The course provides a deliberate blend of the core principles of business and project management, together with a firm grounding in the technology and rationale behind effective information systems, strategy and security.
We aim to equip you with the specialist skills and knowledge that will enable you to adopt a professional approach to the planning, design and management of complex networked and distributed computer systems.
We use our professional links with local, national and multinational companies, to stay in tune with the global developments in the industry. For example, the IT Manager of M&S worldwide was instrumental in making changes to the teaching of project management, so that we now incorporate agile process management, which recognises the need for iterative and incremental improvements in the design and build of IT systems.
Your Master’s project brings together the IT and management strands. You will undertake a real-world project or participate in collaborative research with University staff. Recent projects have covered topics as diverse as network security for SMEs and digital marketing strategies for a local community centre.
Your main study themes are:
- Information systems and technology strategy: We explore the theoretical and practical aspects of IS/IT strategy in the context of a global business environment. A robust IS/IT strategy is constructed as part of the strategic business planning cycle; we will consider the drivers, critical success factors and barriers to project management. You’ll be introduced to the tools and techniques associated with constructing and implementing an IS/IT strategy and for evaluative decision-making.
- IT project management: Prepares you for managing organisational change through IT projects involving major changes, including issues related to new products, new plant and equipment and new operating systems, which affect people within and external to the organisation. We will look at the strategic use of the tools and techniques of IT project management, enabling you to acquire skills in PRINCE2 methodology. You can choose to take the PRINCE2 exam to gain certification, though there is a cost associated with this.
- Innovation and knowledge management:Innovation is a key enabler for the success and growth of companies, whether this is through technological innovation or business model innovation. Therefore, you will be encouraged to explore the broad context of innovation and its impact on businesses, but with focus on areas relevant to technology businesses. We will examine different models of change management and their relevancy and efficacy within organisations.
- Humanitarian information and communication technologies: We examine the recent rapid spread of technologies, especially information and communication technologies and the impact and effect that this is having on humanitarian situations and actions, such as Search and rescue using drones with smart capabilities, crowd sourcing – a way by which live information is captured by ‘ordinary’ geographically dispersed people ,through the internet ,in building a crisis map and feeding the Government emergency teams and NGOs in a disaster to bring quick targeted response and relief and Artificial Intelligence for data mining and analytics in the world of big data and the internet of things. We also consider the issues with technology as an enabler for ‘predators’ misusing technology for personal or ideological gains
- Decision Support Systems: Develops skills and knowledge about the core capabilities and components of modern decision support systems (DSS) and their application to management decisions. Extensions into intelligent DSS, group DSS and organisational DSS will also be explored.
- Network security: Provides comprehensive knowledge of information security concepts and an understanding of how they are applied using network, internet and mobile technologies. You will learn about the threats posed to organisations and businesses due to security risks, as well as the legal, policy and technical approaches that are necessary to mitigate such risks.
- Ubiquitous computing: The advent of affordable sensors and interaction devices, such as web cams, mobile phone based sensors, digital pens and Google glasses, together with wireless mobile computing devices, like smart phones or Arduino boards with wireless connectivity, has created boundless opportunities for in-the-world computing applications that can transform the way we live and work. We will examine the emerging opportunities enabled by cheap sensors and networked computing devices.
On completion, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: A range of systematic approaches used in the design, development and management of IT systems and projects, as well as an evaluation of the key ethical, political, legal and social issues; different tools and techniques, such as PRINCE2, available for effective management of complex IT projects in their different phases; current and emerging practices in the management of IT in a global business setting; the principles of consultancy and the theories and practices found in leadership.
- Apply and demonstrate understanding of a range of systematic approaches used in the specification, development and management of IT systems.
- Conduct a thorough and systematic analysis of a practical IT problem and use appropriate channels to disseminate the findings.
- Critically evaluate a range of possible options or solutions to address a sizeable practical IT problem and present a soundly reasoned justification for the final recommendation.
- Select and apply relevant management skills to make effective and efficient use of time and resources, individually or as a team, when undertaking computing and information technology projects.
- Identify and make effective and systematic use of a range of suitable tools and techniques for design, analysis and development of software-based solutions to complex problems.
- Make a significant contribution to the formulation and implementation of an effective IS/IT strategy plan to meet the requirements of an organisation.
As part of this course you will study Global Professional Development, a beneficial new 10-credit module developed in partnership with the CMI. Explore this module's content and benefits here.