MSc Information Systems

Course summary

Overview

Information SystemsThis course builds upon typical computing courses available at undergraduate level and develops new knowledge and skills in areas critical for the successful introduction of information systems into business enterprises and organisations.

These days, Information Systems (IS) are large, complex, varied in form and distributed, so they often serve large groups of people all using a variety of devices to access information.

The course also provides a route for peoplewith other backgrounds and experience to engage with the world of information systems. It will help you gain a full understanding of how information systems are designed and constructed, and of the impact of technology and its integration into an organisation.

It will also give you the skills you need to work effectively in a business-consulting environment and provide a solid basis for research.

Why choose this course?

Information Systems - server room
Specialists who recognise diverse business needs and have a systematic approach to understanding the impact of technology on organisations are essential to the success of any IS/IT strategy. 

Equal in importance to the architectures of systems and the supporting technologies, is the management and delivery of content, whether in the form of data, documents, images and sound.

Increasingly, the fundamental systems comprise digital architectures and networks which then embody and enable the distribution of digital content. 

Students on the Information Systems course have access to laboratories and dedicated information and communications technology (ICT) suites as well as specialist networks and software.  

Maryam Hajebi


“I have studied for many years, but studying Information Systems at UWL has been my best student experience.”
Maryam Hajebi, MSc Information Systems student 

Tutor Information 

This course is run by the School of Computing and Engineering to provide you with both the high-quality teaching and the personal attention you need to make the most of your University education.

The School of Computing and Engineering teaching staff includes: 

Dr José Abdelnour Nocera – Associate Professor (Reader) in Sociotechnical Design and Head of the Sociotechnical Centre for Innovation and User Experience at the University of West London. He is the current Chair for UNESCO IFIP TC 13.8 working group in Interaction Design for International Development as well as Chair for the British Computer Society Sociotechnical Specialist Group.

Associate Professor in Computing Dr Wei Jie who has been actively involved in a broad spectrum of areas in parallel and distributed computing and has published approximately 50 papers in international journals and conferences. 

Career and study progression

The course aims to provide routes into a number of career options and positions. There are excellent opportunities for employment in the core IS and ICT industries at the development and service levels.

Students from this course can further their careers as:
  • Information Officers
  • Librarians
  • Information Service Staff
  • Content and Intelligence gatherers
  • Analysts
  • Researchers 
  • Editors
  • Searchers and Intermediaries
  • Advice and Assistance Workers
  • Data Managers
  • Management Information Systems Staff 
  • Multimedia Content Workers
  • Mapping Specialists and Cartographers
  • Public Relations and Communication Staff.
All these wider information professional positions are grounded in the fundamental core the discipline of information systems and the broader computing and ICT environment.

Outstanding graduates have gone on to study at the level of MPhil and PhD at UWL.

Course detail

Recognising the diverse business and organisational needs and the array of technology drivers, computing specialists who have a systematic approach to understanding the impact of technology on organisations are an important element to the success of any IS/IT strategy of a business.

Modules

  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Knowledge Management
  • Consultancy and Technical Innovation
  • Information Systems Project Management
  • UML Component Modelling
  • Advanced Rich Media (optional)
  • Data Architecture (optional)
  • Security Management (optional)
  • HCI for Information Systems (optional)
  • Mobile Applications Development (optional)
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation.

Consultancy and Technological Innovation
This module gives you the skills to understand, and work in, the complex multi-sourced environment that supports business change, applying global technologies to a real-life case study using programme management concepts. Focusing on the strategic management of leading-edge technology, you will examine the organisational structure of IT, including systems integrators and consultancy, and gain an overview of the IT consulting world, its principles and practice.

Enterprise Architecture
Successfully managing IT on the enterprise level is getting increasingly important, but due to the size, complexity and sheer amount of information systems this can be challenging for organisations. Enterprise architecture is a discipline that provides for enterprise wide business and IT alignment. This module focuses on recent paradigms that have impact on how organisations manage their information systems in order to achieve business and IT alignment from an enterprise point of view. The module will review some of the enterprise architecture principles, frameworks and methods.

