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a Sep 07 IS.doc

  1. 1. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems (September 2007 start) Full- and Part- Time Postgraduate Course School of Computing, Napier University, Edinburgh (Merchiston Campus) Summary This course is about the development and use of computer-based information systems in any organisation. It contains both computing and business-related subjects. Applicants should have an honours degree in any subject (including arts) other than computing. The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) involves a taught element comprising 30 weeks of study (repeated in year two in the case of the part-time version). Students who successfully complete this may graduate (PgDip) or progress to the Master of Science (MSc) dissertation. Overview The MSc Information Systems is based around the concepts and techniques of developing application systems for organisations. Subjects include the use of information in organisations; computer hardware, software and networks; programming in a language such as Java; systems development; database; e-commerce; web system design. Many aspects of the course are designed with the needs of industry in mind. Wherever possible theory is backed up with practical use of techniques and software which are being adopted in industry. As new IT concepts emerge, the course is revised accordingly. Throughout, a systems engineering approach is taught, and you will be expected to plan carefully, design using modelling techniques, and assess alternative designs before implementing. The group workshop project offers you the opportunity to integrate and reinforce the principles of the course. Your group will follow through a full development from initial user interviews to the demonstration of a working system. The MSc project offers you the opportunity to specialise further and investigate very recent research, software and techniques. ©2006, Napier University Page 1 21/05/2010
  2. 2. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh Course Aims The aims of this course are: 1. to foster a critical understanding and critical application of the concepts and principles of the use and importance of information systems management and development in organisations 2. to develop the ability to evaluate the concepts, principles and techniques of specifying and designing computer-based applications and apply these to non-trivial information systems problems 3. to develop a critical understanding and awareness of the analysis, design and implementation of information systems solutions 4. to stimulate an enquiring, analytical, creative, and reflective approach that encourages independent judgment and critical awareness 5. to further develop abilities to reason logically, work effectively in a team, communicate clearly, and to think critically 6. to ensure that the student has the basis for both future personal development and for continuing professional development Employment A Masters degree in Information Systems can open the door to a wide range of careers. Many graduates of the course have found employment within in the computer departments of organisations, often starting as a trainee courser/software engineer/system builder, analyst or system tester. Graduates have also been employed in the ‘business’ areas of an organisation as graduate trainee, particularly in areas where a good understanding of information systems, and their potential, is valuable. You may also find employment in your original degree subject or work experience area, but able to create/commission computer solutions as a result of your new knowledge and skill set. Other destinations have included graduates moving in to fields such as research (e.g. PhD, or as Research Assistants), education, and training. Admissions Applicants are expected to hold a British honours degree or equivalent in a discipline (including arts) other than computing. A lower qualification may be considered if accompanied by appropriate work experience. Potential applicants can check the equivalence of their qualification or experience by emailing details to computing.enquiries@napier.ac.uk Indian applicants should have passed a four-year degree such as BTech or BSc or BEng. Pakistani applicants should have an MSc in science or engineering or a two- year masters in a professional field. Nigerian applicants should have an honours degree plus at least two years relevant experience such as a responsible post in a bank. ©2006, Napier University Page 2 21/05/2010
  3. 3. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh Course Structure You can study the course in full-time mode over approximately one year, or in part-time mode over approximately two and a half years. You may elect to exit from the course with a post-graduate certificate after successful completion of four modules or a post-graduate diploma after successful completion of eight modules. Full-time Course The structure for the full-time MSc/PgDip. in Information Systems is shown below. Trimesters 1 and 2 each involve four subjects (modules) being taught in parallel. Trimester 1 Software Development 1 (Java) (Sept - Jan) Computer Systems Information Management Application Development Trimester 2 Web Design and Development (Feb – June) Database Group Systems Development Workshop Option (may depend on demand/availability): Software Development 2 Technology Challenges Internet Integrated Business Trimester 3 Dissertation (June – Sept) Part-time Course Note that this does not attract SAAS funding nor a visa for overseas students. Two subjects are studied in parallel in each trimester. Attendance may be on more than one day per week. Year 1 Trimester 1 Application Development (Sept - Jan) Computer Systems Trimester 2 Database Systems (Feb – June) Web Design and Development Year 2 Trimester 1 Software Development 1 (Java) (Sept - Jan) Information management Year 2 Trimester 2 Group Systems Development Workshop (Feb – June) Option (may depend on demand/availability): Software Development 2 Technology Challenges Internet Integrated Business Year 3 (Sept – June) Dissertation ©2006, Napier University Page 3 21/05/2010
