Information Systems MSc

Due to high demand the MSc in Information Systems starting in September 2019 is now closed to new applications.

Start date: September
Duration:
1 year full-time or 2/3 years part-time
Programme codes: MSc: INFT106 (full-time), INFT108 (3yr part-time), INFT162 (2yr part-time)
Postgraduate Diploma: INFT107 (full-time), INFT131 (part-time)
Postgraduate Certificate: INFT114 (full-time), INFT115 (part-time)
Accreditation: MSc & Diploma accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Cilip

This course is also available as a Professional Enhancement course - see bottom of 'Overview' page.

Overview

The Information Systems MSc is aimed at graduates from any discipline who wish to develop and enhance their knowledge and technical skills in information systems and their effective use. You will learn how to design and implement information systems and effective project management techniques alongside practical computing skills including computer programming.

Why should I take this course?

Both the Information School and the Department of Computer Science have world-leading research groups in areas such as database systems, information retrieval, speech recognition, information extraction and information management. This means you will not only gain knowledge of the well-established fundamentals, but also the most current and advanced theories and techniques.

What will I gain?

By the end of the course you will have an in-depth understanding of information systems within an organisational context, emphasising issues related to information, people, information technologies and the business environment. You will have gained practical skills related to the design and analysis of information systems. Your knowledge and skills will be highly valued in industry, commerce and academia.

What will I learn?

The course focuses on core topics in information systems including information systems modelling, project management and the impact of information systems on organisations and society. These are complemented by practical skills in computer programming and the study of professional issues in computing. You can then tailor the course to your own interests by choosing from more specialised topics including those with a strong technical focus such as advanced programming and computer security and topics that focus on how information management can be used to benefit organisations through e-business and e-commerce and business intelligence.

You will be expected to complete a dissertation on a subject of your choice by September, so the second semester includes a research methods and dissertation preparation module to help you with your research over the summer.

How will I be taught and assessed?

A variety of teaching methods are used, combining lectures from academic staff and professional practitioners with seminars, tutorials, small-group work and computer laboratory sessions. There is strong emphasis on problem-solving and individual aspects of learning, with the expectation that you will engage in independent study, reading and research in support of your coursework.

Assessments vary depending on the modules you choose but may include essays, report writing, oral presentations, in-class tests and group projects.

There is also a dissertation of 10–15,000 words, which provides the opportunity, under one-to-one supervision, to focus in depth on a topic of your choice. You may choose to carry out your dissertation with an external organisation, for instance if you are a Professional Enhancement student, your project could be directly related to your own work situation. In the past, students who have carried out such dissertations have welcomed the opportunity to tackle 'real-life' problems.

In addition, an important element of the course is the acquisition and development of the transferable skills needed in today’s workplace. These include skills in oral and written communication, developed through doing presentations and report writing as part of assessed work. Organisational and teamworking skills are developed through group work. We seek to develop your management and leadership capabilities on the course too.

Where will I study?

Our campus and how we use it

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

Professional Enhancement Course

Information Systems MSc (Professional Enhancement)

Start date: September
Duration: 1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time
Programme code: INFT137 (full-time), INFT141 (part-time)

This course is specifically designed for you if you have two or more years' relevant work experience in the information sector and wish to study for a higher degree to develop your knowledge and skills.
The number of credits you gain varies according to the level of study (Masters, 180; PG Diploma, 120; PG Certificate, 60). You must take all core modules and choose the remainder of your credits from the list of approved modules.

Modules

To obtain an MSc you must take modules totalling 180 Credits from the following, including the Core, Dissertation, and Dissertation Preparation modules.

Core Modules (Modules that you have to take) Semester Credits
COM6655 Professional Issues 1 15
INF6001 Information Systems Project Management 2 15
INF6110 Information Systems Modelling 1 15
You must also take units to the value of 75 credits from the following:
COM6102 Advanced Java Programming 2 15
COM6501 Computer Security and Forensics 2 15
COM6517 Web Technologies 2 15
INF6003 E-Business and E-Commerce 2 15
INF6041 ICTs, Innovation and Change 2 15
INF6024 Researching Social Media 2 15
INF6025 Information Governance and Ethics 2 15
INF6027 Introduction to Data Science 1 15
INF6028 Data Mining and Visualisation 2 15
INF6040 Business Intelligence 2 15
INF6050 Database Design 2 15
INF6320 Information Systems in Organisations 1 15
INF6400 Information Systems and the Information Society 2 15
INF6430 User Interface Design and Human Computer Interaction 2 15
You will also take EITHER:
COM6471 Foundations of Object Oriented Programming 1 15
INF4002 Introduction for Programming 1 15
You will also take:
INF6000 Dissertation Summer 45
INF6340 Research Methods and Dissertation Preparation 2 15

Entry Requirements

  • at least 2 years' relevant work experience, and an undergraduate degree in any subject discipline, or
  • an undergraduate degree in any subject area together with an acceptable relevant professional qualification.

If you do not have an undergraduate degree but have other qualifications and substantial relevant work experience you may be considered for entry onto the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma programmes.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Other Professional Enhancement courses

  • Postgraduate Diploma requires a total of 120 Credits
  • Postgraduate Certificate require a total of 60 Credits

Other courses

  • Postgraduate Certificate require a total of 60 Credits
  • Postgraduate Diploma requires a total of 120 Credits
  • Professional Enhancement
Modules

The full-time Information Systems MSc is a 12 month programme, running from September to September. Teaching consists of two 15-week semesters, from late September to the following June. You will then write your dissertation and finish in mid-September.

Students studying part time will complete their course over two years.

Modules have a value of credits: 180 credits are required for graduation. 90 of these are compulsory (Core) modules, 30 are elective and 60 credits are allocated to the dissertation.

Core Modules (modules that you have to take): Semester Credits
COM6655 Professional Issues 1 15
INF6001 Information Systems Project Management 2 15
INF6110 Information Systems Modelling 1 15
INF6320 Information Systems in Organisations 1 15
INF6400 Information Systems and the Information Society 2 15
You must also take EITHER:
COM6471 Foundations of Object Oriented Programming 1 15
INF4002 Introduction to Programming 1 15
You must also take units to the value of 30 credits from the following:
COM6102 Advanced Java Programming 2 15
COM6501 Computer Security and Forensics 2 15
COM6517 Web Technologies 2 15
INF6003 E-Business and E-Commerce 2 15
INF6041 ICTs, Innovation and Change 2 15
INF6024 Researching Social Media 2 15
INF6025 Information Governance and Ethics 2 15
INF6040 Business Intelligence 2 15
INF6050 Database Design 2 15
INF6430 User Interface Design and Human Computer Interaction 2 15
You will also take:
INF6000 Dissertation Summer 45
INF6340 Research Methods and Dissertation Preparation 2 15

Other courses:

  • Postgraduate Certificate require a total of 60 Credits
  • Postgraduate Diploma requires a total of 120 Credits
  • Professional Enhancement
Entry Requirements

You are normally expected to have at least a 2:1 honours degree, or its equivalent, in any subject discipline.

We encourage you to apply if you want to pursue a career in this field but have little (up to one year) or no previous relevant work experience.

If you do not have an undergraduate degree but have other qualifications and substantial relevant work experience you may be considered for entry onto the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma programmes.

English Language Entry Requirements

If your first language is not English you need to provide documentary evidence of English Language competence. You must meet the following minimum requirements:

IELTS
Overall Score 6.5
Listening 6.0
Reading 6.0
Speaking 6.0
Writing 6.0

Details of other qualifications recognised by the University of Sheffield can be found on the English language requirements webpage. You can also compare grades for English language assessments on the English Language Teaching Centre website.

If your application is successful you may need to attend an English Language class in the University before or during the course.

Open Days

If your application is successful we will invite you to attend an Open Day at the School. We hold these several times a year, and will inform you of possible dates when we contact you. Attendance at an open day is optional but will give you the opportunity to see our facilities and to meet the academic staff and current students.

There is currently no closing date for applications for the coming academic year, but we encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Careers

Your career prospects

The Information Systems MSc degree equips graduates with a broad skillset which can be applied to both information and IT or computing career paths. Students will develop strong foundations in the technical issues behind modern information usage and information systems and in project management. This can be directly applied to industry after graduation.

What people are saying about careers in Information Systems

Effective implementation and use of information systems is crucial to the success of organisations today. This means that there is a demand for information professionals who have the skills and knowledge to manage information systems and their integration into organisations.

Organisations need professionals who can create and manage systems that ensure information can be easily retrieved and used when it is needed. Information systems professionals are also crucial in change management activities during organisation restructures. Computer and analytical skills are essential for careers in this area. Our Information Systems MSc will give equip you for roles that need these skills as students are also taught within the Department of Computer Science during their degree.

Who is employing graduates?

Recent graduates work for national and international organisations including:

  • Fujitsu Europe Ltd
  • Logica
  • KPMG
  • Action Aid
  • Unisys
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Norwich Union
  • Imperial College London
  • Newcastle University

What jobs could I do?

Information Systems MSc graduates are able to enter a variety of career paths, and have progressed into roles including:

  • Systems Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Programmer
  • IT Consultant
  • Website Developer
  • Software Developer
Course Team

This course is delivered by the Information School with the Department of Computer Science.

The course tutors in the department are all research active, and many have a professional background, so have first-hand experience. We also invite guest lecturers who are leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, so you will have a chance to talk with professionals about real-life problems and solutions, as well as making contacts to build your professional network.

Course Coordinator

"I have over 10 years' experience in teaching at various higher education institutions in the UK and abroad. My main areas of teaching are global sourcing, business process modelling, business analysis and information systems management. I am also a Certified Business Associate with SAP ERP 6.0, qualified to deliver training courses in SAP/ERP.

In my previous non-academic career I held positions as systems analyst and quality analyst, the latter with professional certification from the Quality Assurance Institute. I hold a graduate diploma in university teaching and learning from University College Dublin, Ireland."

Pamela

Dr Pamela Abbott

Deputy Coordinator

“I studied many years in the areas of software engineering and management in my BSc and MSc degrees. Since then I have been working as a researcher on text data mining, natural language processing and semantic web. During this time I worked on many projects developing Information Systems for industrial partners, and obtained PhD in the field of text mining. Between 2016 and 2018, I taught database systems, system analysis and modelling, and programming to undergraduate computer science students.

Since 2018 I have been teaching Information Systems related modules such as project management and information systems modelling in the Information School."

Ziqi Zhang

Dr Ziqi Zhang

FAQ
Do I need to have any prior technical skills or subject knowledge before joining the course?

No, the course can be taken by anyone with an interest in information systems with any background.

Is there a good demand of graduates from this course in the job market both in the UK and internationally?

Information systems are now integrated parts of most modern organisations with any sizes and in any sectors. As such, the demands of IS graduates are high in the industry in both the UK and overseas countries like China and India.

What are the differences between your MSc in Information Systems programme and courses provided by Computer Sciences departments?

Courses on Software Engineering and Computer Sciences focus primarily on the technical aspects of IT and software development. Our Information Systems MSc course emphasises the applications and usage of technology rather than a focus on fundamental technologies and theories in an organisational setting. In other words, it focuses more on human and organisational issues (the ‘soft’ issues) rather than on the technologies themselves (the ‘hard’ aspects).

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.