MSc Strategic ICT Leadership

Postgraduate, Part-time

Strategic ICT Leadership MSc

Develop your ICT and business skills to create more strategic and entrepreneurial approaches to applying ICT in your organisation


This course has been created as a development vehicle for ICT professionals.

The course addresses the development of strategic ICT skills relating to the professional student’s current role, be that in a corporate or public sector context, in larger organisations or in SMEs.  Designed in alignment with the EFQM Excellence Model, the value of this course in helping develop high-level skills has been recognised by the UK government in the report Forging Futures.

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Mode of Study:



2 years

Start date:


About you
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Course details

You'll develop your business, technology and leadership skills, making a strategic contribution to ICT in your organisation at a senior level and using technology to deliver business improvement.

Linking learning and development to your work activities, you can ensure your professional development is part of the strategic plan of the organisation and can consider and reflect on established views of the organisation, colleagues and yourself, to promote innovation and change.

Some credits are derived from your employment activities, so you must be already employed in a company which allows you to demonstrate your developing course knowledge. 

Please discuss your current employment with the course leader before applying to ensure your role is suitable for the course.

Your final dissertation project will allow you to use the tools and approaches you’ve developed on the course.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This course is designed for professionals already employed in the area of computing who wish to develop their ICT management skills. It allows you to gain significant course credits by applying knowledge and skills gained from this course to your company. Your knowledge is further enhanced via a number of taught modules.

    You’ll be mentored and supported by a dedicated programme team to deliver a package of work drawing on your current projects/activities.

    Overall, you’ll attend campus one day per month and receive at least three workplace mentoring visits.

  • note and pen Assessments

    100% coursework, most of which is related to current work-based projects and issues.

  • briefcase Work placement

    To be considered for a place on this course, you should already be in the workplace, employed as an ICT professional.

  • library Facilities

    Taught sessions held at our Merchiston Campus are delivered as ‘senior seminars’ where you will be encouraged to exchange ideas and experiences with course tutors and your professional peer group.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Creativity to sustainability ( ENT11103 )

Definitions and journey from creativity, innovation and enterprise to sustainability

Concepts of sustainability and sustainable development / key drivers / what the implications are for businesses; developing business strategies which meet current needs without compromising needs of those in the future; sustainability as a strategic imperative, embedding sustainable development in entrepreneurial thinking and practice

Why innovate? / Types of innovation; key policy developments in innovation in the UK; Role of SMEs in the economy / significance of innovation management to entrepreneurial businesses / innovative companies – best practice cases studies; creative cultures – barriers to achieving them, overcoming the challenges

The application of creativity and innovation in meeting the regulatory challenges of a sustainable business environment, and in seizing the opportunities arising out of this concept to build competitive advantage

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

Digital Markets ( IMD11108 )

The module simulates a contemporary commercial innovation cycle for Digital Media. The module has a non-traditional contact pattern, emulating the nature of innovation for the digital marketplace.

The first few weeks provide a wide range of underpinning in human issues in technology innovation models – from Griliches (1957) through Gaines & Shaw (1986) and Moore (1999) to the current approaches in design innovation discussed by the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission and The middle weeks involve lighter contact – principally group project supervision, in the course of planning and carrying out a group coursework based on industry standard methods in ISO 13407 (currently being amended to be ISO9241-210). A final 3-week phase prepares the learners and their groups to participate in “dragon’s den” type pitches to an audience including local entrepreneurs, and focus on defining, protecting and exploiting digital media intellectual property, the market appeal and the business model.

Thus learners will learn about defining, protecting and exploiting intellectual property, cost-modelling, business planning, concept development, pitching, and presentation. A final reflective phase will allow the learner to contrast their experience with past Edinburgh Napier commercial collaborations and spin-out activity, evaluating all of this in the context of both the MIT/Stanford approach to innovation in digital markets (e.g. Smith et al, 2001; Preston, 2004) and contrasting European human-centred approaches in (Mootee, 2007; McEwan et al, 2004,, 2008). This leads to being able to critique the effectiveness of state-initiatives (e.g. NESTA 2008) in Scotland to support digital markets in for example, Digital Media, ICT, Security and Sustainable Transport

Further information

Enterprise Information Systems with SAP ( INF11108 )

The aim of this module is to develop a deep understanding of enterprise information systems and their role in business processes. It includes
• Evaluation of the impact that Enterprise Information Systems can have within organisation business processes
• As an assessment of the impact that they have on the efficiency and effectiveness of organisations and supply chains
• Fundamentals of business intelligence, such as data warehousing and data mining
The module uses SAP R/3 to give students an appreciation of the nature of large scale integrated information systems, and to consider aspects of their use and characteristics. It also provides an opportunity to practise data analytical techniques.

