Information systems are spreading into every sphere of business and non-business organisations. They herald the dawn of a new 'Information Age' in which information, information systems and information technology are recognised as key organisational resources and in which management activities become more information-intensive. Yet the majority of information systems - including e-government, e-commerce, and e-development systems - are under-performing or are failures.
A key cause of this problem is the gap of knowledge, of skills, of culture and of language that exists between functional managers and information systems professionals.
The aim of this Masters degree is to close that gap by training individual staff to become 'hybrid managers'. Hybrid managers are those who understand both the job of management in its organisational setting and the role, management and jargon of information, information systems and information technology. These individuals will be in a strong position to lead the successful development and implementation of new information systems in their organisations.
At the end of the programme, participants will have been provided with: -Conceptual frameworks to understand the role of information, of information technology and of information systems in organisations -New knowledge and skills to help in the effective planning, development implementation and management of information systems -New knowledge and skills to help in the effective management and change of organisations
Teaching and learning
The distance learning programme starts annually every January.
Participants study on the distance learning degree without leaving home or interrupting their careers. A typical study route would involve completion of four compulsory modules in the first year of study, and completion of the remaining four modules in the second year. A dissertation is undertaken in the first half of the third year. Using this route, participants complete the full Master's programme in two-and-a-half years. For example, those starting in January 2016 would complete in July 2018.
However, the programme is flexible and can accommodate faster or slower study and completion speeds in order to take account of work, family or other personal commitments. For example, after completing teaching period one, students can accelerate their study by spending a twelve-week semester in Manchester, studying alongside students on our face-to-face Master's programmes. Students can also slow down, perhaps taking only one module rather than two in a particular teaching period, or taking a complete break of a teaching period during which no modules are studied. Different study plans are possible as long as students complete the programme within four and a half years.
This programme is designed to develop two groups of participants: functional managers who wish to take greater control over, and make a more direct contribution to, change in their organisations via the development and implementation of information systems; and information systems professionals who wish to improve the success rate of the information systems they develop or use, and who may also wish to upgrade their management skills and knowledge.
It will be relevant to those with career trajectories in the private, public, and NGO sectors, and it is particularly appropriate for those working in or with newly-developed, transitional and developing countries.
The Global Development Institute (GDI) has a large and diverse postgraduate population, with 85% of our students drawn from outside the UK, particularly from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Western Europe, but also reaching out to Latin America, North America and the Pacific. Graduates from the MSc M&IS programme have gone on to careers that typically incorporate a mix of management, information systems and information technology responsibilities such as business analysis, change management, and e-business and e-government roles with public, private and NGO sector organisations. Others have pursued further academic study leading to a PhD and academic/research consulting careers, including study with the University's Centre for Development Informatics.
Since its foundation, GDI has trained over 7,000 individuals from 170 different countries.