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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    06 December 2017

Course content

This programme is an ideal opportunity to provide yourself with the analytical and statistical skill set necessary for success in industry, business or in the public sector. From day one you will find yourself working with multinational organisations on case studies to develop your abilities in applied analytics and statistics. Opportunities for summer projects in a wide range of industries are an integral part of the programme.

Full time study: This one year master programme is suitable for numerate graduates. The MSc programme lasts for twelve months.

The MSc programme in Operational Research and Statistics provides students with the ideal skill set in mathematical modelling, experimental design, statistical analysis, and numerical computation. This programme also provides soft skills such as communicating results to managers/executives. These prepare students to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities in industry, business or in the public sector.

A highlight of the programme is the three-month summer project: it may be either in Operational Research or Statistics (or the interface between the two). You will have the option to bid for an external project which is usually based at a nearby company and requires working on a real problem of practical importance to that company. You also have the option to work on an internal project which might involve data from external sources. The MSc project consists of an individual investigation and is under the supervision of a member of staff. This project enables students to integrate and consolidate skills learned on the course (and to fulfil deliverables for the sponsoring company in the case of an external project).

In summary, the learning and teaching aims of the programme are:

1. To give you knowledge of operational research techniques and applied statistical theory and methods at an advanced level;

2. To train you for careers as either an operational researcher or as a statistician.

3. To enable you to develop oral and written communication skills.

4. To give you experience of applications of operational research and statistical methods.

Introducing your course

Operational researchers and statisticians play a fundamental role in the modern world. This MSc will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective solutions to complex organizational challenges. This includes all key stages of solving real-world problems:

-Providing analytical understanding the problem; possibly through designing experiments, collecting and visualizing data

-Mathematically formulating the problem and finding solution approaches

-Providing statistical analysis and computation

-Presenting and communicating the results

The programme contains compulsory modules that provide the foundation in both Operational Research and Statistics, and optional modules for students to specialise in these two areas (or to have a balance portfolio of them).

The summer dissertation gives you an opportunity to develop your research skills, often in a commercial setting, and our industrial liaison team will work with you to find a project that suits your skills and ambitions.


What is Operational Research?

Operational Research is the application of scientific methods to the study of complex organisational problems. It is concerned with applying advanced analytical methods to make effective decisions in strategic planning or operational planning, and build more productive systems.

What is Statistics?

Statistics is concerned with decision-making in the face of uncertainty, and lies at the heart of the type of quantitative reasoning necessary for making important advances in the sciences, such as medicine and genetics, and for making important decisions in business and public policy.

Why do an MSc?

An MSc is generally accepted as being highly desirable for starting and developing a career in OR. The MSc is also a good preparation for research work.


A highlight of the programme is the 3-month summer project. The student is usually placed with a nearby company and works on a real problem of practical importance to that company.


The Operational Research Group and the Statistics Group in Mathematics are strong committed teams of 20 lecturing staff and a number of research staff. The Groups teach a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as undertaking consultancy work for outside organisations. Many of the staff are internationally known in their fields of research.

The 2017 QS subject world rankings places Statistics and Operational Research at Southampton in the top 100.

CORMSIS Business Advisory Board

This Committee is a good indicator of the high regard in which the Southampton MSc programmes involving Operational Research are held by outside organisations. Its purpose is to ensure that the MSc programmes produce graduates with the requisite skills for the needs of industry. It also provides a focal point for liaison between the Operational Research Group and industry. You have the chance to meet the Committee several times during the year. Major companies including ShellBritish AirwaysBAABTThe AADstl and HM Revenue & Customs are represented on the Committee.

View the programme specification document for this course

Visit the Operational Research and Statistics - MSc page on the University of Southampton website for more details!




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