  4. 4. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh Subjects Studied The following information provides an outline of the content of modules. For much more detailed information, including a full description of each module, please see our School of Computing website: http://www.soc.napier.ac.uk. You should follow the links to Information For Prospective Students. Within this area of the site you will find detailed information on the course and all of the modules taken within the course. Computer Systems This module has three sections: hardware such as CPU’s, disc drives, CD- ROMS, sound and graphics cards; types and functions of operating systems including memory allocation, paging and caching techniques; networking fundamentals. Application Development This module discusses how computer-based information systems are developed. Included are requirements gathering and specification, database design, interaction design, process specification, system construction and testing. The emphasis is on rapid application development, with theory being illustrated throughout by practical use of Microsoft Access for tutorials and coursework. Software Development 1 (and 2 - option) These modules will provide the student with practical experience of modern software development methods using Java. The first module provides a general introduction to software development. Topics covered include flow of control, user defined methods, arrays and file handling . The second module provides practical experience of developing software in an object-oriented way. Topics covered include objects, classes, inheritance, polymorphism and programming with containers. Information Management This module will look at the management of information in organisations and the value that should be placed on this resource. Utilising information systems to exploit the information resource can provide competitive advantage to an organisation. Data and process modelling will also be examined. Group Systems Development Workshop This module is intended to integrate material from the first and second trimester subjects into a holistic system development. Lectures will introduce theory in parallel with group work in which students will apply the techniques taught to a scenario with lecturers role playing. Web Design and Development This module will look at the client server structure of the web and the architecture of browsers including helpers and plugins. On completion of the module students will know how to produce multimedia applets, HTML pages , Shockwave applets and VRML applications. Database Systems (Oracle) This module will examine Database architecture. Data Analysis and Entity Relationship modelling as well as normalisation will be discussed as will the physical database design. The module will also deal with Standard Query Language and relational algebra. Database operation including, transaction, ©2006, Napier University Page 4 21/05/2010
  5. 5. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh concurrency, recovery and security will also be considered as will the role of the Database Administrator including position, function and tools. Technology Challenges This module addresses approaches to information and technology-related change around organisations. It facilitates the evaluation of drivers and challenges for technology-related change, and the identification of opportunities for improvements presented via such change. Internet Integrated Business This module addresses the role of the Internet in delivering integrated information services in a range of organisations. It explores and evaluates contemporary Internet-based approaches to information integration, their benefits, and associated challenges. It takes a managerial rather than technical viewpoint, although some familiarity with the Internet is assumed. Dissertation This is a substantial individual project with credit equivalent to four normal subjects. It involves research, delivery of a product and a dissertation report. This will include a literature review, development method, design, test results, assessment, etc. You will see a supervisor once per week (full-time). The MSc dissertation is a minimum of one semester’s full time personal study. It has to be started no later than one year after the taught part of the course is complete and must be completed no later than one calendar year after starting the dissertation. Assessment Each subject (module) is assessed by an appropriate mix of coursework and/or exam. Should you not pass at the first attempt, you have a second opportunity in August. Teaching & Learning Style You should note that this MSc/PgDip course is a very intensive period of study, during which time you will be required to devote a significant amount of time each week to achieve an award. (As a general guide, you can expect, as a full- time student to have to devote around forty hours of work per week on average throughout the trimester in order to succeed. A part-time student may expect to have to devote around twenty hours per week on average (two modules)). A variety of teaching methods are employed, and a variety of learning styles are encouraged, including: lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions, independent study – in which students are expected to undertake both directed and non-directed work (e.g. research to develop understanding of an area), project work, and individual and group working. The taught part of your programme is delivered through lecture and tutorial sessions in the classroom and is primarily concerned with underlying knowledge and principles. The practical sessions in the laboratories provide a critical appreciation of, and experience with, current technologies and are closely coordinated with the lectures. Our courses have an emphasis on meeting real-world challenges, with a mixture of both theory and practical content. We firmly believe that practice must be informed by sound understanding of both current technology and theory, with our courses reflecting this philosophy. You should note that our ©2006, Napier University Page 5 21/05/2010
