Information Systems

Study Information Systems and graduate with a university degree

90% student satisfaction in the most recent National Student Survey.

Whether they are operating at the macro level – in industry, commerce and politics – or at the micro level – as in, how best to travel from A to B – decision making is a constant process in people’s lives. These decisions are based on knowledge; knowledge requires access to information and information emanates from data. Ours is a data-driven society with information systems at its heart. So, those of us who can use and develop these systems are highly valued and rewarded.

With its combination of theory and practice ensuring a broad skills base, this course gives a superb grounding in the subject; introducing you to the application of computer systems in an organisational context much welcomed by potential employers. You will study the role of computers in commercial environments and their adopted technologies and techniques; information systems design and analysis; decision making; and the role of information in a data-driven society.

We help our students to build a strong link with industry through 3-month summer placements and 1-year placements. Both of these are offered to third year students. Placement opportunities exists with local SME as well as large corporates.

Ours is a small, friendly team with an 'open door' policy for students. Our computing labs are fitted with state-of-the art PCs.


BCS Educational Affiliate

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 Single Honours BSc course in Information Systems gives full accreditation by the BCS for the educational requirements of Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP) registration, which is the professional member level of the BCS. Further experience is required for full registration.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
BBBB - one sitting.
ABBB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include Computing and Business Studies / Management and relevant experience of Java or other programming languages.

Other qualifications


Minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.

Advanced entry
Not available.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Essential subjects:
As listed above or equivalent.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.

Mathematics Standard Grade (3), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those students who do not meet the required criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language skills

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

Course contact

Dr Bruce Graham University of Stirling
+ 44 (0) 1786 467432

Alternative routes

Year 1

For entry to Year 1, Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Year 2

A Scottish HND in related subjects with BB in Graded Units in Year 2 can give direct entry to the second year of our degree courses.

Find out more

Degree course

There are four computing-related degrees on offer at Stirling: BSc (Hons) Computing Science, BSc (Hons) Software Engineering, BSc (Hons) Business Computing and BSc (Hons) Information Systems. During the first three semesters students on all related courses are required to take the same core modules in Computing Science. Students take Computing Science plus two other subjects in Year 1.

Semesters 1 - 3

You will take core modules, encompassing study in the following areas:

  • Computational Thinking
  • Programming Using Java
  • Social and Professional Issues
  • Usability and Accessibility of Interfaces
  • Data Structures, Objects and Algorithms

You will take the following core Business modules:

  • The Firm
  • The Business Environment
  • Business in the 21st Century

In Semester 1, we understand that students have a variety of backgrounds, and we can adapt the course to suit your previous experience and qualifications.

Semesters 4 - 8

In Semesters 4 – 8 the degree comprises core modules and optional modules, giving you a chance to explore your particular interests further.

After semester 6 we offer optional industrial placements. The 3-month summer placements take place June-August. The more substantial 1-year placement starts in September and runs to the end of August the following year effectively extending the length of the programme to 5 years. Both types of placements appear on the academic transcript, with the 1-year placement leading to a degree title of BSc Hons Information Systems with Industrial Placement.

Current core modules include:

  • Information Systems
  • Software Engineering (involving group work)
  • Database Principles and Applications
  • Multimedia and Human Computer Interaction
  • Communications and Networks
  • Management and Information Technology
  • Managing Information
  • Technologies for E-commerce

Options are drawn from the range of Computing Science topics and include:

  • Web Services
  • Technologies for E-commerce
  • Computer Security and Forensics
  • Telecommunications Systems and Services
  • Computer Game Technologies
  • Computing and the Brain
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computing Science Industrial Summer Placement
  • Computing Science Industrial 1-year Placement

The final-year project is also a core element of the course. Typically this involves independently developing a major piece of software from initial requirements through to final delivery.

Module titles

Year 1

  • Introduction to Computing Science
  • Programming and User Interface Design
  • The Firm
  • The Business Environment

Year 2

  • Data Structures, Objects, Algorithms
  • Systems I
  • Programming Language Paradigms
  • Managing Information 
  • Business in the 21st Century

Year 3

  • Software Engineering I
  • Database Principles and Applications
  • Multimedia and Human Computer Interaction
  • Software Engineering II
  • Computer Game Technologies
  • Communications and Networking
  • Information Systems
  • Management and Information Technology
  • Computing Science Industrial Summer Placement
  • Computing Science Industrial 1-year Placement

Year 4

  • Concurrent and Distributed Systems
  • Language Implementation
  • Computer Security and Forensics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Technologies for E-commerce
  • Telecommunications Systems and Services
  • Web Services
  • Computing and the Brain
  • Modelling for Complex Systems
  • Computing Science Project
  • Enterprise Portals

Teaching and assessment

You will learn about Information Systems through lectures, small tutorial groups and most of all through laboratory work. Information Systems is taught as a very practical subject, and almost all modules include practical assignments. Typically these count for 50 percent of the assessment grade, with the remainder given to the examination.

For the Honours degree, the grades for all advanced modules taken in Semesters 5 – 8 are combined to give the final classification.

Related degrees

Related Degrees

Business Computing; Computing Science; Management Science; Software Engineering.

Computer Science at Stirling was top in UK, scoring 90% student satisfaction for the quality of the course (National Student Survey, 2013).

Study abroad

You have the opportunity to study abroad through Stirling's well-established connections with several international universities.


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


Computing Science and Mathematics has strong links with Scottish industry through its Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) – with members from both Scottish and international industries such as IBM, HSBC and Adobe. Through the IAB we:

  • Maintain links with potential employers, giving students an insight into the types of job they may find and giving employers a chance to find the right employees now and influence what is taught in the future
  • Transfer knowledge and technology from the University to a wider user base
  • Make our research relevant to the user base
  • Collaborate with the user base on joint research and development projects

We offer 3-month Industrial Summer placements and 1-year Industrial Placements. Our placements allow students to practise their analytical and problem solving skills as well as their software design and implementation skills in an industrial setting. Besides differentiating themselves from their peers, students gain substantial experience in a commercial environment before they graduate making them highly employable.  

Academic Strengths

We are very active in research. We have funded research from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), from the European Community and from other sources.

We provide a stimulating and lively environment for all students.  Final-year Honours projects can be associated with active research projects.  Research areas of particular interest are Applied Formal Methods, Medical Informatics, Computational Intelligence, and Communications and Services.

94% of University of Stirling 2012 graduates have found work, or are in a further programme of study within 6 months of graduation. The Telegraph ranks Stirling in the top 12 UK universities for getting a job.

Career opportunities

Information Systems graduates offer a unique blend of skills to potential employers. As well as a good grounding in the technical aspects of computing offered by more traditional computer science degrees, you will have a bank of additional business awareness skills. You will also be equipped to design and develop information technology infrastructures as well as to use such tools to contribute to the strategic planning and decision making performed within organisations. Our industrial placments will ease your transition into the job market. Recent destinations for graduates include Prudential, Standard Life Assurance and Bank of Scotland, as well as software houses such as KANA and Logica.

Fees 2014/5

Overseas students (non-EU)£ 13,100.00
Scottish and EU students£ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.


Information Systems
  • Degree award BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS Code G500
  • Type Full-time, Part-time
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