MSc Information Management & Digital Business – Business Service Design

Course overview

The Business Service Design pathway will give you the capability to use information and information management to design agile and innovative business services.

Commercial focus

Our students learn to apply their knowledge and skills to design technology-based solutions to application domains in business and management. They also gain a thorough understanding of management and leadership issues to enable them to work effectively within a variety of organisations.

After you’ve graduated

Graduates will be equipped for a variety of roles in the digital economy including business analysis, digital marketing, service design, strategic data analysis and consulting roles.

Not sure which of our three MSc Information Management pathways to choose from? Apply for the one that you feel fits you better - you will be able to change the pathway within the first few weeks of your arrival at the university.

How we teach you

A holistic approach

Effective leadership requires more than first-class business acumen. It also requires a degree of self-awareness and sensitivity. Henley is renowned for its well-researched, professional approach to this aspect of business education and all our postgraduate programmes examine this aspect of leadership - helping to create emotionally intelligent graduates who can be fully effective in their chosen careers.

How you will learn

Henley Business School enjoys a strong reputation for the practical application of business ideas and concepts, underpinned by academic excellence and the strength of our research. We offer high-quality technical skills training as well as a deep understanding of the importance of personal development for leaders, a thread that runs through all of our Masters programmes.

Our postgraduate masters programmes feature a mix of core and optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree towards your individual personal development needs and career ambitions. You will complete up to 10 taught modules during your programme, totalling 180 credits. One module usually equates to 20 credits or 10 hours of work per week. Your week will include lectures, tutorials, workshops and personal study, with each accounting for 25% of your time on average. This stimulating mix of lectures and interactive tutorials provides you with the opportunity to discuss and explore the subject material in depth with your lecturers and fellow students. You will be introduced to the latest thinking and research findings and be able to challenge some of those that have created it. You will also explore real-world issues and tackle current business challenges, and interact with guest lectures and speakers from industry, giving you the opportunity to test, extend and refine your knowledge and skills.

How we assess you

You will learn and be assessed through a wide variety of teaching methods which vary depending on your chosen Masters programme. These include online materials and multimedia content, guest lectures, individual and group assignments, case studies, field visits, dealing room simulations, presentations, applied projects, consultancy work and examinations.

On average examinations form around 70% of the assessed work with the remaining 30% coming from coursework, including a written dissertation or project depending on your chosen programme. The exam period falls between April and June in the summer term, with students taking an average of 5 or 6 exams. Graduation normally takes place in December.

Ongoing support

While postgraduate students are self-motivated and determined individuals, study at this level can present additional pressures which we take seriously. Lecturers are available to discuss the content of each module and your academic tutor can meet with you regularly to discuss any additional issues. Full-time support staff are also available to help with any questions or issues that may arise during your time at Henley.

How to apply

Apply for 2019 entry now

There are two different application processes: apply online and apply by post.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for Postgraduate study at Henley Business School, at the University of Reading is through the University’s online application service.

This allows you to complete your application information, attach electronic copies of your academic transcripts, certificates and other supporting information and also provides a facility for an email request to be sent to your referees enabling them to send your supporting references directly to us.

Apply online

Apply online now using the University of Reading's online application system.

Apply by post

If you are unable to apply online you can request a paper application form by telephoning +44(0) 118 378 5289 or writing to the Admissions Office, University of Reading, Miller Building, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK.

When to apply

We operate a rolling admissions system and it is recommended that you apply early to secure your place. There is no specific deadline and applications will be considered until the programme is full. However, to allow time for us to process your application we recommend that you apply by the following dates for admission in October:

  • UK/EU applicants: by 1 August
  • International applicants: by 1 June

After you apply

You will receive a confirmation email when we receive your application form. Your application is then reviewed by a member of staff. Successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter outlining any necessary entry cri­teria you will need to meet and you will be asked to confirm your acceptance of this offer.

A (non refundable) deposit of between £500 and £1,000 (depending on the programme you have applied for) is payable upon acceptance of an offer of a place. International applicants requiring a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a visa will be sent the CAS details by email once all conditions of the offer have been met, and the relevant deposit has been paid.

Throughout the admissions process we will keep you updated with key information via email. We also provide opportunities to interact with faculty and staff online.

You can find us on Facebook and keep up-to-date with news and events in the School or ask us a question. In addition, you can speak to a current student; our students and alumni are always happy to share their Henley experience.

