BSc single honours Business Information Systems with foundation year 2019/20

Year of entry

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This course offers you an alternative pathway to access degree level study in Computing. The course is designed to improve your Computing discipline knowledge, including programming. In addition, the course will equip you with the skills you need to study at undergraduate level and will inform your choice of degree.


The programme will:

  • introduce you to the discipline of Computing, including programming concepts
  • inform your choice of degree specialism in Computing
  • provide you with the study skills needed for a degree-level course
  • allow you to apply academic knowledge and skills to real world technical challenges.

Today’s businesses are facing huge technological challenges transforming their everyday operations in line with the emerging trends and innovations of the 21st century digital world. The Business Information Systems (BIS) degree prepares you to tackle these challenges and enables you to bridge the gap between business and information technology (IT) at an organisational level.

The course focuses on methods to analyse the requirements for new or replacement systems at both the operational and management levels and then provides hands on experience in designing and implementing cost effective IT solutions which will have a positive and sustainable impact on the organisation’s competitive advantage in the global economy.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

The year one modules develop a strong background in BIS, underpinning more specialist studies in years two and three. Graduates can expect to have a good knowledge of the Oracle Database Management System and some knowledge of computer programming in commercial used languages. You will study legal requirements and ethical questions associated with the profession along with specialist topics such as usability and business topics of people, knowledge and strategic management. You will also use tools such as Microsoft Project and Visio, Balsamiq for user interface design and ArgoUML for programs and database design.

Work experience

You may opt to take a third year placement module, providing you meet the requirements of the module. This allows you to put your classroom knowledge into practice. The School has also offered a number of paid student internships over the summer, open to students to apply to.

Core modules

Year 1

Computer Systems (20 credits)

Computer Systems examines the underlying fundamentals of computer system’s operations, including the number systems they use, how computer processors operate at a simple level and the relationship between different hardware components.

Ecommerce and Web Development (20 credits)

One area of computing that has grown enormously in the last fifteen years is that of ecommerce. Both business to business and business to consumer sales and marketing is now often done electronically using web sites and systems. This module looks at the concepts of e commerce systems and looks at development of web sites using HTML 5/CSS and the use of content management systems (CMS) to produce end user informational websites.

Introduction to Programming (20 credits)

This is the first module of programming in the degree and teaches students who may have no prior programming experience some of the fundamental concepts in the area. You will work with two different programming languages – for example to develop Android apps using MIT App Inventor and traditional applications in the C# programming language.

People Management in the 21st Century (20 credits)

This module focuses on the behavioural aspects of people management in organisations. This area of study is important on order to understand behaviour in the workplace. This is a prerequisite for making informed choices for influencing organisational action and change.

Principles of Software Development (20 credits)

We look at the basic ideas of Software Engineering – the processes that should be followed to go through to develop software solutions. You will also study the basic concepts of standard algorithms and data storage and the mathematics required to support this area.

The Computing Professional (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the variety of roles there are in computing and some of the key skills required to work in those areas. You will start to think about the ethical issues in the field of computing and start to develop your own ideas of appropriate responses to these. You will also start to look at some of the non technical skills that are involved in computing: team work, presentation and research.

Year 2

Computer Law and Ethics (20 credits)

You will look at the laws that apply especially to computer systems and their users. A largely UK centred approach is taken looking at such laws as the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act how these have been applied in practice and how they might apply in the future.

Developing Database Systems with SQL (20 credits)

This module looks at the concepts and theories behind the use the relational database model and how this is practically implemented in the Oracle Relational Database Management System using the SQL language. Oracle is the world’s most popular database management system by market share.

Ebusiness (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to explore the business paradigm shift that arises from application of emerging information and communication technologies. The module looks more deeply at gaining an understanding of business activities and interaction between business and the business environment and how technologies can be deployed to enhance these activities.

Management and Leadership (20 credits)

The module looks at how the management and leadership of organisations affect its success. The relationship is explored between the management and leadership styles and other elements of organisations such as objectives, policies, work practices and ethical stances.

Research Methods (20 credits)

Research Methods looks at how we can research new areas in computing. You will be given a range of tools to glean data, such as interviews, questionnaires and experimentation. You will also be given the analysis tools to make sense of the data collected, such qualitative and quantitative statistics. By the end of the module you will have produced a fully articulated research proposal.

Year 3

Advanced Database Development with Oracle (20 credits)

This module deepens your knowledge of database development, following on from Developing Database Systems with SQL, giving you a greater understanding in order to maximise the benefits of using a database management system.

Human Computer Interaction (20 credits)

Human Computer Interaction looks at the interplay between the human user of a computer system and the computer system itself in order to maximise its effectiveness. You will study a number of theories of good design of computer systems and will deploy these in the design of your own interfaces. Further, once designed or implemented you will learn effective techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of the interfaces in order to improve them.

