The innovative Business Information Systems course provides you with sound, theoretically-informed and relevant knowledge of modern information and communications technologies and their use in key business and organisational settings. Graduates will have the specialist scientific and technological expertise as well as research skills to be able to develop or further their careers as business IT practitioners, 'hybrid' managers or multidisciplinary researchers. This programme is suitable if you don’t have a management or technology-based qualification.
The multidisciplinary curriculum spans a variety of topics, such as technology management, system design, organisational behaviour, business strategy, and marketing. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of the strategic value of technologies and processes as a source of competitive advantage, both nationally and internationally, and discover how to respond to the increasing demand for advanced information and communication technologies both in the workplace and at home.
You will join an intellectually stimulating, friendly and supportive research environment and will work closely with our expert and experienced academic staff.
- Unique programme which combines the management knowledge and technical skills required by successful hybrid managers in contemporary organisations.
- Flexibility to tailor your studies to suit your specific areas of interest, such as; enterprise systems e-business, knowledge management, business intelligence and cyber crime.
- Latest thinking and exciting intellectual challenges provided by academics who are at the frontiers of their subjects.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of information technology in organisations and society, covering a range of topics from central functions of management information systems in modern business, technology and innovation, to the impact of IT on globalisation and the transformation of society. You will look at the strategies employed by businesses to take advantage of IT systems, and analyse the implications of technology in modern workplaces. You will also consider the potential ethical and social impact of emerging technologies, and reflect on the design, adoption and diffusion of future technologies.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the design, development and management of large IT projects. You will look at the key elements of socio-technical systems and the main issues around software requirements. You will look at object orientated design (OOD) and examine approaches to code development and testing. You will consider the principles of function point analysis for fault tolerance, and evaluate the key systems used to plan and manage large software projects, with emphasis on software metrics and reliability.
This module will introduce you to a range of themes delivered by invited industry speakers. You will look at 'hybrid management' and its application in organisations where new and existing working practices are becoming increasingly dependent upon the effective integration of information technologies and business. You will gain specialist insights into the constraints and opportunities facing those who work in IT and business-related fields.
This module will provide you with an introduction to the core concepts in data and information management. You will learn how to identify organisational information requirements, model them using conceptual data techniques, convert the conceptual data models into relational data models, and implement a relational database using database management systems. In addition, you will examine how the internet works and its key protocols, addressing the technologies used for web development, including scripting languages and their potential, and the role of web services and related technologies, including network security.
In this module you will develop your analytical research skills so that you are better prepared for your dissertation project. You will look at approaches to management research and the assumptions upon which they are based, and consider how to critically evaluate primary and secondary data sources. You will examine how to choose appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods for data collection and subsequent analysis, and how to conduct research in a systematic and critical reflective manner. You will also analyse the ethical implications of research investigations and their impact upon findings.
The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to learn and practise researching and writing skills for your future career. You will apply the analytical and problem-solving techniques you have acquired throughout your studies to explore a specialist interest in greater depth. You will critically evaluate academic literature, collect data systematically, organise your findings, and present your research results in a clear and logical and manner. To help, your research proposal will be read by the programme director, who will select an appropriate member of staff to act as your dissertation supervisor. Your final submission will be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the principles and practices of gathering information and how it can be synthesised and used in a strategic context. You will look at the key channels and sources that may be used to gather information, and examine how internal and external information is used in organisations. You will consider the 'Big Data' revolution and the challenge that the exponential rise of external information presents to businesses as they attempt to make sense of it. You will learn how to identify patterns and trends for decision making, as well as modelling future activities.
In this module you will develop an understanding of computer crime and its history, looking at legal measures such as computer misuse, data protection, criminal damage, software piracy, forgery, and investigative powers. You will examine case studies with emphasis on investigations into hacking, computer misuse and forensics, considering malware such as computer viruses, denial of service attacks and trojan horses. You will also gain an insight into issues that may arise in the future for example, the expansion of the internet, pornography, unsuitable material, and social engineering.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the concepts, theories and principles of enterprise systems. You will look at the role of enterprise systems in digital corporations, in particular, their usage within functional areas such as accounting, marketing and operations. You will develop skills the necessary to design, implement and evaluate enterprise systems and become familiar with SAP, one of the leading large-scale application software packages. You will also examine project management methods to develop, implement and manage enterprise systems.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the strategies, business models, and business operations that are being shaped by digital technologies. You will apply e-business concepts and theories to real-life business scenarios and gain an advanced understanding of the strategic importance of information technologies. You will critically analyse how IT, in particular, the internet, has transformed traditional businesses and enabled new business models.
This module, taught during your induction, will introduce you to the key elements of organisational management for commercial success. Through analysis of historical roots, you will develop an understanding of the current practices for managing customers, shareholders, and employees, and discuss how numbers and technology influence management decision-making.
Teaching & assessment
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.
A background in business and management and/or computer science is preferred but not essential.
Consideration will also be given to relevant professional qualifications and/or work experience.
Graduates in other disciplines such as social sciences, media and engineering, with relevant work experience will be considered. Those who have studied alternative disciplines to management or business should take the ‘Foundations of Modern Management’ unit during Induction Week to obtain the background knowledge required for this course.
A successful applicant will usually have the following qualities:
- Students should be curious, confident and dedicated individuals, able to work in teams, analyse complex problems and integrate management and technology elements in their solutions.
- They need to be adaptable to different cultural and working environments, with a holistic view of how organisations can make the best use of existing and new information systems and technologies.
- They should also be ethically aware of the value of data, information and communication, and of good ethical practices and codes.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start. Find out what scores we require.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Graduates with a MSc in Business Information Systems from Royal Holloway will have enhanced and widen their career prospects. The programme provides an excellent preparation for both managers and business IT practitioners and those who intend to embark on a research degree. The programme will help you to use your existing skills in the burgeoning field of information and communication technologies, as well as increase your degree of confidence in communicating with other people.
- Graduates in recent years have entered many different business information systems-related areas, including: Business Analyst at Ford Motor Company, Information Security Consultant at Barclays, SAP HR Functional Consultant at Satyam Computer Services, Business Analyst at Oracle,Technology Consultant at Hewlett Packard and as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Applications Analyst at Whitbread.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £11300
International students tuition fee per year**: £18500
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.