Knowledge Management
In this module, you will explore the widely accepted theories and frameworks for knowledge management - and their application in technologies and learning organisations. On completion, you will understand the way knowledge from these diverse disciplines is used within the development of Decision Support Systems (DSS).

HCI for Information Systems (optional)
With this module, you will gain a good understanding of user-centred design (UCD) principles and frameworks. You will cover various requirement elicitation and evaluation techniques involving users, including taking a socio-technical approach to designing interactive systems. This module describes, critically analyses and exemplifies all phases of the process.

You will explore practical exposition UCD techniques through low-fidelity prototyping scenarios, and will cover the integration of UCD with new software development methods, such as Agile. On completion, you will understand the way UCD and prototyping techniques are used within the general practice of software engineering.

Mobile Applications Development (optional)
This module has been developed in conjunction with industry to provide hands-on experience developing software for mobile devices. An open source approach to software development will be used throughout the module. Students will gain experience using relevant industry standard tools to support their work.

Data Architectures (optional)
This module introduces the concepts and techniques required to support Component Based Development. Modern distributed architectures rely increasingly on the use of software components to construct and deploy applications. This module describes the conceptual framework underpinning application assembly from components and outlines the supporting software processes. Students are provided with practical experience in modelling component specifications as well as an indication of future development in this area.

UML Component Modelling (optional)
This module introduces the concepts and techniques needed to support component-based development. Modern distributed architectures rely increasingly on software components to construct and deploy applications, and here you will cover the conceptual framework underpinning application assembly from components, and the supporting software processes. You will gain practical experience in modelling component specifications and consider future development in this area.

Security Management (optional)  * new module to be offered from September 2014
This module provides a general introduction to assuring the security of systems, networks, data and user identities. New threats are emerging as digital technologies permeate into most aspects of social life and in transactions between parties opening potential for fraud, deception and corruption.

Advanced Rich Media (optional)
This module provides you with essential theoretical and practical skills to develop a multimedia database application. Your application will be based on theoretical and practical underpinnings of advanced user interface design. The module recognises the importance of framing the problem of human-computer interaction broadly enough so as to help students (and practitioners) avoid the classic pitfall of design divorced from the context of the problem.

Data Architecture (optional)
Data Architecture describes how data is processed, stored, and utilised in an information system. There has been an explosion in the quantity and variety of data generated by organisations, programs and sensors. Much of this data is not fully structured but contains valuable information to uncover, like emerging opinions in social networks, search trends from search engines, consumer purchase behaviour, and patterns that emerge from these huge data sources.

These developments mean traditional stand-alone applications are no longer suitable to process and analyse the amount of information available. The aim of this module is to cover some of the developments in the broad range of 'Big Data' problems. The module will give you hands on experience with various types of large-scale data and information handling, and start by providing a solid understanding of the underlying technologies.

Research Methods
This module gives you the skills to acquire and distil knowledge, preparing you to carry out applied research in the area of information systems, and in computing in general. You will learn to use appropriate data collection and statistical methods and tools to support your research ideas.

Dissertation
With this module, you have the opportunity to carry out an original piece of research, adding to existing knowledge and demonstrating an ability to select, define and focus on an issue at an appropriate level. You will also develop and apply relevant methodologies to analyse your topic areas, and to develop recommendations and logical conclusions in the context of existing work in the area. Your dissertation can be the design and implementation of a complex software application, a literature-focused study, or a research-focused empirical study.

Entry requirements

A degree (at least 2.2) in a computing subject, business or an engineering degree with a significant level of computing.

Applicants with equivalent professional qualifications, or a relevant Higher National Diploma (HND) will be considered, provided they can demonstrate significant, relevant work experience and the ability to benefit fully from the course.

Such applicants will be considered on an individual basis by interview. Some optional modules may not be available to students without a first degree in computing.

