The MSc Information Technology is an intensive, practically-oriented course. It provides an opportunity for graduates of non-computing subjects to develop key specialist skills for a career in Computing. It is ideal for complementing your expertise with core computing skills.
Computing Science and Mathematics has strong links with industry and is host to world-class research in the areas of Communications and Services, Computational Intelligence, and Applied Formal methods. Students can get a first hand industrial experience through placements with local enterprises and organisations. We regularly invite industry experts to share their expertise through seminars and talks.
The BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is the foremost professional and learned society in the field of computers and information systems in the UK. The Division of Computing Science and Mathematics is an Educational Affiliate of the BCS.
The MSc in Information Technology course is accredited by the BCS as partially meeting the educational requirements for Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP) registration. CITP is the professional member level of the BCS. (“partially meeting” is the normal level of accreditation for such MSc courses, and does not indicate a shortcoming! Additional training/experience is required for full registration.)
This is an intensive 12-month course which provides an opportunity for non-computing graduates to develop key specialist skills suitable for a career in Computing. It is ideal for those who wish to complement their knowledge and expertise with core computing skills in order to apply them to a new career.
The MSc Information Technology is an intensive, practically-oriented course.
By studying this course students will study in depth key topics including:
- software development
- enterprise database systems
- web technologies
- benefit from research-led teaching
- demonstrate acquired research and development skills by undertaking a substantial piece of software project work
- prepare for positions in the IT industry
Applicants normally require a first or second class Honours degree in a non-information technology subject from a British university, or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognised by the University. The course is suitable for those with first degrees in Arts, Business, Management or Social Science fields.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23, Writing 21.
This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS, full details of how to apply for PTFL can be found here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/scholarships/#PTFL
Full details of the PTFL fund and how to apply online can be found here: www.saas.gov.uk
For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/
Modes of study
Full-time: MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
Course start date
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 project over three months at the end. Semester 1 concentrates on fundamental techniques. Semester 2 integrates, develops and applies these skills.
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.
In the Semester 1 you will take the following modules:
- Principles and Practice of Programming: Covers the designing and testing of programs written in Java. You learn good practice in program construction, programming with data structures and graphical user interfaces
- Foundations of Information Technology: Covers central topics including machine architecture, operating systems, networks, algorithm efficiency, the limits of computation, software engineering, professional and ethical issues
- 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
- Interface Design and the World Wide Web: Provides a detailed knowledge of the construction of web pages, a critical awareness of the role of the World Wide Web and the usability issues underlying human-computer interface design
During the winter break there is an extended programming assignment.
Semester 2 modules:
- Decision Support Systems: Discusses IT methods and techniques supporting decision-making in organisations, in particular data modelling and mining, and intelligent decision support systems
- Networking and Technologies for Ecommerce: Discusses computer networks and their layered architecture. You also study web scripting using PHP, Java script and XML
- Multimedia: introduces multimedia authoring, graphics and sound. It also gives experience with specialised image, audio and multimedia development tools
- Object-oriented Software Design: Discusses how to analyse and model requirements and develop software using object-oriented analysis and design, through the use of UML and CASE tools for software design
You may graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma after two semesters, or continue with a three-month project and dissertation for the MSc.
Computing Science at Stirling has strong links with industry. We offer a number of commercially linked projects for the MSc dissertation period. Topics include mobile phone app development (iPhone, Android, and also cross platform environments), bespoke Java applications, and advanced website development projects.
Delivery and assessment
You will learn about key areas in computing through lectures, tutorials 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, 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 (usually unpaid) available through the Making the Most of Masters scheme (www.mastersprojects.ac.uk). These will be offered to the best students in the class. 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.
Dr Simon Jones
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’.
It has been a year of hard work, and it has been the most wonderful year in my life. I think the reason is all academic staff in the department are not only extremely knowledgeable in the computing science field but also highly effective at delivering knowledge. For example, I could always walk to my lecturer with questions and having a discussion. I could ask questions during lectures and get insightful responses. As I have successfully finished my degree, I feel experiences that I gained during the year in Stirling University made me confident, and it is a solid foundation for my career in IT. Just after finishing my MSc project I secured a position with an Edinburgh based IT company.
Kai Lan, 2012
The MSc in Information Technology will greatly enhance the employment prospects of students. As a graduate of Information Technology, you will be in demand in a range of sectors including health, IT software organisations, service enterprises, engineering and construction firms as well as in the retail sector.
Previous students have been very successful in obtaining suitable employment in the Information Technology field in a considerable diversity of posts – some with small companies, others with major UK organisations, with Local Authority and Government bodies as well as in the field of Higher Education. Recent employers of our IT students include: IBM, Hewlett Packard, Lloyds TSB, Scottish Equitable, the National Health Service and Fife Council. Typical job profiles include Software Developer, IT Consultant, Application Developer, Systems Analyst, and Web Developer.