Information Systems (with Professional Experience) MSc
MSc Information Systems (with Professional Experience)
Do you want to get professional experience of information systems while qualifying with a Master's degree in the field?
On this MSc Information Systems (with Professional Experience) degree course, you'll combine a placement or professional experience with taught modules that develop your skills in the management of information systems. You'll see how you can apply information systems tools in emerging technologies and start-ups and get experience in web product design and development.
When you complete the course successfully, your Master's degree and professional experience could lead to career opportunities in areas such as business analysis, information security and systems analysis.
What you'll experience
On this Master of Science in Information Systems course you'll:
- Take part in professional experience activities, or in a placement, putting what you learn on the course to work in industry
- Get experience in web product design and development including user experience design and programming languages
- Develop an understanding of the foundations of information systems and technology
- Learn about advanced information systems management including the tools and methodologies of project management
- Learn techniques for the management of IT networks and databases
- Develop the analytical skills and technical knowledge you need to succeed in your information systems career
- Study in our School of Computing and engage with emerging technologies, enterprise in start-ups, and information security
- Get experience with network and database tools
- Experience lectures led by active researchers and experienced professionals with teaching that covers the latest industry trends and developments
- Learn about current industry practice and available job opportunities from guest speakers
- Take part in field trips to apply your learning and find out how emerging technologies are used in industry
- Learn soft and transferable skills suitable for any role, such as critical thinking, communication (written and presentation skills), working with peers, developing initiative and enterprise skills
Careers and opportunities
The information systems field is growing with the emergence of new technologies and swift changes in company goals. This Master's degree in Information Systems gives you the understanding and practice to significantly improve your career prospects.
Importantly, you'll have the opportunity to get experience of working in the industry on a professional experience module. You'll apply your learning in areas such as database management, information systems and web product development. This gives you an advantage over other graduates, who may understand theory but not practice, when you apply for jobs.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work. You can get help, advice and support from our Careers and Employability service for up to 5 years after you leave the University as you advance in your career.
What can you do with a Master of Science in Information Systems?
Previous graduates have gone on to work in areas including:
- business analysis
- project management
- systems analysis
- business intelligence
- information security
What jobs can you do with a Master of Science in Information Systems?
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- business analyst
- systems analyst
- project manager
- software developer
- database administrator
What you'll study on this Information Systems Master's
On this Master's degree in Information Systems, you'll study modules worth 190 credits.
The core modules are:
- Computer Management and Networking
- Master's Engineering or Study Project
- Master's Study Project
- Systems Analysis for Business
- Web Product Development and Management
- Database Management
- Managing Information Systems
- User Experience Design
- Professional Experience
Changes to course content
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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
6-month professional experience module
In this module, you'll do a work placement or a professional experience programme. You'll do this for 6 months between September and March after you've completed your year of taught studies.
Placements take place in the information systems and business analysis departments of organisations of all sizes. You'll take on assistant roles in the organisation with support from your University academic department, including visits from your placement tutor to your workplace.
You can begin looking and applying for placements after completing your first teaching block. You'll get support from the Careers and Employability Centre and the Faculty of Technology Student Placement and Employability Centre in enhancing your employability skills, and in identifying and applying for suitable placements.
Note that work placements can't be guaranteed because it depends on their availability and the specific needs of placement providers. We'll give you the support you need to identify work placements but you'll be responsible for securing a placement successfully.
Professional experience programme
If you're unable to secure a work placement, you'll complete a professional experience programme designed to meet your career aspirations.
You'll further develop your employability and enterprise skills and prepare yourself for the workplace. This could be an entrepreneurship, industrial-related or consultancy project, or other activities appropriate for your career development.
Teaching on this course includes:
- practical sessions
- guest lectures
- field trips
On this course you'll be encouraged to practice what you've learned and to work in group settings.
Teaching staff include experienced experts in the industry and professors with research experience in the information systems subject area.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- written coursework
- a supervised work session – a day-long workshop where you'll be assessed on tasks carried out individually and in groups
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 you'll spend your time
We recommend you spend at least 40 hours a week studying for your Information Systems Master's degree. You’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and practical sessions for about 20 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course.
You'll need to be proactive in your learning, consolidating on material taught in class and exploring ideas further. For the coursework and final project you'll need to push your understanding beyond the taught material, and use your interest and analytical skills.
Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. Optional field trips may involve evening and weekend teaching or events. We encourage you to attend events and talks outside of the set teaching activities to develop your understanding of current issues, to network and to explore options for your future career.
If you do a work placement, your working hours will depend on your employer and role but are likely to be around 35–40 hours a week.
The academic year for the taught elements of your course runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- May to June – assessment period 2
Following the taught elements if your course, you'll work on your dissertation from early June until September and complete your 6-month professional experience module from September to March.
Extra learning support
You'll get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
Learning support tutors
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study in one-on-one and group sessions.
They can help you:
- master the mathematics skills you need to excel on your course
- understand engineering principles and how to apply them in any engineering discipline
- solve computing problems relevant to your course
- develop your knowledge of computer programming concepts and methods relevant to your course
- understand and use assignment feedback
All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.
Academic skills support
As well as support from faculty 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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Qualifications or experience
- A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 6.0.
What skills and qualities do I need for this Information Systems (with Professional Experience) Master's degree course?
In addition to meeting the entry requirements, you'll need to be an independent learner with a curious mind and a strong interest in information systems. You'll also have a willingness to develop soft skills that are essential in information systems roles. These include the ability to communicate well in spoken and written English, knowledge and practice of academic skills, the ability to listen to others' points of view and to make sense of them, and the ability to come to a shared understanding of issues in a group.
Tuition fees (September 2020 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £7,800 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full-time: £16,400 (subject to annual increase)
You'll also need to pay a fee for your professional experience module, which you'll pay in the September following your taught studies.
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.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
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.
There may be travel costs for optional internships/placements. These will vary depending on the nature of internship/placement and can range from £50 - £1000.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can 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.