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Master Global Supply Chain Management (M.Sc.) in Germany

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English-taught full-time master’s degree in Global Supply Chain Management in Germany

With a master’s degree in Global Supply Chain Management in Germany at our Campus Cologne, you will steer your career path towards responsible specialist and management tasks in internationally active companies. The programme lasts 4 semesters, of which the fourth semester is reserved for the master’s thesis - within the scope of an internship at a company or a semester abroad. The language of instruction is English so that you are optimally equipped for projects on a global scale. The degree awarded is a Master of Science (M. Sc.).

With a mix of business administration content, supply chain and logistics topics, interdisciplinary approaches, electives, and a great deal of practical relevance through business projects and simulations, you will expand your qualification profile with strategic knowledge and a hands-on mentality. CBS places particular emphasis on soft skills, and these are especially important in Global Supply Chain Management, as you will work with all company divisions and many people from different cultures, regardless of whether you work in a company headquarters in Germany or take care of supply chains on-site worldwide.

Do you work full-time and would like to study part-time? As an alternative, we offer you a part-time master's degree in Logistics taught in German, which lasts 5 semesters.

Why does a Global Supply Chain Management Master`s make sense?

After many - compared to today - cosy years in supply chain management, an extremely large number of difficult challenges are pelting down on SMEs and large corporations: legislators, as well as customers and internal company stakeholders, are demanding more sustainability, for example, as defined in the Supply Chain Act or in climate protection targets. Supply chains get into stressful situations due to local and global events, which lead to delivery bottlenecks even for suppliers' suppliers, putting orders worth millions at risk due to missing penny items. New trade barriers are erected while trade barriers are dismantled elsewhere. Some industries are completely reinventing themselves, which means that supplier networks have to be rethought from the beginning. New digitalisation opportunities require a lot of know-how and smart decisions to stay ahead of the competition. For these tasks, international companies need professionals who think big - maybe you? This Global Supply Chain Master`s focuses on just such high-level management tasks.

  • ECTS 120
  • Semester 4
  • Language English
  • Type of Study Full-time
  • Degree Master of Science
  • Campus Cologne
  • Internship Integrated
  • Semester Abroad Optional
  • Start of Studies Cologne Winter
  • Study Fees Cologne* 5.370 €
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Study Course Plan

Some information about the study plan for the study programme Master's in Global Supply Chain Management: 

General business teaching units

Business Economics3 ECTS ? !
  • Demand analysis & estimating demand

  • Supply and market equilibrium

  • Production economics

  • Cost analysis

  • Estimating cost functions and production functions

  • Economies of scale

  • Prices, output and strategy in different markets

  • Game theory models of oligopoly

  • Pricing techniques and analysis

  • Government regulation

Empirical Research Methods3 ECTS ? !
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods

  • Development of a research question

  • Steps of research process

  • Methods of data collection

  • Sampling

  • Data analysis using statistical software programs (SPSS or R)

  • Writing a research report

Strategic Analysis & Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Strategy making process and strategic reasoning

  • Cultural and institutional context of strategic management

  • Network-level strategies

  • Corporate development and configuration

  • Strategic change and corporate restructuring

  • Strategy evaluation and strategic controls

Innovation Management & Digital Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Dynamics of innovation & their implications for change management

  • Individual creativity and invention

  • Corporate creativity & intrapreneuring

  • Technology management

  • Innovation and technology strategies

  • Managing innovations

  • Diffusion of innovations

  • Cultural differences in innovation capability

  • Contemporary trends in innovation management

Programme specific teaching units

Global Supply Networks3 ECTS ? !
Strategic Planning in Supply Chains3 ECTS ? !
Purchasing & Distribution in the Supply Chain 3 ECTS ? !
Operations Management in Supply Chains3 ECTS ? !

Interdisciplinary competencies

International Project Management2 ECTS ? !
  • Social competence: Communication, motivation, groups and team structures, leadership, conflict management

  • Methodological competence: Structural aspects, time management, cost management, human resource management, creativity and problem solving

  • Organisational competence: Quality management, documentation, risk management, project start and closure

Language & Communication Skills2 ECTS ? !

