Course specification and structure
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PMINTCDL - MSc Information Technology (Distance Learning)

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University, British Institute of Technology, England (BITE), Western International College
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Subject Area Computer Science and Applied Computing
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Part-time Distance Learning 2 YEARS  
Full-time Distance Learning 1 YEARS  
Course leader Qicheng Yu

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MSc Information Technology (Distance Learning) course is an equivalent offering to the existing campus-based MSc Information Technology, but with an entirely distance learning delivery mode.

The current MSc IT course has a proven and consistent track record of being a popular choice for those undergraduates who wish to pursue an MSc course which aims to equip them with necessary knowledge/skills to apply Computing/IT technology successfully within a business and IT environment.

The offering of MSc Information Technology (Distance Learning) makes it possible for the course to be taken by students who due to their work or personal commitments, could not leave their employment, their home country, or simply prefer the flexibility to study for the course anywhere and anytime without having to attend the traditional campus-based classes. In the meantime, students will receive effective and timely guidance and support throughout the course.

The University’s state-of-art Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and other appropriate tools is used to provide a highly interactive, supportive and collaborative learning experience for the students. A wide range of synchronous and asynchronous facilities are used where appropriate for the effective delivery and assessment of the module. Among these facilities are WebLearn learning materials, video lectures, discussion board and online forum, and online presentation, viva and feedback. Students are encouraged to become active participants, rather than passive recipients, of this learning process.

There are many facilities available on Weblearn and via other tools that can make the successful delivery of the course by distant teaching not only possible but also highly effective. The examples of the range of synchronous and asynchronous facilities on VLE are listed in the following table, grouped according to their potential roles in learning and teaching, assessment, and student support.

To facilitate a flexible yet structured student learning experience for each module, the range of topics covered are grouped into a number of learning units (see the diagram below). Normally each module consists of four learning units, each lasting for three weeks. Each learning unit is designed to cover selected topics.

The module leaders will provide the following via VLE (e.g. Weblearn) for the module:

  • Clear description of required learning activities including required reading list and exercises.
  • Lecture slides and/or other supporting materials.
  • Answer questions posted on the discussion forum on the VLE and facilitate the discussion among students.
  • A clear description of tasks, submission instruction, submission deadlines, assessment criteria and marking sheet.

Students are strongly encouraged to:

  • Complete required learning activities
  • Post questions related to the module to the relevant Forum in discussion board and engage in online discussion with peers and the tutor
  • Submit solutions to study tasks and the required assessment by the given deadline in accordance with published procedures
  • Regularly check mail boxes, notice boards, e-mails for update on the module.
  • Complete 200 hours of study (600 hours in the case of MSc project module).
  • Regularly check mail boxes, notice boards, e-mails for update on the module.

For the MSc project module. MSc supervisors will provide a list of proposed MSc project topics. Students will be asked to either choose a topic from these offered, or can propose their own topic. The MSc project topics and project proposal will be developed in the “research development and skills” module. At the start of the MSc project module, each student will be allocated a project supervisor. Clear guide, milestones and submission deadlines will be provided in Weblearn, together with on-going supervision activities.

Course aims

The main educational aim of the course is to provide students with a working knowledge of all the fundamental areas of IT, e.g. security, project management, database systems and business solutions. The main educational aim is coupled with the development of generic employability skills required by the IT industry. Professional development and the practice of managerial skills are also to be supported on the course. The distance learning delivery mode offers significant flexibility whereby all teaching and learning materials are provided in the most advanced Virtual Learning Environment.

Additional course aims:

  • to enable students to strengthen their existing design and development skills with substantial coverage of a wide range of areas within an Information Systems context.
  • to equip students with a range of ‘value-added’ skills sought by IT employers e.g. industry Professional Certification qualification.
  • to equip students with both technical IT skills and ‘client-facing’ business skills; thereby ensuring that they are the ‘hybrid employees’ sought after by the IT industry.
  • to encourage the practice of troubleshooting and problem solving strategies within a broad IT context.
  • to offer students an opportunity to develop advanced expertise in a specialist field relevant to their skills and professional career aspirations.

Additional generic postgraduate aims:

  • to develop research and development skills for use in project work and production of research reports.
  • to develop students’ intellectual, practical and personal skills in the area of Information Technology consistent with masters level study.
  • to undertake a substantial individual project which utilises current and up-to-date IT techniques and tools.
  • to encourage students to reflect critically on their own experiences, to develop their own capabilities and to regard themselves as life-long learners.

