Business Information Systems (Distance Learning Top-up) BSc (Hons)

a business information systems student working on a lap top computer
Mode of Study
Part-time by distance learning
2 years part-time distance learning (top-up)
Start Date
January 2019, September 2019, January 2020


Today's businesses are driven by the information they offer via systems such as networked computers, the Web and large-scale databases.

On this BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems top-up degree course, you'll learn how to apply these systems in a business, including how computers work and how software systems are developed.

The combination of systems analysis, management and technical skills you'll get on this 2-year part-time course will prime you for work as an information systems professional with an understanding of the evolving needs of modern businesses. You'll also be able to register as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) after you graduate.

We deliver this course online, through distance learning, starting at level 6 (which is the equivalent of the final year on a full degree course). If you want to study the full degree course, you can do the full-time, campus-based version of this degree.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Apply your skills to practical problems as part of the department’s partnership scheme with charities, local companies and global organisations
  • Tap in to our Library’s electronic resources, which you can access from anywhere with a Web connection
  • Participate in live web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students
  • Learn the technical and managerial skills you need to be a professional information systems analyst or designer
  • Explore the tools and technologies that help modern businesses work smarter, in areas such as mobile applications, security, business intelligence and data analytics
  • Get a practical understanding of how computers work and how information systems are developed
  • Develop an enquiring mind ready to engage with emerging technologies and make them work for business
  • Take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to real scenarios, with visits to global companies like IBM and SAP

Work experience and career planning

If you're not currently in a role relevant to what you're studying, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

Careers and opportunities

There's currently a shortage of talented engineers in the UK and abroad, so there will be many opportunities open to you when you graduate.

Here are some areas that graduates from this course have gone on to work in:

  • IT management
  • network design
  • software engineering
  • computer programming
  • web development
  • business analysis
  • systems analysis and design
  • system management
  • security management
  • project management
  • business consultancy

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and meets the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered IT Professional (CITP).

This accreditation lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work in the information systems industry when you graduate. This gives you an edge over students who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (January 2019 start)

  • UK, EU, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £2,310 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you'll study units worth a total of 60 credits. For example, 1 unit worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units on this course include:

  • Advanced database concepts
  • Project management

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units on this course include:

  • Final year major project

There are no optional units in this year.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Most of the course is delivered via our interactive virtual learning environment. With access to all the study material you’ll need, discussion forums and the chance to connect with peers and lecturers via chat sessions, you’ll have plenty of academic support and heaps of resources.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • multiple choice tests
  • essays
  • mini projects
  • presentations
  • review articles

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


How to apply

Apply for this course using our online application form. Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.


How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.