Study at City
  1. Courses
  2. Applying
  3. Fees and funding
  4. Living in London
  5. Visit us
  6. Student support
  7. International students
  8. Order a prospectus
  9. Ask a student
  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MSc Business Systems Analysis and Design

Entry Year:
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.

Key information

Start date

Autumn 2020

Academic year dates


Full-time: 12 months (15 months with option of three month internship)
Part-time: 24 months


Full-time: £10,000

Part-time: £5,000 per year *


Full-time: £20,000

Part-time: £10,000 per year *


Northampton Square

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?

“Business systems have a lot of underlying themes – what we’re trying to do on this course is to give students a good, solid foundation in all of these themes, whether it’s business processes, requirements or managing information. Once they have this overview of the parts they can develop a unified view of the business system as a whole.”

Course Director, Dr Andrew MacFarlane


BCS Accredited Degree

Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s degree with second class upper division (2.1) honours or above, overseas equivalent or an equivalent professional qualification.

Other suitable qualifications

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.

INTO City, University of London

Don't meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You'll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Informatics.

Kaplan International College London

City works in partnership with Kaplan International College (KIC) London to provide preparatory courses for international students. Pre Masters courses at KIC London offer comprehensive support to students wishing to complete their postgraduate study at City. Progression to this degree is guaranteed if you complete the KIC London Pre-Masters course at the required level.

English requirements

For overseas students whose first language is not English, the following qualification is required:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in all four test components)

English language programmes

Don't meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Thank you for having decided to apply to study a postgraduate course at the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. Please note that the deadline for applications for the 2020/21 academic year is 31st August 2020, however we may close earlier if all places are filled.

Apply now

You will be expected to submit the following:

  • For all applicants, please upload your degree certificate and transcript of marks from your first degree (if you do not have your final results at the time of making your application, please upload a provisional certificate/interim transcript of marks). A transcript is required in order to have your application processed.
  • If your first language is not English, or you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, please upload a Proof of English Proficiency if you have already obtained it. A list of accepted qualifications can be found here.
  • Please upload a detailed personal statement outlining why you wish to study this specific course, at City, University of London, as well as explaining how your past studies have prepared you for this course and how it will help you to progress in your career. If you require a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Master's programme in the UK, then please note that the quality of your personal statement will also be taken into account by the visa issuing authorities when deciding to grant you a student visa or not.
  • If you are applying for a Part-time course, or have relevant work experience relating to the degree you are applying for, please upload a copy of your current CV/resume.

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Contact information for the Postgraduate Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 0248

Postgraduate Courses Office, A302
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
City, University of London
Northampton Square

Eminent alumni
Including Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE, The Times' Executive Editor
by the British Computer Society
Register for the certification course while you study
During your course

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

If a student leaves City after commencing but before completing their course, City reserves the right to charge the student the tuition/course fee for the full academic year (or full course for capacity limited post-graduate courses - up to a maximum of 2 years fees) in question. The student may be charged the full fee for that year or course as applicable unless the student is able to present justification that exceptional and unforeseeable reasons for their withdrawal exist.

How to pay

City has introduced an instalment payment scheme which is available to certain categories of students, including taught postgraduate students. For students following the normal academic year, the annual fee may be paid in two equal instalments: the first on registering, the second on 31st January. If you wish to pay your fees by instalment you must pay the first instalment at or before registration, by cheque or credit/debit card. You must also supply your bank details or credit card details for payment of your second instalment which will be deducted automatically from your bank or credit card account on 31st January.

Student views

My story in 3 objects: Ibukunoluwa Ogundipe

Ibukunoluwa Ogundipe has chosen to study the MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design at City, University of London. She’s an international student from Nigeria. Here Ibukunoluwa shares her story through 3 objects, symbolising her past, present and future.


As a postgraduate student on a Computing and Information Systems course, you will have the opportunity to complete up to six months of professional experience as part of your degree.

Our longstanding internship scheme gives you the chance to apply the knowledge and skills gained from your taught modules within a real business environment. An internship also provides you with professional development opportunities that enhance your technical skills and business knowledge.

Internships delivered by City, University of London offer an exceptional opportunity to help you stand out in the competitive IT industry job market. The structure of the course extends the period for dissertation submission to January, allowing you to work full-time for up to six months. You will be supported by our outstanding Professional Liaison Unit (PLU) should you wish to consider undertaking this route.

Benefits of completing an internship at City are:

  • Develop new skills - Internships offer on-the-job learning that will help enhance your skill set and add to your CV.
  • Exclusive opportunities - The PLU is a dedicated team of internship and professional development specialists. We hold longstanding relationships with a large range of employers and proactively seek out exclusive internship opportunities to suit your needs and interests.
  • Central point of contact - You will be assigned a Work-Based Learning Advisor who will provide help and support throughout the internship process, from applying to roles through to completion of your Masters.
  • Enhance your employability - Organisations are very keen to employ graduates with existing professional experience. It is common for internship providers to offer interns full-time positions on completion of their Masters.
  • Gain an insight into an organisation and industry - This will help you with future career planning.
  • Give you a head start in your chosen field - With the experience you gain, you may be able to enter an organisation at a higher level on completion of your studies.
  • Develop your network of professional contacts - This will be useful when you come to apply for positions and roles within your preferred area.
  • Earn while you learn - The majority of internships provide a competitive salary.

More information on postgraduate internships.

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.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

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.