The “Advanced Critical Thinking & Writing Skills” course is offered for German native speakers. German as a foreign language is offered as an obligatory course for Non-native German speakers.

General business teaching units

Corporate Social Responsibility3 ECTS ? !
  • Cornerstones of sustainable management

  • CSR as management approach

  • Practical approaches of organizational effectiveness

  • Tools for CSR implementation

  • CSR and financial performance

  • Life cycle assessment

Corporate Governance3 ECTS ? !
  • Historical developments around the world

  • Directors and board structures in different parts of the world

  • Family business governance

  • Role of institutional investors

  • Corporate governance in mergers and acquisitions

  • Socially responsible investments

  • Corporate governance in different regions

Value Based Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Financial measurement of corporate strategies: the principles

  • Traditional value-based systems and their link with financial models

  • Cash flow return on investments (CFROI)

  • Customer life-time value

  • Corporate financial & compensation design

Sustainable Supply Chain Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Defining a sustainable supply chain

  • Discussion of various theoretical concepts and their implications for sustainable supply chain management

  • Green marketing

  • Green logistics

Programme specific teaching units

Business Planning & Modelling3 ECTS ? !
Supply Chain Management 4.03 ECTS ? !

Elective area

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. The following are examples of the types of courses on offer:

  • Corporate Strategy and Renewal

  • Digital Network Economy

  • Digital Leadership

  • Portfolio Theory

  • Power Pricing

  • Finance & Growth

  • Advanced Portfolio Management

  • Branding

  • International HRM

  • Start-up Management & Business Modeling

  • Trader in Capital Markets

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. The Interdisciplinary Electives usually include subjects like:

  • Chat Bot Design

  • International Competitiveness

  • Omni-Channel Commerce

  • International Trade and Emerging Markets

  • Bitcoin and the Market of Cryptocurrencies

  • Business Process Modeling

  • Design Thinking & Adobe Creative Cloud

  • SAP S/4 Hana in Controlling and Finance

  • App Development in JavaScript

  • East Asian Culture and Business

  • Cultures of Consumption

  • SPSS

Interdisciplinary competencies

Event Management (Ted Talk) Seminar2 ECTS ? !
  • Basics of event management

  • Objective of the event and different types of events

  • The event as a marketing and communication tool

  • Planning and preparation

  • Event execution

  • Tasks and role of the event manager

  • Choosing the right venue

  • Personnel selection

Programme specific teaching units

Collaboration & Cooperation in Supply Chains3 ECTS ? !
Supply Chain Business Game3 ECTS ? !
Operations Research in Supply Chains3 ECTS ? !
Logistics Lab3 ECTS ? !
Venture Lab4 ECTS ? !
Integrative Case Studies3 ECTS ? !
Business Simulation Game3 ECTS ? !
Master Thesis Tutorial2 ECTS ? !

During the Master Thesis Tutorial you will learn the fundamentals for your Master thesis: Defining the topic as well as structuring the thesis and you will learn the theoretical knowledge for scientific working.

Elective area

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. The following are examples of the types of courses on offer:

  • Corporate Strategy and Renewal

  • Digital Network Economy

  • Digital Leadership

  • Portfolio Theory

  • Power Pricing

  • Finance & Growth

  • Advanced Portfolio Management

  • Branding

  • International HRM

  • Start-up Management & Business Modeling

  • Trader in Capital Markets

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. The Interdisciplinary Electives usually include subjects like:

  • Chat Bot Design

  • International Competitiveness

  • Omni-Channel Commerce

  • International Trade and Emerging Markets

  • Bitcoin and the Market of Cryptocurrencies

  • Business Process Modeling

  • Design Thinking & Adobe Creative Cloud

  • SAP S/4 Hana in Controlling and Finance

  • App Development in JavaScript

  • East Asian Culture and Business

  • Cultures of Consumption

  • SPSS

Interdisciplinary competencies

Assessment Center Bootcamp2 ECTS ? !

Programme specific teaching units

Master Thesis18 ECTS ? !

During your 4th semester you are working on your Master thesis. You have 19 weeks to complete your thesis and the subject is freely selectable. A supervisor from CBS will support you and you can write the thesis in collaboration with a company as well. Or you can write your thesis in connection with a stay abroad.

global-supply-chain-master-studentin-am-campus-koeln

What is M.Sc. Global Supply Chain Management?

