An Introduction to Operational Research…

… by Jack / from Grangemouth / MSc Operational Research / PG

Hi guys, I’m Jack and like Lydia, I’m also studying the MSc in Operational Research at Edinburgh. I’m 22 (one of the youngest in the class…) and I came here straight after finishing my BSc in Mathematical, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences at Heriot-Watt University.

So, why am I here? In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do after finishing my undergraduate degree and so I applied for this MSc as I had heard about it from a previous lecturer. It really provides a good overview of the whole subject area and lets you find out what courses you really enjoy! It has been stressful and full on, but that’s what you’d expect from a course that’s well respected by employers.

The first semester has courses which are pretty much mandatory, with a few optional programming courses, but come semester two there are a lot of options to specialise in different areas. I’ve taken a lot of statistical courses whereas Lydia has taken a lot more pure OR (Operational Research) courses. There’s even the option to add a specialism to your degree title!

Aside from the studying aspect though, there are many more great things about the course. Being such a small class – there’s only around 50 of us – means we all know each other and you’re never far from friends when on campus. There’s usually something on at the weekends and it’s always good to see each other outside of uni too.

Right now, we are nearing the end of semester 2 and both Lydia and I are working hard to meet our deadlines (see pic of us having a late night study session!!). The good thing about the degree is that there is a good mix of courses which have exams and those which are heavily coursework based, so being a little stressed out now really pays off when the final exams come round!

We look pretty happy to be here, but that’s mostly because of the snow we had a few weeks ago, where we both spent the majority of a week snowed in! However, after almost 2 weeks off, it’s good to be back and in the swing of things again.

Next time I’m writing one of these I’ll likely be in the middle of exams and you’ll get the lowdown on how I handle it all! Hope to see you then!

Jack