An Integrated PhD provides a route into research study if you do not have a Master’s degree, or have very little research training. It enables you to spend your first year completing a Masters-level qualification, followed by a full-time PhD studied over 3-4 years. We also offer a ‘standard’ PhD in this subject which can be studied either full-time (3-4 years) or part-time (6-7 years).
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.
The first year of our Integrated PhD Operational Research will appeal to you if your first degree included mathematics as its major subject, 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.
In your second year you move onto the PhD element of the course. You’ll have the opportunity to explore areas where optimisation and mathematical modelling are important. These include logistics, revenue management, networks and stochastic control, areas of great practical interest and use in the public and private sectors. Our projects often have an experimental aspect which is underpinned by forefront mathematical and computational research in these areas.
Our interdisciplinary research recognises that mathematics, including what can be very abstract mathematics, is an essential part of research in many other disciplines.
All University of Essex research students have access to our innovative and unique scheme, Proficio. Postgraduate research students are automatically enrolled on Proficio, which provides a variety of training courses, and a fund of up to £2,500 per student for conference attendance and relevant external training courses.
Our course 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, prepares you for further study at doctoral level. Graduates of this course now hold key positions in government, business and academia, and work for global companies such as Ocado Technology and Dunnhumby, as well as for HM Revenue & Customs, as data and business intelligence analysts.
Many of our former PhD students have gone on to work as academics in prominent institutions across the world, such as the University of Cambridge, University of Nottingham, and many other international universities. Some have also remained at the University of Essex, working as postdoctoral research fellows, research impact officers, or lecturers.
Other graduates have joined organisations like the Met Office, the Ministry of Defence, and companies based in the City of London. There is a high demand for those with a numerate background in all sectors of the economy, so our graduates are sought after in the UK and abroad.