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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK fee

£8,775 (2020/21)

International fee

£8,775 (2020/21)

Course level




Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

Information Technology (IT) is at the heart of modern-day business. Emerging technological areas like big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and advances in the development of smart devices with widespread access to the Internet, are making demands for professionals who can recognise opportunities to build IT solutions in new and creative ways to help businesses be ahead of the curve with their technology and processes.

On this MSc Computing and Information Technology, you will study how technologies impact society and the environment whilst learning about the ethical issues that impact on making decisions as a Computing and IT professional. You will develop your understanding of a wide range of technologies and business intelligence tools within an operational and tactical context applicable to modern day enterprise software.

The course is designed to provide a global context benefitting graduates across the world, and industry professionals from a range of backgrounds including IT, engineering, business and management, delivering key transferable skills to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving technological landscape and future-proofing your career.

Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

A cutting-edge, globally oriented curriculum based on real-world learning

Throughout this course, you will gain a holistic view of Computing and IT, exploring the subject in a global context and across professional disciplines. You will be required to work in environments that embrace an awareness of cultural issues, exploring the global context and impact on the design, implementation and evaluation of enterprise computing systems. Your learning will be enriched by an international and multi-disciplinary cohort, all sharing experiences, local practices and cultures.

Choose from an exciting range of optional modules at the forefront of Computing

The programme has been designed to align with the British Computing Society’s (BCS) core competencies with us working towards BCS accreditation. You will study a forward-thinking curriculum which has been designed to encompass hot topics in Technology. Future proof your knowledge and tailor this course to your professional interests and choose from an exciting range of modules including Cyber Security and IoT, Software Systems Engineering, Emerging Technologies and Research Methods and Information Visualisation.

Manage large scale IT orientated projects in a global context

Throughout this course you will learn about organisational, managerial and professional issues in preparation for large scale and enterprise-wide IT projects. You will develop the ability to analyse, plan and streamline business processes and evaluate the human and technology factors that are required to successfully develop and apply these systems in the industries around the world.

Defend against cyber-attacks and fraudulent activity

Cyber security is of crucial importance to all legitimate users of the Internet - from government and commerce through to private users and particularly for IoT users. However, the level, scale and profundity of cyber-attacks and fraudulent activity continue to increase.

As a result, there is a vital and continuous need for organisations to adapt and enhance security in order to keep ahead of ever more sophisticated forms of attack. During this Masters programme, you will learn to verify the effectiveness of security arrangements, to identify weaknesses (which are always present) and to determine the value gained from financial investment in cyber defence.

Build your continued professional development (CPD)

We’ve designed our modules, all at level 7, to be studied as part of this Masters award, or they can be completed as a short standalone course. Delivered over a 10-week term, you’ll study with the Masters course cohort and achieve a Certificate of Credit on successful completion of the module. So, if you are looking to build your CPD and are not yet ready to commit to a full Masters course, then a 20 credit module is an ideal alternative to support your professional development.

Work towards a British Computing Society (BCS) Membership

After successfully achieving the MSc award, in conjunction with professional development planning (PDP) records that satisfy the BCS (British Computing Society), you will be able to apply for membership of the BCS. Upon completion of a satisfactory post-award industrial experience, you may become eligible for Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP) status.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

The Masters (MSc) award is achieved by completing six 20 credit modules (four core and two optional modules). In addition, there is the final 60 credit research project that spans over three trimesters, during which you will undertake an in-depth independent study.


Code: 7CS527

Data Management and Governance

This module is designed to develop a critical and in-depth awareness of the theory, concepts, technology, practices, and professional issues involved in the analysis, design, development, deployment, and maintenance of database systems in a global context.

Issues related to data management and data storage, such as the UK Data Protection Act, will also be explored, in relation to other international legislation. Practical exercises will allow you to explore a variety of database products, and you will be encouraged to develop an objective, scientific approach towards evaluating them within a theoretical context.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS528

Emerging Computer Technologies and Research Methods

In this module, you will have the opportunity to explore a range of exciting, important, and rapidly advancing areas of Computing and Information Technologies.

This will enhance your career opportunities by equipping you with the knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to support informed decision-making. In addition, you will have the opportunity to develop key research skills and this will lay the important foundations that are needed in order to successfully undertake the main research project module.

