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Business Systems Analysis and Design - MSc/PGDip/PGcert

Course Description

With the MSc Business Systems Analysis and Design course at City you can unravel a business system and prepare to work as an analyst within the industry.

Who is it for?

The course is for motivated students who enjoy working within high-pressure environments often to tight deadlines. You will need a good undergraduate degree as well as the tenacity and patience to understand business systems and the ability to adapt to constant change.


There is a common misconception in building business systems: that users know their requirements. Often they don’t. This postgraduate Business Systems Analysis programme has been designed to address this problem.

The MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design is not about developing algorithms and coding. We work with technology but we are not technicians because we know that to become an IT consultant or business analyst, you need to understand the disparate areas that make up the discipline. This is a Masters degree where you will design a business system; in order to do this you will unpick the information infrastructure to find out if the system works.

Analysing a business system is a process that demands constant re-evaluation. By investigating system requirements, considering how information flows through it, and exploring the pitfalls that emerge within user hierarchies, at City we examine the business system as a whole. This approach is essential to respond to rapid business change.

These are some of the questions the course poses:
-What is the right system to address the problem?
-Does the system meet the needs of the business now and will it be able to adapt in the future?
-How is information flowing within the system?
-How will users interact with the system throughout the project life cycle?


As a student on this programme you can undertake an internship in the July to December period, for up to six months. You can work under a client’s direction for all or part of this time. Many students use the internship as an opportunity to carry out a specific project which forms the context for their final dissertation.

One current student is working within a user experience design company to investigate how scents affect the emotional perception of digital fruit images displayed on a desktop service.

Academic facilities

As a student on the MSc Business Systems Analysis and Design course you will have access to dedicated labs and use specialist software such as SAP. At City we also have access to Microsoft Dynamics ERP software to support the enterprise information system module. Microsoft Dynamics is an industry-based CRM system. As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

We provide a diversity of teaching approaches so you get a diversity of learning experiences in the form of traditional lectures, live classroom demonstrations, tutorials, laboratories, and TV studio role-playing. We encourage you to engage with the material in an active way. As a postgraduate student, we expect you to take responsibility for your own learning and use non-timetabled hours for your own private study or group interactions.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways from coursework and laboratory work to presentations, examinations and a project dissertation. By successfully completing eight taught modules and the research project you will be awarded a Master of Science (MSc) degree. All modules in this course are supported by Moodle, City's online learning environment.

The course is available full time (12 months) and part time (up to 28 months - two days a week). The Department is aware that this involves considerable commitment from part-time students, and we try to be as flexible as we can so you can successfully combine your work and study.

By completing eight modules and the dissertation you will be awarded 180 credits and a Masters level qualification. Alternatively, if you do not complete the dissertation but have successfully completed the eight modules, you will be awarded 120 credits and a postgraduate diploma. If you successfully complete four modules (60 credits) you will be awarded a postgraduate certificate.


There are six core modules and four electives from which you can choose two topics. Practical work is emphasised throughout the degree programme to develop your understanding and skills, which is strengthened by interactive teamwork. The course has an excellent track record in producing employable hybrid IT/business professionals.

In the industry you need to communicate your expertise in lay terms. The modules give you experience in working on group projects so you can manage roles and responsibilities and build a set of professional values. The core content will also give you the ability to set strategies, manage information flows and deal with problems such as overload and risk.

The course develops:
-Skills in business awareness, design and consultancy to facilitate the alignment of IT systems and services to business objectives
-The specialist understanding of theoretical principles in business systems analysis and design.
-Technical skills, through practical laboratory work, so you can apply your knowledge of IT and how it affects business competitiveness.

The course will give you specialist knowledge ranging from business systems requirements analysis and design, software systems engineering, data modelling to business intelligence, project management and business engineering with ERP solutions.

Core modules
-Business engineering with ERP solutions INM342 (15 credits)
-Business intelligence & analytics INM451 (15 credits)
-Practical business systems consultancy INM353 (15 credits)
-Project management INM372 (15 credits)
-Research methods and professional issues INM373 (15 credits)
-Systems specification INM312 (15 credits)

Elective modules - choose from one module in the first term from the following:
-User-centred design INM355 (15 credits)
-Information and knowledge management INM351 (15 credits)

Choose from one module in the second term from the following:*
-Databases INM343 (15 credits)
-Information Retrieval (IR) INM351 (15 credits)

*Note: Databases is compulsory for students who do not have prior knowledge at the discretion of the programme director.

Career prospects

As a City graduate you leave with front-line knowledge. With insight from major areas of research including software engineering, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence, you will be able to assimilate your skills within the industry and offer a future-focused mindset.

From Unilever to HMV and from Accenture to ITN, City graduates are employed across sectors in consultancy companies, software houses, the public services, telecommunications, multinational manufacturers, and large retailers. The programme will help you build a strong peer network as well as a solid network of contacts for your continued career development.

Visit the Business Systems Analysis and Design - MSc/PGDip/PGcert page on the City, University of London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Hyunsuk Yun

'City University London provides students with various career events and programs with cooperative and dedicated teams aiding development.'

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
City University London provides students with various career events and development programs. I also knew I'd have dedicated and cooperative academics providing the practical and industry-specific knowledge that I needed.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
The close links among modules and how they interacted with each other was great, helping to add greater insight to the subject matter.

What has been your favourite module and why?
Project Management, as it allowed me the opportunity to get closer to and understand things from the business perspective.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?
Working hard and doing well with regards to my coursework and examinations. Whilst a challenging course, I felt great sense of achievement with regards to what I’ve been able to achieve.

Where was your internship and how was the experience?
I got an offer from Accountagility as a solutions architect, and there are close links to what I am doing at my internship and what I've studied. It’s so exciting.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I would like to continue my work in the same company, developing my skills more to become an expert solutions architect.

(Student Profile)

Anita Wu

'I learned so much at City, and not just from what I gained during lectures, but also from what I learnt from the people I met.'

Why did you choose to study at City University London?

Because I wanted to study civil engineering with architecture and not many universities in the UK offer that degree. I also wanted to be based in London, as it is a multi-cultural environment.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The course was interesting and very challenging. However, I enjoyed tackling problems and the lecturers were great at supporting us. I met some great people during my time at City.

What was the highlight of your time at City University London?

The highlight of my time at City University London was strangely working in the 24 hours lab, meeting the other students in there doing the same thing as you, getting little sleep and trying to revise as much as possible before exams. Then in the summer, heading to university to pick up our results and meeting other people on the course to celebrate together.

How did City prepare you for your chosen career path?

I learned so much at City, not just the things I learned from lectures, but also from the people I met. Living in London during my time at City also meant more opportunity to find the right company to work for. I attended a career event in London when I found my first job with Parsons Brinckerhoff on the tunnels team before joining London Bridge Associates.


Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a lower second class honours degree, the equivalent from an international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. If you do not qualify for direct entry, you may wish to follow a Graduate Diploma pathway to the programme through one of our partners.

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