Course learning outcomes

LO1: Knowledge and Understanding

On completing the course students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a deep understanding of relevant and contemporary IT issues – both from a technical and an end-user perspective;
  • demonstrate a critical appreciation of the process of IT project development and the tools available to developers;
  • demonstrate a high level of comprehension in choosing and applying development methods and tools;
  • apply research skills and methods to current areas within the field.
  • demonstrate an ability to plan, execute and report on system development and on project evaluation.
  • develop competence in areas of problem-solving, troubleshooting, working within teams, communication, decision making, self-management and self-presentation as applicable to the world of work.
  • evaluate the ethical, social, legal and professional issues involved in developing and deploying IT Systems.

LO2: Cognitive skills
By the end of the course the student is expected to develop higher order skills that are reflected in
the student’s ability to:

  • carry out independent scholarly and practical research and investigation. In particular, an ability to use such knowledge to provide analysis and evaluation of specific issues and problems related to the development and management of IT projects;
  • develop and apply intellectual and critical skills to the theories and ideas related to the synthesis, development and evaluation of IT projects;
  • detect and resolve issues related to the deployment, maintenance and evolution of IT systems;
  • carry out evaluation and comparison of a range of technological offerings related to information technologies in modern organisations;
  • carry out a critical review of the literature and be aware of alternative approaches to the development of IT projects.

LO3: Transferable skills including those of employability and professional practice
The most useful practical skills, techniques and capabilities are to:

  • act as an intermediary between technical specialists and user groups;
  • communicate ideas and information effectively by oral, written and visual means;
  • work effectively both in a team and independently on a given task or project;
  • take a trouble-shooting, problem-solving approach to existing IT projects;
  • think critically by questioning given information, testing hypotheses, formulating policy suggestions;
  • apply effective time-management and self-management skills.

LO4: Subject-specific practical skills
On completion of the course students will be able to:

  • carry out a user requirements analysis, using critical judgement;
  • plan, carry out and report on an individual IT project;
  • competently utilise trouble-shooting strategies in different areas of an IT project;
  • develop the use of appropriate testing and evaluation techniques;
  • develop strong skills in mediating between technical developers and clients;
  • identify the strategic role for IT in an organisation;
  • be competent communicators of complex ideas and analysis by oral, written and visual means.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

LO1: Knowledge and Understanding:

Database Systems with Professional
Certification: LO1-3, Mobile Application Design
and Development: LO3-5, Research and
Development Skills: LO1-3, IT Security
Management: LO1-4, Communication
Technologies for IT: module aim, Software
Project Management: LO6-7, MSc Project:

LO2: Cognitive Skills:

Database Systems with Professional
Certification: LO4, Research and Development
Skills: LO1-3, IT Security Management: LO5-6,
Communication Technologies for IT: LO1-2,
Software Project Management: LO3-5, MSc
Project: LO4, LO11

LO3: Transferable skills:including those of employability and professional practice:

Database Systems with Professional
Certification: LO1-3, Research and
Development Skills: LO1-3, IT Security
Management: LO1-4, Communication
Technologies for IT: module aim, Software
Project Management: LO1-5,
MSc Project: LO7,LO11

LO4: Subject-specific practical Skills:

Mobile Application Design and Development:
LO1-2;Database Systems with Professional
Certification: LO1-2, Research and
Development Skills: LO1-3, IT Security
Management: LO1-3, Software Project
Management: LO1-5,
MSc Project: LO7, LO10

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The programme design has been informed by the “Benchmarking Standards For Taught Masters Degrees In Computing”, - sponsored by the Council Of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) and the British Computer Society, supported by QAA (

Assessment strategy

This course has an all-core module structure. Modules are assessed by Coursework with built-in oral presentation/viva component.

Assessment is undertaken by a variety of formative and summative assessment methods, including:

• individual research projects;
• individual work on case studies;
• the development of a software application;
• the reporting of application design and development;
• demonstrations and oral presentations;
• the compilation of workbooks;
• the authoring of a Personal Development Plan.

Formative assessment such as small individual assignments, report writing, and presentations will assess the level of cognitive skills acquired by the students throughout the course. Summative assessment such as module long coursework and oral presentation will provide concrete evidence of the level that these cognitive skills have been learnt.

As students progress through the levels of study they will be confronted with more complex cognitive skill assessment such as research reports and components of the final MSc project. Contextualised, realistic coursework scenarios which generally require team work (including development of team leadership skills), role play, and client requirements elicitation would form the bulk of assessment of these transferable skills. In IT projects the process of development is as important as the final outcome and many of these professional and employability skills are highlighted in the way the student works on a project, as opposed to the final result of the project. The process of project development is facilitated by the tutors and assessed formatively and summatively.

Some skills (such as conducting surveys, requirements elicitation and test planning) are assessed from the documentation and other supporting materials which are submitted for assessment.

Online demonstrations and presentations of developed systems provide a useful mechanism for assessing and authenticating the practical skills acquired by students.

Both formative and summative feedback is provided to the students at various and appropriate stages of their study for the module.

Among the key issues in a distance learning delivery course are authentication and plagiarism detection of student work.

In the QAA Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education, Collaborative provision and flexible and distributed learning (including e-learning) – Amplified version October 2010, it stated: “In some FDL environments, there may be particular issues relating to the authentication of a student's work, especially when assessment is conducted on-line or remotely. As a starting point, students should at least be provided with a statement which explains the awarding institution's position on the use of unfair means and the penalties which may ensue, and requires them to confirm acceptance of the terms of that statement.”

To address these issues, each student on this course is required to electronically sign the acceptance of the “academic honesty statement” at the beginning of each module. The statement will specify the university's position on the use of unfair means and the penalties it may impose on any student misconduct.

Authenticate student identity:

  • The authenticated copy of the students’ photo ID must be submitted to the University as part of the enrolment process.
  • The student photographs will be made available to all online tutors to verify and confirm the identity of the students during any required oral assessments.

Authenticate student work:

  • Regular online communication takes place between students and online tutors. This allows the tutors to not only monitor student’s performance but also identify any unusual patterns of achievement.
  • Online viva/presentations are organised for all modules, partly to authenticate/evidence student work.
  • A suitable plagiarism-detection tool, Turnitin (within Weblearn), will be used for all essay type coursework submission to identify and prevent plagiarism and collusion.

Course specific regulations

The course conforms to both University Scheme and University Academic Regulations.

Modules required for interim awards

This course has an all-core structure. Students are required to take all six 20-credit taught modules and a 60-credit MSc Project module as specified in the course structure.

None of the six 20-credit taught modules requires a prerequisite. The MSc Project would normally be undertaken following the successful completion of the six 20-credit taught modules.

PG Diploma is awarded following the successful of any combination of modules to the value of 120 points.

PG Certificate is awarded following the successful of any combination of modules to the value of 60 points.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Students are encouraged to participate in the class discussion in the discussion board in VLE (eg. Weblearn, Skype) reflect on what they have learned in each module, and to maintain a personal development portfolio.

Formative feedback and summative feedback for the assessment are provided to encourage students to reflect and enhance their work before final submission.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

Information about the university’s career services and guidance will be provided to students Via VLE (eg. Weblearn).

The Faculty’s World of Work (WOW) Agency offers opportunities to enhance employability skills, gain real experience and 'earn while you learn' through placements into real client-driven projects - working with business and industry. Suitable students will be invited to participatein these projects.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) - The Chartered Institute for IT and meets the educational requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) Further Learning registration.

Career opportunities

Successful completion of this course will offer you a wide range of career opportunities in the Information Technology industry in private and public sectors.

You’ll be fully prepared to work in a variety of areas. These include:

  • database administration
  • project management
  • mobile and web development
  • business or systems analysis
  • IT consultancy, support services
  • product management and training

During and after the course, you can make use of the School of Computing and Digital Media’s World of Work (WoW) Agency. The agency and its spin-off project, WoWBiz, enable you to forge links with potential employers and work on real projects.

Previous WoW Agency clients have included EMI (Mute) Records, Comic Relief and The Times Online.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a lower second-class honours degree in a computing-related subject or a pre-master's course in computing and technology

Applicants without a computing degree will need evidence of considerable computer-based experience or a substantial element of computer studies within a different qualification.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 04 Sep 2013  
JACS codes I200 (Information Systems): 100%
Route code INTCDL

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CC7173 Mobile Application Design and Development (Dist... Core 20        
CC7174 Database Systems with Professional Certificatio... Core 20        
CC7175 IT Security Management (Distance Learning) Core 20        
CC7176 Software Project Management (Distance Learning) Core 20        
CS7073 Communication Technologies for IT (Distance Lea... Core 20        
FC7004 Research and Development Skills (Distance Learn... Core 20        
FC7P05 MSc Project (Distance Learning) Core 60        

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CC7173 Mobile Application Design and Development (Dist... Core 20        
CC7174 Database Systems with Professional Certificatio... Core 20        
CC7175 IT Security Management (Distance Learning) Core 20        
CC7176 Software Project Management (Distance Learning) Core 20        
CS7073 Communication Technologies for IT (Distance Lea... Core 20        
FC7004 Research and Development Skills (Distance Learn... Core 20        
FC7P05 MSc Project (Distance Learning) Core 60