Prescriptive Analytics for Decision Making - BUSN9970

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Tri-Dung Nguyen checkmark-circle


The aim of this module is to introduce students to optimisation modelling and solution techniques, typical applications areas within strategic/operation business planning, and the use of commercial optimisation software.
The module covers the following indicative topics:
• Linear Programming: Students will be introduced to the building blocks of optimisation (i.e. decision variables, objectives, constraints), how to mathematically formulate linear programming (LP) models, LP solution techniques, sensitivity analysis (e.g. range of optimality reduced costs, dual prices), and typical applications like production planning, scheduling, and portfolio selection.
• Network Models: This topic includes a range of concepts and modelling techniques for formulating classic network models, including transportation and assignment, shortest path, maximum flow, and minimum spanning tree problems, and common solution approaches.
• Integer Programming: This will cover integer linear programming (ILP) models, including binary integer models, classic exact and heuristic solution methods (e.g. branch and bound, greedy heuristics), and typical application areas of ILP, including capital budgeting, fixed charge production, and facility location.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 42
Private study hours: 108
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
In-Course Test (45 minutes): 20%
Optimisation Modelling Exercises: 20%
Exam (2 hours): 60%

Reassessment methods:
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Exam

Indicative reading

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The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of quantitative models for decision making.
- Demonstrate conceptual understanding of how complex real-world systems can be represented in mathematical form.
- Exhibit a systematic knowledge of some classic business, management, and industry problems, formulate them mathematically, and solve them.
- Demonstrate an ability to deal with various real-world complexities and incorporate these into the modelling framework in order to prescribe actionable recommendations.
- Implement such models using industry-standard software and perform analyses to support business planning and management.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Independently apply their model building, problem-solving and numerical skills to solve complex business/management/industry problems.
- Demonstrate an ability to select the most appropriate technique for a particular business/management/industrial problem.
- Independently analyse the outcome of a model and present their findings in a clear yet rigorous manner.


  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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