Postgraduate study

Operational Research with Computational Optimization MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme will show you how to use mathematical techniques to tackle real-life problems ranging from scheduling flights and routing mobile phone calls to managing investments and minimising risks. Operational Research (OR) is an important skill that is in high demand.

This MSc will give an Operational Research perspective on computational optimization.

This programme involves two taught semesters of compulsory and option courses followed by your dissertation project.

Courses previously offered include:

Compulsory courses:

  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Fundamentals of Operational Research
  • Methodology, Modelling and Consulting Skills
  • Simulation
  • Stochastic Modelling

Plus two courses from:

  • Statistical Methodology
  • Introductory Probability and Statistics
  • Object-Oriented Programming with Applications
  • Statistical Programming
  • Scientific Computing
  • Python Programming

As part of your option course choices, Operational Research with Computational Optimization requires you to study two from a set of courses which, previously, has included:

  • Large Scale Optimization for Data Science
  • Integer and Combinatorial Optimization
  • Topics in Applied Optimization.

Industry-based dissertation projects

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.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScOperational Research with Computational Optimization1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

The skills you will learn are in demand by a vast range of high-profile organisations including consultancy firms, companies with operational research departments such as airlines or telecommunications providers, financial firms and the public sector.

Recent graduates have joined British Airways, the Government OR Service, Barclays, Deloitte, Capgemini and smaller specialised OR, finance and energy companies.

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 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScOperational Research with Computational Optimization1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScOperational Research with Computational Optimization2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

School of Mathematics funding

There may be School funding available for well-qualified UK and EU nationals.

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)131 650 5386
  • Contact: ormsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • 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.

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.

Selection deadlines

Round Deadline
1 31 January 2020
2 31 March 2020
3 30 June 2020

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Contact: ormsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD