MSc Business Analytics: Operational Research and Risk Analysis / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Mathematical Programming and Optimisation

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN60101
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course covers the main mathematical programming and optimisation methods, including: linear, non-linear, integer and dynamic programming. The course also provides an introduction to meta-heuristics. Emphasis is placed on solving managerial optimisation problems by using appropriate software tools.



BMAN60101 Programme Req: BMAN60101 is only available as a core unit to students on MSc Business Analytics and as an elective to students on MSc Data Science (Business & Management pathway)


The main aim of this course is to familiarise students with the theory and applications of mathematical programming and optimisation methods. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the basic mathematical principles and the main technical and computational skills, required for application of various optimization methods in management and business-related areas.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the unit students should be able to understand the main optimization approaches and their applications for solving managerial decision problems. Students should be able to critically analyse and model appropriate decision problems and solve them analytically, or by using optimization software. They will learn to present solutions and arguments in textual and oral forms, both individually and in groups.


Teaching and learning methods

Formal Contact Methods

Minimum Contact hours: 20 

Delivery format: Lecture and Workshops 

Assessment methods

70% Exam 

30% Coursework 

Feedback methods

• Informal advice and discussion during lectures and office hours.
• Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed work.
• Responses to student frequently asked questions via Blackboard or emails.
• Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Recommended reading

The CORE text is:

HILLIER, F and LIEBERMAN, G (2004 or any later edition), Introduction to Operations Research with CD-Rom, McGra Hill

Taha, H.A. Operations Research, An Introduction (1997, 5th Edition or later), Macmillan

Hastings, N.A.J (1988) Dynamic Programming with Management Applications, The Butterworth Group, England

The most important chapter of the book can be accessed from this link: (It will ask you to login first; after login, you may see an error message, but if you come here to click on this link again, it should work

TALBI, El-Ghazali (2009), Metaheuristics: from design to implementation (e-book available through the library)

Other readings:

Smith, D.K (1991) Dynamic Programming, A Practical Introduction, Ellis Horwood

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 3
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Dong Xu Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Method

Office hours

Peer Assisted Study Sessions

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