An MSc Master in Global Supply Chain Management introduces students to all aspects of transporting goods and products within a business. As you grow from regional supply chain management into global roles, the focus shifts to the challenges: How do you plan global supply chains in such a way that the failure of suppliers, supply countries, or transport routes become bearable without jeopardising profits? How do you adjust the supply chain - or the entire company - when there are major changes on the demand side? How do you adapt to factors such as global and regional politics when taxes, tariffs, subsidies, liberalisation, or legislative changes affect the work of suppliers and the supply chain? In global supply chain management, the number of influencing factors is immense, and each can have a strong impact. When the worst comes to the worst, quick and good decisions are needed and even better are early detection systems based on KPIs, including contingency plans - and the gathering of knowledge along the entire supply chain, for which excellent communication skills are essential. Communication techniques, as part of the soft skills courses, are therefore part of the study programme.

What is M.Sc. Global Logistics?

SCM always includes logistics. An M.Sc. Master in Global Logistics is about planning, controlling, and optimising international logistics chains. These logistics chains are complex networks with interdependencies in which warehousing plays a central role in addition to transport routes. Central topics are the establishment or restructuring of logistics networks, the digitalisation of processes, the selection of third-party logistics service providers, or the optimisation of warehousing strategies in order to make supply chains more robust and to improve the service for internal and external customers - while keeping costs low.

One example is the logistics of a pharmaceutical company that assembles and delivers customer orders at warehousing locations around the world, but needs a sufficient stock of goods for this, which is kept at an ideal level by means of forecasts and well-functioning transport routes. Another example is the logistics department of an automobile manufacturer, where even the intralogistics of components from its own plants scattered around the world have an international character, or a logistics company where an international distribution centre is to be managed - embedded in a worldwide network of logistics hubs.

What do you learn in a Global Supply Chain Management Master?

The master`s programme in Global Supply Chain Management combines content from the master's programme Business Administration and special supply chain content that builds on each other over the duration of the programme.

In the first semester, you start with general business topics such as "Business Economics," "Strategic Analysis and Management," and "Innovation Management and Digital Transformation. You will also deepen your knowledge of research methods. The subject block "Supply Chain Design" is subject-specific and deals with the strategic planning of supply chains and the operational development of global supplier networks.

The second semester expands your horizons in the areas of CSR and corporate governance, which are also becoming increasingly important for supply chains. On the subject level, you will deal with "Quantitative Business Development", which also includes the seminar "Logistic Lab", which is either a business game or a real research project at a partner company. For even more practical relevance, you will also work on a large business project.

In the second and third semesters, you have the opportunity to set individual focal points - by taking elective subjects from business studies and with an interdisciplinary character. You choose these subjects towards the end of the first semester.

In the third semester, you deal with case studies and play through a business simulation game with your fellow students. In the supply chain topics, you dedicate yourself to the complex issues of "Supply Chain Collaboration", i.e., cooperative, vertical, or horizontal management approaches, and "Supply Chain Optimisation", which deals with the overall picture in operations and digitalisation in SCM 4.0. A special highlight is the "Venture Lab" seminar: Here you work in a team to develop a business plan, either speculatively for an SCM start-up - perhaps one that you want to start after graduation - or an intrapreneur project or a feasibility study for a corporate partner. Together with the Master`s Thesis Tutorial, this is ideal preparation for the fourth semester, in which you write your master's thesis either embedded in a company internship or in a semester at a CBS partner university abroad.

When it comes to the important soft skills courses, the CBS team has, for example, selected the modules "International Project Management", communication skills, and an assessment centre bootcamp for this degree programme.

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What are the requirements for a Global Supply Chain Master's?

To take up this master’s programme, you should have a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, General Management, or International Business. The special feature of this Supply Chain Master´s: 180 ECTS are sufficient as a starting requirement. If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree, we will of course be happy to accept your application so that you can continue your studies seamlessly after your bachelor’s degree.

Ideally, your first degree was taught in English and had a logistics or SCM focus. Both increase the likelihood of a very good study success, but a generalist degree is also helpful, as all subject areas were at least touched upon there and this degree is about the big picture. A good command of English is a must in any case, so that you can easily follow lectures, seminars, and soft skills courses. Of course, the exams are in English, just as your master’s thesis must be in English.

If you come from a different field of study, for example, engineering, we check your previous knowledge individually: we can often credit part of the study achievements, and to fill gaps in business knowledge we offer various pre-master's programmes, like the digital summer crash course in the semester break to 2 semesters of pre-study. Contact our student advisory team for more information.

How long does a Master in Global Supply Chain Management take?

This full-time master’s programme provides 120 ECTS and is classically designed for 4 semesters. The fourth semester has a dual function: You write your master’s thesis as a priority. Since this degree programme has a high practical relevance and is internationally oriented, we encourage you to write your master’s thesis a) at a company, ideally at a branch abroad, or b) if the focus is more on theory, to work on the thesis during a semester abroad at one of our partner universities.

What can you do with a master's in Global Supply Chain? Professions & Salary 

After the Global Supply Chain Master's degree, numerous career options are open to you. You can work for an industrial or trading company and design and optimise global SCM or logistics processes or lead teams. Such positions are sometimes called "junior supply chain manager", as in some companies direct entry positions are called "junior" even after the master’s degree, although the tasks are very demanding.

On the other hand, there is the world of logistics companies, who are also constantly looking for highly qualified graduates. The third big job opportunity is a career start as a consultant: large management consultancies and specialised boutique consultancies also offer exciting opportunities. The advantage is that as a consultant you can get to know many companies and industries. Some companies also offer graduate or trainee programmes as an alternative to direct entry. Our Career Office will support you in your search for vacancies, and CBS also cooperates with many partner companies that are specifically looking for CBS graduates. If you would like to work abroad, you should not only fall back on the well-known online job portals but inform yourself directly on the websites of your target companies. The variety of job titles is immense, as every company has different global structures and challenges.

When looking for a job in the field of SCM, you compete with people with degrees in Business Administration, Industrial Engineering, Business Informatics and even Mechanical Engineering. This shows above all that it is really difficult for companies to find experts at master’s level with a clear SCM focus - which this degree programme provides.

Possible job titles are:

  • (Junior) Supply Chain Manager (4.0)

  • European / International / Global Supply Chain Manager

  • Group Supply Chain Manager

  • Global Logistics Manager

  • Supply Chain Engineer

  • Specialist Supply Chain / Logistics

  • SCM Consultant

  • Inhouse Consulting Project Manager Supply Chain Management / Procurement

  • Supply Operations Developer

  • Logistics Planner

  • Graduate / Trainee Programme SCM / Logistics

  • Operations Manager / Project Manager Operations

  • Positions in Purchasing

How much do Global Supply Chain managers make?

Salary prospects at the beginning are roughly in the range of 50,000 to 100,000 euros gross per year, depending on the industry, the task, and your professional experience between your bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Entry-level positions are in the lower third of the salary range; salaries increase with a few years of management experience.

What does a Global Supply Chain Manager do?

Global Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics require personalities who think in big contexts: here you always have to deal with supply chains and logistics where national borders are crossed. These borders separate economic areas with their own rules, corporate cultures, and national cultures. In addition, transport routes are more sensitive to disruptions: A port strike here, a customs change there, a storm there, and the supply chain comes to a standstill. This makes planning, controlling, and optimising measures very complex. So global supply chain managers have to be able to make good decisions in an environment with a lot of variables, balancing cost, and performance. So, a high level of financial knowledge is required, but also creativity to think through scenarios and to be able to anticipate the impacts of actions. A big part of the job is communication with flair, as there are an immense number of stakeholders involved in global supply chains.

Where can I study Global Logistics and Supply Chain?

You can study this full-time master’s programme in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management at CBS in Cologne, the largest CBS campus. Cologne is an excellent place to study, as many internationally active companies operate in the Rhineland from Bonn to Düsseldorf, at all levels of the supply chain, from logistics companies to hidden champions in medium-sized businesses to global corporations.

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Anika Zaeske

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