Modern organisations require employees who understand the principles of Computer Science and Information Technology and can apply those ideas to the development and management of Information Technology within a business. On this basis, the School of Computing and Mathematics has identified two courses aimed at meeting these needs.
Information Technology and Management is aimed at those with a formal Computer Science or Information Systems qualification who need to extend their broader skills and enhance their knowledge in specific areas.
Information Technology is aimed at providing students without a formal qualification in IT with a broad education in Information Technology,
its development and management enhancing their previous background and skills.
The innovative MSc course in IT and Management brings together components from two successful Keele courses: the IT MSc course
delivered by Computer Science, and the MBA course delivered by Management. It offers students who have already acquired some
knowledge of computing, the opportunity to gain highly marketable IT, business and management skills.
With the growth in the application of Information Technology worldwide has come a corresponding increase in the need for people who have the broad range of skills required to analyse, design, implement and manage information Technology solutions in a modern business environment. The School of Computing and Mathematics course is a recognition of the fact that many employees do not have the balanced set of skills required to be fully effective as an IT professional. In many cases staff are working with a limited set of skills often learnt by self study or are coming from another discipline and need to provide themselves with the skills to follow a career in IT.
Course Structure and Content
The MSc programme comprises eight 15-credit taught modules (120 credits) plus a project (60 credits). Alternatively, students may complete their studies after obtaining 60 credits (Postgraduate Certificate) or 120 credits (Postgraduate Diploma) from the taught programme.
The course starts in late September and lasts 12 months. During the first semester (September to January) students complete four core modules and begin a fifth module, which continues throughout the second semester. In the second semester (January to May) students complete the fifth core module and three option modules. The final component of the course, the project, usually industrially-based, runs from the end of May through to September.
The following indicate the range of modules that may be offered:
Core Modules (15 credits each)
• Information Systems – Key to the effective use of IT within an organisation is the ability to analyse the business and be able to assess the IT needs to support the business strategy. This module focuses on providing the student with the skills to do this analysis and the knowledge of information systems to enable the selection and introduction of effective IT solutions at all levels within an organisation.
• Object-based Application Development – In this module students will gain practical programming experience within the Microsoft
Access environment using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), and acquire an understanding of the skills and concepts involved in the
development of contemporary information system applications constructed using object, based application frameworks.
• Website Development – This module concerns the design and development of information websites. Design will be concerned with usability for a global audience including accessibility issues. Development will use authoring tools to develop a manageable information website that satisfies user needs.
• Conceptual Modelling – This core module aims to provide an overview of the system development life cycle and proficiency in conceptual modelling, in particular in analysing and specifying system requirements.
• Professional Practice – This module provides such skills including project management, team working and building, and communication skills. It also provides knowledge of ethical, legal and social issues related to the development and deployment of
Option Modules (15 credits each)
Students will choose from a subset of the optional modules identified in Information Technology and Management.
The Project (60 credits)
The project starts in late May and runs until early September. A variety of different types of project are acceptable. Many involve the development of a self-contained package of software, perhaps as a prototype, which illustrates the benefits of a particular technology to a company. An example might be a website presenting multimedia information about a company or product. Other projects do not involve implementation – for example a project might examine the possible benefits and risks that a given company might face if a new technology were adopted. Some projects are based in external companies and organisations selected to give real life experience of the IT industry, others are based within the University.
The taught modules are mainly assessed by coursework, with examinations in some of the modules. Project assessment is based largely on a substantial final report.
International students are usually self-funding but a small number of bursaries may be available under British Government scholarship schemes.
Career Destination information
At the end of the course the majority of graduates progress into directly related employment. This could be in a role applying information
technology to business problems, perhaps working alongside information systems professionals. Alternatively it might be a role in system development (such as web/multimedia development), or system administration. Course graduates have been employed in, for example, large and small commercial companies, local government, defence agencies, universities, health authorities, software development companies, transportation and environmental agencies, and utility companies (e.g. electricity). Some students gain offers of employment from the organisation which hosted their project. A number of graduates have gone on to become teachers of IT, or to continue study for a higher degree.