Taught course

Computing for Business

University of Stirling · Faculty of Natural Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants normally require a first or second class Honours degree in from a British university, or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognised by the University. No formal qualifications in Computing Science or Management are required. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Months of entry


Course content

Combine business and management skills with computing expertise. Gain specialist, up-to-date computing, business and management knowledge with this intensive MSc. The course covers the application and development of key computer technologies, as well as business management principles. You will be offered a choice of computing modules, so that you can adapt the course to your previous computing experience.

Computing Science at Stirling has strong links with industry and a number of work placements and company projects are available to students on the course. Stirling is partner in the ‘Making the Most of Masters’ initiative, which organises company-led MSc projects. Past project topics include mobile phone app development, bespoke Java applications, .net applications and advanced website development projects. 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.

Computing Science and Mathematics is host to world-class research in the areas of Computational Heuristics, Operational Research, Decision-Support, Cognitive Computation, and the Modelling and Analysis of Complex Systems.

Course content

This course comprises two 15-week semesters of taught modules, a winter programming assignment during January, and the MSc dissertation project over three months at the end.

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. We usually place more than 50% of our students with a company for the MSc project duration.

In Semester 1 you will take the following core modules:

  • Managing International Organisations: Provides an introduction to management and the knowledge and skills managers need to manage
  • People Management: Provides an overview of the management of people and the changing role of a human resource manager in a competitive business environment

Plus either:

  • Principles and Practice of Programming: Design and test programs written in Java. You will study good practice in program construction, programming with data structures and graphical user interfaces
  • 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


  • Technologies for eCommerce: Provides an in-depth understanding of how to use Java servlets and JSP to implement an ecommerce website server
  • Computer Security and Forensics: Covers the principles of computer security and their application to forensic analysis, in particular confidentiality, integrity, and availability

During the winter break there is an extended programming assignment using Java.

In Semester 2 you will study three core modules:

  • Project Management Fundamentals: The first part of the module considers the evaluation and selection of projects, while the second part examines their management. The techniques are illustrated with examples from a variety of case studies
  • Strategic Management: Provides an overall understanding of the needs, contexts and processes involved in strategic management within organisations. You will examine the main underlying approaches to strategic management
  • Object-oriented Software Design: How to analyse and model requirements and develop object-oriented software, through the use of UML and CASE tools

Plus one elective from:

  • Decision Support Systems: IT methods and techniques in the support of decision-making in organisations, in particular modelling, simulation 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
  • Networking: Investigates the principles of data communications, including layered network architecture, services and protocols
  • Communication Systems and Services: Covers the underlying concepts of Voice over IP communications architectures, web service provision, as well as the development of applications for mobile phones

You may graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma after two semesters, or you may continue with a three-month project and dissertation to qualify for the MSc degree. Part-time study is also available. The subject of the dissertation will usually be a computer application for a business/management purpose.

In the Guardian University Guide 2013, Computing Science at Stirling ranks 12th overall in UK and 1st for student satisfaction with course and feedback.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

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

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
27 months


part time
21 months
full time
9 months


full time
3 months
part time
9 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations40
Written coursework / continuous assessment30

Course contact details

Dr Mario Kolberg
+ 44 (0) 1786 467436