Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Information Technology
Popular IT conversion programme

Key Facts

Study Modes
Full-time (12 months)
Part-time (27 months)
Entry Dates
Learning Mode
Not Specified

Programme Details

September and January start dates - part-time distance learning study available 

The MSc degree programme in Information Technology (IT) can be fully studied part-time online as well as full-time on-campus. It is a suitable programme for individuals with, or without a computing science background. 

This programme is usually particularly attractive to those from an Arts and Social Sciences background as well as those who have studied in other branches of the physical sciences and wish to develop Information Technology skills, either to change direction or simply to "add value" in their existing area of expertise.

The programme takes 12 months to complete full-time and 27 months for those studying part-time (30 months for those who start in January).

Individual Subject Study

Individual units are available for continuous professional development Individual Subject Study (ISS) by arrangement. Email us for more information. 


This is a well established and highly regarded programme which allows students to develop skills in web design and administration while still providing them with a grounding in programming and software development. It has evolved to reflect changes in technology and the demands of industry. There are four overall aims:

  • To provide graduates with the fundamental programming and web development skills needed to build software systems. Programming is introduced using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby and the web framework Rails; students learn how to create effective user interfaces and links to databases and the web applications for the internet.
  • To develop Web site design, authoring and administration skills, including user-centred design and evaluation.
  • To teach graduates how to continually identify and revise clients' software requirements, by following agile development practices.
  • To give graduates experience of working in a software engineering team, developing both interpersonal skills as well as technical abilities. Usually the teams work with external clients.


You will study the following during your time on this programme:

Web Application Development

This course will introduce you to programming and software development using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby and teach you how to develop database driven interactive web applications. It teaches you the basics needed for professional software development.

Advanced Web Application Development

Utilizes Ruby to teach how to build and maintain complex web applications, which include rich database backed functionality, and provide the user with a powerful interface within the Rails Framework. Issues such as authentication and security are discussed, as is web oriented programming consisting of an agile development methodology, test first programming, and its associated tools. Advanced issues such as cloud computing, integration with web services and multi-layer architectures are also introduced.

Database Systems and Big Data 

You will learn to design and query databases using MSAccess and MySQL. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real world applications both in lectures and lab classes. You will learn database connectivity using JDBC and PHP. You will also learn crucial theoretical concepts such as relational algebra, file organisation and indexing. At the end of this course you will be able to design and build web based and standalone database applications.

Systems Analysis and Design

The aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the processes associated with modern systems analysis and design. In the course you will learn to understand what a particular software should do in order to meet customer needs, and to specify its corresponding functionalities in a meaningful and disciplined way. In this way it will introduce you to the tools and techniques available to the analyst/designer and cover the fundamental issues associated with project management.

Information Security 

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to techniques for engineering secure information systems. Identity theft and fraudulent scams are some examples where computer systems have been utilised and compromised, and information exploited in ways not intended or authorized. In addition to developing critical knowledge of the theories, principles and concepts associated with information security and systems, this course will enhance your understanding of core topics such as access control, usability and psychology, security policy, ethical hacking, and cryptography. Students study how users and organisations must become better prepared to best exploit emerging technologies and issues arising.

Enterprise Computing and Business 

Covers modern business computing and approaches to developing business ideas . Businesses need websites to reach their customers, get their supplies, and help them integrate their different parts of the business. You will learn to critically evaluate alternative solutions to developing business ideas.

Human-Computer Interaction

You will learn how to design systems that are easy to use by people. This covers the whole user-centred design process: from finding out what your users are like and analysing user tasks, to evaluating your designs and planning user tests. The course also covers contemporary topics like conversational interfaces, and content-based filtering.

Web Technology

Will be of interest to anyone who wishes to develop a Web Presence. It will touch on several of the fundamental technologies associated with the Web and will give you the opportunity to build an interactive web site with the knowledge gleaned. In addition to learning the principles associated with good Web design, and Website Management and Accessibility, some of the technologies covered include XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, DOM, PHP. 

Full-Time Schedule

First Semester
Students take either of these two courses (the other one is taken in January):

  • Web Application Development
  • Advanced Web Application Development

Plus the following mandatory courses:

  • Introduction to Database Systems
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Information Security 

Second Semester

Students take either of these two courses (the other one is taken in September):

  • Web Application Development
  • Advanced Web Application Development

Plus the following mandatory courses:

  • Enterprise Computing and Business
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Web Technology
Summer Project (Dissertation)

For those students starting in September this comes after the taught programme, while the January start students complete this project in-between the January and September courses.

Candidates who complete the above programme at an appropriate standard will be allowed to progress to the MSc Project in Information Technology. Candidates who fail to achieve the standard for progression to, or who elect not to proceed to, the project stage shall be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma if they have achieved the appropriate standard for that award.

The Summer project is taken under the supervision of an assigned academic supervisor in the department. The project will require creative, analytical and practical skills. The project typically involves the development of a substantial piece of software, and its evaluation. This course usually offers the opportunity to work with collaborative organisations on behalf of the Aberdeen Software Factory so that students can have real-world development experience.

Part-Time (Distance Learning) Schedule

Year 1

  • 1st Session
    • Web Application Development
    • Web Technology 
  • 2nd Session
    • Advanced Web Application Development
    • Introduction to Database Systems

Year 2

  • 1st Session
    • Human Computer Interaction
    • Enterprise Computing and Business
  • 2nd Session
    • Systems Analysis & Design
    • Information Security 

Year 3

  • Project in Information Technology


Assessment is by course work, by written examination or by a combination of these as prescribed for each course. The summer project will be assessed by project implementation and by a dissertation. The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to complete the summer project at an appropriate standard, irrespective of their performance in other courses.



In general, a module consists of about 24 one-hour lectures, supported by a considerable amount of practical work and in some cases tutorials. In some modules, informal workshops and discussions will take the place of formal lectures.



There are a number of careers to which one could progress with this degree. Previous students who were on similar degrees have found jobs using the skills taught here with IT companies, and software houses of all shapes and sizes. This programme provides you with the technical and analytical skills needed to successfully adapt to wide-range of situations in the ever-changing world of computing.

Adedayo Bada "I enjoyed the well-structured approach of learning and the relative ease with which I could communicate with my lecturers, this afforded me the opportunity to discuss my problems early enough and the level of responsiveness of the tutors was of a high standard." [More]
Adedayo Bada "My degree gave me a broad knowledge and exposure of Information Technology - everything from databases and web design to programming and looking at the electronic world that we live in. This has stood me in good stead for the career in which I have pursed." [More]
  "The MSc course offered a breadth of interesting and relevant knowledge which kick started my career in Information Technology.  Not only did the course develop my technical abilities but it widened my understanding of technologies within the context of business and developed my soft skills which are all important in the IT industry."
Natasha Martin, Logica UK

Academic Requirements

Our minimum entry requirement is a UK Honours degree (or an honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth) at 2:2 (lower second) class or above.

While no prior computer programming experience is necessary, a basic level of computer literacy is expected. Those with a computer science degree from a non-UK university, or other computing background, will be considered on the understanding that you may be repeating some material.

It is important to note that the programmes of postgraduate study at the University of Aberdeen are very competitive and the entry requirements stated are a guide to the minimum requirements, but do not guarantee entry. 

Document Requirements

For this application we need at least:

  • a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) so far (original & official English translation)
  • detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • current CV/resume

It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible. 


Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements. These are located at This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency. If you are in doubt about your proficiency in English, contact the British Council office or its equivalent in your country. If your first language is not English, it is important that your proficiency in English is good in order for you to study successfully at the University of Aberdeen . Without this ability you will find great difficulty in understanding lectures, producing written work and sitting examinations. 


We have two intakes of students each year - September and January.

Late applications may be asked to wait until the next intake should the programme coordinator feel there is insufficient time to consider the application.

Prospective students who require a visa to study in the UK are advised to apply as early in the year as possible to secure a place.

Applications received after 30th June (September entry) or 16th November (January entry) from students who need to apply for a visa to study in the UK will not be processed for entry but will be considered for entry into the following intake as appropriate.


2016/17 Fees

  • UK/EU Students - £4,500
  • International - £13,800

Information on tuition fees, can be found on the University Registry website.



Funding opportunities can be found in our searchable Funding Database. You are advised to search the database as a broad range of funding exists much of which you may be eligible for.

A list of funding opportunities is also maintained on the College of Physical Sciences Funding Page.

University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated (or about to graduate) with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More Information


Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
The Hub
King's College

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272576