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  • Information Systems Masters (MSc)

Information Systems MSc

Why choose this course?

This course examines the design, development and management of information systems. You will study how information is used in organisations, who uses it, how it relates to decision making and contributes to organisational objectives.

You will be able recognise and accommodate change and instability in the business and information environment created by social, economic, political and technical developments.

Your studies may include lectures, practical lab work, group working, case studies and presentations. Through the project/dissertation you will gain valuable research skills.Information systems, when used effectively, can give a business or organisation the competitive edge. They can also transform businesses, restructure organisations and streamline business processes. This course seeks to address the shortage of people who can operate at the interface of business and IT, and offers the chance to study a spectrum of relevant business and technical subjects.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Delivered in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) January, March and September 2021
Full time 2 years including professional placement Delivered in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) January, March and September 2021
Part time 2–3 years Delivered in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) January, March and September 2021
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This career-enhancing course is designed to build on your previous experience and education, enabling you to tailor your learning to suit your individual career development, industry background and requirements of your organisation.
  • The project/dissertation, where you will study an area of interest in depth, can be an excellent selling point when you seek a job or promotion.
  • Course content is informed by an industrial advisory board, ensuring what you learn will meet the demands of business and industry.

Accreditation

The British Computer Society (BCS) accredits this course. This means that you can gain some exemption against BCS professional examinations, leading to Chartered membership and CEng, IEng or CSci status. For full details of exemption and accreditation levels, please check the BCS course search.

The Faculty is a long-time member of BCS. For many years we have hosted meetings of the local BCS Kingston and Croydon Branch, contributing to members' continuing professional development programmes.

Please note: The programme delivered at our partner institution overseas is not currently accredited by the BCS.

What you will study

You will study the design, development and management of information systems to enable you to recognise and accommodate the increased rate of change and instability in the business and information environment created by social, economic, political and technical changes. You will gain an understanding of how information is used within an organisation, who uses it, the nature of the information, how it relates to decision making and how it contributes to organisational goals and objectives.

The full MSc course consists of an induction programme, four taught modules, and project dissertation. Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Teaching on this course usually takes place in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm). For further details please contact secpgstudentoffice@kingston.ac.uk.

Modules

Core modules

Modelling Enterprise Architectures

30 credits

The module focuses on various components of modelling an Enterprise Architecture. It deals with modelling the business and the underlying information and software system to support the business. It follows the object-oriented paradigm for the development lifecycle, and utilises UML as the modelling language. Indicative contents include aspects of enterprise architectures, business analysis, business modelling, business process reengineering, requirements engineering, object oriented concepts and principles and UML.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate and utilise a specific enterprise architecture framework.
  • Apply the principles of requirements engineering to capture, priorities, model and document functional and non-functional requirements, whilst appropriately collaborating with relevant stakeholders.
  • Perform business analysis and business process reengineering to develop business models.
  • Critically evaluate and utilise a software development lifecycle.
  • Apply object oriented development concepts, tools and techniques utilising the UML modelling language.
  • Critically evaluate and utilise research methods, tools and techniques, taking into account legal, professional and ethical issues in the development of information and software systems.
Data Management and Governance

30 credits

This core module looks at ways organisations manage, store and secure data. Different approaches and methods will be explored to model data requirements into entity-relationship diagrams, logical diagrams and normalisation.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental concepts of data modelling and database design and implementation.
  • Translate process models and systems requirement models into a database design using class diagrams and entity relationship diagrams and write SQL statements for the definition, access and control of data.
  • Evaluate different approaches to the storage and management of unstructured data such as images and multimedia data.
  • Critically asses information governance within the context of different organisations.
  • Describe and deploy data encryption techniques suitable for encrypting, signing and protecting data and highlight their correct usages and understand the principles and techniques of steganography, and how these can be used.
  • Evaluate the security risks presented by computer networks and understand the role of vulnerability assessment tools and other security-related software and be able to put them to use and design and deploy a firewall to secure a network.
Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the masters programme where you will carry out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Select, justify and use effectively the research methods and techniques appropriate for particular cases in order to carry out a literature search and an independent work of research.
  • Critically identify the need to position your research in the wider academic or business context and structure the dissertation format to agreed conventions.
  • Plan, manage and critically evaluate the project using the techniques and tools needed in order to bring it in successfully on time and within resourcing limits.
  • Identify and critically analyse real-world problems or knowledge gaps to which academic concepts and methods can be realistically applied to improve or resolve the problem situation.
  • Apply skills to show an ability to engage in academic and professional communication with others in their field through report and presentation.
  • Present critical awareness in applying appropriate legal, social or ethical obligations and when required, respond to the financial and other constraints of a corresponding business environment.
eBusiness Strategy and Implementation

