Business Analytics - MSc


Gain in-depth knowledge of analytical and predictive modelling skills as well as management, communication and research skills. To meet the growing demand for graduates with analytics capabilities, the MSc in Business Analytics equips you with the latest analytics tools to analyse and interpret data, forecast future trends, automate and streamline decisions, and optimise courses of action.



In the era of Big Data, analytics is becoming a strategic necessity in virtually all areas of business and is an essential tool to drive real-time decisions, foster evidence-based decision-making and sustain competitive advantage. According to a recent ranking by US News and World Report, Operations Research Analyst is ranked second in the Best Business Jobs of 2016, and Harvard Business Review claims Data Scientist is the 'sexiest job of the 21st century' with practitioners having rare and highly sought-after skills.

Learn how to apply descriptive, predictive and prescriptive modelling techniques to help organisations improve performance, explore alternatives, and anticipate and shape business outcomes in a rapidly changing environment. You will also develop an understanding of fundamental analytics techniques, such as statistical analysis, data mining, forecasting and regression, optimisation, simulation and spreadsheet modelling. 

This programme is ideal for graduates with a quantitative background who are seeking to gain an in-depth knowledge of analytical and predictive modelling skills as well as management, communication and research skills. Upon graduation, you will be ready to start a career in a variety of industries and sectors including airlines, manufacturing companies, energy, healthcare delivery, banking, marketing and government.

Students enrolled in the programme have the opportunity to work for real organisations, improve their consultancy skills and enhance their employability through the Student Implant Scheme, which bridges the gap between classroom learning and the real world. In 2017/18, as part of the Student Implant Scheme, students undertook a project to aid BMI The Chaucer Hospital in improving efficiency - read the full blog post to learn more.

Students are also involved in a variety of activities, including case studies, team project work, guest lectures and industry visits.

Software demonstration workshops supported by IBM/ILOG are regularly organised to support the teaching of state-of-the-art analytics packages including IBM Watson Analytics, R, SPSS, Weka, MS Excel and VBA, as well as optimisation packages including Optimization Programming Language, IBM/ILOG, CPLEX and Simul8.

Funding opportunities

The Business School has a wide range of funding opportunities for postgraduate students, which include Scholarships, Bursaries, the Double Loyalty Scheme for University of Kent undergraduates and the KBS Early Bird Scheme. The Early Bird equates to a 10% discount on tuition fees.

For more information on funding available from the University of Kent, please visit the Student Funding page.

About Kent Business School

With over 25 years’ experience delivering business education, Kent Business School is ranked as a top 20 UK business school, both for the standard of our teaching and student satisfaction. Our portfolio of postgraduate programmes demonstrates the breadth and depth of our expertise. Academic research and links with global business inform our teaching, ensuring a curriculum that is relevant and current. We also hold a number of accreditations by professional bodies.

Studying at Kent Business School (KBS) gives you the opportunity to increase your employability with real-life case studies, a student council and a business society. We have strong links to local and national organisations providing opportunities for projects, internships and graduate placements. The School attracts many high-profile speakers from industry and last year included visits and lectures from staff of the Bank of England, BAE Systems, Barclays, Lloyds Insurance, Cummins, Delphi and Kent County Council.

The School currently has 60 PhD students, who form a dynamic and close-knit research community.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, we were placed 25th (out of 101 institutions) in the UK for research intensity in business and management studies and 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

The School was also ranked 24th for its breadth and depth of research across the whole community of research active staff by the Association of Business Schools.

Course structure

The course structure provides a sample of the modules available for this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University so that you may customise your programme, explore other subject areas that interest you and further enhance your employability.


This programme is studied over one year full-time or two years part-time. It consists of nine compulsory modules and two optional modules. The optional modules allow students to specialise in a business analytics application area of their choice, such as marketing, finance, logistics and supply chain management.

The following modules are offered to our current students. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation:

Modules may include Credits

This module aims to equip students with skills of consultancy and fundamentals of research methodology. Experts from outside organisations will be invited to offer real-world experience in some sessions.

The module covers two main topics:

1. Consultancy skills. Approaches to analyse a series of real-world business analytics problems in a structured manner and then develop solution diagnosis to such problems will be taught. Consultancy and report writing skills will also be taught.

2. Research methodology. Fundamentals of research methodology and project management for business analytics professionals.

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The curriculum aims to provide key learning materials for systematic understanding of the important quantitative and quantitative approaches used in performance management. Indicative topics are:

1. Introductions to basic concepts and theories of performance management, which include key concept of performance management, performance measurements and indicators, classic approaches in performance management such as the Balanced Scorecard, and Analytic Hierarchy Process.

2. Performance management approaches in practices, which include Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), development of 3E indicator system, and how to set up performance management system by applying Balanced Scorecard. Performance evaluation and benchmarking methods: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which include basic multiplier DEA models, dual DEA models, index models, and their applications.

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The aim of this module is to enable students to use spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel) to structure, analyse and solve a variety of business problems. It will also provide the students with a basic knowledge of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) as a means to automate Excel functionalities and create user-friendly applications.

The module will cover two main topics:

1. Spreadsheet Modelling. This part will involve learning about modelling techniques to represent the real world in a structured and logical way; how to use basic and advanced spreadsheet facilities to organize, visualise, query and summarise data; how to use spreadsheets to analyse and solve managerial problems in a variety of organisations (e.g. scheduling, forecasting, inventory, optimisation, financial analysis, and project management problems).

2. Visual Basic for Applications. In this part of the module, students will learn how to take their Excel abilities to the next level by wrapping their spreadsheet models into friendly applications for the end users. Through guided demonstrations, students will develop a variety of applications, including financial, logistics and business management applications.

The module will be subject to continual refinement to ensure the content is kept relevant to industry's usage of spreadsheets.

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This module aims to equip students with fundamentals of data mining and hands-on experience to analyse and solve a variety of problems encountered in business and management.

The module covers three main topics:

1. Multivariate data analysis. This part introduces data analysis methods for datasets with many variables, which include association rule discovery, factor analysis, cluster analysis, classification modelling;

2. Forecasting. In this part of the module, students will learn forecasting methods, including different modelling methods for time series data;

3. Data analysis report writing. This part discusses how to carry out a data analysis (or data mining) project and how to write a data analysis report.

Data analysis packages SPSS and weka will be used in this module, as well as EXCEL and R on some occasions.

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The aim of the module is to give students hands-on experience in using industry-standard simulation modelling software in order to structure and solve complex and large-scale managerial decision problems.

The module will cover the following indicative topics:

1. Queuing theory: Students will be introduced to the basic underpinnings of queuing theory, including key assumptions, benefits, and limitations.

2. Discrete-event simulation: Core theory of discrete-event simulation will be covered, including a review of simulation mechanics, how to incorporate randomness into a simulation, and the systematic analysis of simulation model results. This will be supplemented with practical training in how to build and run simulation models using commercial software. Example applications will be drawn from a variety of sectors, such as manufacturing/production, transportation, healthcare, and other service industries (e.g., banking, retail, customer service).

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The aim of this module is to equip student with basic knowledge of database management systems and SQL (Structured Query Language) and to enable students to use basic statistical inference methods to solve real-world business questions.

The module covers two main topics:

1. Database Management Systems and SQL. This part introduces the structure of a database management system, helps students understand the basic to advanced concepts of SQL, and introduces how to use SQL to collect data for further analysis.

2. Business Statistics. In this part of the module, students will learn descriptive analysis of quantitative data, which mainly focuses on how to summarise your data; and inferential analysis of quantitative data, which covers how to deduce interesting properties from a given dataset, such as testing hypotheses and deriving estimates.

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This module covers a variety of complex real-world business, management and industry related problems. The aim is to teach students modern optimisation and decision modelling tools and to give them hands-on experience using commercial software.

The module delves into various application areas, indicative topics include marketing strategy, financial planning, product mix design, manufacturing, production management, inventory control, logistics and distribution, facility location, scheduling, portfolio selection, and capital budgeting.

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Buyer Decision Making has its theoretical underpinning in a number of disciplines emanating from the social sciences, psychology and also economics. We will explore how complex the decision making process can be, how we learn, and what factors influence behaviour, such as situational, personal, societal, cultural and psychological. We will examine individual versus group/organization decision making.

Indicative topics are:

1. Introduction to Buying behaviour

2. Decision Making Theories

3. Motivation and Involvement

4. Learning Theories and Perception

5. Attitude Theories and Consumption

6. Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning

7. Organizational Buying Behaviour

8. Impression Management

9. Affect, Perceived Risk and Buying Behaviour

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This module provides an overview of key topics within the domain of marketing research and will provide students the platform to understand the importance and use of information for making marketing decisions. While this module will cover concepts in marketing research, its focus will be on i) providing students with an understanding of how marketing research fits into the contemporary marketing framework, and ii) understanding and interpreting the use of marketing research information and tools for the purposes of understanding information use.

Indicative topics are:

1. What is marketing research

2. Buyers and sellers in the research process

3. The marketing research industry

4. Qualitative and quantitative techniques in marketing research

5. Secondary data and marketing intelligence

6. Observational techniques in marketing research

7. Experiments and test marketing

8. Questionnaire design and implementation

9. Cross cultural issues in marketing research

10. Communicating marketing research results

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Indicative topics are:

1. The communications process

2. Advertising

3. Strategy and media planning

4. Image, brand management and packaging

5. Direct marketing

6. Digital and interactive media

7. Sales promotion, merchandising and point of sale

8. Public relations and corporate identity

9. Exhibitions, trade shows, product placement and sponsorship

10. Personal selling and sales management

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This module will combine lectures and seminars to present, transfer, discuss and summarise international marketing concepts and frameworks. Specifically the module will cover the following topics:

1. Analysis of socio-economic and cultural conditions in international markets

2. Marketing research and intelligence

3. Identification of International segments and niche markets

4. Alternative international market entry methods

5. Corporate and business ethics in international contexts

6. International marketing mix strategies

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This module deals with the interpretation of financial statements, valuation models and implications of market based accounting research.

Indicative topics are:

1. A framework for business analysis and valuation;

2. Financial analysis/ratio analysis;

3. Valuation theory and concepts;

4. Quality of earnings;

5. Security analysis;

6. Credit analysis and financial distress prediction;

7. Mergers and acquisitions.

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The module covers both the infrastructure of international financial reporting and selected technical issues critical in preparing and using corporate financial reports in an international context. It looks at international harmonisation and convergence and the development of international accounting standards. The theory of international financial reporting is discussed and illustrated by an examination of various technical issues. The constraints inherent in reporting to international financial markets, and the needs of international financial analyst, are explored.

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The indicative topics covered by the module are:

1. The Risk-Return Relationship

2. The Arbitrage Pricing Theory

3. Multifactor Asset Pricing Models

4. Dividend Policy

5. Mergers and Acquisitions

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This module will cover the following indicative topics:

1. Investment Appraisal Techniques and Decisions

2. Portfolio Theory

3. The Capital Asset Pricing Model

4. Stock Market Efficiency

5. Sources of Finance

6. Capital Structure

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This module allows students to put into practice the knowledge and skills gained in the other modules on the MSc Business Analytics. Working under the guidance of an academic supervisor and possibly with a company, students solve practical problems that require an application-oriented thinking. The problems are varied and interesting, such as analysing marketing campaigns, ranking credit risks, optimising capital investments, forecasting sales trends, simulating patient flow through hospitals and extracting patterns from large datasets.

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Teaching and Assessment

The programme involves a taught and a project component. The taught programme is assessed by a mixture of coursework assignments throughout the year, and by examinations in May and June.

Once these are completed, you then work full-time on the project and write a dissertation based on this. This 8,000 to 10,000 word dissertation is an opportunity to apply the techniques and insights presented in the programme and apply them to a particular problem area.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • educate you to become business analytics specialists, improving the quality of the business analytics profession
  • prepare you to be operationally effective in business analytics and/or for further study or an academic career in the area
  • provide in-depth study in business analytics, including a strong theoretical base and a range of skills relevant to practice
  • add value to a first degree by offering theoretical and practical exposure to problem-solving techniques for effective decision making in a range of complex strategic, operational and managerial situations
  • provide career development opportunities for individuals who are already experienced managers  wishing to enhance their knowledge and understanding through a structured course of study
  • enhance lifelong learning skills and personal development, enabling you to contribute to business and society at large
  • develop a range of cognitive, critical and intellectual skills, together with research and personal/interpersonal skills
  • develop the ability to conduct research into business and management issues, either individual or as part of a team, through research design, data collection, analysis, synthesis and reporting
  • develop effective oral and written communication of complex ideas and arguments, using a range of media, including the preparation of business reports and professional presentations
  • develop effective performance within team environments and the ability to recognise and use individuals' contributions in group processes and to negotiate and persuade or influence others
  • provide teaching and learning opportunities informed by high-quality research and scholarship
  • develop new areas and methods of teaching in response to the advance of knowledge, changes in technology and the needs of students
  • meet the growing market demand for highly skilled analytics workers.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • organisations, their external context and how they are managed
  • the application of business analytics knowledge to a range of complex situations
  • current issues in business analytics, which is informed by leading-edge research and practice in the field.

Intellectual skills

You gain the ability to:

  • creatively apply knowledge of business analytics and understand in practical terms how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to develop and interpret knowledge in business and management
  • evaluate the rigour and validity of published research, assessing its relevance to new situations
  • extrapolate from existing research and scholarship to identify new or revised approached to practice
  • be adaptable and demonstrate originality, insight, critical and reflective abilities, which can be applied to problem situations
  • evaluate and integrate theory and practice in a wider range of situations
  • take responsibility for continuing to develop your own knowledge and skills.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the ability to:

  • understand appropriate techniques sufficient to allow detailed investigation into relevant business and management issues
  • acquire and analyse data and information, evaluate their relevance and validity, and synthesise a range of information in the context of new situations
  • conduct research into business analytics issues that requires familiarity with a range of business data, research sources and appropriate methodologies, informing the overall learning process

Once you have graduated and are in professional practice you should be able to:

  • consistently apply knowledge and subject-specific and wider intellectual skills
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and communicate their conclusions clearly to a range of audiences.

Transferable skills

You gain the ability to:

  • creatively apply knowledge of business analytics and understand in  practical terms how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to develop and interpret knowledge in business and management
  • communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • operate effectively in a variety of team roles and take leadership roles, where appropriate

Once you have graduated and are in professional practice you should be able to:

  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and communicate their conclusions clearly to a range of audiences
  • be proactive in recognising the need for change and have the ability to manage change
  • make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
  • be self-directed and able to act autonomously in planning and implementing projects at professional levels.


You gain much more than an academic qualification when you graduate from Kent Business School – we enhance your student experience and accelerate your career prospects.

From the moment you start with us, our efforts are focused on helping you gain the knowledge, skills and experience you need to thrive in an increasingly competitive workplace.

In today’s business climate employers are increasingly demanding more from new employees, we are therefore proud that they continually target our graduates for their organisations across the globe. Employers respect our robust teaching and reputation for delivering international business expertise, leading global research and an outstanding international learning experience.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for Barclays Capital, British Embassy, Gray Robinson PA and Holiday Extras.

To find out more about business analytics and future career prospects, see the following links.

Professional recognition

Kent Business School have partnered with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the leading professional body for marketers worldwide, to give you the unique opportunity to gain highly sought after CIM qualifications alongside the MSc in Marketing through their Graduate Gateway.

Kent Business School is a member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS); and the Kent MBA is an Association of MBAs (AMBA) accredited programme. In addition, KBS have accreditations with The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

KBS is a signatory of the United Nation's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), which provides a global network for academic institutions to advance corporate sustainability and social responsibility.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Kent Business School currently occupies a purpose-designed building consisting of executive learning facilities with wireless provision throughout. Each postgraduate student is assigned a specific member of academic staff who acts as your first point of contact throughout your studies. There is a lively postgraduate community at the School, with plenty of space to relax and interact with your fellow students and our academic staff.

On the Canterbury Campus, Kent Business School will soon be moving into a new academic building, known as The Sibson Building, a vibrant new campus destination.New academic facilities and social spaces for Kent Business School at Medway have also recently opened. The Sail and Colour Loft features six seminar rooms, a group learning room, a computer suite, quiet study areas, student social spaces and a special reference collection of core text books. Kent’s libraries offer over a million books, periodicals and journals, and we have subject-specific librarians to help you secure access to the information you need.

We also offer excellent teaching facilities with tailor-made specialist resources. Postgraduate students can access a range of specialist software packages used in quantitative analysis and in finance. Most academic schools have specific study areas for postgraduates and there is also a general postgraduate common room with work area.

An international focus

Kent Business School has more than 60 internationally recognised academics from 22 different countries. Most of our teaching faculty are involved with researching the latest issues in business and management, working with organisations to provide new insight for business leaders and policymakers. Their knowledge and findings feed into the programmes to ensure they are both cutting-edge and globally relevant.

Worldwide partnerships

Kent Business School has close links with: ifs (Institute of Financial Services); dunnhumby, who partners the Consumer Insight Service in the Centre for Value Chain Research; Hong Kong Baptist University, with whom we offer a joint Master’s programme in Operational Research and Finance Business Statistics; University of Castellanza (Italy); Audencia Nantes Business School (France); Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences (Denmark); Universiti Teknologi Malaysia; University of Ingolstadt, Bayern (Germany); City University of Hong Kong; Renmin University of China, School of Business.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Critical Perspectives on Accounting; Quantitative Finance; Human Resource Management Journal; Journal of Product Innovation Management; European Journal of Operational Research; and Psychology & Marketing.

Global skills

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

Qualification Requirements

Students who wish to apply for a higher degree should have a good honours degree from the UK (minimum 2:2) or equivalent internationally recognised qualifications  in a quantitative discipline, such as statistics, logistics, mathematics, engineering or any other mathematically based natural science discipline.

Applicants without an honours degree may also be considered on the basis of work experience, professional qualifications and the relevance of the programme to their current professional role.

English Language Requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research activities at Kent Business School are broadly organised into six areas;

Our Management Science group covers a wide range of research areas in Operational Research and Systems Thinking. These include research in the area of logistics including green logistics and network security with a special emphasis on the innovative design and analysis of heuristic and exact optimisation, DEA, operation management, multi-variate analysis, biometrics, multi-methodology and Soft OR/Systems. The group is now a member of NATCOR.

For more information, see our Applied Research Centres:

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Adolf Acquaye: Lecturer in Sustainability

Sustainability Research in Business Practice and CSR; Lifecycle Assessments; Environmental Modelling and Scenario Developments; Supply Chains Management; Procurement; Sustainable Frameworks and Resource Accounting; Climate Change Policy and Mitigation; Development of Decision Support Tools; Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems.

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Professor Steve Wenbin Liu: Professor of Management Science and Computational Mathematics

Performance management; bibliometrics; DEA; optimisation.

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Professor John Mingers: Professor of Operational Research and Systems

Multimethodology; pluralism; critical realism; ethics; Habermas systems; SSM; soft systems; Bhaskar semiotics; bibliometrics; h-index; citations; journal ranking.

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Dr Gabor Nagy: Senior Lecturer in Management Science

Logistics problems such as Facility Location and Vehicle Routing. Heuristics, exact methods.

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Dr Jesse O'Hanley: Senior Lecturer in Environmental Systems Management

Integer programming; heuristic algorithms; facility location; biodiversity conservation; natural resource management; fish passage; species distribution modelling; climate change impacts; nature reserve selection.

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Professor Said Salhi: Professor of Management Science and Operational Research

Logistics; routing problems; location problems; heuristics; optimisation.

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Dr Maria Paola Scaparra: Reader in Management Science

Mathematical modelling; network and combinatorial optimisation; location analysis; infrastructure protection planning; supply chain reliability.

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Dr Niaz Ahmed Wassan: Reader in Management Science

Vehicle Routing and its Variants; Supply Chain Management; Classical Heuristics and Meta-heuristics Optimisation; Tabu Search (Reactive Tabu and Adaptive Memory Programming); Variable Neighbourhood Search; Simulated Annealing, Genetic Algorithms; Hybrid heuristic methods.

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Dr Shaomin Wu: Reader in Business-Applied Statistics

Stochastic operations research; statistical data analysis; warranty management; reliability analysis and maintenance policy optimisation.

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Mr Tuan Yu: Lecturer in Organisational Management and E-Commerce

The role, effective use, leadership and management of technology in organisations and the opportunities as well as the organisational and operational challenges, issues and problems that can arise out of this.

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The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Business Analytics - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £10480 £18400

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


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