Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Information Systems

Masterprogram i systemvetenskap

  • 120 credits
  • Programme code: SSY2M
  • Established: 2010-01-20
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Revised: 2018-06-07
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Social Sciences
  • Reg. no: SAMFAK 2018/57 Doss: 3:2:1
  • Syllabus applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Responsible faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Responsible department: Department of Informatics and Media

Entry Requirements


Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is 90 credits in information systems or computer science or a similar field of study.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Decisions and Guidelines


Aim

The Master Programme in Information Systems is a social sciences degree that provides in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of system and program development with a focus on the challenges brought about by digitalisation and digital practices today. The digitalisation of society involves major changes for individuals, organisations and society in general, from the ways in which individuals interact with each other or with organizations and authorities, how organisations conduct their activities or what business models they apply, to how science and medicine can exploit the large amounts of data available today to extract new knowledge. Digital practices thus concern how working methods, behaviors, activities, efficiency, etc., are influenced by digitalisation and digital technologies, as well as how people relate to these. For individuals, organizations and society, digitalisation involves major changes, not least in the skills that employees need to possess in this new environment.

The program provides in-depth understanding of different challenges relating to digitalisation and digital practices, as well as how new digital practices can be created based upon appropriate selection of development methods and tools. In addition, the program aims to prepare the student for working systematically in projects in order to, with available resources, develop robust systems to support an organisation's activities. The program builds upon on scientific approaches and analytical methods, interdisciplinary research, design and creativity, as well as practical problem solving through student projects. The education is thus both practically anchored and preparatory for a researcher career.

The programme is built around three central themes
- complex information systems,
- the systems development process, and
- the organisational context of information systems and system development.

With the deep knowledge they have acquired, students will be well equipped to lead the development of new digital practices.
 

Learning Outcomes

Goals as expected outcomes
 
In terms of understanding and knowledge, upon completing the programme students will have acquired

  • understanding of how digitalisation and digital infrastructure affect work and society,
  • in-depth knowledge and understanding of information systems and systems development, with a focus on digitalisation and organisational environments,
  • understanding of complex IT-related phenomena, for example, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how they impact upon organisations and society,
  • in-depth knowledge of current research and development, and
  • in-depth knowledge of methods within the field of information systems. 
In terms of skills and proficiencies, upon completing the programme students will have acquired and will be able to demonstrate
  • a capacity to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and to analyse, evaluate, and deal with complex IT-related phenomena, issues, and situations, even with limited information,
  • a capacity to critically, independently, and creatively identify and formulate questions, to plan and execute advanced tasks within given time frames, as well as to evaluate this work,
  • a capacity to analyse and develop digital infrastructures that enable digital practices for solving individual, organisational, and societal problems,
  • a proficiency in developing and applying digital practices in a project-based environment, in order to solve individual, organisational, and societal problems,
  • a capacity to solve problems in collaboration with others and to reflect on and develop forms of collaboration in system development processes,
  • a familiarity with applicable methods for developing digital practices in various organisational contexts,
  • a capacity, both orally and in writing, to clearly present and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments that lie behind them in dialogue with various groups, and
  • skills required to independently or collectively take part in research and development work. 
In terms of evaluative capacity and approach, upon completing the programme students will have acquired
  • insight into how digitalisation and digital practices affect work and society, taking into account relevant scientific, economic, societal, and ethical aspects,
  • a capacity to make judgements in the major field of information systems, taking into consideration relevant academic, societal, and ethical aspects, and to show an awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work,
  • insights into the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society, and people’s responsibility for how it is used, and
  • a capacity to identify their need for further knowledge and to take the responsibility for their own knowledge development.

Layout of the Programme

Content and Structure of the Programme

The programme comprises 120 higher education credits. The programme provides in-depth knowledge in the field of IT. Current methods for systems development and research-related courses are central to the programme. A major system development project is carried out within the agile methods course.
 
The programme consists of courses at the advanced level and is structured as follows:
Term                    Courses
T 1                       Introduction to digitalisation and digital practice
T 2                       Contemporary systems development, agile methods and digital infrastructure
T 3                       Artificial intelligence and strategic value creation from IT
T 4                       Master’s thesis
 
During the first term, digitalisation and how it affects individuals, organisations, and society are discussed. Further, the student is introduced to digital practices, i.e., how to organise work in an increasingly digitalised environment, as well as how to evaluate existing digital practices and design new ones. The term deals with topics such as contemporary development practices, information and knowledge modelling, design and usability, change management, and project management and work in teams. During the second term, contemporary systems development is discussed in detail, including the construction of robust and fault tolerant systems through rigorous design and systematic development practices. The student will also gain experience of large scale systems development by implementing agile practices in a development project. Finally, digital infrastructure and its implications for systems development and digital practices is discussed.

During the third term, students will study artificial intelligence and machine learning, including ethical and social implications. Students will also take a course on business value creation using digital technologies, which will explain the effects of digitalisation based upon economic theory, such as innovation and business model theories. Students will also formulate a research proposal for their master’s thesis to be carried out in the last course of the programme. The programme concludes during the fourth term with a degree project presented in the form of a thesis. The major field of the degree project is information systems. The degree project may be based on project work in collaboration with the business community and/or be related to current research in the field.

The programme is based upon integrated research methods; each course includes research methodology with a focus on particular information systems research approach, which is then applied in a student project. During the first year, quantitative and qualitative research approaches, as well as design science research and action research, are introduced. During the second year, students will learn to apply case studies as a research approach. In addition, other social science-related topics, such as communication and change management, are introduced. All courses include elements of oral and written scientific communication.
 

Instruction

Forms of Instruction and Examination

Instruction is given in the form of lectures, classroom sessions, laboratory sessions, and seminars. Practice-oriented instruction is given in connection with laboratory work on computers and supervision of written assignments, papers, and essays. Examination in courses consists of written examinations, seminars, and written assignments. Grades given for courses taken are “Fail,” “Pass,” and “Pass with distinction.”
 

Degree

The programme leads to a two-year Master's degree (Degree of Master of Science, 120 credits) with information systems as the major field of study. The Master's degree requires 120 higher education credits, 60 higher education credits of which are in the major field, including an independent project (degree project) worth 30 higher education credits.

An exit option may be utilised after one year, with the programme then leading to a one-year Master's degree (Degree of Master of Science, 60 credits) with information systems as the major field of study. The one-year Master's degree requires 60 higher education credits, 30 higher education credits of which are in the major field, including an independent project (degree project) worth 15 higher education credits.
 

Other Directives

The two-year Master programme allows an exit option after one year with the possibility of taking a one-year Master's degree, 60 higher education credits at the advanced level. The programme provides eligibility for research-level education in information systems.
 

Syllabus(es)