Meet Us

If you are unable to attend a postgraduate event please get in touch with our team. We will be happy to speak to you by telephone, on Skype or through our Live Chat system (during UK office hours: 9 - 5 pm).

Our contact details are: postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Please see our list of world fairs below where you can meet a Henley representative.

UK

  • Postgraduate Fairs (Aston)

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  • Postgraduate visit afternoon

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EUROPE

  • Masters and More - Munich

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  • Masters and More - Duesseldorf

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INDIA & THE MIDDLE EAST

  • Access Masters, Beirut

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  • British Council Study UK Exhibition, New Delhi

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  • British Council Study UK Exhibition, Mumbai

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  • QS Connect Masters , Mumbai

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  • QS World Grad School Tour, Mumbai

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  • QS World Grad School Tour, Pune

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  • QS World Grad School Tour, New Delhi

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  • QS World Grad School Tour, Bangalore

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Faculty & Staff

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at postgraduate@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

Important Information

Key facts

Duration: 12 months full-time or 36 months part-time

Part-time or modular options: You may study this programme either of a full time Master’s degree. Alternatively, the programme can be studied part-time over three consecutive years.

Additionally, there are opportunities to study the programme at Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate level

Start: September 2019

Assessment: Exams, dissertation and individual and group assignments

Consistently maintain highest standards and with an excellent networking potential : 76,000 Henley alumni members in 150 countries

High calibre students: always oversubscribed, 1,000 ambitious new Master's students join Henley each year

Award winning campus: beautiful, green, 134 hectares, with state of the art facilities

World-leading faculty: widely published, frequently asked for expert comment by media and to speak at events

Henley is proud to be part of the University of Reading. The University is ranked within the top 250 universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 and QS World University Rankings 2018) and 98% of the research is rated as being of international standard.

Course modules

The module descriptions set out on this page are correct for modules being taught in the current academic year. Optional module listings are indicative and may be subject to change

Modules Credits

Compulsory modules

Aims:
This module aims to enable students to develop an in-depth understanding of the nature, structure and function of information in the business domain. Students will gain knowledge of information requirements and presentation, working alongside users and subject specialists, to support their business functions. Through the course students will acquire the ability to plan, implement and evaluate IT-based solutions.

Outline content:

    • Understand the signs and types of signs (indices, icons and symbols) used in human communication and computer information systems, from semiotic and other relevant perspectives
    • Investigate the characteristics of organisational needs in the era of e-enterprise and the potential IT capabilities required to support business objectives and functions
    • Study the methods and techniques for aligning business and IT strategies, business and IT planning, requirements analysis and determination
    • Select appropriate theories, methods and techniques for application in the design and development of IT solutions

 

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims: 
This module is designed to support students who are embarking on a postgraduate research project. It covers the entire research process, from the formulation of a proposal to the dissemination of results. It guides students in the preparation and planning of research projects, including: writing a research proposal, literature review, research paradigms, methods and techniques, project planning and management, ethical issues, writing research papers and dissertations, and oral presentations. 

Outline content:

  • Introduction to research and nature of research
  • Writing a literature review
  • Writing a research proposal – defining a research question and formulating aims and objectives
  • Research paradigms
  • Overview of research methods – quantitative and qualitative research, data collection strategies and issues
  • Management of research project
  • Ethical issues in research 
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims:
This module is concerned with using a holistic approach to investigate and improve business situations, with a view to developing feasible business solutions to the problem domain. It aims to provide students with the theory and practice of capturing and analysing business needs in relation to organisational contexts, business strategies, stakeholders, and business processes. Methods and techniques for articulation and evaluation of business needs will be introduced.

Outline content: 

  • Rationale for business analysis and requirements
  • Organisational, social and cultural impacts on business domain analysis
  • Strategy and stakeholder analysis
  • Business systems analysis/modelling
  • Business process analysis/modelling
  • Managing change
  • Making a business case

 

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims:
This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project, drawing on the knowledge and skills acquired from past experience and from the taught part of the MSc programme. It enables students to learn how to conduct a research project, develop problem-solving and critical-analytical skills, and manage research activities. There are opportunities to carry out the project with external organisations.

Outline content:

  • Progression from the Research Methods module (research proposal, literature review, and project planning)
  • Regular meetings with supervisors
  • Interim report
  • Dissertation report
  • Oral presentation
40 [20 ECTS credits]

Aims:
This module aims at developing the understanding of business service design regarding service thinking concept and business performance management in the digital economy. This module will equip the student with the knowledge of business service innovation with a focus of organisational, business architecture and service system design and performance management in the new service context.   