Further information

Growth Venture Management ( ENT11102 )

The module workshops will include;
· Entrepreneurial aspirations through case study examples
· Growth models to understand the phases of growth and seek evidence in organisations
· Identifying and reviewing examples of building growth businesses, and the role of the entrepreneur in the leadership of these businesses
· The growth of businesses will be evaluated by utilising the strategic management tools including strategic analysis, strategic choices and strategic implementation options
· Techniques in valuing a business using case studies
· The role of intrapreneurship in large organisations
· Strategies for raising finance for growth (guest speaker)

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

Managing Knowledge ( INF11104 )

Knowledge capital; knowledge communities; coding knowledge; discourses of knowledge management.

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

Security Audit & Compliance ( INF11109 )

The aim of the module is to let you develop a deep understanding of the framework that information security operates in, and to give you an opportunity to express this in the form of professional written reports. Topics covered include:
• Overview of relevant laws and regulations: national and international, covering Data Protection, computer misuse and other legal issues.
• The relation between governance models and frameworks including: ISACA’s COBIT and ISO Standards (ISO27000 in particular)
• Role of the professions; difference between audit, forensics and security management. Professional ethics and codes of practice
• Risk management, contingency and continuity planning
• Understanding and application of the COBIT domains

Further information

Sources of Competitive Advantage ( SOP11108 )

Initially the module deals with the big picture of business and some theoretical models of business, developing a conceptual framework within which to relate the more detailed aspects of the organisation's operations, always focusing on the need to build an efficient and effective organisation with a sustainable future.

It then focuses on the contribution of two specific functions - operations and information management - within the business by demonstrating the benefits that come from sharing information to deliver goods and services to customers in an integrated, seamless and customer focused way.

The module also emphasises the importance of finance as a prerequisite for business operations and as measure and indicator of successful performance.

It uses the concept of integrative business processes to demonstrate the benefits of taking a holistic view of the different functions in achieving the organisation's goals and creating competitive advantage

Further information

Work Based Learning ( SOC11106 )

Strategic ICT and its impact on business improvement

Leadership in ICT business-led transformation

Business requirements for strategic ICT projects

Evaluation of current use of ICT and whether it is “fit for purpose”

Identification and mitigation of key risks in ICT projects

Planning for successful implementation of a strategic ICT project

Reflective practice – using different models and frameworks to maximise both personal and team performance

Further information

e-Security (D/L) ( CSN11117 )

The focus of this module is to provide a core understanding of the fundamental areas of cryptography and
host-based security. It focuses on two core areas:
- Cryptography Fundamentals (GCD, Elliptic Curve, etc).
- Asymmetric Key Encryption. Including RSA and Elliptic Curve.
- Symmetric Key Encryption. Including AES and associated modes.
- Hashing and MAC Methods. Including MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-3 and PBKDF2.
- Tunnelling. SSL/TLS, IPSec.
- Trust Infrastructures. Digital Certificates, Key Distribution Centres (Kerberos), Identity and role
integration (Key pair identity, multi-factor, biometrics).
- Key Exchange. Diffie-Hellman Method, ECDH.
- Blockchain, Distributed Ledgers and Cryptocurrency. Ethereum, Smart Contracts, Data
- Future cryptography: Zero Knowledge Proof, Homomorphic Encryption, Light-weight cryptography,
Quantum robust methods.
Host-based integration with domain infrastructures:
- Practical authentication methods (Linux/Windows).
- Host data analysis using data analysis tools.
- Host and domain system rights. Active Directory. Log integration and rights.
- Security auditing best-practice for hosts. Active patch management. Risk assessments.

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.

Executive Masters

We run a suite of Executive Masters courses for organisations looking to upskill their staff and professionals looking to develop new skills and advance their career.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above, or equivalent. We look for applicants to have a background in a Computing, Information Technology or Business discipline. We may consider lesser qualified applications if you have sufficient work experience within the industry.

You will be a professional managing an IT or information systems unit, or have a role related in some way to this function. You will have aspirations to improve your own and your organisation’s IT and/or information systems’ performance.

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.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by 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’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2019/20 2020/21
All students - Taught modules *£922 tba
All students - Dissertation *£553 tba
Home/EU Full MSc cost £6,085 tba

Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


Participation in this course will indicate your aspirations and dedication to your development, and enhance your chances of promotion. It may also open doors with other employers or improve your standing as a consultant.

Graduates of the course have gone on to hold the following job titles:

  • Head of Business Operations Strategy & Development, Telecomms Company
  • Business Advisor, Government Agency
  • Director of Business Services, Housing Association
  • IT Director, Distillers
  • Lead Service Manager, International IT Services Provider
  • Information Systems and Development Manager, Further Education College