About the course
Businesses, organisations, and individuals all strive to work as effectively as possible. Operational research uses advanced statistical and analytical methods to help improve the complex decision-making processes to deliver a product or service. Working in this field, you might be identifying future needs for a business, evaluating the time-life value of a customer, or carrying out computer simulations for airlines.
Postgraduate Diplomas last for six to nine months (full-time) and include the modules and assessed work of a Masters, without a dissertation. This allows you to proceed to a Masters in mathematics if your undergraduate degree was in a different subject.
Our Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics and Operational Research is aimed at those with a first degree in which the major subject was mathematics, and we expect you to have prior knowledge of statistics – for example significance testing or basic statistical distributions – and operational research such as linear programming.
You specialise in areas including:
- Continuous and discrete optimisation
- Time series econometrics
- Heuristic computation
- Experimental design
- Machine learning
- Linear models
Our interdisciplinary research recognises that mathematics, including what can be very abstract mathematics, is an essential part of research in many other disciplines.
Our Department of Mathematical Sciences has an international reputation in many areas including semi-group theory, optimisation, probability, applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology.
Our expert staff
Our Department of Mathematical Sciences is a small but influential department, so our students and staff know each other personally. You never need an appointment to see your tutors and supervisors, just knock on our office doors – we are one of the few places to have an open-door policy, and no issue is too big or small.
Our staff have published several well-regarded text books and are world leaders in their individual specialisms, with their papers appearing in learned journals like Communications in Algebra, Studia Logica, International Journal of Algebra and Computation, SIAM Journal in Optimization, IEEE Evolutionary Computation, Computers and Operations Research, Ecology, Journal of Mathematical Biology, and Journal of Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology.
- Unique to Essex is our renowned Maths Support Centre, which offers help to students, staff and local businesses on a range of mathematical problems. Throughout term-time, we can chat through mathematical problems either on a one-to-one or small group basis
- We have our own computer labs for the exclusive use of students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences – in addition to your core maths modules, you gain computing knowledge of software including Matlab and Maple
- We host regular events and seminars throughout the year
- Our students run a lively Mathematics Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students
Our Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics and Operational Research will equip you with employability skills like problem solving, analytical reasoning, data analysis, and mathematical modelling, as well as training you in independent work, presentation and writing skills.
Your exposure to current active research areas, such as decomposition algorithms on our module, Combinatorial Optimisation, prepares you for further study at doctoral level. Graduates of this course now hold key positions in government, business and academia.
We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MSc by Dissertation. We have an international reputation in many areas such as semi-group theory, optimisation, probability, applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology, and our staff are strongly committed to research and to the promotion of graduate activities.
We additionally work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
UK entry requirements
A degree with an overall high 2:2.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.