Outline content: 

  • Service and service innovation concept, framework and approaches for business service deign
  • Organisational design and business model generation in the service context
  • Performance management for maintaining an organisation’s quality, e.g. concepts of performance metrics, and their alignment with corporate strategy, critical success factors, key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Performance assessment methods and techniques, e.g. benchmarking, balanced score card, total quality management
  • Multi-sided metrics to assess business service performance  
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims:
This module aims to enable students to understand management theories and project management practices such as Agile and PRINCE2. Students will be able to carry out project planning with different methods, and incorporate risk management and quality control techniques. Students will also be able to understand the characteristics of IT projects and improve the success rate of project management.

Outline content: 

    • Theories and principles of project management
    • Project management in organisations
    • Methodologies (e.g. Agile and PRINCE2) for project management
    • Project planning and delivery (e.g., estimating, scheduling, resourcing, and monitoring)
    • Risk management
    • Quality control mechanisms

 

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Optional modules

In addition students must choose two optional module from the list below.

Please note there is no guarantee that in any one year all modules will be available.

Aims:
This module is concerned with how business intelligence and data mining techniques can be used for managerial decision-making. It aims to provide students with the essential data mining and knowledge representation techniques used to transform data into business intelligence. Application areas covered in this module include marketing, customer relationship management, risk management, personalisation, etc.

Outline content:

  • Concepts of business intelligence and data mining
  • Overview of various data mining techniques
  • Types of data, data cleaning, data integration and transformation, data reduction
  • Classification and predictive modelling
  • Cluster analysis for generating patterns of data and structuring business intelligence
  • Association rule mining and market-basket analysis
  • Business intelligence implementation, integration and emerging trends
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims:

Given the availability of large amount of both structured and unstructured data in business, there is a need for organisations to assess how effectively Big Data can be utilised for business. The aim of this module is to evaluate the business value in utilising Big Data and develop information management solutions with an appreciation of business analytics methods and technologies.

Outline content:

  • Business opportunity in the era of Big Data – case studies
  • Business analysis for big data and business intelligence
  • Methods, techniques and tools for Big Data
  • Data and information management for Big Data
  • Big Data visualisation
  • Developing a Big Data strategy
  • Professional, leadership and ethical issues in Big Data solutions
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims:

In this module, students learn how maps and models can help manage complexity. In ‘systems thinking’, students use causal loop diagrams (CLDs) to explain why organisations behave over time as they do and to develop policies that generate different behaviours. In ‘strategic modelling’ students work with simulation models and learn how they create understanding in management teams and support rigorous analysis of policy options.

Outline content:

  • Role of causal theory building in policy analysis
  • Icons and conventions of systems thinking using CLDs
  • Building CLDs to explain behaviour
  • Policy analysis using CLDs
  • Symbols and software for strategic modelling
  • Policy experimentation using simulations models
  • Managerial applications of strategic modelling
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Enterprise Systems (i.e. ERP, CRM, SCM and KMS) are used to reinforce the efficiency and productivity of businesses, however implementation failure-rates remains high. This module helps students to understand the organisational and business impact of using Enterprise Systems, the potential role of Enterprise Systems in organisational transformation and change, and highlights the benefit and risk aspects involved in systems implementation.

Outline content

• Understand Enterprise System solutions;

• Appreciation of Enterprise Systems implementation methodologies;

• Understand business risk factors, and how such risks can be minimised;

• Appreciating the impact of Enterprise Systems on stakeholder relationships;

• Consider the business benefit of integrating business functions; • Understanding the business conflict involved in process reengineering and customisation.

    

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Aims:
This module develops knowledge and skills in the use of consulting tools for enterprise modelling and analysis. It is taught in three key parts, which include frequent tutorials, examples and a case study developed in conjunction with Capgemini consultants. This three-part approach welds business and technology techniques with consulting methods to enable students to both identify and resolve current and future issues affecting organisations.

Outline content:

  • Part 1 addresses the theory of consulting, consulting structure, generic consulting methods and tools
  • Part 2 focuses on understanding and applying examples of specific framework tools and techniques, building on IRC and Capgemini developed methods
  • Part 3 ‘consulting in practice’ involves case analysis and presentations by students to practicing consultants, applying relevant techniques to practical business-technology problems
  • Students undertake a team-based case study relating to actual consulting practice, led by practising consultants

 

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]
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Fees & funding

Full Time Fees:

Home (UK/EU)Overseas (non EU)
2019 Entry£10,500£17,500

Part time Fees:

Home (UK/EU)Overseas (non EU)
2019 Entry£5,250£8,750
The part-time fees quoted above are for the September 2018 academic year. Fees for the second year of the programme will remain fixed at this rate if study is completed within the normal duration of the programme. No fees are payable for the third year of registration on the programme. This only applies to part time students who commence the studies after 2018/19.
Please note that a non-refundable deposit is payable when confirming your acceptance of an offer of a place. This is part of your tuition fee and will be deducted from the total amount upon enrolment.

UK/European Union Postgraduate Loans

Loans of up to £10,000 are available to eligible students studying for postgraduate Master's courses from the 2019-2020 Academic year. In general, students need to be domiciled in England. EU students, and individuals falling within certain specified categories, may also be eligible.

You can apply for a loan through the UK Government website. You can read more about the scheme on the Student Loans Company website or on these two UK Government sites: Introduction of loans for postgraduate students and Government response to the Consultation on Support for Postgraduate Study.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

You are expected to hold an upper second-class bachelors degree from a UK university, or an equivalent qualification from an internationally-recognised university.

Prior knowledge or experience of your chosen subject area is not required. We welcome applications from recent university graduates from a wide range of disciplines.

See country and region-specific information and entry requirements for International applicants or please contact us with any questions.

Not quite at the required level of English language proficiency for your chosen programme?

Applicants to Henley Business School, whose first language is not English, will be required to attain the International English Language Test Scores (IELTS), or equivalent acceptable qualification accepted by the University, as defined below, to enter a programme.

We require a minimum IELTS 6.5 score with no single element below 5.5.

Students completing the above mentioned pre-sessional courses would be allowed entry onto this programme with an overall score of 6.0.

Equivalent English Language Qualifications will also be accepted. If you require specific advice on your qualification please contact our admissions office directly either by e-mail at pgadmissions@reading.ac.uk or by telephone on +44 118 378 5289.

UK visa requirements

If you are not a national of the European Union (EU), it is likely that you will need to obtain a UK visa to live and study in the UK before you travel. See the UK Border Agency website. Contact the University's International Office with any questions: intoff@reading.ac.uk.

Tier 4 visa pilot scheme

The University of Reading is pleased to have been selected by the Home Office to take part in a small pilot scheme, which provides Master's level students the opportunity to benefit from a streamlined visa application process, and six months extra time on their Tier 4 visa to look for work.

The pilot scheme will cover Tier 4 visa applications made for entry in the academic year 2018/19. Find out more on the University of Reading website.

Careers

Each pathway of our MSc Information Management & Digital Business is designed to give a rigorous academic understanding of real-life and current business issues. Graduates of the Business Service Design pathway will be equipped to manage and utilise information resources in various business fields including business & management, construction management and healthcare through a thorough understanding of systems analysis and design methodology.

A number of our students join our PhD programmes each year.

Accreditation Information

Students who pass the module INMR66 – Business Domain and Requirements Analysis with a mark of 60 or above will be eligible for the British Computer Society Professional Certificate in Business Analysis Practice.

‘This programme has enriched me academically and equipped me with a new set of workplace skills. The University of Reading is a centre of excellence for world-class lectures and best-in-class learning facilities in the UK.’ Jordan Olotu, Inside Security Specialist


Clifford Derrick
MSc Information Management & Systems, 2015

“The world we currently live in is a world of diminishing returns and limited budgets. Through a Henley Ambassador’s Scholarship that partially covered my tuition, I was able to join one of the most prestigious business schools in the world and tap into my talent and ability to be a top drawer business analyst. The tutors demonstrated excellent knowledge in the information management and systems field and showed us the skills that made a difference in today’s dynamic business environment.I gained useful insights in the information management and systems field through theories and practice.
I learned how to critically analyse from different perspectives before coming to a final decision. The program gave me new conversation topics and also provided credentials to fully venture into my career of choice while also having the option to consider venturing into a different path altogether. Furthermore, the field trips to companies in the Thames Valley area (Dell and Oracle) provided an unexpected break from my busy schedule and for this wonderful experience, I am truly grateful to the Henley Business School and University of Reading fraternity.”
Clifford Derrick Osedo, Business Strategy Analyst, Liquid Telecom, Kenya