MSc Information Systems Development

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Expand your understanding of information systems and their design and development.

  • Napier code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    1 year

  • Award:


  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

All organisations require information systems to operate efficiently and competitively. This programme covers the techniques to effectively develop these systems.

The course is structured to develop your knowledge of information systems to an advanced level in a relatively short time and provide you with the skills employers require.

information systems development

You will focus on how these systems work, how the requirements for them are established and how they are designed and developed. You will gain an overview of the importance of systems to organisations as well as gain technical and communication skills which the industry values.

Develop an understanding of information systems management and development in organisations, and learn how to design and implement information systems solutions.

You will also gain transferable skills in project management, time management and communication. This course is studied full-time over one year or part-time over two and a half years.

Subjects Include:


  • Software Development
  • Information Systems Engineering
  • Computer Systems and Database Systems.


  • Web Design and Development
  • Software Development or Web-enabled Business
  • Information Systems group project or Management of Software Project


  • Dissertation

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

You may find employment in computer departments of organisations as a trainee programmer, software engineer, system builder, analyst or system tester.

Alternatively, you could move into business as a graduate trainee, particularly where a good understanding of information systems, and their potential, is valuable.

This degree and the experience you will gain of creating and commissioning computer solutions can open up new opportunities in your existing area.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline other than computing in order to be eligible for the programme.

Although you are not required to have any formal knowledge of computing before starting the course, it does require you to engage with a wide range of new technologies in a relatively short time, so familiarity with basic computing would be an advantage.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

  • English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Modules that you will study as part of this course*

Computer Systems ( CSN11108 )

Key features of PC-based systems: Motherboards, hub chips, processors, RAM and cache. Basic processor operation: the fetch execute cycle and interrupts. Principles of operating systems: virtual memory and multitasking. Case study: the Windows operating system. Main features of local area networks and the Internet: Ethernet, wireless networks, the Internet Protocol. Introduction to some of the main network devices, such as switches and routers.

Further information

Database Systems ( SET11101 )

Database architecture and functionality, data analysis and entity-relationship modelling Normalisation to third normal form SQL and relational algebra The role of a Database Administrator (DBA) Practical exposure to current software tools Current trends in database technology

Further information

Digital Business Environments ( INF11114 )

Digital business models and revenue models. Digital business strategy process models and their use. Online marketplace analysis. The role of ‘Search’ and ‘Social’ ecosystems in the online environment. Assessment of e-Procurement and digital supply chains. Mobile platforms and location-based services. Design approaches for online channels and touchpoints. Privacy and trust issues. Legal and regulatory frameworks for digital business.

Further information

Group Project ( SOC11103 )

The main purpose of this module is to develop your teamworking skills by applying your technical knowledge in a group situation. Your team of four or five students will work together to deliver a working prototype of a software system relevant to your programme of study. The module is also designed to develop your skills in critical analysis and reflection. In the first few weeks, your team will review existing work related to your chosen project which will inform the production of a formal system specification. The review and specification will form the first piece of coursework along with a reflective statement from each team member that discusses personal issues and insights arising from the project up to that point. The second submission is a second group report and presentation (via teleconferencing or equivalent for distance learning (DL) students) on the implementation of the design and the evaluation of the final prototype. This is accompanied by a second personal statement that reflects on the processes and potential conflicts of teamwork. Each group will be allocated a supervisor with whom you will have weekly meetings (online for DL students). However the management and progress of the project will remain the responsibility of the team; the supervisor’s role is to provide advice and feedback where appropriate, and to monitor the contribution of team members. Management and direction of the project must come from the team and not the supervisor.

Further information

Information Systems Engineering ( SET11106 )

Approach: Lectures will present both theory and practical examples. Tutorial exercises will support the development of modelling skills and practical, computer-based sessions will develop both modelling and development skills Theory: Project overview, life cycles and methodologies Requirements elicitation, modelling and specification The Unified Modelling Language (UML) Testing theory Practical: Developing and assessing simple applications using system construction tools such as Content Management Systems (CMS)

Further information

Management of Software Projects ( INF11103 )

Managing project start-up through project requirements evaluation and project planning techniques. Comparing and contrasting big up front and appropriate design approaches Comparative analysis of software project management approaches and Bodies of Knowledge (BoK) applied to software development projects The assessment of project risk management approaches and metrics for project monitoring and control within an agile project management approach. Analysis of software development process improvement approaches through Agile software standards and maturity models Evaluation of software development teams and group dynamics as key factors in the successful delivery of projects Utilisation of a tailored project management methodology such as Scrum or XP to manage the delivery of an assessment instrument

Further information

Masters Dissertation ( SOC11101 )

The work for this module comprises the completion of an individual research project. Each student is assigned a personal Supervisor, and an Internal Examiner who monitors progress and feedback, inputs advice, examines the dissertation and takes the lead at the viva. There are three preliminary deliverables prior to the submission of the final dissertation: (1) Project proposal (2) Initial Report including time plan and dissertation outline

Further information

Software Development 1 ( SET11102 )

Program Environment: Use of an interactive development environment. Basic Programming Skills: Variable declarations, printing to the screen, reading from the keyboard, simple arithmetic operations, sequence, selection and iteration, functional decomposition, arrays, simple GUI's. Introduction to object-oriented programming. Program testing and documentation.

Further information

Web Design & Development ( SET11112 )

Current ideas on web page design; Document Object Model (DOM); Document Type Definitions (DTD); web page construction using appropriate IDE tools such as Eclipse; HTML coding; client and server side scripting; database connectivity using PHP & MySQL; Cascading Style Sheets

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

School of Computing courses