What’s it like to do a PhD in Operational Research?
A PhD in Operational Research will require you to put to use scientific methods and study complex organisational problems and use your existing knowledge of mathematical models to help in decision-making.
Most Operational Research PhD topics have a large mathematical component. Some of the most popular topics in Operational Research are:
- Mathematical optimisation
- Queuing systems
- Healthcare modelling
- Environmental modelling
- Data analytics
- Finance and risk
By the end of your PhD, you’ll have produced an in-depth thesis that makes a unique and significant contribution to your field of study. You will have to submit a final thesis of about 80,000 words to be defended in a oral viva examination to complete your PhD.
Operational Research doctoral programmes are sometimes offered with a research objective attached. However, some universities might also ask you to propose your own research idea as part of your application.
In the UK, most Operational Research PhD students first register to an MPhil. You can upgrade to a PhD, after a review at the end of your first year, if your supervisor feels your work meets certain standards.