Taught course

Information Technology

University of Stirling · Faculty of Natural Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants normally require a first or second class Honours degree in a non-information technology subject from a British university, or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognised by the University. The course is suitable for those with first degrees in Arts, Business, Management or Social Science fields.

Months of entry


Course content

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 and Mathematics has strong links with industry and 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. 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.


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 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.

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

Further, students will:

  • 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

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. Part-time study is also available.

Stirling computing graduates have a good track record in finding well-paid jobs. Previous students have been very successful in obtaining suitable employment in a considerable diversity of posts – with small companies, with major international organisations including Accenture, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Reuters and major financial institutions such as HBOS, as well as with Local Authority and Government bodies. A number of graduates have continued their studies towards a PhD.

Job profiles include Software Architect, Software Developer, IT Consultant, Application Developer, Systems Analyst, and Web Developer. Some graduates have continued their studies towards a PhD.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23, Writing 21.

Fees and funding

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS, full details of how to apply for PTFL can be found here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/scholarships/general/saas-postgraduate-tuition-fee-loan-ptfl.html

Full details of the PTFL fund and how to apply online can be found here: www.saas.gov.uk

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
Dissertation30 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Dr Simon Jones
+44 (0) 1786 467436