Mathematics MSc Programmes


Operational Research (OR) uses mathematical techniques to tackle real-life decision problems. Management Science, Decision Sciences, and Operations Management are all part of Operational Research, which is also known as Operations Research.

What can OR do?

Operational Research can take on real-life decision problems such as:

  • Schedule planes/crews and decide seat prices
  • Route internet calls and allocate mobile phone frequencies
  • Manage a portfolio of shares and minimize its risk
  • Optimize the development of an oil field
  • Plan the operation of a hospital blood bank

Why Operational Research MSc?

You will enjoy Operational Research if you like solving practical quantitative problems and seeing the solutions implemented. By studying Operational Research you will develop a valuable combination of mathematical, modelling, analytical, computing, interpersonal and communication skills.

An Operational Research MSc provides

  • an ideal background for a career in industry (e.g., consulting, banking, finance, telecom) and
  • strong foundations for further studies and research.

Our students come from diverse backgrounds such as mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science, engineering, economics and other quantitative disciplines.

New Programme in Operational Research with Data Science

In September 2016 the School will start delivering a new programme in Operational Research with Data Science. Applications for this programme are now being accepted.

Financial Aid

The OR MSc Programme has funding from the School of Mathematics to encourage the best UK and EU students to study Operational Research. Note that there is no need to apply separately for this funding.

We will offer the best UK applicants a funding package of full fees and a stipend of at least £3,000. In addition, well qualified UK applicants can expect to be offered funding towards their course fees and may be offered some living expenses. Prospective students with first class degrees can expect such an offer unless we have too many, in which case absolute performance and any further study or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration. Depending on the number and quality of applications, lower levels of funding may be offered to less well qualified applicants.

Well qualified EU applicants can expect to be offered funding towards their course fees.

Note that all Scottish and non-UK nationals of EU countries may apply for one of the University's Highly Skilled Workforce Scholarships and, if unsuccessful, are eligible for a £3,400 loan from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

Why Edinburgh?

University of Edinburgh is a world-class university. The Edinburgh OR MSc is an intensive one year programme with selected courses delivered by industry professionals. Our programme is flexible, offering specialization in 

We offer opportunities to pursue an industry or government summer dissertation project. The city of Edinburgh is 

  • the historic capital of Scotland
  • a great place to live and study
  • a major banking and financial centre.