Frequently asked questions

about the MSc Operations Research & Analytics

What are the entry requirements/required academic background for this degree?

Applicants should normally possess at least an upper second class honours degree in a relevant degree (or equivalent, if awarded by a non-UK institution).  Applicants should normally have taken university courses including calculus, linear algebra, and statistics. Candidates with degrees in mathematics or statistics, also economics, business, finance, engineering, science or social science subjects are considered. Appropriate work experience will also be considered.

Further information on the the LSE's minimum entry requirements for master's degrees can be found here.

If you have more specific queries that are not addressed on this page or elsewhere on the LSE website, contact the Student Marketing and Recruitment office.

Can I contact an academic member of staff or current student about my application?

No. This is because the very large number of enquiries we receive every year. You can address your queries to administrative staff in the Department, and the School's Graduate Admissions or Student Marketing and Recruitment teams.

When should I apply?

Applications open in October each year, for admission the following September. 

Full details about the application process are available on the Graduate Admissions website. Ensure that you send your application and any related material to Graduate Admissions—sending material directly to the Department will only delay it.

There are no official application deadlines for this programme, but you are advised to apply as early as possible because competition for places is fierce. We are only able to make a certain number of offers, and late applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

You can check whether this degree programme is currently open for applications on this page.

Do I need to submit a GRE/GMAT score?

It is not a requirement for this MSc, but it is recommended.

Do I need work experience?

Work experience is not a requirement for this degree. However, relevant experience may strengthen your application, provided you also meet the minimum academic requirements.

What if English is not my first language?

If your first language is not English, or if the language of instruction in your previous degree was not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command of English. Please consult the relevant Graduate Admissions pages for further information.

I am an overseas student, but have studied previously in the UK—do I still need to submit IELTS scores? 

If you have successfully completed a degree taught in English, then you are not required to submit an IELTS or TOEFL score.

Do you interview applicants?

We do not interview for places on the degree.

How can I check the status of my application?

All applicants will be given access to the Graduate Application Tracker.

How is the academic year structured?

The academic year consists of three terms. Michaelmas Term (Sep–Dec) and Lent Term (Jan–Mar) are both 11 weeks long, and Summer Term (Apr–Jun) last 7 weeks. The majority of teaching normally takes place in Michaelmas and Lent Terms, with only revision lectures and exams in Summer Term. Term dates can be found here.

How are the courses structured?

Courses run by the Department of Mathematics will usually consist of two hour-long lectures and one hour-long class/seminar per week during the two main teaching terms. Lectures and classes are spread over the week, and are taught in various teaching rooms at the School. Timetabling of courses run by other departments is not under our control, and it is possible that some teaching clashes may occur.

Students on the MSc in Operations Research & Analytics are required to take courses to the value of 4.0 units. Please see the Programme Regulations for more details.


Where can I get more detailed information on each course?

Further information on each course is available here. Please note that not all optional courses are available each year.

How and when do I choose my options?

Students have until the end of the third week of the first term (Michaelmas Term) to finalize their options. Courses are selected online using LSE for You (LFY). Instructions and tutorials are provided online, but the process will also be explained at Orientation. Each student's Academic Mentor and the Programme Director will then access these initial course choices to approve them (or not—if they are not felt to be suitable to the requirements of the degree). 

When a student would like to take a course option outside the Department, they may need to ask the permission of the lecturer on that course as certain restrictions may apply. Students also require the approval of the Programme Director if these outside options are not explicitly stated in the Programme Regulations. 

Further information is available on the Graduate Course Choice page.

Do I need to submit a dissertation or project?

Yes, students have the option of completing a project or a supervised dissertation, and is a central part of the programme. Students who choose the Project module will be found work in a host organisation (in business, government, health, or a social non-profit organisation), in a consultancy role, typically turning a real problem faced by the organisation into a mathematicial model whose solution provides tangilble benefit. 

Is there any reading I can do in advance?

You are not required to do any preliminary reading in advance of this MSc, but if you wish to read some material, we can make a few suggestions. If you do not have experience of computer programming, you could learn the language R, which you will use in ST447 Data Analysis and Statistical Methods.  Programming will also give you a sense of what computers can and cannot do, that will be useful in all algorithmic courses. Good starting points are Introductory Statistics with R by Peter Dalgaard, and the Coursera course

Linear algebra plays a major role in the field of OR and in several key courses. If you need to refresh your memory in this area there are many good textbooks to choose from; one taking a relatively concrete approach to the topic is Linear Algebra: Concepts and Methods by Martin Anthony and Michele Harvey.

Are there any other MSc Mathematics programmes?

The Department also offers a MSc in Applicable Mathematics and MSc in Financial Mathematics.

Is it possible to do this programme part-time?

No, this course is only available to full-time students.

How much does the programme cost?

For up-to-date information on fees and financial matters, consult the School's Fees pages.

What funding is available?

A small number of awards are available from the School as part of the Graduate Support Scheme.

Full details of all scholarships and funding available from the School and from external bodies can be found on the Financial Support website.

What do people go on to do after their degree?

Graduates will be suited to careers in quantitative positions in consultancy, management, finance, government and business, anywhere in the world. Some specific destinations of  former students are: Accenture, Bank of China, British Airways, Deloitte, Experian, Huawei, L'Oreal, McKinsey & Co, Panasonic, Paypal, Pricewater House, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tiger Airways. Graduates have also been accepted for PhDs.