Dissertation in Operations Research & Analytics

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Gregory Sorkin


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 Operations Research and Analytics. The dissertation may be theoretical or empirical. Students must obtain the approval of an 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.

Assessment is based entirely on the dissertation itself, due on or about 31st August.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 6

Average class size 2020/21: 7

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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