MA423      Half Unit
Fundamentals of Operations Research

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ahmad Abdi


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Operations Research & Analytics. This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange and MPA in Data Science for Public Policy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students must know basics of Linear Algebra (matrix multiplication, geometric interpretation of vectors), Probability Theory (expected value, conditional probability, independence of random events) and Calculus (derivatives, limits).

Course content

An introduction to a range of Operations Research techniques, covering: foundations of linear programming, including the simplex method and duality; integer programming; markov chains; queueing theory; dynamic programming; deterministic and stochastic inventory models; game theory.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 35 hours across Autumn Term.

Formative coursework

Weekly exercises are set and marked in Autumn Term.

Indicative reading

The course has its own textbook which will be provided at the start of the term. The course will be taught from the textbook and also slides.

In addition to the textbook, students may also wish to consult:

  • F S Hillier & G J Lieberman, Introduction to Operations Research, 9th edition (2009) (7th edition of Hillier & Lieberman (2000) is also acceptable). 
  • Wayne Winston, Operational Research; Applications and Algorithms, Fourth/International Student Edition.


Exam (90%, duration: 3 hours) in the spring exam period.
Coursework (10%).

Weekly exercises are set and marked in Autumn Term, and count as coursework.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2022/23: 30

Average class size 2022/23: 15

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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