MSc Operational Research and Performance Management

This programme develops an understanding of fundamental managerial disciplines and discovers the potential offered by information technology. 

Why choose this course?

  • Learn some of the most widely used mathematical and statistical methods in managerial decision-making
  • Develop an understanding of fundamental managerial disciplines and discover the potential offered by information technology
  • Excellent employment opportunities, Aston Business School is ranked in the top 10 in world for careers (FT Masters in Management 2013)

Operational Management

Especially suitable for those wishing to combine the use of quantitative skills and information technology with modern management methods for effective intervention in business decision making and performance in organisations.

You will learn some of the most widely used mathematical and statistical methods in managerial decision making while also becoming familiar with fundamental managerial disciplines and with the potential offered by information technology.

Core Modules:

Optional Modules (Choose one):

Students may select modules from a portfolio of non-prescribed Optional Modules.

In addition to your Aston degree, you will have the opportunity to participate in our international study exchange programme. Studying with one of our partner institutions, the programme will enhance your international experience and communication skills, preparing you for a career in the international business environment.

Entry Requirements:

Candidates must have strong quantitative skills. Plus one of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree

  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International Students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date

  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.

Duration of programme: Full-time - 12 months 
Start date: September

UK/EU:          £ 9,250 (2014 fee)
International:  £13,500 (2013 fee) 

If you are among ‘the brightest and the best’, we have a range of generous scholarships which can open the way for you to study with us. Find out  more >>
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The 10 taught modules are assessed through a mixture of examinations and coursework.  The taught element of the programme is complemented by a substantial piece of research leading to the completion of a dissertation.

Course Director: 
Dr Ozren Despic 
BSc, MSc, PhD 
Ozren Despic is Lecturer in Management Science at Aston Business School. His primary research interest is in the area of mathematical modelling and decision making. Ozren has a great amount of international experience, having lived, studied and worked in many different countries over the past 20 years. He is a devoted teacher and he brings his consulting work in optimising various business processes directly to the classroom.

Teaching staff:

Professor Emmanuel Thanassoulis 

BSc, MSc, PhD 
Emmanuel Thanassoulis is Professor of Management Sciences at Aston Business School. He has published over 70 refereed and working papers in the theory and application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), including its use in banking, school and retail outlet assessments. He has acted as consultant to a number of organisations on the use of DEA including HM Treasury, the Department for Education and Skills and the Home Office.

Dr Prasanta Kumar Dey 

Prasanta Dey joined Aston in December 2004 as a senior lecturer in operations management. Prior to joining Aston, Prasanta worked 13 years with Indian Oil Corporation limited, India, as a project executive and 5 years with the University of the West Indies, Barbados. Current research interests include total quality management, supply chain management, environmental management, risk management, construction supply management, project planning, implementation and evaluation, and multiple criteria decision making in industry.

Dr Ali Emrouznejad 
Ali Emrouznejad has been working in various areas of Operations Research and Statistics generally and Data Envelopment Analysis since 1993. His areas of research interest include performance measurement and management, efficiency and productivity analysis, and data mining. Ali is very active in his research community. He has organised many international conferences on performance management, maintains one of the most prominent web-sites in his area of research, and is a very active member of the Operational Research Society. 

Typical job roles entered by graduates from these MSc programmes include operational researcher, project manager, business analyst, risk analyst and data analyst, with entry in some cases through graduate training programmes.

All graduate employers recruiting to business roles put a high premium on the numerical, problem-solving and analytical skills developed through these MSc programmes.

Key sectors recruiting postgraduates with an OR background include finance, management consultancy, energy, transport/logistics, marketing/market research, manufacturing, defence, government service and health.

Examples of jobs taken up by our recent graduates include:

  • Financial Consultant - Eurobank

  • Consultant - Oxera Consulting
  • Operations Analyst - Vodaphone
  • Analyst - Sainsburys (UK)
  • Demand Forecasting Analyst - N Power
  • Accountant - Proulebsi
  • Marketer - Wave Marketing
  • Sales Executive - CPP
  • Civil Servant - OFWAT (UK).

Aston Business School has a network of ‘Career Champions’ - MSc alumni who are working in a range of sectors globally or running their own business. To find out more about Career Champions click here.

Students will acquire skills in the following areas: giving presentations; team working; report writing; negotiation and IT skills.

Modules taught on this MSc will enable you to develop a wide range of technical and transferable skills demanded by graduate employers.  These include:

  • Project management techniques include Critical Path Method (CPM), GANTT charts and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
  • Assessing organisational efficiency and performance using specialist tools including parametric/Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and non-parametric/econometric methods
  • Analytical problem-solving developed through problem structuring methods using specialist techniques including Journey Making, Causal/Cognitive Mapping and Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)
  • Statistical and econometric analyses using regression and parametric/non-parametric hypothesis testing
  • Report-writing, data presentation skills and group facilitation techniques
  • Multi-cultural teamwork and presentation skills developed through group-work
  • Analytical skills developed through research dissertation
  • Multi-cultural teamwork and presentation skills developed through syndicate group work.
Contact details: 

Aston Business School Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3200
Email: abspgenquiry@aston.ac.uk  

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