MSc Operations Research & Analytics

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Application code G2U1
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MSc Operations Research & Analytics provides you with the skills needed to apply mathematical methods to real-world analytics problems faced by companies, governments, and other institutions.

With study in practice and theory, you will gain deep insight into analytics problems. On the practical side, you will learn how to model a range of real-world problems using optimisation, simulation, and statistics, with specialist software taught with accompanying computer lab sessions. On the theoretical side, you will learn to recognise canonical underlying mathematical problems, and how to solve them with state-of-the-art methods.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a Project in Operations Research & Analytics, working in a consultancy role in a host organisation, where you will turn a real problem faced by the organisation into a mathematical model whose solution provides tangible benefit. Alternatively, you may choose to write a dissertation, supervised by a faculty member.

The programme is designed for students with strong quantitative backgrounds wishing to deepen and broaden their mathematical knowledge while gaining applicable skills in high demand in the marketplace.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Operations Research & Analytics
Start date 30 September 2024
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time only
Applications 2022 416
Intake 2022 29
Financial support Graduate support scheme and ESRC funding (when you apply as part of a 1+3 research programme) (see 'Fees and funding')
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline, normally including calculus, linear algebra and statistics. Appropriate work experience will also be considered
GRE/GMAT requirement Not mandatory but recommended (see GRE and GMAT for further information and exceptions)
English language requirements Standard (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Operations Research & Analytics

An upper second class honours (2:1) degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent). Students should normally have taken university courses including calculus, linear algebra, and statistics. Appropriate work experience will also be considered.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE.  See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however, to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2024/25 MSc Operations Research & Analytics

Home students: £29,472
Overseas students: £29,472

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. However any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a home or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an offer for a place and submitting a Graduate Financial Support application, before the funding deadline. Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 25 April 2024.

This programme is also eligible for  Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding when you apply as part of a 1+3 research programme. Selection for the ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.

Funding deadline for the ESRC funding: 15 January 2024.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. Find out more about financial support.

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page). 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

You will take three compulsory courses and will choose courses from a range of options within the Department and across other relevant departments, including Management and Statistics. 

(* denotes half unit) 

Fundamentals of Operations Research*
Introduces a range of Operations Research techniques including linear programming, the simplex method and duality, Markov chains, queueing theory and birth and death processes, inventory models and dynamic programming.

Modelling in Operations Research*
Provides hands-on training in the art of converting real-world problems to optimisation and simulation models, inputting the models into specialist software, solving the optimisation problem or exercising the simulation model, and deriving applicable conclusions about the original problem.

Data Analysis and Statistical Methods*
Studies common techniques of statistical inference, together with theoretical justification. The techniques are then applied to linear and logistic regression and basic time series models. Statistical software R constitutes an integral part of the course and provides hands-on experience of data analysis. 

Project in Operations Research & Analytics
A project in a host organisation taking a consultancy role.
Dissertation in Operations Research & Analytics
An independent research project of 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

Courses to the value of one and a half units from a range of options.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

You must note, however, that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Teaching will combine traditional lectures with seminars. Several of the courses, including two of the three compulsory ones, will involve training in a programming language or use of specialised computational tools. These parts of those courses will have accompanying computer lab sessions in which students will actively develop their programming skills by applying them to a range of problems in OR.

Most courses on the degree are quantitative, but one optional course may, depending on your choice, study OR-related methods or applications from a qualitative perspective.

During the summer, you are required to do either a project in Operations Research & Analytics or a Dissertation in Operations Research & Analytics. The project involves 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 mathematical model whose solution provides tangible benefit. You will be marked on a project report. The Dissertation requires study of an area of research, or an application of advanced techniques, and a report of findings. 

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, including half unit courses and full unit courses, to a total of 4 units. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 35 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, seminars or workshops. Hours vary from course to course and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, reading, thinking, solving problems, doing software exercise, and undertaking research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by members of faculty, such as assistant, associate, and full professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows, and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.


All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small, there are a range of people you can speak to who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service – they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – they are experts in long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme and arranging exam adjustments. They run groups and workshops. 

IT help – support is available 24 hours a day to assist with all your technology queries.  

LSE Faith Centre – this is home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre – the Centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in nine languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication; and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­– with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and is a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment’). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy – this is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice – this offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre – based in Pethwick-Lawrence House, the Centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advisers – we have a Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy) and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget

Student stories

To read all our Alumni Stories, see our webpage here.

