Dissertation in Operations Research & Analytics

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Laszlo Vegh


This course is available on the MSc in Operations Research & Analytics. This course is not available as an outside option.

Cannot be taken with MA425 Project in Operations Research & Analytics.

Course content

The aim of the dissertation is for students to pursue an independent piece of research within the field of management science. The dissertation is a quantitative or qualitative investigation in the field. It may be either a theoretical or empirical piece of research. Students must obtain the approval of their advisor before embarking on any research.


There will be a minimum of 12 hours of lectures and seminars delivered across Michaelmas and Lent terms. Most of the teaching will be shared with MA498. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual classes and lectures delivered as online videos. The ratio of lecture time and seminar time varies each week. Seminars do not include personal supervision time, which is scheduled independently with the supervisors.

An initial seminar will include presentations by members of the Operations Research Group in the Department of Mathematics on proposed topics for dissertations that they would be interested in supervising. Additional seminars will cover important aspects of writing a dissertation in mathematics, including: what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, the use of libraries for research, electronic research, general aspects of writing mathematics, and preparing a manuscript using mathematical text processing software (in particular, LaTeX). Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will monitor their progress and provide appropriate guidance thorough the LT, ST, and over the summer.


Formative coursework

Students are required to submit Dissertation Plans to their supervisor in LT and ST.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) post-summer term.

Two paper copies of the dissertation must be submitted on a specified date in late August/early September. An electronic version of the dissertation must also be submitted. 

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2019/20: 4

Average class size 2019/20: 4

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills