Information systems are becoming ever more central to society, especially in business and industry. As society and technology develop in parallel, the most important skills for the future lie in the development of individuals with the ability to both understand and manage these complex and interrelated systems. Consequently, aspects of business that were once seen in isolation (eg people, organisation, process, information and technology) are now expected to operate as part of a seamless whole - both within and across enterprises. This places stringent new demands on the knowledge, skills and technologies required to develop and control (manage) such systems. The aim of this programme is to develop critical understanding of the management of information systems in the context of the organisational issues and challenges that impact on their development and application. At the end of the course, you should be able to: * Explore issues relevant to information systems development in the context of modern business environments and needs. * Express a rounded awareness of the state-of-the-art in relation to the role of information systems in the enterprise environment and the importance of strategic alignment. * Understand the changing nature of information systems and the implications of this for the requisite dynamic socio-technical balancing. * Reflect, critically, on the state-of-the art of both the practice and theory of organisational-level systems development and critically understand information systems and their role in organisational effectiveness.
Information systems are becoming ever more central to society, especially in business and industry. As society and technology develop in parallel, the most important skills for the future lie in the development of individuals with the ability to both understand and manage these complex and interrelated systems. Consequently, aspects of business that were once seen in isolation are now expected to operate as part of a seamless whole - both within and across enterprises. In this context, the aim of the programme is to develop practical skills and critical awareness in relation to the state-of-the-art in enterprise-level systems development.
Our master's programmes seek to develop knowledge, creativity and originality in one package - you. Each programme is a framework to help you to develop:
1. A systematic understanding of knowledge
2. A comprehensive understanding of techniques relevant to your area of study
3. The key skills associated with critical awareness and evaluation
We expect you to enjoy your course and work hard. As part of your development on the course, you will be increasingly expected to demonstrate that you can deal with complex issues in a systematic and creative manner and demonstrate self-direction and originality in problem solving.
Your studies on the course will cover:
Business Modelling, which cultivates skills and knowledge related to business, conceptual and software modelling. Example topics of study include different paradigms for modelling (including business services, processes and objects), techniques for modelling the business domain and business behaviour, the relationship between business modelling and software modelling and the use of the Unified Modelling Language (UML).
Systems in Context, which aims to develop a critical understanding of information and information systems and the role that each plays in the context of the modern working environment and society. Example topics of study include: concepts of 'information' and 'information systems', information revolutions and their impact, approaches to the implementation and use of information systems in modern working environments.
Professional Development and Research, which aims to develop knowledge and skills to support the continuous learning and competence improvement necessary for ongoing success in commercial and academic environments. Example topics of study include learning to learn, approaches to teamwork, approaches to critical evaluation and research methods.
Organisational Change and Business Improvement, which aims to develop a reflective understanding, alongside the knowledge and skills necessary to the implementation of new procedures or technologies intended to realign an organization with the changing demands of its business environment (or to capitalise on business opportunities). Example topics of study include: understanding and justifying change, change management, managing technology risks, ethical issues in change.
ICTs and Strategic Change which aims to develop a critical awareness of the central issues and challenges in strategic approaches to information systems. Example topics of study include the nature of strategic planning and its key components, the relationship of IS/IT strategy to organisational aims and strategy, the assumptions of traditional planning approaches to strategic ICT adoption and state-of-the-art responses to issues and challenges.
Systems Project Management, which aims to develop a critical awareness of the central issues and challenges in information systems project management. Example topics of study include traditional project management techniques and approaches, the relations between projects and business strategy, the role and assumptions underpinning traditional approaches and the ways in which the state-of-the-art can be improved.
Data Management and Business Intelligence, which aims to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to support the development of business intelligence solutions in modern organisational environments. Example topics of study include issues in data/information/knowledge management, approaches to information integration and business analytics. Practical aspects of the subject are examined in the context of the SAP Netweaver and Business Warehouse environment.
Business Integration, which aims to develop a critical understanding of the issues of integrating people, process and technology systems both within and across organisational contexts. Example topics of study include: the dimensions of business integration, collaborative working and its issues, virtual organisations, electronic markets and commerce policy.
In addition, you will be asked to produce a dissertation, which is an opportunity to build expertise in a more focused area that is of interest to you and which you may want to specialise in. The dissertation not only showcases your project management and subject specific skills to potential employers, but also serves as valuable experience and a solid building block for those wishing to pursue a PhD, on completion of their MSc. Your work will be individually supervised by a member of academic staff. You will be encouraged to critically examine the academic and industrial contexts of your research, identify problems and think originally when proposing potential solutions that serve to demonstrate and reflect your ideas.
Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
* An investigation of inter-team dynamics in the outsourcing relationship;
* Project management within GSK;
* Application service provision - the business case of adopting the ASP model in GSK.
A master's degree requires hard work and is awarded only if you reach a high standard on the taught part of the course and submit a dissertation of a high standard. If you do not achieve the standard required you may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate if eligible.
A variety of teaching methods are used on the programme, which include lectures, seminars, structured discussions and self-directed study guided by us. You will gain practical experience in workshops/laboratory sessions and through the use of case-study material and scenarios centred on real world problems.
Our master's programmes aim to equip you with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment. Each course is developed with industry in mind and has one or more industrial advisers who are involved in course development and delivery.
The jobs that require the knowledge and skills that you will learn on this course include roles such as business analysts, systems development analysts, consultants (both technical and managerial) and many others. The types of companies that might employ you range from the very large and multinational, to the small and more individual. Whatever the job role and whatever the type of organisation, we aim to equip you with industry relevant skills that will enable you to flourish in your chosen profession.