Postgraduate study

Operational Research with Data Science MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

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

Themed courses have previously included:

  • Introductory Applied Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Bioinformatics 1
  • Statistical Methodology
  • Statistical Programming
  • Incomplete Data Analysis
  • Simulation
  • Scientific Computing
  • Python Programming

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.

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. You can increase your chances of a successful application by exceeding the minimum programme requirements.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • 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 Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 7761
  • Contact: 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

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

Round Application deadline
1 31 January 2019
2 31 March 2019
3 30 June 2019

Applicants who are not made an offer at a specific selection deadline will either be notified that they have been unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme, or if they do not hear then they are still being considered and their application will be carried forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration at that time.

*(Revised 25 October 2018 to add in application deadline dates).

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

Further information

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 7761
  • Contact: 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