Model Building in Operational Research

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Laszlo Vegh NAB 3.05


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Management Sciences. This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Management, BSc in Management and BSc in Statistics with Finance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Students must have completed Operational Research Methods (OR202).

For third year students who have not taken OR Methods in their second year, OR Methods may be a co-requisite, taken in the same year.

Course content

The concepts, techniques and practical aspects of the development and analysis of simulation models and of mathematical programming models for management decision support. A critical assessment of the use of Operational Research models in a range of applications paying attention to the power and limitations of a mathematical model when applied to the complexities and uncertainties of practical decision making. There are three lecture courses. OR301.1 Mathematical Programming Models in Operational Research. The course extends the mathematical programming models taught in OR202.2 by introducing more complex models, including integer programming. The course focuses particularly on the computer implementation of mathematical programming models using specialist software. OR301.2 Operational Research in Practice. Students are required to present critical reviews of two published papers and then to write reports on them, the second of which is assessed. OR307 Simulation Modelling and Analysis (see separate course guide for OR307)


10 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 7 hours of computer workshops in the MT. 10 hours of lectures, 20 hours of lectures, 10 hours of classes and 2 hours of computer workshops in the LT.

Please note that lectures and classes are divided between OR301.1, OR301.2 and OR307.

The computer workshops are optional.

Formative coursework

OR301.1 : students will have the opportunity to submit a mock project and receive feedback

OR301.2: the first of the two written, critical reviews of published papers (referred to above) will receive feedback

OR307: see separate course guide for OR307

Indicative reading

OR301.1: H P Williams: Model Building and Mathematical Programming,Wiley, and the relevant chapters of F S Hillier and G J Lieberman: Introduction to Operations Research, McGraw-Hill
OR301.2: suitable papers from OR journals will be available
OR307: see separate course guide


Project (40%) in the LT.
Project (40%) and coursework (20%) in the ST.

Examined by course work projects as follows: 40% for the Mathematical Programming project, 20% for a critical review of a published paper and 40% for a Simulation Modelling and Analysis project.

Key facts

Department: Management Science Group

Total students 2012/13: 34

Average class size 2012/13: 11

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills