Why I’m doing an MSc…

… by Lydia / from Birmingham / MSc Operational Research / PG

Hey everyone! My name’s Lydia and I am one of your new postgraduate blog writers. My friend Jack will also be writing posts where we are going to discuss postgraduate study and everything that comes with it. Below is a lovely picture of the two of us celebrating having a little break during Innovative Learning Week…

So first of all… Why am I doing an MSc? Am I crazy? Probably.

We’re halfway through our MSc’s now (Operational Research) and although it has been tough, all I can tell you is that it is SO worthwhile. I decided very last minute that I wanted to carry on with postgraduate study. I was just about to finish my undergrad degree in Maths, OR and Statistics at Cardiff University, and after experiencing the world of work (a.k.a. big scary adult life) during my placement year, I decided I was not ready for that yet. I heard about the University of Edinburgh (UoE) from undergraduate lecturers and decided to apply.

One of the main reasons I wanted to be a student at UoE was the high ranking of the university and how good it now looks on my CV. In my most recent interview the very first question was asking why I chose to come here, so employers are very interested. I also wanted to study Maths on a more practical level. As much as I enjoyed my BSc, I was left pretty clueless as to how I could actually use OR in real life.


Long story short I was awarded a place here to study MSc Operational Research and I gladly accepted. As excited as I was to move to a new city, I was hella nervous to be moving by myself to live in not only a city, but also a country I’d never been to before. On day 1, I got on a train in Birmingham with my life in a couple of suitcases, and got off at Haymarket with absolutely no idea where my halls were! I also really underestimated the Scottish accent and how little I could understand – thank god that’s changed over the past few months!

Welcome week was such a lovely introduction into the course. I had been used to an entirely UK dominated course at undergraduate level and it was so nice to be able to meet people from all over the world. Here’s the presentation we got on the first day that shows the massive mix of nationalities that are studying here at UoE:


6 months in and I already feel like I have learnt so much. I have studied numerous programming languages, as well as more practical modules such as ‘Methodology, Modelling and Consulting Skills’ and learnt more than I ever thought possible in such a short space of time. Sleep kind of went out of the window in September, but I guess that’s more my nocturnal sleeping habits than anything else. It’s all worthwhile when you realise how much more interested employers are when you have that extra qualification under your belt.

I’ve got to say the best part of the course so far though has been all the friends I’ve made (especially those from countries I had never heard of before September *shout out to Ivona from Macedonia*).



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