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Operational Research and Computer Science

Course overview

(MSc) Master of Science
Operational Research and Computer Science
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematical Sciences
Colchester Campus
MSC G20112

A degree with an overall mid 2.2 in one of the following subjects: Mathematics, Statistics, Operational research, Finance, Economics, Business Engineering, Computing, Biology, Physics or Chemistry.

Will consider applicants with a unrelated degree but which contained at least three modules in calculus, algebra, differential equations, probability & statistics, optimisation or other mathematical modules.

Applications from students with a 2:2 or equivalent will be considered dependent on any relevant professional or voluntary experience, previous modules studied and/or personal statement.

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 MA981-7-FY Dissertation Core 60 Compulsory
02 CE885-7-SP Mathematical Research Techniques Using Matlab Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
03 MA305-7-AU Nonlinear Programming Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
04 MA306-7-AU Combinatorial Optimisation Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
05 MA902-7-SP Research Methods Core 15 Compulsory Compulsory
06 Autumn option from list Optional 15 Optional Optional
07 Autumn option from list Optional 15 Optional Optional
08 Spring option from list Optional 15 Optional Optional
09 Spring option from list Optional 15 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 A range of ideas concerning Operational Research and Computer Science including methods appropriate in specialized applications.
A2 Ways in which algorithms can be formulated to solve problems
A3 The power of efficient computer programs
A4 The fact that apparently disparate methods may interconnect.
A5 One or more current areas of research in Operational Research or Computer Science, including an awareness of the development of these areas of research
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Analyse a mass of information and carry out an appropriate analysis.
B2 Express a problem in mathematical terms and carry out an appropriate analysis.
B3 Reason critically and interpret information in a manner that can be communicated effectively to non-specialists.
B4 Integrate and link information across course components.
B5 Under guidance of a supervisor, plan and carry out a piece of research and present the results in a coherent fashion.
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

C: Practical skills

C1 Construct algorithms
C2 Use computer programmes and/or packages
C3 Use a mathematical word-processing package
C4 Make an effective literature search
C5 Prepare a technical report
C6 Give a presentation and defend their ideas in an interview.
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

D: Key skills

D1 Write clearly and effectively
D2 Use computer packages and/or programming languages for data analysis and computation and use computer packages for presentation of material to others.
D3 Enhance existing numerical ability
D4 Choose the appropriate method of inquiry in order to address a range of practical and theoretical problems.
D5 Learn from feedback and respond appropriately and effectively to supervision and guidance
D6 Work pragmatically to meet deadlines.
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: