Computing for Business

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate


Introduction

Combine business and management skills with computing expertise. Gain specialist, up-to-date computing, business and management knowledge with this intensive MSc. The course covers the application and development of key computer technologies, as well as business management principles. You will be offered a choice of computing modules, so that you can adapt the course to your previous computing experience.

Computing Science at Stirling has strong links with industry. Students can get a first hand industrial experience through placements and internships with local enterprises and organisations. More specifically, we offer company-based MSc projects to our students where our students can work with an employer to gain valuable commercial experience. We usually place more than 50% of our students with a company for the MSc project duration. We also regularly invite industry experts to share their expertise with students through seminars and talks.

The course is designed to complement and extend a student’s previous education and experience. As such the course offers a high degree of flexibility.

You will also get prepared for finding and securing a great job after completing this course through an integrated structured personal and professional development programme. This course covers crucial topics such as self-image, body language, interview techniques, assessment centre strategies, conflict resolution as well as CV preparation and job targeting techniques.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a taught postgraduate degree in the 2017/18 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Start date:

    September

  • Course Director: Dr Mario Kolberg
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Mario Kolberg

www.cs.stir.ac.uk/entrants/cb

Computing Science and Mathematics
University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
UK

View fees and finance

Course objectives

The course is aimed at students from a variety of backgrounds, especially those that do not have any previous training in computing or management.

This MSc will equip you with required knowledge in management and computing to embark on a successful career in the management of IT systems and teams. Our company sponsored MSc projects will provide an ideal pathway into the industry.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. No formal qualifications in Computing Science or Management are required. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Science, Computing and Engineering and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto year one of this Master's degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email graduate.admissions@stir.ac.uk to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs

2017/18 Overseas £14,600
2017/18 Home/EU £4,600

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

For information on possible sources of funding, visit:  http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

This course comprises two 15-week semesters of taught modules, a winter programming assignment over three weeks in January, and the MSc dissertation project over three months at the end.

Practical work is a key component in this course. It builds from self contained tasks in the first semester, over the larger winter programming assignment, to a group project in Semester 2. Finally, the dissertation project (possibly with a company) is the largest piece of work leading to your MSc dissertation. We usually place more than 50% of our students with a company for the MSc project duration.

In Semester 1 you will take the following core module:

  • Managing Across Cultures: This module introduces you to key concepts in managing different activities in international organisations.  This module will help you to develop an appreciation of the different cultures and how this will impact on the way business is conducted and managed in different parts of the world.

Plus either:

  • Principles and Practice of Programming: Design and test programs written in Java. You will study good practice in program construction, programming with data structures and graphical user interfaces
  • Database Principles and Applications: Provides a critical understanding of the role of database management systems and the ability to creatively design and implement practical databases

or:

  • Concurrent and Distributed Systems: Discusses how concurrent and distributed systems may be constructed and how parallelism in applications is handled. This module contains extensive lab exercises to illustrate the problems and for you to work on solutions. 
  • and one of
    • Representing and Manipulating Data: This module focuses on technologies such as Python for data manipulation and JSON together with XML and HTML for data representation.
    • Relational and non-Relational Databases: This module investigates the difference between SQL and non-relational (NoSQL) databases. It uses technologies such as MongoDB, Cassandra, and Neo4j. You will also learn about using MapReduce on databases.

During the winter break there is an extended programming assignment using Java.

In Semester 2 you will study three core modules:

  • Business in Europe and the Competing Economies: This module will strengthen your understanding of the context and operation of international business in Europe and the competing economies such as the BRIC nations. Furthermore, you will critically reflect on the dynamics of these regions within the global market place and identify some of the key issues and challenges faced by the European and Asian businesses and societies.
  • International Strategy: In this module you will develop an understanding of the nature of the environment facing organisations in international settings and its impact on strategy. You will also develop general management and team skills and reinforce the links between theory and practice.

Plus one elective from: 

  • Object-oriented Software Design: How to analyse and model requirements and develop object-oriented software, through the use of UML and CASE tools
  • Data Analytics: This module looks at Reasoning Systems, Data Mining and the use of probability information in predicting data values.
  • Cluster Computing: In this module you will learn about the need for distributed data processing and distributed computing across clusters of computers. You will learn about the Hadoop ecosystem, including Pig and Hive, as well as distributing processes using Condor.

 

You may graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma after two semesters, or you may continue with a three-month project and dissertation to qualify for the MSc degree. The subject of the dissertation will usually be a computer application for a financial purpose.

Delivery and assessment

You will learn about computing and management approaches through lectures, tutorials/seminars and practical sessions. Lectures involve the whole class, while tutorials and practicals are for small groups. Practical work is a key component in our degrees, and provides the opportunity for hands-on experience. It builds from self-contained tasks in the first semester, over a larger programming assignment in the winter break to a group project in Semester 2. Finally, the dissertation project is your largest single piece of work leading to your MSc dissertation. 

After two semesters of classes you will embark on a three-month project working on your dissertation topic. At the end of the project you will write up your findings as your MSc dissertation. For the MSc projects, we will make a number of industrial placements available. We usually place more than 50% of our students with a company for the MSc project duration.

To support your work in and outside of classes, our computing laboratories offer 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to state-of-the-art networked PCs, with full internet access.

Throughout the course, a mixture of assessment techniques are used to allow you to give your best. Assessment on individual modules is usually based on both examination and practical work during the semester.

Modes of study

Full-time
MSc: one year;
Diploma: nine months

Part-time
This course may be taken on a part-time basis over a period of up to 27 months following a programme of study agreed with the Course Director.

Study method

Full-time This course may also be taken on a part-time basis over a period of up to 27 months following a course of study agreed with the Programme Director.

Why Stirling?

Video

REF2014

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

Rating

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 90 percent of research in Computing Science and Mathematics at Stirling was graded as ‘Internationally Excellent’, with the top five percent of that judged to be ‘World-leading’.

According to the Guardian Newspaper's University Guide 2013, Stirling scores 100% student satisfaction for the course and 95% satisfaction with teaching in Computing Science and IT. For more information, please see http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/table/2012/may/22/university-guide-computer-sciences-it

In the National Student Survey (Dec 2012) Stirling was ranked 1st for a 'Good Place To Be’ and also 1st for its Graduate School.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Strengths

Hands on experience & industrial placements

Practical work is a key component in our degrees, and provides the opportunity for hands-on experience. It builds from self contained tasks in the first semester, over a larger programming assignment in the winter break to a group project in Semester 2. Finally, the dissertation project is your largest single piece of work leading to your MSc dissertation. We usually place more than 50% of our students with a company for the MSc project duration.

After two semesters of classes you will embark on a three month project working on your dissertation topic. At the end of the project you will write up your findings as your MSc dissertation. For the MSc projects, we will make a number of industrial placements available. These will be offered to the best students in the class. Stirling is also partner in the Making the Most of Masters initiative, which organises company lead MSc projects. Other project suggestions both from external bodies and from within the university are also offered. Furthermore, students' own ideas for projects are encouraged and welcomed.

Computing Science at the University of Stirling supports the Scottish e-Placement project which provides short and long term (one-year) placements with Scottish high-tech companies. These placements typically are paid and thus a good way of gaining commercial experience and helping with your living expenses.

At Stirling, computing students are prepared for the employer-based MSc projects and the workplace more generally through an integrated structured personal and professional development programme called ‘Lift-Off’. This programme covers crucial topics such as self-image, body language, interview techniques, assessment centre strategies, conflict resolution as well as CV preparation and job targeting techniques.

Our students

As this is a new course, we do not have feedback from previous students. However, some employers have already endorsed this course:

A combination of Computing and Business topics seems a sound idea for many businesses, including our own. Having had varied experiences of working with Graduate Application Developers, we know which ones have stood out from the crowd; it's those that can align their day to day work activities with a solid sense of the organisations overall aims and purpose, and can easily link their job purpose back to the commercial aspirations of the Company. To combine management with computing topics is sure to address some very real business needs; a good understanding and combination of valuable disciplines, such as project, people and e-commerce management practices needs to be present, and likely to be insisted upon by employers, in today's competitive marketplace.

Nick Pye, CEO, YouManage Ltd.:

A course that combines computing and business is a great idea. It should produce graduates that have a more rounded appreciation of what is needed to deliver business results as well as the technical know-how to deliver them.

Peter Harper, Development Operations Manager, Kana Software:

 

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The MSc in Computing for Business will greatly enhance the employment prospects of students. As a graduate of Computing for Business, you will be in demand to manage and lead IT projects in a range of sectors including IT software organisations, service enterprises, large corporates, financial institutions.

Previous postgraduate students in the department have been very successful in obtaining suitable employment in the computing field in a considerable diversity of posts - with small companies, with major international organisations including Accenture, IBM, HP, Yammer, Google, Microsoft, Reuters and major financial institutions such as HBOS, as well as with Local Authority and Government bodies. A number of graduates of the MSc Advanced Computing have continued their studies towards a PhD.

More generally, common job profiles of our graduates are:

  • As a Systems Analyst, you will work on solving computer problems. This might involve adapting existing systems or using new technologies designing a new software solution. In doing so, you will design software, write code, and test and fix software applications. You might also be involved in providing documentation for users. Typically, you would work as part of a larger team.
  • IT Consultants closely work with clients (often at the clients premises) and advise them on how to use computer technology and applications to best meet their business needs. You will work with clients to improve their efficiency of using computer systems. This may involve the adaptation/customisation of software applications or the development of custom applications for the specific needs of the customer. As well as technical duties, you may be involved in project management.
  • Applications Developers translate software requirements into programming code and will usually specialise in a specific area, such as computer games or web technology. Often developers work as part of a larger team. You may be in charge of developing a certain component or part of a larger application.
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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