Postgraduate study

Statistics and Operational Research MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

This programme will help you develop professionally in the theory and practice of statistics and operational research (OR), providing the foundations for a successful career.

This programme will prepare you for work in areas such as the medical and health industry, government, the financial sector and any other area where modern statistical tools and OR techniques are used. You will also develop the wider skills required for solving problems, working in teams and time management.

You will be able to identify appropriate statistical or operational techniques, which can be applied to practical problems, and will acquire extensive skills in modelling using the packages R for Statistics and Arena for simulation.

This MSc consists of lecture-based courses and practical, lab-based courses. You will be assessed by exams, written reports, programming assignments and a dissertation project. The set of courses available is subject to review in order to maintain a modern and relevant MSc programme.

Previous compulsory courses for 2018-19:

  • Bayesian Theory
  • Fundamentals of Operational Research
  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Generalised Regression Models
  • Methodology, Modelling and Consulting Skills
  • Simulation
  • Statistical Programming
  • Statistical Research Skills

Previous optional courses for 2018-19 include:

  • The Analysis of Survival Data
  • Bayesian Data Analysis
  • Biomedical Data Science
  • Credit Scoring
  • Genetic Epidemiology
  • Incomplete Data Analysis
  • Integer and Combinatorial Optimization
  • Large Scale Optimization for Data Science
  • Nonparametric Regression Models
  • Operational Research in the Energy Industry
  • Python Programming
  • Risk and Logistics
  • Scientific Computing
  • Statistical Consultancy
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Time Series
  • Topics in Applied Operational Research
  • Topics in Applied Optimization

This programme is ideal for students who wish to apply their statistics and operational research knowledge within a wide range of sectors including the medical and health sector, government and finance. The advanced problem-solving skills you will develop will be highly prized by many employers.

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:

Featured funding

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 Secretary, Miss Gemma Aitchison
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Contact: statsmsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The Kings Buildings
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JZ

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 2019
2 31 March 2019
3 30 June 2019

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

Further information

  • Programme Secretary, Miss Gemma Aitchison
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Contact: statsmsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The Kings Buildings
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JZ