Postgraduate study

Operational Research with Data Science

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

This programme will show you how to use mathematical techniques to tackle real-life problems ranging from scheduling flights, handling large data sets to managing investments and minimizing risks. The skills of Operational Research (OR) and Data Science are in high demand.

The MSc in Operational Research with Data Science is a new, forward-looking programme that delivers high-quality training in operational research, optimization and statistics. Students will have strong technical skills in these areas and the ability to apply them using appropriate software.

This MSc programme delivers:

  • technical skills in operational research, optimization and statistics
  • practical skills in programming and modelling for a wide range of applications
  • communications skills in writing and audio-visual presentation

You need to obtain a total of 180 credits to be awarded the MSc. All students take courses during semester 1 and 2 to the value of 120 credits. Successful performance in these courses (assessed through coursework or examinations or both) permits you to start work on a three-month dissertation project (60 credits) for the award of the MSc degree.

Compulsory courses have previously included:

  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Fundamentals of Operational Research
  • Methodology, Modelling and Consulting Skills
  • Computing for Operational Research and Finance

Themed courses have previously included:

  • Simulation
  • Statistical Regression Models
  • Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition
  • Introductory Applied Machine Learning
  • Bioinformatics 1
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Credit Scoring
  • Large Scale Optimization for Data Science
  • Modern Optimization Methods for Big Data Problems
  • Optimization Methods in Finance
  • Combinatorial Optimization
  • Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
  • Advanced Computing for Operational Research
  • Operational Research in Telecommunications
  • Biomedical Data Science
  • The Analysis of Survival Data
  • Likelihood and Generalized Linear Models
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning

Optional courses chosen from postgraduate courses in the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Industry
  • Optimization
  • Statistics
  • Data Science

At the end of this programme you will have:

  • flexible problem-solving skills based on deep knowledge of operational research, optimization, data analysis techniques and the ability to apply them using appropriate software
  • transferable skills to maximize their prospects for future employment, including writing, oral presentation, team-working, numerical and logical problem-solving, planning and time-management

Graduates will gain the transferable skills required to pursue careers in a data-rich operational research environment, and will be in an ideal position to apply for work in a wide range of institutions in the public and private sector. The degree is also excellent preparation for further study in operational research, optimization or data science.

The dissertation projects of approximately half the students on this programme take place in public and private sector organisations. Other students choose a University-based project.

At least a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a numerate discipline such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, physical or biological sciences, economics or business. You must also have studied probability and statistical theory at university level.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section
  • PTE(A): total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 7761
  • Email: ormsc@ed.ac.uk
  • ORwDS MSc Programme Secretary
  • School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 7761
  • Email: ormsc@ed.ac.uk
  • ORwDS MSc Programme Secretary
  • School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building, Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD