This paper explores the challenges and use of a postgraduate consultancy module in teaching operations management. The consultancy module extends the traditional learning boundaries between students and lecturers to a tripartite grouping of students, university and industry. The interaction within this group may be influenced by students' skills and their level of understanding and the needs of the particular industry. The consultancy module and the students' solutions are thus influenced by cooperation and teamwork and the autonomy, skills and training of the students as part of the application of operations management theory. The paper also presents an evaluation of the perceived gap between teaching operations management theory in higher education and its application in practice (in industry). It is argued that providing an operations consultancy module as a strategic teaching tool encourages postgraduate students, lecturers and industry to build a bridge between the relatively distinct worlds of academia and industry. The research is intended to help operations management educators to identify and deal with the challenges of setting up a consultancy module in higher education.