Project work

The students will undertake 4 industry projects throughout the course:


  • P1 (Michaelmas term, 2 weeks) - Address manufacturing supply chain and operations management topics. Students work in pairs.
  • P2 (Lent term, 2 weeks) - Address manufacturing supply chain and operations management topics. Students work in pairs.
  • P3 (Lent term, 1 day a week for 6 weeks)  - Work with small local firms, typically start-ups, to tackle a strategic or market related topic. Students work in groups of 4.
  • P4 (Lent term, 2 weeks) - Address strategic, marketing or related issues. Students work in pairs.


  • P5 which takes the form of an integrating essay.            


Each of the 2 week projects (P1, 2 and 4) may be based away from Cambridge for their duration. Work is supervised by the host company and the students are treated as if they are a company employees. The projects involve framing the problem, understanding the issues, developing ideas for improvement and making recommendations to the company. The final deliverable of the project is a presentation to senior management, followed by the submission of a concise executive summary.


Each project deals with a live issue relevant to the company. The projects improve the application of course knowledge and require analysis, communication and team working-skills. They play a key role in supporting professional development and provide excellent groundwork for future employment.


Projects are completed across the full spectrum of manufacturing, including: automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, FMCG, food and beverages. Titles are varied and cover areas of operational improvement, strategic decision-making and organisational management. Projects have explored areas as diverse as:


  • Production planning, scheduling and inventory optimisation
  • Capacity utilisation
  • Lead time reduction
  • Quality improvement and control
  • Make/buy decisions
  • Effective maintenance
  • Energy usage
  • Layout floor planning
  • New product development process improvement
  • Inter-departmental effectiveness
  • Feasibility study in to a new technology
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive review and positioning
  • Product or marketing strategy


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