Structure and Content
The programme comprises two elements: two 15-week semesters of taught modules and a three-month dissertation period.
In the Autumn Semester you will take the following modules:
Web scripting using PHP and XML: In this module you will study the significance of XML for data transfer, related technologies such as XSLT and XPath and will learn World Wide Web scripting using PHP and XML.
Interface Design and the World Wide Web: This module provides a detailed knowledge of the construction of web pages, a critical awareness of the role of the World Wide Web and the usability issues underlying human-computer interface design.
Information Systems Management and Analysis: In this module you study the value of information as a resource, learning to make informed judgements about an organisation’s use of information and about how organisations and information systems inter-relate.
During the winter break there is an extended programming assignment.
In the Spring Semester you will take the following modules:
Decision Support Systems: In this module you study the nature and use of IT methods and techniques in the support of decision-making in organisations, in particular modelling, simulation and intelligent decision support systems.
Networking: In this module you study the principles of data communications, including layered network architecture, services and protocols. You learn current communications services and protocols, including TCP/UDP, SMTP and SNMP.
Web Services: This module provides an understanding of the principles of web service provision and its role in industrial applications. You learn to use BPEL and WSDL for the implementation of web services.
Telecommunications: In this module you study existing telephony networks and the underlying concepts of new, internet-based, telecommunications architectures and networks, such as the Advanced Intelligent Network and the Session Initiation Protocol.
Object-orientated Analysis and Design: In this module you study how to analyse and model requirements and develop software, using object-orientated analysis and design, through the use of UML and CASE tools for software design.
You may graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma after the two taught semesters, or you may, if you wish, continue with a three-month project and dissertation to qualify for the award of the MSc degree.
The subject of the dissertation usually covers the application of computers to a field of special interest to you. Computing facilities in the Department and the network infrastructure are all state-of-the-art and regularly updated. You use the University’s workstations and departmental facilities (PCs running Windows XP), all linked to the campus network and beyond that to the Internet.
Delivery and Assessment
You will study through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Tutorials are organised in small groups and usually mean working through exercises or discussing points covered in lectures. Practicals are a prominent feature: supervised work in computer laboratories provides you with the opportunity for hands-on experience of applying what you have learned, and to develop your technical skills. The practical work builds from small assignments in the Autumn Semester, through a group project in the Spring Semester, to the dissertation project in the summer.
Assessment is by a mixture of examination and, particularly for programming work, regular assignments at intervals throughout the programme.
Following the taught part of the programme, the award of the MSc degree requires the completion of an individual, supervised project during the summer period. This is principally assessed through a written dissertation.
Graduates from the programme will be well placed to enter the information technology and web support departments of small businesses, governmental and commercial organisations.