Master of Science Honours in Operations Research and Statistics

Master of Science Honours in Operations Research and Statistics

Offered in Block Release
  • 2 YearsCourse Duration
  • PostgraduateSkill level
  • $8553.00


To develop knowledge skills and competences in the field of Operations Research and Statistics which are relevant to various career paths. To provide a foundation for further studies and research in Operations Research and Statistics.

Entry Requirements

Candidates with an Honours Degree in Applied Mathematics/Mathematics, Applied Statistics/Statistics, Operations Research, Computer Science with at least a 2.2 degree class.

Candidates with at least a 2.1 Honours Degree class in a programme with significant* Mathematics content.

Candidates with at least a 2.2 Honours Degree class in a programme with significant* Mathematics content and should also have at least one year’s relevant work experience will be accepted.
Areas of Study
Operations Management, Industrial Statistics, Stochastic Modelling, Simulation Modelling, Information Systems for Management, Operations Research Techniques for Management, Financial Modelling and Forecasting, Quantitative Analysis 

Specialist Focus
Application of necessary tools and conceptual foundations in quantitative reasoning to extract information intelligently from a large pool of data (data mining) and the use robust statistical analysis and mathematical modeling to solve an array of business and organizational problems, as well as improve decision-making. 

Real problems solving, research and survey activities, teaching and learning oriented programme. 

Distinctive Features
Provide basic techniques in theory of Operations Research and Statistics and their applications to real-world problems by enhancing analytical skills to attack complex, large-scale optimization problems of both a deterministic and stochastic nature to make better decisions that impact society and the world positively.

Teaching and Learning Methods 
Lectures, tutorials and seminars, computer practical classes, group enquiry and/or problem based study, individual learning, research and research projects, oral tests 

Assessment Methods
Written and oral examinations, tests, seminar presentations, miniresearch report, final year dissertation report, continuous assessments

Fulltime The programme will be offered on a full time basis for 18 months or Block Release basis for 24 months (4 semesters) or on part-time basis for at least 24 months.

Block Release Programme
The programme is offered on block release basis for 2 years (4 blocks). It consists of two parts. Part I consists of 6 taught Modules for 2 semesters (2 blocks). Part II consists of 4 taught Modules (3 Modules in block 3) and 1 Module in Block 4 and a dissertation is also done in block 4.

Part-Time Programme
Students on Part-time shall normally take a maximum of 3 taught Modules per semester over a period of 2 years (4 blocks). The student will do one Module and a dissertation in the second semester of Part II. The dissertation may commence after the end of second semester (Part I). The dissertation report will normally be submitted to the department one month before the end of the Part II of the degree program.

Students who pass, or are credited with, all ten taught Modules, but do not successfully complete the dissertation; will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Operations Research and Statistics. Students who fail the MSc. degree but who pass, or are credited with, at least eight taught Modules and the dissertation, will be eligible to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Operations Research and Statistics.

Teaching and Learning Methods 
Lectures, tutorials and seminars, computer practical classes, group enquiry and/or problem based study, individual learning, research and research projects, oral tests

Assessment Methods
Written and oral examinations, tests, seminar presentations, miniresearch report, final year dissertation report, continuous assessments

The weighting of the components of the diploma for those students who pass all ten Modules but not the project, will be
Average of all 10 taught Modules 100%
The weighting of the components of the diploma for those students who pass the project and at least eight taught Modules 
Average of Eight Taught Modules 70%
Dissertation 30%

Each Module will be assessed at the end of the semester. The final grade in the Module will be based on the marks obtained in the final examination mark and on Module-work. The proportion of the final assessment from Module-work will range from 25% to 100% depending upon the Module. The final grade will be awarded by a panel drawn from members of staff and the external examiner appointed by the department. The grade allocation will be according to the usual university grades, that is; distinction, merit, pass and fail.
SORS 5101 Operations Management
The module looks at the operations strategic objectives; Operations strategy; Design; Planning and control; Improvement; Deterministic and stochastic inventory models Inventory control; Supply chain management; Facility location; Project management; Total quality management and Just-In-Time (JIT.

SORS 5102 Stochastic Modelling
The module covers elements of stochastic processes; Discrete and Continuous time Markov Chains; Markov processes; Birth and Death processes; Stationary processes; Brownian motion and renewal processes.

SORS 5103 Industrial Statistics
The module explores principles of experimental design; Completely randomised designs; Randomised block designs; Balanced incomplete block designs; Latin square and crossover designs; Factorial designs; Fractional factorial designs; Response surface methodology; Nested designs; Split-plot designs; Repeated measures designs; Analysis of covariance; Quality control and Reliability.

