Information Systems and Business Analysis MSc - January 2021

Understand information systems and how they empower business operations and develop technical skills in building and maintaining ICT systems and project management skills that are in huge demand.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time / Part-time

Course format

Duration

1 year / 2 years

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Explore Information Systems and Business Analysis at Aston University

Analyst Consultant: What does it take? As told by programme director Dr Priscilla Omonedo

Sera Osso

“The course is mentally stimulating and has given me an advantage both personally and professionally. If you are looking to challenge yourself and expand your knowledge then this course is your best choice. I acquired theoretical and practical knowledge of new technology and learnt a lot on team building and how to think critically for problem solving and analysis. All these things were possible thanks to the teaching staff”. 

Sera Osso

Director / Research Editor at Biographical Legacy and Research Foundation (BLERL)

Waldeysse Damiao

“I chose this course because I wanted something to enhance my capability and help me keep up with the changes in technology we see nowadays.”

Waldeysse Damiao

MSc Information Systems and Business Analysis

Waldeysse Damiao

“I chose this course because I wanted something to enhance my capability and help me keep up with the changes in technology we see nowadays.”

Waldeysse Damiao

MSc Information Systems and Business Analysis

Course outline and modules

Understand information systems and how they empower business operations and develop technical skills in building and maintaining ICT systems and project management skills that are in huge demand.

This course has been developed in collaboration with our industry partners. This ensures that we’re providing you with the specialist skills needed for business analysis and information system roles, which in turn will enhance your employability.

Our teaching staff are committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise to provide you with the highest quality of education. You’ll be taught by leading academics with a variety of specialisms in the field of information systems and business analytics. The School is also made up of several former students of the course, who have gone on to gain PhD qualifications and return to help deliver the course. You can be sure to benefit from their expertise and experience.

How will my skills develop?

What sets this course apart from other masters programmes is its focus on developing practical skills which are in high demand in the job market. The vast majority of modules are very hands-on and involve applied learning activities. For example, with our Developing Business Systems Workshop, you’ll have the chance to gain first-hand experience of planning and implementing a consultancy project from start to finish. What makes this truly unique is that we actively monitor your progress and vary the tasks and their complexity to ensure you get the most out of the experience.

You’ll learn the various tools and approaches used to analyse business and system requirements, which will give you the skills and know-how to develop ICT systems to meet the needs of businesses. You’ll also learn key project management processes and techniques. This will provide you with a theoretical background as well as practical experience, so you’re confident and capable of planning, monitoring and evaluating major commercial projects.

You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

How will this course help my career?

You’ll tailor the course to suit your interests or your career ambitions. You can choose from a range of elective modules, which cover specialist areas of business analytics, ICT or complimentary business subjects. Optional modules include Data Mining and Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning as well as Operations Management.

This course is designed to enhance your employability prospects. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you’ll have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here.

The course concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

Study abroad options
  • A wide, but alternative, range of study abroad options will be available for January starts.
  • If you are an international student, your visa will still be valid until the end of May the year following your entry date. 

Modules

Core modules

Developing Business Systems Workshop

This practical and unique module introduces you to the process of developing an information system. Taking on the role of a consultant you’ll solve a range of problems and challenges for a company. You’ll develop the necessary skills to design and implement computer systems with the aim of helping the business to become more competitive.

Foundation in Business Systems

This module serves as an introduction to programming, offering you the fundamental knowledge needed to develop an in-depth understanding of various topics explored later in the course. It provides you with an awareness of current trends and issues in the ICT industry and examines them from a business perspective.

Managing Projects

This module gives a broad examination on the subject of project management and how this supports the ever increasing requirement to co-ordinate and support business growth and development in an international context. It covers a broad range of theoretical and practical tools and provides the environment in which to apply them in practical work based situations.

The Consultant's Toolbox

This module provides students the opportunity to study, research and apply a wide variety of tools and techniques that can be used to support work in areas such as strategy formulation, competitor analysis, requirements analysis, change management and more. As a result, you will develop a personal understanding of the tools and techniques studied and how effective they are (or not).

Applied Research

In this module we look at the research methods used in this area of study and work practice. You’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of methods and techniques used to collect and analyse information. You’ll be guided through the stages of the research process to ensure information is valid and reliable.

Ethics in Academic Practice

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferable skills you will gain throughout the year. 

Business Project or Dissertation

The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

Simulation for Managerial Decision Making

This module aims to combine the challenge of learning the theory of simulation modelling, with collecting data in an external organisation, using simulation modelling software and group work to meet a deadline for the presentation of results. This skillset is useful as simulation is used in many organisations and consultancy units to provide descriptive predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Enterprise Resource Planning

This module provides an understanding of different concepts in Enterprise System information, the requirements of business functional areas and examines the benefits and role of ERP. This is achieved through lectures seminars and simulations where you will operate in teams to run an integrated system and critically evaluate a case study to propose a suitable system to support the strategic needs.

Operations Management

In this module you will gain a detailed understanding of how operations management contributes to business competitiveness. We examine the theories and approaches to effective planning and the organising of production and manufacturing processes, as well as those associated with the provision of services. With case studies and an innovative simulation challenge you’ll benefit from a highly-applied learning experience.

