Entry requirements for the Operational Research MSc programmes.
Full entry requirements for these programmes are detailed on the Postgraduate Degree Finder:
- MSc Operational Research
- MSc Operational Research with Computational Optimization
- MSc Operational Research with Data Science
- MSc Operational Research with Risk
Greater detail of the background needed to succeed in the Operational Research MSc programmes is given in the following sections:
You will need an aptitude for mathematics, and should have done some mathematics as part of your undergraduate degree. The following is the level of mathematics you will require for the Operational Research MSc programmes.
It is important that you have mastered the items in bold before starting the programme.
- Rearranging and simplifying expressions
- Equalities and inequalities
- Sequences: limits and series
- Matrix operations: multiplication, transposition, inversion
- Determinant of matrix, nonsingularity
- Linear Algebra:
- Solving systems of simultaneous linear equations
- Scalar product, norms
- Linear dependence
- Functions of one variable:
- Plotting graphs of functions
- Linear, quadratic, logarithmic and exponential functions
- Differentiation: critical points; classifying minimizers/maximizers
- Taylor expansion
- Integration: area under a curve
- Functions of several variables:
- Differentiation, partial derivatives
- Gradient, Hessian, necessary and sufficient conditions for a minimizer/maximizer
- Taylor expansion
- Convex sets
- Convex and concave functions
- Elements of Probability Theory:
- Random variables: expected value, variance
- Distributions: binomial, exponential, normal, Poisson
A familiarity with spreadsheets and word processing tools is expected. You will do some computer programming on the course and you will have an easier start with this if you already have some programming experience. A knowledge of any of the high-level programming languages like Python, C/C++, FORTRAN, F90, Visual Basic, or Java will be helpful. However, if you have no programming skills then you will be given a chance to develop them within this MSc.
The taught component of the MSc programmes contains an optional course on programming with Python, which is a well structured object oriented language. This course does not assume that you have previous programming experience. However if you have not used any programming language before, you will have less work to do in this course if you do some preliminary work before the start of the course.
Students' projects will typically have a programming component. Python - often in combination with dedicated optimization tools - will be used as the computing language for algorithmic work in the MSc.
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.
Full details of the English language requirements are provided in the "Entry requirements" section of the Postgraduate Degree Finder:
The books below offer valuable background reading and preparation for the Operational Research programmes.
The two Engineering Mathematics texts below are written in a relatively readable style. The editions below are the most recent, although older editions are just as good. If you are not confident of your mastery of some of the basic mathematical skills then you are advised to work on the corresponding material in these books.
- Advanced Engineering Mathematics, E. Kreyszig, John Wiley & Sons, 9th edition. ISBN-10: 0471728977
- Modern Engineering Mathematics, G. James, Prentice Hall, 4th edition. ISBN-10: 027373413X
Background to Operational Research
Both of the books below cover large amounts of the core Operational Research courses, as well as other fundamental Operational Research skills. It should be worth buying one of these texts and it will be valuable to have started looking at it before you begin the programme.
- Introduction to Operations Research, F. S. Hillier and G. Lieberman, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 11th edition. ISBN-10: 126057587X
- Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms, W. L. Winston, Brooks/Cole. ISBN-10: 0534423620