MSc

Information Systems

Hands-on learning in our computer labs

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

The effective use of information technology is vital to industry and commerce. Our course aims to equip you to work professionally within these environments as an information systems specialist.

In particular, it aims to develop reflective academic skills while providing you with the knowledge and technical skills associated with the development and management of information systems and related software and equipment.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Apply your skills to real-life practical problems as part of the department’s partnership scheme with local and global organisations
  • Use our fully equipped multi-platform suites and computer labs to enhance your learning experience
  • Design and develop your own piece of software, hardware, or network system as part of your final project

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is designed to firmly establish and develop your skills in computer programming, systems analysis and software development in the context of professional business. All companies and organisations rely on information systems for a number of business processes, and IS specialists can really be the competitive advantage in this area meaning that your employment opportunities will be extensive. 

Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP).

Nkem Nzemeke, MSc Software Engineering student 2013

The mobile laboratory is one of the best I've seen. The practicals are based on real-life scenarios which are great and we also benefit from speakers from top mobile companies.

Nkem Nzemeke, computing student 2013

Key Facts

Start date and duration
1 year full time (start September), 3 years part time (start September), 16 months full time (start January - International applicants only)
Entry
A second-class honours degree or equivalent, which includes some element of Computing. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5
Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £5,200, part time: £1,730 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 p/a* part time: £4,570 p/a*

*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

Contact
technology.admissions@port.ac.uk
+44 (0)23 9284 2555
Department
School of Computing
Programme specification
Accreditations & Endorsements

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Alongside a selection of key compulsory topics, you’ll also undertake a substantial project. This involves in-depth research, where you will apply the skills and knowledge from the taught part of the course to a practical computing problem, usually supplied by local businesses or other external clients.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Information Systems Development: The unit prepares and enhances skills for industry with specialisation in the areas of the software process, systems design, object-oriented analysis and relational database development. It provides a balance between theoretical and practical elements.
  • Information Systems Management: This unit introduces students to the project management of IS/IT developments and encourages understanding of the techniques and methods currently used. It is based on monitoring and managing the activities in a project development life cycle, covering estimating and planning techniques, design, implementation and integration, project team building and motivation, configuration management and risk management. The unit requires students to consider project management techniques applicable to the development of current types of information system and to apply these techniques and methods specifically to the task of website development.
  • Interaction in Computer Systems: This unit introduces interaction with and by computer systems, and the role of computer systems and data communications in network environments. Concepts of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and ergonomics are introduced to students, and used to analyse and assess interactive systems in terms of accessibility and usability.
  • Web Development: Website design and development is a central skill for IS professionals. It involves not only a basic understanding of how websites are constructed and served, but also an understanding of how the websites function as part of a user-computer interactive system. This requires a developed understanding both of users and of the information tasks they are trying to perform.
  • Master's Project: You will undertake either an engineering unit or a study project, during the summer period. The project offers students the opportunity to apply the taught material in the solution of a real-world problem directly related to their course. The engineering project usually involves building a piece of software to solve a problem. An example of the sort of thing you might do would be building an information system to address a specific organisation’s requirements. The study project usually involves undertaking a study of an information systems problem domain. An example of the sort of thing you might do for a study project would be an evaluation of the information systems impact of mobile devices on an organisation.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught using a combination of formal lectures, tutorials and lab sessions. You’ll also be required to spend a significant amount of time in private study, which may involve additional software development or research as appropriate to the topic you are currently studying.

How are you assessed?

You will encounter a range of assessment styles depending on the content and nature of the unit topic. This can include written assignments, presentations as well as group and individual lab-based assessments. However, the most significant assessment element is the final dissertation, which reports and reflects on your final project.

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Monitor Facilities & Features


Specialist Software and Equipment

A full range of industry software will be available for you to use in the computer labs, supported by multi-platform network suites offering a variety of operating systems. You’ll have a range of excellent resources at your fingertips including:

  • mobile computing lab to develop Android and iOS apps
  • pervasive computing lab for high performance computing
  • usability lab including state of the art eye tracking equipment
  • Linux and Windows systems
  • forensics lab with industry standard forensic tools

Tutor Centre

A one-stop academic help and support resource for all School of Computing students. Need help understanding your assessments? Want to talk to someone about your project or about a programming problem? This is the place to go.

Maths Café

Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

On completing this course, you will be all set to enter into a wide variety of careers in the computing industry, progress onto computing research or use computing as an additional skill in support of your principal career. Many of our previous graduates have taken the course with a view to changing career direction, be it as part of an IT company or an IT department of a company or local government organisation.

You can also use the course as a route to an academic career by undertaking research study leading to a PhD, with the aim of eventually becoming a university lecturer or researcher.

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

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Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Information Days 2016

  • Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm

Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.

Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.

Book now

Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.