30 credits

This core module introduces IS strategies and their importance to business organisations in the current competitive global economic environment. As IS affect the structure and operations of markets and organisations an introduction to integrated enterprise systems and their role in shaping the structure of current competitive organisations focusing on standards, technical delivery architectures, implementation and related issues.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Analyse the current competitive environment using appropriate techniques and identify opportunities to provide competitive advantage by implementing information systems.
  • Propose and evaluate IS solutions that could add value to organisations.
  • Identify change management issues and plan appropriate steps in order to implement strategic IS solutions.
  • Evaluate the opportunities that technology provides for the creation and delivery of integrated IS.
  • Critically analyse the technical features of integrated IS along with their associated professionalism issues.
Agile Project Development

30 credits

This core module focuses on various approaches to agile development and deals with agile project and risk management, techniques, documentation and testing.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse and explain the concepts, strengths, limitations and suitability of agile development techniques.
  • Develop appropriate use of project management qualitative techniques within an agile framework, such as feasibility study, planning, control and estimating, risk management and configuration management and quantitative techniques such as PERT and CPN.
  • Apply management and team-building techniques to appropriately managing an information systems development project.
  • Select and apply object oriented development techniques within an agile development environment.
  • Critically discuss social and professional issues associated with information systems project and risk management.
  • Manage the development of a system by applying an agile framework.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • Good honours degree or equivalent in an IS/IT subject or substantial work experience.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Invoicing on the placement courses occurs in two stages. The standard course fee is payable in Year 1 with the placement fee invoiced in Year 2. Therefore, students starting in September 2020 would therefore be charged the placement fee of £1,385 in September 2021. Students commencing the course in September 2021 will be invoiced the placement fee in 2022 (fee tbc).

This amount will only be charged to your account after you find a placement and are enrolled on the module. You will not be charged this fee if you do not manage to secure a work placement.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 272 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1528 hours


15% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 1
  • Coursework: 99%
  • Practical: 1%

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation).

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you may be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Computing and Information Systems in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Computing and Information Systems

The School of Computing and Information Systems offers high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses, designed to reflect the developing needs of business and industry. We deliver our teaching in an exciting and challenging learning environment, and make use of modern, well-equipped facilities.

Our courses cover the range of modern technologies in computer science, information systems and software engineering, with specialisations in games technology; network and wireless technologies; information security; electronic business; and embedded systems.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Our modern teaching environment

There is a wide range of facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • dedicated postgraduate computing laboratories – fully equipped with fold-flat LCD screens, data-projection systems and high-spec processors;
  • state-of-the-art hardware and the latest software, including:
    • development software and tools - such as Linux, Microsoft.net, Dreamweaver MX, Flash 8, Eclipse, Java 2 Standard and Mobile Editions, tools for Motorola and Nokia phones, UML and CASE tools and NXP Processors Development Kits;
    • Digital Signal Processors (dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers);
    • IP Set Top Box development environment (NXP's STB810);
    • Electronics Laboratory; and
    • a mix of wireless LAN technologies;
  • the learning resources centre – offering subject libraries, online database subscriptions and resource materials;
  • a postgraduate teaching suite; and
  • the dedicated Graduate Centre on campus, providing seminar rooms and social spaces.