SORS 5201 Operations Research Techniques For Management
The module highlights advanced linear programming; Non-linear programming algorithms; Classical optimisation theory: unconstrained and constrained problems; Dynamic programming; Global optimisation techniques and tabu search. Emphasis will be on solving practical problems using tabu search.

SORS 5202 Simulation Modelling
The module examines discrete event simulation; Systems dynamics; Simulation software Sampling methods; Model testing and validation.

SORS 5203 Information Systems For Management And Business
The module outlines management information and information systems; Information and techniques for providing information: database; Fast cycle systems; Fast cycle data entry; Networks and electronic data interchange; Communication networks-standards, applications and techniques; Expert systems; Determination and implementation of an information strategy: determining strategy, information technology tactics; Internal control and security; Information for business management; Processing by computers; Design of a database; Administration of a database; Data preparation, coding and validation; Design implementation, testing conversion and evaluation; Office automation; Executive and decision support systems.

SORS 5204 Spreadsheet Modelling And Visual Basic Programming
The module looks at spreadsheet Modelling: Spreadsheet as a tool to support the development of quantitative models; Development of spreadsheet models to support: linear and integer programming, allocation of scarce problems, queuing theory and simulation; Programming simple macros within Excel; Use of management science packages: TORA and MSCI; Visual Basic Programming: Appreciation of the principles behind the structuring and execution of computer programs; Write simple Visual Basic programs; Creating a windows user interface; Planning the design of an application and processing user input.

SORS 6101 Applications Of Quantitative Analysis
The module looks at Case studies; Presentation skills; Report writing skills; Problem structuring methods: Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA) and Strategic Choice (SC).

SORS 6102 Forecasting
The module emphasizes multiple regression modelling; Binary choice models, multiple discrete choice models and limited dependent models; Time series analysis: ARIMA, ARMA and VARMA models.

SORS 6103 Financial Modelling
The module examines arbitrages and equivalent Martingale measures; The one period model; Multi period models; The continous model; Hedging and completeness; Self financing portfolios; Attainability of a claim; Complete markets; Ito representation theorem; Girsanov’s first theorem; Option pricing; European options; American options; The Black Scholes option pricing formula; Optimal portfolio and stochastic control; Stochastic control theory; The Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation; Girsanov’s second theorem and the Levy characterization.

SORS 6104 Advanced Optimisation Theory And Applications For Management
The module covers Classical Optimisation Theory: unconstrained and constrained optimization, necessary and sufficient conditions, equality and inequality constraints, Hessian, Lagrange and Jacobian methods; Algorithmic methods to include: steepest descent and ascent, Newton’s method, conditional gradient and subgradient optimization, interiorpoint methods, penalty and barrier methods; Global optimization: neighbourhood search techniques, metaheuristics, simulated annealing and tabu search and applications to business management.
SORS 6201 Business Management And Consulting Skills
The module explores Business Management: The Business world and the community, Needs and need satisfaction, Business practice and social responsibility, Establishment of a business organization, Drawing up of a business plan, Importance of a business plan, Importance of the environment, General management: importance of management, levels of management; Functional management of organizations; Consulting Skills: Skills required in practical consulting, covering elements such as: What is Operations Research from the point of view of the clients? Problem structuring- immediate feedback to client-importance of eliciting values; who is the client? The consultant’s role in context-sponsor, client, partner, significant actors, politics of OR; Interviewing skills; Proposal preparation, covering costing and making proposals.

SORS 6202 Network Optimisation
The module is an introduction to network models, computational complexity and data structures, Graph search algorithms, Transformations and flow decomposition, Shortest paths: label setting algorithm, the radix heap algorithm, label connecting algorithm; Basic algorithms for the maximum flow problem, Combinatorial applications for maximum flows, Preflow push algorithms, the global min cut algorithm; Minimum cost flows: Basic algorithms, the successive shortest path algorithm, the network simplex algorithm, minimum cost spanning trees, generalized flows and multi-commodity flows.

SORS 6203 Supply Chain Management
The module covers supply chains, Enterprise resource planning, Inventory management, Picking, dispatching, assignment, delivery; Capacity management; Data analysis and business Statistics; Information and data management.

SORS 6204 Scheduling
The module looks at the sequence of scheduling activities; Aggregate planning; Master scheduling; Scheduling services; Maintenance; Material requirements planning and applications to business management.

SORS 6010 Dissertation
Research Projects may be carried out on an individual basis. The research project normally involves work with some outside organization. The research projects test students’ ability to organise, complete and report on a significant piece of Operations Research and Statistics.

Academia, Transport and logistics, Financial services, Biometricians, Data, Mining, research and Development, Treasury, Monitoring and evaluation, Mining and manufacturing, Health Information management, Bio-informatics, hydrology and Climatology

Further Studies

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Mr Walter Magagula

Mr Walter Magagula

Senior Assistant Registrar