Philipp Loick - MSc Operations Research & Analytics 2017-18

Philipp Loick

Having a background in finance and economics, I aimed for a Masters programme where I could develop mathematical and programming skills to solve industry problems in operations research and data science. Enrolling in the Operations Research and Analytics programme at LSE was the right choice for this goal.

The programme features a diverse student body with the majority of students having majored in mathematics with some engineering and finance students. Even though only a one-year programme, the programme achieved a good balance between theoretical foundations and industry applications and allowed us to study topics such as combinatorial optimization, advanced statistics or algorithmic techniques for data mining.

The high academic level and relevance of the programme is due to the academic staff, who have excellent academic credentials, partially have worked for renowned industry companies and are well connected in the academic community. Graduating from the programme, I had an offer from BCG Gamma, the advanced analytics team of BCG, which I rejected for a PhD in discrete mathematics.


Alexander Saftschuk - MSc Operations Research & Analytics 2017-18

Alexander Saftschuk

I came to the LSE with the main goal of improving my quantitative problem-solving skills, and subsequently landing a job in investment banking. The School and societies provided extremely good network opportunities, which really helped to land the job that I aimed at. After only two months at the LSE I landed a job offer with one of the top global investment banks. However, upon finishing the Operations Research & Analytics programme I quickly realised that I would rather pursue a career in data science, and once again the university's reputation opened doors for me last minute. Currently I work as a Data Analyst in the Telenor Digital data science team in Norway. There I code various machine learning algorithms in R, all of which I have all learned during this degree. 

Overall I can say that coming from a non-quantitative, business background I have learned more in this one-year Masters than I did in my entire three years of my bachelor degree. The programme was challenging but manageable. In particular, I highly appreciated how much face time I received from all of my professors, as well as the professor who supervised my thesis. The decision to come to the LSE and studying Operations Research & Analytics was one of the best I have made so far and I can highly recommend LSE and the degree. 


Kate Lavrinenko - MSc Operations Research & Analytics 2017-18

Studying this Masters was my third MSc, after studying Applied Mathematics and Economics, four years of experience in Economics and Finance, moving country, two kids, and four years at home with them. It was a challenging experience to find myself among young, inspired and able students from around the world. It also took some time to get used to the pace of study, and to network with people and share skills and knowledge. I needed some psychological help at the start of the journey and I had an opportunity to get it at LSE, which makes me feel grateful. 

I liked that the programme was flexible in what courses you could choose in order to make it fit your personal interests and academic goals. I encourage students to research and think hard about their course choices before starting the programme. Also, it is useful to have an understanding of which direction you wish to head in (e.g. academic or business) so you can utilise LSE’s resources properly. 

I found the careers events to be very valuable in my experience here. For example, I met a member of the Data Science team from Deloitte and after many rounds and following my MA425 Project there in the summer, I found myself with a full time job after finishing the course.

I enjoyed my journey, my job, and my experience with LSE. Whenever I get a new research heavy task, I start dreaming whether I could eventually turn it into a PhD, so my journey is not over.

Preliminary reading

You are not  required to do any preliminary reading in advance of this programme, but if you wish to read some material before arriving, 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. Once you learn any language it is easy to learn others, and programming will be useful in your career. 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 several key courses and in the field of OR generally. It is expected that you are comfortable with the basic notions (linear independence, rank, determinants, solutions of systems of equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors). These will not be reviewed in the course; you can review this material independently. There are many good textbooks to choose from; a suitable one is Linear Algebra by Martin Anthony and Michele Harvey. 


Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Mathematics

Median salary of our PG students 15 months after graduating: £39,500

  • Financial and Professional Services              
  • Information, Digital Technology and Data            
  • Accounting and Auditing              
  • Real Estate, Environment and Energy 
  • Advertising, Marketing, PR, Media, Entertainment, Publishing and Journalism

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

The data was collected as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is administered by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Graduates from 2020-21 were the fourth group to be asked to respond to Graduate Outcomes. Median salaries are calculated for respondents who are paid in UK pounds sterling and who were working in full-time employment.

This programme is ideal preparation for a range of careers in quantitative positions in consultancy, management, finance, government and business, anywhere in the world.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

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