Our dedicated team of IT technicians support the labs and are always on hand to provide assistance.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey from central London. Here you can access a wealth of additional libraries and archives, including the British Library and the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

Where this course will take you

Examples of recent graduate destinations for this and similar courses include:

  • data manager at the British University Video Council, London;
  • expert system analyst at Broadcasting Data Services, London;
  • information age position at the Ministry of Defence, London;
  • information systems manager at the Peabody Trust, London;
  • IT manager at AMB Engineering Ltd, Berkshire;
  • operations manager (e-commerce) at the Automobile Association; and
  • technology manager at the BBC, Cardiff.

What our students say

Having worked as a technical analyst for some time, I wanted a change in direction with a view to gaining a position as an IT architect. I didn't have any formal IT qualifications, so I chose to do the MSc in Information Systems at Kingston University on a part-time basis over three years.

I was nervous to begin with but quickly overcame this because the staff and students were so helpful and friendly and the course was very well structured.

I graduated with a distinction and subsequently applied for a consultancy role at the Royal Bank of Scotland. I obtained the position of infrastructure consultant and was promoted to a managerial grade. I believe the MSc helped me to get an interview, as the other five candidates had completed, or were in the process of completing, masters degrees.

In addition to the academic qualification, I found that my levels of confidence rose substantially. This aspect of the MSc proved to be as important as the academic side of the degree. I now have chartered membership of the British Computer Society and I have completed the ISEB certification in both IS Consultancy and IT Architecture.

Conlath Alcock - Information Systems MSc

Hear about our students' experiences

Informatics MSc student, Pete Stevens, talks about his experience at Kingston University:

Industrial Advisory Board

To ensure your studies are kept up to date and answer the needs of business, our courses are created and reviewed in consultation with an advisory board of key industry experts and senior academics. The Board also provides input and advice on our research portfolio.  With members from Google, Microsoft, Easyjet, games developer Colossal and Chief Information Officers from local government - our Advisory Board represents the diverse spectrum of industries and public sector organisations that make up the jobs market for our graduates.

Links with the British Computer Society

The Faculty is also a long-time member of the British Computer Society (BCS). For many years we have hosted meetings of the local BCS Kingston and Croydon Branch, contributing to members' continuing professional development programmes.

What this course offers you

  • This course gives you the chance to study a range of information systems topics, enabling you to operate at the interface of business and IT.
  • The project/dissertation gives you the chance to study an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. It is usually relevant to your career so provides an excellent selling point when you are looking for a job or promotion.
  • If you are an overseas student, we will help you to carry out a project either based in your home country or that will be of specific relevance when you return home.
  • Teaching staff are research active, which keeps your learning cutting-edge.
  • The taught modules aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your academic studies, you gain skills in:
    • problem solving and organisation;
    • data collation, review and synopsis;
    • communication (oral, written and electronic);
    • time management; and
    • co-operation and teamwork.
  • Each module offers a stimulating balance of study, which may include lectures, practical lab work, group working, case studies and presentations. Industry experts often teach on the courses, enhancing your studies.
  • You also have the chance to network with other professionals in the same situation as yourself. Our postgraduate students often set up study groups to support and encourage to each other.
  • We offer part-time options to help you fit your studies around other commitments. This course is modular, with each module taught in a week-long block, allowing you to attend as you would for a short course.
  • September and January start dates give you extra flexibility. 

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Computing research activities are focused around the following main research centres:

  • Digital Imaging Research Centre - offering expertise in computer vision, medical imaging, visual surveillance, ambient intelligence, machine learning and computer graphic.

Extra activities for this course

The range of events and lectures in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing enhances your studies and adds an extra perspective to your learning.

For example, the Digital Information Research Centre (DIRC) runs seminars which have recently covered:

  • How social media affects police operations.
  • Dimensionality issues in weighted differential entropy.
  • Link quality based routing framework for wireless sensor networks.
  • Data integration for smart urban transport.
  • HTTP video streaming adaptation.
Postgraduate study
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