There a number of degrees offered by Strathclyde University which enable you to study Management Science.
One of the hallmarks of the Business School is the flexibility you have when choosing your degree subjects.
Modeling business problems to help managers make better decisions.
Management Science (also widely known as Operational Research) is concerned with business decision-making. It is not just a fancy name for "management": the "science" part means that it is based on a systematic approach to analysis that includes:
- exploring new ways to tackle problems faced by managers
- aiding clarification of objectives and priorities
- defining alternative strategies
- investigating costs and benefits
The analysis may be qualitative, quantitative or a combination of the two and is typically implemented using computer software packages. The ability to think creatively and communicate well is vital, since effective management scientists are in close contact with their clients. Management Science will appeal particularly to those who enjoy the challenge of tackling real-life problems.
Pictured above, some of our Honours 2012 Graduates in Management Science and Business Technology.
Who uses Management Science?
Many different organisations use the principles and practices of Management Science. Major users of management science include:
- banks and finance houses
- the National Health Service
- those running transport systems, e.g. Railways, Airports, Airlines
- basic industries such as Coal, Steel, Oil and Chemicals
- the major engineering and manufacturing industries
- government departments, such as the Home Office, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and the Ministry of Defence
- larger local authorities
- management consultancy companies
In fact, Management Science (under various names) is found almost wherever major decisions, with large resource implications, are made. It also has an increasing role in smaller-scale decisions, for example in helping "community" groups such as residents' associations.
What questions does Management Science address?
A very wide variety! We can give some idea of the range by looking at just one of the areas given above - that of helping plan and run Britain's airport system. Some of the issues analysed are relatively "everyday" - but still important! For example:
- How many baggage trolleys need to be provided, and where?
- Can excessive queues at check-in be reduced?
- When is it worth opening more passport control desks?
Others involve longer-term decisions.
- How much should firms have to pay to set up shop in the airport?
- Should one airline's facilities be moved to another terminal?
- Can the numbers of aircraft taking off and landing safely be increased?
- At a more strategic level still, what will the demand for air transport be in ten or twenty years' time?
- Should we consider building a new airport, and if so where?
- Is there a case for closing any existing airport?
To all these questions, some answer has to be given, usually in the absence of all the information we would like. And the cost of getting it wrong can be very great, in terms of wasted time and effort, public discontent, money, or even lives lost. Management Scientists lead a varied life, tackling many different problems and having to work effectively with people at many levels. It is no good coming up with ideas that would only work in a perfect world: the challenge is to achieve genuine change for the better in the real world of limited resources, unpredictable hiccups and crises, and inevitable organisational politics.
Operational Research Society
The UK Operational Research Society has further information about Management Science (Operational Research).
Pictured below, Dr Jason Whalley (left), presenting Emma Pyper (BA Hons IBML) with the Peter Monk Prize 2012 for the best undergraduate project