Learn the impact of technologies on society, the individual, and the environment. This module focuses on supporting you in developing ethical and professional skills when dealing with increasingly complex digital systems.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS530

IT Project Management

Prepare for large scale industrial projects in workplace. You will work both in small groups and individually to critically explore, apply, experiment and evaluate IT project management frameworks. Weekly seminars (or online content) and an online discussion forum will be utilised to explore current established project management approaches and relate these approaches to a multi-cultural IT environment.

You will have the opportunity to engage in peer-review and present ideas and assessment proposals, prior to approval by the relevant module tutor. Finally, you will demonstrate the practical application of your learning and professional skills through a demonstration.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS531

Software Systems Engineering

This module presents the software systems engineering paradigm in the context of industrial web application architectures. This involves requirements gathering, analysis, specification, design, implementation and finally critical review.

You will use industry standard notations, approaches and integrated development environment tools as applicable.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS995

Research Project

This module provides the opportunity to consolidate, apply and extend your understanding, skills and knowledge of Computing and Information Technologies by planning, executing and reporting on an appropriate research-based project. This can be theoretical in nature or be a practically-based activity (for example, the development of a hardware and/or software prototype). In exceptional cases, you may undertake work which centres on comparative studies/surveys.

Your chosen project will enable you to demonstrate your ability to formulate, tackle and report on research activity with competence, efficiency, and professionalism in a timely manner and in a way that is cognisant of relevant ethical standards. Students will be supplied with a list of suggested projects. You may select a project from this list or alternatively propose a project that may better match your interests, experience or relevant area of professional development. Permission to undertake such ‘Student-Initiated Projects’ is not automatically granted but must be approved by the Lecturer before work begins.

More information
60 Credits

Code: 7CS512

Business Analytics

The acquisition, validation, organisation, management, analysis, presentation and interpretation of data is the primary purpose of information systems in organisations. Underlying much of the success of information systems has been the development of the databases upon which modern information systems are built.

This module will expose you to a wide range of database and data analysis topics which will be actively and practically explored by you in order to prepare them for your future careers in large and small organisations.

You will have opportunities to work with representative, real-world datasets to develop your understanding of the issues involved in managing and analysing the data and to explore the practical aspects of data mining and management data analysis and presentation using relevant suitable computer languages and computer software.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and critically evaluate the key requirements for effective data management, analysis and presentation to meet users’ needs
  • Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of management information reporting system that meets the users’ needs using a prototyping / Agile approach in the relevant programming environment
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS519

Information Visualisation

The volume and velocity of the data are such that a traditional statistical analytical system is not capable of coping with either the volume or the rate of delivery of the data in ways that provide opportunities for managerial action. The growth of cyber-crime and cyber-fraud is overwhelming traditional approaches. One approach which shows promise is the use of high-performance visualisation tools offered by SAS® Visual Analytics and SAS® Visual Statistics. In other situations, the use of visualisation tools, both proprietary, such as SAS® JMP and Base SAS®, and open-source and web-based tools provide suitable visualisations that can be used for smaller data sets. This module provides students with the opportunities to work with a wide range of visualisation tools and data sets to develop their visualisation skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the capabilities of different visualisation tools, both proprietary, such as SAS, and open-source, to support the discovery and display of critical and valuable answers hidden in small, medium and large data
  • Execute analysis and visualisation using realistic data sources from disparate disciplines and using the most appropriate visualisation tools in order to identify the valuable questions and to develop well justified, actionable answers
  • To critically evaluate and apply ethical principles and standards to the whole of the visualisation process
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS526

Cyber Security and IoT

The concept of an ‘Internet of Things’ (which is often discussed within the framework of ‘Pervasive’ and ‘Ubiquitous’ forms of computing) relates to the development, deployment and operation of a broad spectrum of Internet connected devices which are able to communicate with applications, with each other, and with the environment. IoT is becoming new norm of ubiquitous computing. These IoT devices are generating tremendous amounts of continuous data that is classified as Big Data. 

In this module we focus on issues relating to cyber security in the perspective of IoT, methods that can be employed in evaluating system security and basic digital forensics techniques which can be used to accrue information pertaining to an attack. We particularly focus on introducing ethical hacking (also known as penetration testing) techniques by which organisations recruit appropriate professionals who are charged with identifying and reporting on security weaknesses.

This module provides a practical, interdisciplinary introduction to the Cyber Security of IoT perspective. You will be able to critically evaluate the benefits offered in advancing indicative areas of applications and the considerations while developing a secure IoT application.