Advanced Spreadsheets and Databases

This module is going to equip students with knowledge skills and techniques that will enable them to make efficient and effective use of spreadsheets and databases in their daily work. For those wishing to undertake further academic work the module will also enable them to use spreadsheets and databases to support their research.

Data Mining and Web Analytics

You will explore data mining techniques and their use in business decision making. You will learn how to uncover patterns and trends hidden in data.

Effective Management Consultancy

This module will help you to understand different approaches to consulting projects. You’ll explore what is good and what is bad consulting practise. It will also prepare you to carry out successful consulting projects within organisations either as an external consultant or as a line manager given a one-off problem-solving task.

Entry requirements

UK/EU students

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

Applicants must have studied quantitative modules at undergraduate level to demonstrate quantitative and analytical skills.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

 

International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

 

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

You’ll be taught by leading academics with a variety of specialisms in the field of business information systems and analytics. Professor Ali Emrouznejad is a world-leading academic in the field of data mining, whilst Professor Prasanta Dey has a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in areas of project management.

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There are lectures and seminars as well as many teaching sessions which include practical activities. We use a mix of workshops, simulation exercises and reflective case studies. All sessions consist of small groups of between 20 to 30 students, meaning there’s plenty of support available for you.

There are inspiring lectures, in-class discussions and engaging practical sessions which give you the chance to analyse various business and IS/ICT concepts and work with specialist business simulation and analytics software. Our emphasis on applied learning will enhance your understanding of key concepts and develop core skills that you’ll need for roles within business analytics or ICT.

Our innovative virtual learning environment, Blackboard, will support and enhance your learning experience. This online platform has a wealth of resources to help you make the most of your course such as lecture slides and other study materials.

Classroom activities

Develop your own business systems – A simulated consultancy project is undertaken for a fictitious manufacturing company. You’ll have to design and deliver an information system to solve one of a range of commercial problems, including a reliance on paper files, machinery breakdown and issues associated with trading with international companies.

Advanced spreadsheets and databases – Practical lab-based sessions will allow you to test your skills and get to grips with tackling huge quantities of data. You’ll learn how to cleanse data in a systematic way and get the chance to put this into practice. This will give you practical experience working with key techniques and tools that you’ll need in the workplace.

Assessment

There’s a range of different assessments as part of this course. You’ll deliver presentations, write portfolios and undertake coursework, with all assessments involving the application of your learnings to business contexts. This helps to prepare you for tasks you may encounter in workplace situations.

 

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. Your options are not just limited within Europe, we also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.

You’ll be pleased to know that all of our overseas study programmes are all tuition-free and you’ll study and be assessed in English.

Placements

We believe that a work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and can give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. Choose a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas, and spend from one month to 12 months gaining valuable work experience. You’ll apply what you’ve learnt on a daily basis and develop a deeper understanding of your subject area.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to support start-up businesses and a local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You can work to solve strategic problems and make a real positive impact to growing businesses.

Our award-winning careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team are also available to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

Your lecturers will arrange for a number of guest speakers to visit and deliver the course content. This will give you the chance to learn from experienced business analytics professionals. You’ll gain an insight into how different companies operate and the challenges faced in this area of business.

A large number of graduate employers visit campus during the year. There’s careers fairs, networking events and much more. You’ll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where’s the best place for you to start your career. 

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21): £10,550

International students (2020/21): £16,650

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

This course will prepare you for a range of specialist careers in consultancy and business analysis and is also a suitable first step if you want to pursue a research or academic career.

Our graduates have secured employment in a wide range of roles such as: Business Analysts, Data Analysts, Information Systems Graduate Trainees and Junior Consultants. This has involved working for organisations including JCDecaux (UAE), Scope International (India), Roland Berger (Nigeria), Harman International (China), Xtremax (Indonesia) Jhpiego (Kenya), Jaguar Land Rover, Microsoft and Santander (UK).

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

 

Frequently asked questions

Why study Information Systems and Business Analysis at Aston University?

Developed with employers, its focus is on developing practical skills which are in high demand in the job market. The majority of modules are hands-on and involve applied learning activities.

This means you’ll learn the theoretical and practical aspects of information systems and business analysis, whilst engaging in a breadth of opportunities to develop your transferable skills to help you stand out in the jobs market.

What kind of career can I develop with a masters in Information Systems and Business Analysis?

Our graduates have secured employment in a wide range of roles such as Business Analysts, Data Analysts, Information Systems Graduate Trainees and Junior Consultants. This has involved working for organisations including JCDecaux (UAE), Scope International (India), Roland Berger (Nigeria), Harman International (China), Xtremax (Indonesia) Jhpiego (Kenya), Jaguar Land Rover, Microsoft and Santander (UK).

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career. 

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 

 

Chat with current students

 
Register your interest


The information you provide will be used by Aston University to contact you about the University, courses you may be interested in and events you may wish to attend, for anything outside of this purpose we will obtain your consent. Your data is subject to Aston University’s privacy policy and cookie policy.  For further information, please visit www.aston.ac.uk/dataprotection