Problem Structuring Approaches for Operational Research - BUSN9004

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Kathy Kotiadis checkmark-circle


This module introduces soft operations research to students and motivates the study with the Glaize simulation case history. It also introduces systems thinking with basic system concepts such as influence diagrams. The topics covered include strategic choice approach, soft systems methodology, cognitive mapping/SODA and multimethodology.


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Examination, 2 hours (70%)
Individual Report (1500-2000 words) (30%).

Reassessment methods:

Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the origin and development of soft OR and the main ways that it differs from hard OR
- Understand and be able to systematically apply basic systems concepts
- Use several soft OR methods, including soft systems methodology in a knowledgeable although not expert manner
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weakness of the methods and know when it is appropriate to use them
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of how methods can be combined together effectively

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Tackle unstructured and complex problem situations
- Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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