify problems, evaluate options and communicate solutions. These crucial, transferable skills will allow you to effectively implement your specialist knowledge and adapt to any logistical problem you may face in your career.

Being equipped with the mind-set, knowledge and expertise to manage any organisation’s logistical processes should mark you out as an excellent candidate for the following roles in an incresing number of industries:

  • Supply Chain Consultant
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Logistics Manager
  • Procurement Specialist
  • Distribution Manager 

Recent graduates from our MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management programmes have gone on to work for organisations such as DHL, Diageo, BP Chemicals, IKEA, Coca-Cola, Tesco, Argos, Amazon, Scotland Excel, Heineken, Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Maersk, Gist, Sky, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems.

A programme grounded in world-changing research

Our teaching in Logistics and Supply Chain Management is grounded in the research of our Logistics Department which directly impacts the UK Government’s carbon policy and the logistics operations of organisations such as:

  • Tesco
  • Coca-Cola
  • John Lewis
  • DHL
  • Sainsbury’s

Heriot-Watt University stands at the forefront of logistics research and specialises in the study of management, integration, reform, impact and modelling of logistics activity, particularly from an environmental and sustainability perspective.

Our work provides government, industry, commercial and other sectors with insight into logistical trends, transport benchmarking and road use throughout the UK and Europe. Much of our research output is transformed into practical management guides, tools and techniques.

Sustainable Road Freight: collaboration with Cambridge University

Heriot-Watt University has teamed up with engineers from the University of Cambridge to form the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, a collaboration with a major 5-year funding grant whose purpose is to research engineering and organizational solutions to make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

The Centre for SRF will look to develop innovative technical and operational solutions to road freight transport challenges in order to meet Government emissions reduction targets for the road freight sector, mapping out ways to provide an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions due to road freight transport by 2050.

Networking opportunities

When you study on our MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management you will find yourself in the enviable position of gaining networking opportunities with global leaders in the field at a number of events throughout the year.

As they are organised by the Heriot-Watt University Logistics Research Centre, you will be invited to attend some of Europe’s leading logistics conferences such as the International Symposium on Logistics Conference, the Logistics Research Network Conference and the European Operations Management Association Conference.

Through our connection with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, you will also have the opportunity to attend their Young Professionals Forum which is held in Edinburgh every year to provide opportunities for professional development and networking.

Programme duration

Mode of Study MSc PG Diploma
Full-time 12 months 9 months
Part-time 24 months 21 months


The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Accredited Degree

Industry continues to look to individuals who can demonstrate their continued commitment to acquiring industry specific knowledge. Membership of internationally recognised professional bodies is therefore an important consideration in building a successful career.

Two important industry bodies, the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (UK) (CILT), and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) have accredited our MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management programme.

CILT accreditation

Students who successfully graduate from the above degrees will receive an exemption from the academic requirements for membership at either Chartered Member or Member level of the CILT. There may also be a reduction in the length of experience that they would require.

Find out more about CILT accreditation and membership.

CIPS accreditation

Whilst you are studying you can join as a Student Member becoming an Affiliate Member and then Member (MCIPS).

Find out more about CIPS accreditation and membership.

Student profile

Students about Heriot-Watt

Sara Christine Bach Overbo

Being a part of the School´s unique multinational environment provided an arena for lots of interesting discussions and reflections. This enabled me and my peers to better understand our studied fields in the bigger global perspective.

Sara-Christine Bach Overbo , MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Course content

Semester 1 (Sep - Dec) Semester 2 (Jan - April)
Strategies for Managing Supply Chains Global Purchasing and Supply
Operations Management and Planning Research Philosophy and Practice
Freight Transport Two options from list below:

One option from:

  • Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma
  • Measuring and Managing Performance
  • Supply Chain Risk and Adaptation
  • Business Analytics and Introduction to Big Data


  • Quality Management and Engineering
  • System Thinking and Analysis
  • Green and Sustainable Logistics
  • Project Management

A dissertation is then completed between May and August.

Strategies for Managing Supply Chains

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course explores how logistics and supply chain management can be leveraged to gain competitive advantage.  When designing a supply chain strategy we consider taxonomies for supply chain process selection as well as approaches to design and optimise the physical logistics network.   Finally, we explore how disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), might affect the logistics sector and transform supply chains in the future.

Operations Management and Planning

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course will help students understand the scope and importance of Operations Management and the role of Operations Managers. Students will study the interaction of operations on the organisation, employees and customers. You will examine the links between process and operations design, business strategy and globalisation. You will learn about the different elements of operations and how to analyse an operational environment. You will also explore the challenges facing the operations manager in adopting innovative practices such as lean, new technologies and the growing social agendas such as CSR.

Freight Transport 

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course examines the activities, resources and processes used in freight transport and warehousing including the foundations of multi-modal freight (road, rail, air-freight, sea-freight, pipeline); the change from warehouse (storage) to a distribution centre and value adding activates; foundations of warehouse management (storage systems, handling systems, order picking systems, equipment choices and selection); and freight and distribution centre interface and implications.

Global Purchasing and Supply

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Purchasing processes and activities; theory and the make or buy decision; category management and supplier sourcing; supplier performance and relationship management; supplier development and the role that purchasing plays in New Product Development (NPD); procuring complex performance; partnership; ethics and social responsibility.

Research Philosophy and Practice

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the social science research process, as well as theory and approaches to research. Develops practical skills (i.e. quantitative and qualitative techniques) in data analysis to transform the raw data into information that guides marketing management valuations.


A dissertation on a related topic is then completed over the summer months.

Teaching team: Research and industry expertise

Guest lectures: a dynamic approach to learning

On this programme you will learn as much through experience as you will from the textbook.

You with have weekly lectures and seminars with our globally respected academics and researchers, receive guest lectures from leading industry practitioners, go on industrial visits to international organisations, manage supply chain simulations, and attend workshops held annually by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Edinburgh.

During the most recent academic year, our MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management students received unparalleled industry insights through industrial visits to world-leading organisations such as Amazon, Tesco and Grangemouth Port.

In addition to industrial visits, this programme offers regular guest speakers from highly-experienced practitioners. This year we have enjoyed guest lectures from:

  • Emeritus Professor Alan MacKinnon, global leader in Green Logistics.
  • Innis Cameron, Director of Clarkson Port Services and Chairman of Aberdeen Port Users Association
  • Directors of Shipping 360, a London Based Shipping Company
  • Turkish Ambassador to Scotland, expert on Disaster Management on Supply Chain Strategy.
  • Professor Gyongyi Kovacs, a world leader in Humanitarian Logistics
  • Peter Kidd, Deputy Head Commercial for Defence Infrastructure Organisation
  • Martin Elgood from Zupplychain, expert on warehouse space for the online marketplace

You will have the opportunity to take part in team-building and leadership events during the first few weeks of the programme. View our Team Building 2015 photo gallery.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class), or its non-UK equivalent, in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

Work or project experience in a logistics-related field will be of further advantage.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £8856 £4428 £1107
Overseas £22240 £11120 £2780


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.