Information Technology

The University of Stirling has been ranked in the QS World Rankings, placing the University in the top 2.5% of global Universities (2013).

Postgraduate Diploma, MSc

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Information Technology
  • Type Full-time, Part-time
  • Start date September

Dr Simon Jones Computing Science and Mathematics
University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
UK
+44 (0) 1786 467436 www.cs.stir.ac.uk/entrants/it

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 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.

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 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.

‌Enhance your employability whilst gaining work experience with our Making the Most of Masters initiative.

Find out more

Accreditation

British Computer Society logoThe 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.)

Course objectives

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. Our company sponsored MSc projects will provide an ideal pathway into the industry.

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

Entrance requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent in any subject other than Computing/IT related subjects. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work 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 provide evidence of your  proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).

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.

Our range of pre-sessional courses.

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.

Course start date

September

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 Semester 1, 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. 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.

Why study Information Technology at Stirling?

Course Director

Dr Simon Jones

RAE 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 with 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.

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 Semester 1, 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 percent of our students with a company for the MSc project duration. 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

Our graduates have found well paid jobs both in the UK and abroad. Here is some feedback what previous students thought about our MSc courses. We hope that you too, will soon be a Stirling Computing Alumni!

As an undergraduate student at the University of Stirling, I had always had a personal interest in the computing industry. For me, the MSc in Information Technology (IT) course provided an excellent opportunity to pursue this pastime and to facilitate a change in my intended career direction.

In keeping with the fast evolving and innovative nature of the IT industry, the course content had a very contemporary feel. The lecturers were extremely supportive, approachable and portrayed a genuine passion in their profession. Regular events such as internal seminars and workshops also provided ample opportunity for further learning outwith the core curriculum. I feel that this effort to actively engage students contributed towards a strong sense of community and was a really enjoyable part of the overall experience.

Through the ‘Making the Most of Masters’ initiative, I was given the opportunity to carry out my dissertation in partnership with a Stirling-based software development firm. Upon completion of the project I was offered full-time employment and I now work as a graduate web developer. To progress from an entirely non-computing background to a career in IT in such a short time period was truly beyond any of my expectations and simply wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic staff support I received throughout. Although at times challenging, I would thoroughly recommend a computing MSc course to any prospective students.

Jason Graham, MSc Information Technology, 2013

Whilst studying for my Undergraduate Degree at Stirling University, I had the opportunity to take optional modules in Computing Science. This piqued my interest in further study, and the MSC in Information Technology was the ideal course to further develop my skills, and enhance my career prospects.

The opportunities for self development, exemplary levels of support from teaching staff and the camaraderie of all the students made it a perfect end to my time studying at the University. The opportunity to carry out a company-sponsored project in mobile application development was fantastic, and I built a great relationship with my supervisor and the company. I believe the MSc has thoroughly developed my skills, and in combination with my business degree, has allowed me to secure a job as a trainee SAP consultant.

Jonathan Campbell, MSc Information Technology, 2013

It has been a year of hard work, and it has been the most wonderful year in my life. It was a pure enjoyment studying computing science in University of Stirling, I enjoyed every moment I spent at computing science department with my class mates and lecturers. I think the reason is all academic staff in my 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, MSc Information Technology, 2012

I was really enjoy my study in University of Stirling, it was one of the best year in my life. I had a great chance to meet a really good and smart people, to have an international experience! Thanks a lot! I am now a SAP CRM Consultant.

Yuliya Zharkeyeva, MSc Information Technology, 2011

Undertaking an MSc in Information Technology (IT) at Stirling University can mean different things for different people. For myself, it was supporting the change the direction of my career. Entrance into a diverse IT industry was made much easier by the breadth of subjects covered within the course, all of which were relevant, informative and enjoyable. As a mature student, the course and University provided me with a friendly and relaxed learning environment. The lecturing staff were always friendly, approachable and supportive when help was needed. The small class sizes also fostered a supportive team spirit that helped me in my learning. The smaller scale of the Computing Science Department made me feel part of a close academic community in a way not possible with the larger city institutions.

Martin Blunn, MSc Information Technology

Career opportunities

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 aconsiderable 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.

Here are some recent posts that IT students have taken up:

  • IBM, Perth: Junior IT Specialist
  • CAP-GEMINI, Glasgow
  • AIT, Henley-on-Thames: Graduate Trainee Database Administrator
  • Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh: MVS Team (Mainframe Support)
  • British Airways, Hounslow: Programmer
  • Ark Computing Solutions Ltd, Perth: Programmer/Developer
  • Lancaster University, English Dept: Java programmer
  • Rothes Infographics, Livingston: Trainee Software Developer

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.

Fees

2015/16 Overseas £13500
2015/16 Home/EU £4500
2014/15 Overseas £12900
2014/15 Home/EU £4000

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Tuition Fees for programmes of study starting in 2016/7 have not yet been set please check back here in December 2014.

Funding

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS.  More information

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships (SSS) is a substantial programme of scholarships, offered on a matched funding basis between the Government and Scottish Higher Education Institutions. The scheme offers up to 200 awards, each worth £2000. These are towards the tuition fees, for any one year of study, on an Undergraduate, Masters or PhD course at any of Scotland’s higher education institutions.

For more information on this opportunity, please see http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/general/scotlands-saltire-scholarships-.html

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