MRes Course Structure and Schedule

Here you can find details of the course structure for the MRes programme including a schedule for the taught course component and term times for the academic year.

Taught Course Dates

The MRes course is full-time and runs for one year from October to September. Students must be in attendance for the taught courses which run throughout the year, for periods of examination in the summer term and also for the introduction week prior to the course starting in October. Specifically, students must be in attendance at the following times:

  • Introduction week: It is vital that all students attend the Introduction week in order to register on the course and take part in important University and STOR-i events. In 2012, Intro week runs from 29th September to 5th October with registration on 3rd October and the off-campus induction event on 4th and 5th October.
  • Term 1 (Michaelmas term): Taught courses will run for ten weeks from the beginning of the official academic term; 8th October 2012 to 14th December 2012. 
  • Term 2 (Lent Term): Taught courses will run for twelve weeks from the 7th January 2013 to the 29th March 2013. Note this term starts a week earlier than the standard undergraduate term and we call this week 0 with the other weeks called weeks 1-11.
  • Term 3 (Summer Term): Revision sessions will run from TBC for courses taught in previous terms and examinations will take place thereafter with examinations expected to be complete by mid-June 2013. 

Click here for timetables for the current year.

Absence and holidays

If you are not able to attend any timetabled session please email the STOR-i Administrator explaining your absence.

Outside term times and holidays/University closure periods students are expected to be in attendance throughout the year. Students are allowed 4 weeks holiday (which includes any period of University shutdown) throughout the academic year. In special cases additional absences may be approved.

It is generally advised that students organise extended holidays after summer examinations in Term 3, or after they submit their research project plan. However, lengthy holiday absence, or any absence that impacts with a STOR-i event, is not considered conducive to the STOR-i programme and will only be approved under exceptional circumstances.  Formally, any holiday dates must be agreed well in advance by the STOR-i Director, but if holiday is taken in the periods suggested above, they will be approved. Please contact the STOR-i Administrator with any requests for planned absence.

Taught Course Components

The taught course component consists of:

  • Core modules: A set of seven compulsory modules providing a firm grounding in important subjects related to Statistics and Operational Research.
  • Optional modules: A set of modules offering a diverse range of choice from Statistics and Operational Research allowing you to specialise in subjects that particularly interest you. One module is chosen from six available modules.

Core modules:

All students study the core modules:

Module No.

Module Title

Terms:Weeks scheduled


Training for Research and Industry

T1:1-10, T2: 0, T2:1-11


Probability and Stochastic Processes






Likelihood Inference



Computer Simulation



Bayesian Inference



Computational Intensive Methods


Optional Modules: 

In addition to the core modules students are required to select ten credits (corresponding to one module) from the optional modules below:

From Statistics: The optional statistics modules are intensive courses each run over one week in Term 2.  

Module No.

Module Title

Terms:Weeks Scheduled


Extreme Value Theory

T2: 1


Longitudinal Data Analysis

T2: 5


Survival and Event History Analysis

T2: 7

From Operational Research:

Module No.

Module Title

Terms:Weeks Scheduled



T2: 2-8


Data Mining for Marketing, Sales and Finance

T2: 1-10



T2: 4-10

Learning Methods

The scheme of study offers methods of teaching and learning that provide opportunities for students to develop independence of thought and critical judgement. Generally as the scheme progresses, teaching and learning moves from methods and approaches which include more formal staff input and directed learning, towards increasingly independent and self directed learning (culminating in the PhD process).

All teaching and learning methods are designed in relation to programme and individual module aims, in order to provide opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement of appropriate learning outcomes.

Note that there is a strong emphasis throughout on problem-based learning involving real world problems with real end-user stakeholders and this effectively drives the rest of the programme.

Student learning comes through a wide range of approaches:

  • Individual and Group Project-based learning – provides opportunities for students to take control and manage their own learning and to demonstrate skills and competencies in areas such as research, problem-solving, and reporting.
  • Lectures – enable dissemination of a specific body of knowledge to students. Ideas and issues generated by lectures will be elaborated through class discussions, workshops, weekly coursework, project learning, group critiques, essays and reports. Guest lectures will be employed as and when appropriate including a range of industrial lectures offered by our industrial partners.
  • Group critiques involving peers and tutors – provide opportunities for the development of intellectual skills in constructing, communicating and supporting arguments within a constructive learning environment.
  • External and interdisciplinary projects – can offer opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of, and practical skills in, professional working practices and methodologies.
  • Seminars – provide a forum for the discussion, debate and a conversation about a range of topics, ideas and contemporary issues. They provide opportunities for the presentation and discussion of inquiry-based class projects, and offer opportunities for the interchange of opinions, views, knowledge and experiences.
  • Formal presentations – reflect professional practice and provide opportunities for the development of transferable communication skills together with intellectual skills, such as critical analysis, prioritising information and arguments, and evaluation.
  • Project reports – provide opportunities for students to demonstrate competencies in research techniques, critical evaluation, design skills and transferable skills.
  • Extended projects and dissertations – provide opportunities for students to demonstrate effective self-managed learning and a broad range of competencies from technical skills and research/enquiry through to independence of thought, critical analysis, creative thinking, design skills, presentation and visualisation abilities and written communication.

Selection of PhD Topic

A key element of the MRes programme is the preparation of students to make informed decisions about the selection of their PhD topic. In addition to the exposure of a wide range of research topics the students are taken through a closely guided process towards project selection.

Similarly a key role of STOR-i’s Executive Committee is to oversee the selection of suitable PhD projects for STOR-i students. They identify industrially-led projects with partners and find appropriate STOR staff members for the formation of teams for project development and subsequent supervision in collaboration with industry. Additionally, ideas from academic staff for methodologically-led projects are circulated to all STOR staff and to our industrial partners in advance of two Ideas Factories, to be held in the first term. These events will aim to form inter-disciplinary supervisory teams and will explore industrial involvement in these projects. Cross-disciplinary work is intrinsic to the operation of STOR-i and all students will be supervised by a team representing at least two of the centre’s three constituencies (statistics, OR and industry).

Towards the end of Term 2 a range of potential projects will be presented to the students in written form and via a series of talks at a Project Market, which will lead on to in-depth discussions between students and supervisors at the start of the third term. Students are encouraged to organise the allocation of projects amongst themselves with oversight from the Executive Committee.

Having selected a PhD topic the three month PhD Research Proposal project, undertaken between mid-June and early September gives an opportunity to test the fit of students to projects/supervisory teams. In exceptional cases students will be able to change projects at the end of year one.

For further information about STOR-i research including current PhD topics and selection of PhD topics click here.