This module provides an opportunity to develop important and highly transferable practical skills underpinned by theoretical understanding of key issues and methodologies. This is reflected in the various assessment components, by the use of research informed content and by the expectation that you will develop the breadth of your knowledge by making regular and considered contributions to the virtual classrooms Discussion Forum.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7CS529

Enterprise Network and Management Security

This module aims to equip students with the required knowledge about communications and security that will enable them to work at management level in Enterprise IT.

It introduces the concepts of network topologies and protocols, and how they are applied to the Enterprise. It also aims to create awareness of the need for systems and network security and to give students a clear understanding of the security aspects as applied to Enterprise Networks.

More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Teaching and learning

Modules within this course will be delivered by expert academics who are practising professionals too. This ensures that module content remains up-to-date and highly relevant and brings through pertinent examples from the business world which are current and topical. You will learn of new technological developments including programming languages and development tools to help you further your skill set. We have also worked with current students on the programme to develop aspects of the course they feel are important, making sure our content is relevant and up-to-date.

We have worked closely with our contacts to bring you a series of guest lectures from leading researchers in Computing and acclaimed professionals who will share their knowledge of the computing landscape.

All learning resources will be delivered entirely online through our user-friendly student portal dashboard and intuitive digital learning environment. You will interact with your tutors and fellow students through a mix of virtual live classrooms, tutorials and guest lectures. Group discussions and debate are held through forums and community spaces and the use of collaborative tools such as wikis for group projects and assignments. Digital texts, ebooks, journals, databases and more are available electronically via our library.

Student support and guidance

Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our Library, Health and Wellbeing Centre, Careers and Employability Service, IT Support and the Union of Students. All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

Study skills

Many of our students are mature learners who may have not studied academically for a number of years. To help you to become an effective student, able to study at postgraduate level, there are a number of advanced study skill resources available to you covering areas such as research skills, critical evaluation in academic context, literature search, referencing, plagiarism and so on.

Pace of study

The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. During the term times, we recommend around 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module for the standard study plan.

If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed entirely through coursework. You will undertake formative and summative assessments to demonstrate that you have met the module and programme learning outcomes.

You will take part in collaborative group work. This will help expand your thinking and give you the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences with others on your course.

Formative assessment opportunities will be available throughout your modules to provide structured learning and feedback. This may be gained through feedback such as self-assessment, peer review, or feedback directly from your tutor.

More formal summative assessments which count towards your grades such as, research projects, business reports, case study analysis, collaborative group work and reflective reports will develop your skills and knowledge at Masters level.

The final assessment on the MSc is the independent study, a triple module worth 60 credits. This can be a research project, software development project applied to a workplace, or a combination of both.

Who will teach you

Tariq Abdullah at desk with laptop

Dr Tariq Abdullah
Programme leader

Dr Tariq Abdullah has over 19 years of research and development experience within both industry and academia. He has worked in many roles within Higher Education, as a Lecturer, Programme Leader, Research Fellow and in his current role as Academic Lead in Computing and IT.

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Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Computing and IT Online Webinar

Friday, 8 January 2021 16.00 - 17.00

Join this webinar to discover more about studying Computing and IT online at Derby. The webinar includes a 30 minute presentation from Dr Tariq Abdullah, Academic Lead for Computing and IT.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You should normally have a UK undergraduate degree (at least a 2:2) with honours in any discipline, or an equivalent international qualification.

Applicants with a degree in a non-computing discipline or a lower degree classification in a computing related discipline may still be considered for entry to the programme where they can demonstrate relevant work experience in a management or supervisory position, and followed by an interview to demonstrate effective communication, learning skills and the motivation to succeed on the programme. However, applications may also be considered where there is extensive evidence of key practical experience and work-based training.

Where required, interviews will be conducted by the Academic Lead and may be undertaken by telephone or other suitable methods. After the interview, depending on applicants’ profile, you may be offered admission with a level 7 access module after the interview.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 

RPL may be available for you based upon past study and experience.

English language qualification

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £975 7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module) £8,775

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £975 7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module) £8,775

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

Masters funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


Employers’ needs and opinions have been taken into consideration in the design, content and delivery of this course. We have worked closely with a range of local employers through the Advisory Board and the British Computer Society (BCS), as well as ongoing contacts with former students on the programme who are now working in a range of public and private industry sectors.

There is a growing demand for skilled IT professionals around the world. The MSc Computing and IT programme will provide you with a step up in your continued professional development, helping you to demonstrate your employment potential.

Your employment prospects include:

If you are aiming to continue your research and planning to earn a PhD degree, you can also apply for a PhD either on campus or online with the University of Derby.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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