Recent Alumni job titles

Data obtained from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Statistics, 2016.

  • Company Director
  • Systems Analyst
  • IT Business Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Analyst Team Leader
  • IT Consultant
  • ERP Consultant.


A 12-month full-time option during which you attend all the taught modules during terms 1 and 2, and complete your Project within the 12-month period of the degree or for those students with internships 15 months.


A 27-month part-time option during which you attend half the modules in a first 12-month period, followed by the other half the next year.

Students are expected to complete all the modules in this two year period. The teaching periods are structured to deliver core modules in a sequence which permits engagement by part-time students alongside full-time students. The dissertation project is undertaken by part-time students in the second year.

Teaching takes place on various days per week (daytime on weekdays), depending on options chosen.


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.

If we have insufficient number of students interested in an elective module, this may not be offered. In rare cases, one or two elective modules may not run due to low interest or unanticipated changes in timetabling, including scheduling clashes, room and staff availability. If an elective module will not run, we will advise you at the beginning of every academic term or as soon as possible, and help you choose an alternative module.

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

Information and knowledge management INM351 (15 credits)

  • A key resource for any organisation is the internal and external information which is key to its business. Employees use this information to generate knowledge given both business and technological drivers from the external environment.
  • In this module you will learn how to manage information and knowledge as part of the IT infrastructure e.g. supporting communication/collaboration, users' needs for information and their information seeking behaviour. You will investigate barriers to successful information management strategies such as information overload and determine the policies (both managerial and technological) that can be put in place to resolve the problems. This will provide you with the knowledge to manage information effectively to meet an organisation's key strategic goals.

Practical business systems consultancy INM353 (15 credits)

  • Gain knowledge on how to select the most appropriate analysis and design approach for particular business scenarios, with critical awareness of the range of available options
  • Gain consultancy skills practice in TV studio role-playing
  • Identify and review teamwork analysis of case studies to provide fast-track development for your understanding of both theoretical and practical issues.

Research methods and professional issues INM373 (15 credits)

  • Demonstrate knowledge on how to communicate appropriately and perform research in a rational and accountable manner
  • Understand the frameworks within which we communicate and gain knowledge of their legal and ethical dimensions, the particular skills and techniques that make that possible and the range of professional issues involved
  • Develop a theoretical understanding of research methods, practical skills in carrying out research, design, evaluation and dissemination, and an awareness of the professional contexts within which research is used.

Systems specification INM312 (15 credits)

  • Understand how systems specification is a key activity building on requirements and feeding into system design
  • Understand the specification process and its problems
  • Demonstrate working knowledge of basic parts of UML as a specification language.

Dissertation project INM363 (60 credits)

Elective modules

User- Centred System Design INM355 (15 credits)

  • Identify that usability is critical to the success of interactive software systems and is achieved through user-centred interaction design and evaluation
  • Introduce key concepts of the underpinning discipline of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Develop techniques for effective and engaging interaction design that will be widely applied in commercial settings and are relevant to other software engineering methods.

Databases* INM343 (15 credits)

  • The module will prepare you for a career as an information professional that involves the use and development of databases in personal and organisational contexts
  • The emphasis is on combining conceptual knowledge of database modelling with practical skills and experience of using relational databases
  • Relational databases are used throughout and you gain skills in and experience of the SQL Data Definition Language to implement databases, ensuring database consistency and integrity, and the SQL Data Manipulation Language to develop working SQL queries that address a range of information needs.

Information Retrieval (IR) INM305 (15 credits)

  • Information Retrieval (IR) systems are key to supporting information management. These are applied in various contexts e.g. work, mobile, social media, etc. Users have various information needs in these contexts and, as part of their overall information-seeking strategy, they use IR systems to find and access the information required to fulfil those needs.
  • In this module you will learn how to analyse information needs and create search strategies to retrieve relevant information using a variety of systems e.g. web, online and for different media such as text, images and videos. The evaluation of IR systems is also a key focus of the module, using different methodologies. The module will give you the theoretical and practical knowledge to use IR systems effectively.

Business engineering with ERP solutions INM342 (15 credits)

  • Understand the critical issues when re-engineering businesses using large off-the-shelf products
  • Discuss the most common types of packaged enterprise information systems
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Business process management
  • Business process re-engineering.

Business intelligence & analytics** INM451 (15 credits)

  • Focus on information-intensive approaches to decision-making
  • Examine how analytical techniques and effective visualization can transform business data into actionable insights and intelligence
  • Work with data and transform them to answer business questions, and to discover, understand and improve business processes
  • Understand and make use of the internationally recognised expertise in the Department of Computer Science.

Project management INM372 (15 credits)

  • Take an active part in the development of an Information Systems (IS) project, as an IT practitioner, business or systems analyst or project development specialist
  • Understand the roles and skills needed at each stage of the project development process
  • Identify decisions to be made and their consequences with a focus on both theoretical and practical issues.

Web Application Development INM316 (15 credits)

Data Visualization** INM402 (15 credits)

Socio-Technical Systems INM444 (15 credits)

*Note: Databases is compulsory for students who do not have prior knowledge at the discretion of the programme director
**Note: Students may only take one of INM402 Data Visualization or INM451 Business intelligence & analytics as an option.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

After you graduate

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.

100% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Contact details

Programmes Office (room A302)

Request a prospectus

Find out more about City and all our postgraduate degree programmes.

Get your prospectus