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Decision Sciences-Operational Research MSc

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  • Objectives
    The aim of the course is to equip students with the concepts, techniques and knowledge required to analyse problems and improve the decision-making processes in industry, business and the public sector.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements: Normally a UK bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours or the overseas equivalent is required in a quantitative subject such as mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering or management science. When assessing your academic record we take into account your grade average , position in class, references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification. We particularly welcome applicants from institutions of high ranking and repute.
  • Academic Title
    Decision Sciences/Operational Research MSc
  • Course description
    Course description

    This is a one-year, full-time course.

    The course recognises the integration between Decision Sciences, Statistics and Information Technology in an increasingly data-rich society.

    Many employers recruit Decision Scientists and Operational Research analysts, and an MSc in the subject is generally accepted as highly desirable for developing an initial career in areas such as business analysis, business modelling and operational research. 

    The course consists of four taught course units in each semester plus a summer project.
    Course structure and content:
    (All taught course units are 15 credits)
    Semester one
    Students take two compulsory taught course units:
    Decision Sciences 1
    This course unit covers core modeling techniques, including structuring, soft OR, linear and
    nonlinear mathematical programming, dynamic programming and optimisation techniques.
    Decision Sciences 2
    This course unit focuses on the use of quantitative modelling techniques from the fields of
    operational research and statistics in supporting decision-making in operations, particularly
    logistics. Particular emphasis will be put on discrete event and system dynamics simulation
    modelling. (This unit is also known as International Operations and Logistics).
    AND at least one and no more than two of the following ‘specialist’ electives:
    • Statistical Inference123
    • Data Analysis for Business Economics or Linear and Generalised models1
    • Computationally Intensive Statistics123
    • Time Series Analysis123
    • Data Analysis I1
    • Advances in Database Systems1
    • Text Mining1
    You may substitute one ‘specialist’ elective by another elective, for example:
    • Operations Management1
    • Quality Management1
    • Supply Chain and Logistics Management I1
    • Distributed Systems and Internet Technology1
    • e-Business1
    • Chinese Business1
    Semester two
    Students take two compulsory taught course units:
    Decision Sciences 3
    This course unit covers statistical modeling techniques, with an emphasis on multivariate
    techniques and advanced forecasting approaches.
    Decision Sciences 4
    This course unit covers decision modelling and performance analysis, including both
    single and multiple criteria decision modelling and analysis, data envelopment analysis
    and multiple objective optimisation.
    AND at least one and no more than two of the following ‘specialist’ electives:
    • Decision Support Systems1
    • Statistical Analysis of Designed Experiments123
    • Multivariate Statistical Methods123
    • Survival Analysis123
    • Longitudinal Data Analysis123
    • Data Analysis II123
    • Information Management1
    • Database Systems1
    You may substitute one ‘specialist’ elective by another elective, for example:
    • Organisational Change1
    • Project Management and Systems Modelling1
    • Business Improvement Tools and Techniques1
    • Supply Chain and Logistics Management II1
    • Human Computer Interaction and Web User Interfaces1
    • Web Applications1
    • Patterns for e-Business Applications1
    • Computer-supported Co-operative Working1
    1 These course units are subject to availability and timetabling
    2 These course units are only available to students with a suitable background
    3 These course units are offered by the School of Mathematics

    Summer Research Period – dissertation (60 credits)
    During this period you will carry out an original piece of work. These projects are generally
    based in or with a host organisation, or working with a real data set, or are literature-based.
    You will have a supervisor, who will discuss
    your choice of research project with you and advise and guide you through the process.
    Recent dissertations have covered:
        depot location, fleet sizing and demand forecasting for a prestige car rental business
        evaluation of the forecasting systems in use in a major Indian FMCG manufacturer
        investigation of consumer preferences mapping tools for a UK food and drink
        testing modelling approaches for the forecasting the impact of promotions in time
        evaluation of the performance of university business schools internationally
        evaluation of customer perception of UK banks

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