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 in making improved value chains, decision making, leadership and management, in an environment of high-tech innovation, knowledge engineering and business intelligence.

You will be trained to recognise and welcome change in the business and information environment created by social, economic, political and technical developments.

Input from industry professionals and the Big Data group, will give concrete and practical context to your studies.

You will be encouraged to acquire Agile qualifications as you develop skills for managing large and small IT projects.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Delivered in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) January 2023
Full time 2 years including professional placement Delivered in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) January 2023
Part time 2–3 years Delivered in 2 separate specific week blocks (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) January 2023
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Course content is informed by an industrial advisory board, ensuring what you learn will meet the demands of business and industry.
  • You will be able to tailor your studies to suit your career, industry background or the requirements of your organisation.
  • The project/dissertation, through which you will study an area of interest in depth, can be an excellent selling point when you seek a job or promotion.

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.

For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments. It is the responsibility of individual students to find a suitable paid placement. Students will be supported by our dedicated placement team in securing this opportunity.

Modules

Core modules

Business in Practice

30 credits

This postgraduate module covers the theory and practice of the business and management needs of students from different academic contexts such as, but not limited to Science, Engineering, Computing and Health Services who are aspiring team leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs in business within the context of the commercial, public, voluntary, or academic sector.

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

  • Investigate business topics ranging from finance, accounting, budgeting, and marketing, to organisational management by developing the leadership skills to meet business challenges and to cope with their complexity.
  • Explain and put into context business concepts to graduates from a variety of sectors including those encompassed by Science, Engineering, Computing and Health Services.
IT and Entrepreneurship

30 credits

The knowledge society is a driving force in creating economic growth and it is an aim of Information Systems to use IT to organise relevant information in an Entrepreneurial fashion so as to increase its value, to add more value and, by provoking innovation, to create new and superior value chains. The information life cycle and hierarchy as well as the various types of intellectual property will be presented and explained. Subjects covered involve the knowledge-based view of the organisation, theories of knowledge and information use as well as the role of various software systems (CRM, CMS, ERP, EDM etc.) in developing supportive information systems and in learning and knowledge cycling.

From that foundation, the module proceeds to explain how to develop an Information Systems strategy to satisfy critical information needs. It also aims to explore the application and use of improved value chains using the concepts of corporate venturing (intrapreneurship) and Entrepreneurship (new venture creation).

Participants should not only get "knowledge", but also gain an "employability benefit" that they can use in their careers as Information Systems specialists in innovative organisations and/or as independent consultants or entrepreneurs. It also introduces legal, ethical and professional aspects and hence addresses the employability of the students in their future career. Furthermore, students acquire the necessary research skills to independently carry out a research project.

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.
Databases and Data Management

30 credits

In this module students will be introduced to the methods, techniques and tools that organisations use to collect, manage, store and secure data. Different approaches and methods will be explored to model data requirements using structured and unstructured databases. Students will also be introduced to data warehousing architectures and concepts in "big data". Essential knowledge of data security issues, including policies, structures and practices used to ensure data security and confidentiality, and the way that such issues are addressed in practice, is also examined.

Project Dissertation

60 credits

This module constitutes the major individual piece of work of the Masters Programme where the student carries out a project involving independent critical research, design and implementation (where applicable).

On successful completion of the module, students 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 their 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.

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.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of 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 placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. You may find securing a professional placement difficult as they are highly competitive and challenging, but they are also incredibly rewarding. So it is very important to prepare and apply yourself if this is the route you wish to take. Employers look for great written and oral communication skills; and an excellent CV/portfolio. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Student Route visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A 2:2 or above 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 you must pass IELTS academic test in English with an overall score of 6.5, with no element below 6.0, or meet the scores listed on the alternative online tests. Please note that we do not accept Standard XII as proof of Academic English.

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.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

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, 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 learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 272 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1528 hours


15% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching 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 postgraduates from other courses.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught at the School of Computer Science and Mathematics.

The School of Computer Science and Mathematics is driven by the philosophy of 'learning through making'; we focus strongly on facilitating a hands-on experience, student led and owned product portfolios and producing industry-ready graduates.

We utilise a range of innovating teaching and learning approaches in our invigorated and modernised degree programmes; combining studio practices, project-based learning, and context driven lectures to facilitate an informed approach to problem solving.

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

2023/24 fees for this course

Home 2023/24

  • MSc full time £9,860
  • MSc part time £5,423

International 2023/24

  • MSc full time £15,800
  • MSc part time £8,690

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23

  • MSc full time £9,620
  • MSc part time £5,291

International 2022/23

  • MSc full time £15,400
  • MSc part time £8,470

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Field trips

All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Placements

If the placement year option is chosen, during this year travel costs will vary according to the location of the placement, and could be from £0 to £2,000.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty 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. 

After you graduate

Graduates' careers include data analyst, business analyst, project manager, IT consultant, entrepreneur and related information systems roles, such as in digital marketing, software development and testing.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty 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 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.

Changes from 1 August 2022

Up until 31 July 2022, this course was taught in the Faculty of Science Engineering and Computing. For students enrolling from September 2022, the course will be delivered by the Faculty of Engineering, Computing, and the Environment. There will be no impact on the teaching or the award of the degree.