Candidates who do not meet the academic requirements may still qualify for entry through relevant work experience.International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.5 or above, and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/your-country to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses

Fees

Fees for home and EU students

Main fee
£3,600

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
£5,750
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

A range of loans, bursaries and scholarships are available to help you fund your studies.

Students on some Masters courses may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards their course and living costs. Find out how to apply for a Postgraduate Loan on GOV.UK

Other loans available to postgraduate students include Professional and Career Development Loans, which also allow you to borrow up to £10,000.  Find out more about Loans on GOV.UK

Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as disabled students. Find out more about funding opportunities

Within the university, we offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. In the 2017 - 18 academic year, they included:

  • The William Brake Bursary: a £1,000 award for candidates on undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses
  • The Mollie Clay Scholarship: a £2,500 scholarship awarded to an outstanding student
  • Exclusive alumni discounts: a £2,000 discount on taught postgraduate courses or a 10% discount on research courses, exclusive to students who graduated from the University of West London.

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility.


Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

When you submit your application for this course it is very helpful to make a positive statement as to why we should consider your application. It is helpful to show that you have an 'information systems / information professional' career or intention in mind. This means aspiring generally to work in public or private sector/ organizations in a strategic, service orientated, managerial and professional role in the broad areas of information systems, information management, information services / information support. You might also wish to develop yourself towards self-employment and small enterprise: all areas where IT/IS experience and good information management competences are valuable.

For Information Systems the 'information professional' role is significant. This signals that you aspire to be involved at both the strategic and operational levels of information systems, information delivery and service. You would see yourself as being a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (Cilip), or a similar professional body.

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

You can apply for most of our Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters’ Degree courses using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

Your application will be dealt with by our Admissions team who will be in touch with you.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

International students

To apply for a Masters’ Degree course, please complete our online application form for international students or you can download the print version (Word, 186kb).

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

More about the application process for international students.

More about how to apply for postgraduate courses.

 

During the course

Special resources

Laboratories and dedicated ICT suites with access to specialist networks and software are available with good resources for study space and meetings. Many staff have specialist research expertise, publishing record and experience which they are glad to share with students.

Teaching methods

Diverse methods are used to explore all aspects of the field. A strong supportive culture exists amongst the course tutors which enables students to achieve their potential.

Learning materials

Good access to Information Systems and computer facilities. The academic and professional elements are well supported by the university library and a good range of digital resources.

Assessment

Coursework

Course assessed work is a significant part of the total assessment. There is practical work, report writing, critical academic writing and the skills and knowledge gained in these contribute to a capacity to deliver a high quality dissertation.

Exams

There are a number of end of module exams. Course tutors provide appropriate support throughout the module to ensure candidates are well prepared.

Student support

The school and course team is well experienced and qualified. The university also offers central support for learning skills. A strong student role is actively encouraged.

What our students say

Maryam Hajebi, MSc Information Systems student

“I have studied for many years, but studying Information Systems at UWL has been my best student experience.
The lecturers are excellent with high expectations, they helped me understand and achieve the skills and professional techniques I needed as well as enhancing my personal growth and confidence; their encouragements helped me demonstrate my abilities and focus my determination. I am a different person since I joined UWL.
Being at UWL is not just about studying; it also involves working in groups, and being involved in different parts of the university.”

Jobs and placements

Career and study progression

The course aims to provide routes into a number of career options and positions. There are good opportunities for employment in the core IS and ICT functions at the development and service levels. Employers require information officers, librarians, information service staff, content and intelligence gatherers and analysts, researchers, editors, searchers and intermediaries, advice and assistance workers, data managers, management information systems staff, as well as multimedia content workers, mapping specialists and cartographers, marketing research, public relations and communication staff. All these wider information professional positions are grounded in the fundamental core the discipline of information systems and the broader computing and ICT environment.

Graduates have a good record of achieving employment and progressing in professional information work especially in the voluntary and private sector as well as in the public sector.

Study progression

Outstanding graduates have gone on to further study at the level of MPhil and PhD at UWL and at other institutions.

We actively encourage students with potential for research to make their interest known early on in their course.