  6. 6. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh courses are not IT training courses – they are academic qualifications at a Masters level, with the structure and content focussed upon developing your knowledge of the chosen area to an advanced level. That said, many of our courses are tailored for students without a first degree in the computing subject area, and for that reason are suitable for those wishing to develop their understanding at a rapid pace to an advanced level. In view of this, the earlier elements of such courses tend by their nature to be more generalist rather than specialist in their treatment of the topic of study, given the non-advanced standing of the majority of entrants. Although each module may have only three or four hours of classes per week, there is an overall commitment of around ten hours per week per module. Much of this time is spent reading, undertaking research or practical work, or engaged in project work, in addition to attendance at timetabled sessions. An important part of the study process is therefore the development of good time and project management skills – although you will be relieved to hear that these are skills valued by many employers! You are not required to have any formal knowledge of computing before starting the course. However, the course does require you to engage with a wide range of new material and technologies in a relatively short time. For this reason some familiarity with the basics of using email, web browsers, files and folders and applications such as word-processing and drawing packages will be an advantage. Facilities and Support Modules are supported by the use of an on-line learning environment (WebCT Vista) where lecturers can place lecture material, coursework, exams, reading directions, etc. Note, however, that this is not a distance learning course and attendance at classes is required. The 500 seat computer centre is open 24/7 (apart from some public and other holidays). You will have use of many software packages there and have unrestricted web and email access. There is a specialist multimedia laboratory, and a networking laboratory has the necessary CISCO equipment, software and teaching material. Our Library Information Services has many excellent aids to developing sound study skills, which will be of particular use to those returning to education after a gap. These resources can be explored either in person at one of our Learning Information Services sites (at each of our campuses – see http://www.napier.ac.uk for campus maps), or via the Learning Information Services website: http://nulis.napier.ac.uk. There are specialist learning support, language development and personal support staff who can help with any problems you may have. Applying Application forms can obtained from the ‘Further Details’ contacts below or be completed on-line at HTTP://WWW.NAPIER.AC.UK/COURSES or be printed from: HTTP://WWW.NAPIER.AC.UK/DOWNLOADS/DEFAULT.ASPX? DISPLAYMANNERS=TRUE&CLASSID=163 Please supply a transcript of your degree subjects/marks and a reference from a recent academic (or employer if you graduated some time ago). ©2006, Napier University Page 6 21/05/2010
  7. 7. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh Applicants from China should refer to their local office: info@napierchina.com Applicants from India are advised to go through agents: http://www.edwiseinternational.com or http://www.britishhighereducation.com or http://www.bces-india.com/ Deadlines for applications are: International applicants requiring visas: 31 July Applicants in the EU: 31 August Applicants in the UK: Late September Note that there are limited SAAS funded places. You are advised to apply early. Term Dates September 2007 Entry International student induction: 18 - 21 September 2007 Induction: Week Commencing 24 September 2007 First Trimester: 1 October 2007 – 26 January 2008 Second Trimester: 4 February 2008 – 31 May 2008 Fees for 2007/8 Fees for UK and European Union (EU) students are: Full time: PGDip £3240 + MSc Dissertation an extra £325* SAAS may pay the PGDip part, you must pay for the MSc Dissertation. Part-time: PGDip £1620 for each of years 1 & 2* + MSc Dissertation an extra £325* Fees for non-EU students are: Full time: MSc: £10245 Part-time (not suitable for those requiring a student visa): PGDip £4655 for each of years 1 & 2* + MSc Dissertation an extra £935* *Second year and Dissertation fees may increase a little each year Applicants from India & China must pay a deposit of £1000 after acceptance. Funding Students from Scotland and EU countries may be eligible to have their fees paid for the PGDip part of the course by the SAAS (Students Awards Agency Scotland). SAAS may also pay maintenance if you are Scottish or have been resident in Scotland for the last three years. You should not previously have been on a course at post-graduate level to qualify for these awards. The SAAS For definitive information, enquiries should be directed to SAAS : Web: http:// www.saas.gov.uk/ Tel: 0131 476 8212. Students ordinarily resident elsewhere in the United Kingdom should obtain information concerning funding from their Local Education Authority. ©2006, Napier University Page 7 21/05/2010
  8. 8. MSc/PG.Dip. Information Systems Napier University, Edinburgh Applicants not eligible for SAAS funding can apply for Career Development Loans. There are scholarships of £1000 available to students from India, China, Malaysia, USA and Canada. Other sources may be explored at: http://www.britishcouncil.org http://www.chevening.com www.acu.ac.uk/scholarships http://www.scotlandscholarship.com/ www.ukcosa.org.uk www.acu.ac.uk/marshall For more information on accommodation, living expenses, etc., see the Napier University web site http://www.napier.ac.uk under ‘prospective students/ international’. Visa information is on www.ukvisas.gov.uk Further Information Please see: http://www.soc.napier.ac.uk/ and select the menu options Information For Prospective Students. or contact: The Postgraduate Courses Administrator School of Computing, Napier University 10 Colinton Road Edinburgh EH10 5DT Tel: 0131-455-2706 Fax: 0131-455-2727 computing.enquiries@napier.ac.uk Disclaimer Please note that this information is provided as a guide - the University reserves the right to make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of programmes as are reasonably considered necessary - including discontinuing programmes. Not all programmes run at all times. The terms and conditions stated within the Napier University Postgraduate Prospectus apply and should be noted. ©2006, Napier University Page 8 21/05/2010