Individual Study (20 credits)

This module is the culmination of your learning experiences on the entire course. You will, under the guidance of a supervisor, undertake a piece of focussed research. This will build on work completed elsewhere on the course by an in depth study of one aspect of such work or by the exploration of a new area.

Knowledge Management (20 credits)

The module covers the nature of knowledge and the importance of managing knowledge in business organisations. Notably, intellectual property management and protection is considered.

Strategic Management (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to provide you with an understanding of the impact of the business environment and an organisation’s resources on strategic planning. This will enable you to consider alternatives strategies, evaluate their suitability and understand the complex issues involved in implementing strategy and managing strategic change.

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Choose one of the following modules:

Computer Networks (20 credits)

The Computer Networks module introduces you to the theories and practical deployment of computer networks to enable more than one computer to communicate to share both data and processing. You will be introduced to the OSI and TCP/IP models of network operation.

Computer Security (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the concepts, practices and issues of ensuring computer systems are kept secure. You will be introduced to the common approaches to attacking systems and some mechanisms that help protect them.

Developing Sustainable Enterprise (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the relationship between business and the challenges and opportunities of business sustainability. Sustainability of a business covers many aspects: financial, social and environmental sustainability and the module encourages the development of enterprising skills to meet these challenges.

Interactive Web Programming (20 credits)

Interactive Web Programming looks at the development of web based systems that use both client side programming (using JavaScript) and server side programming (using PHP). These two languages allow the development of advanced web systems that can used data stored within databases, internal logic and more complex user interaction to determine what to display.

Project Management (20 credits)

This module aims to examine the role of project management within a contemporary business context. It also explains how specific project management applications play an important role in producing successful business outcomes and examines the philosophies, principles, structures and methodologies of project management.

Year 3

Choose one of the following modules:

Current Issues in Web Technology (20 credits)

This module aims to develop your understanding of underlying issues faced by web technology developers. The assumption is that technology is not neutral and its design can be motivated for reasons that are not always immediately apparent. By looking at the latest technological ideas you should understand the broader implications of its application to society.

Ethical and Professional Computing (20 credits)

This module deepens the understanding of how ethics and professional codes of conduct may affect what a computing professional will do and how they approach it. You will look at a number of issues and use an evidence based approach to consider the alternative choices that would be open to someone working in the computing field.

Operating Systems (20 credits)

This module looks at the operation and underlying operations of the operating system in the use of modern, large scale computer systems. You will gain an understanding of how resources are managed by the operating system by looking at these in theory and the actual operation of an operating system, such as Windows and Linux.

Placement in Industry or Commerce (20 credits)
(subject to validation) 

The placement module is a flexible module that allows you to gain experience and put your knowledge into practice outside the university classroom setting that can be put on your CV. This can be done over the summer before your third year of study as a block of work, during your third year on a given number of hours each week, or some combination in agreement with the organisation and University. You will be required to: pass all your second year modules of study at first attempt; have a good overall average and must gain your placement place to be eligible to take this module. You will be given assistance in identifying and applying for placements.

Recent Advances in Computer Networks (Requires Computer (20 credits)
Networks to be chosen in year two)

This module deepens your understanding of computer networking by looking at a number of more recent mechanisms for computer networking, such as mobile networks and the latest versions of the TCP/IP protocols. This will enable you to make the most effective use of networking hardware to create distributed systems.

Service Management (20 credits)

The module will acquaint you with the complex demands made upon service management organisations and the challenges that staff within them face. An understanding of the environments in which they operate will be developed and an appreciation of the different constraints placed upon them will be explored.

Business Information Systems (BIS) is a fast moving exciting field of study with great opportunities for employment and further study or research. After successful completion of the BIS degree you could go on to a wide range of roles such as business analytics, business analysis, systems analysis or design, software support and database administration.

You will also have a sound grounding for further study on specialist Masters or MPhil/PhD programmes within the domain of BIS or other aspects of computing. This degree would stand you in good stead to work towards professional qualifications with a number of commercial providers and those of the British Computer Society.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £6,575 £8,500
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fee of £9,250 relates to 2019/20 only. Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and mid-course year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical labs. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week. Labs will often emphasise working in small groups to enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and place theory into practice. 

You will also have regular scheduled meetings, in addition to the above contact hours, with an assigned academic personal tutor, which is your first point of contact for assistance to your undergraduates needs.

Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions it is expected you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves completing computer-based exercises, preparing for workshops and seminars, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, undertaking coursework assignments or preparing for class-tests and examinations and reading journal articles and books. Your module leader will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For your final year individual study (dissertation), you will undertake independent research and will be assigned a supervisor; who will guide you through your first substantial and independent work through regular scheduled meetings.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours and an additional 25 hours of independent learning. In addition, there may be field trips.

For each 20-credit module, your study time will about 10 hours a week plus work on assessments or preparation for examinations. Assessments would normally be expected to take approximately 50 hours for an assignment worth 50% of a 20 credit module. A similar amount of preparation and revision time would be expected for an examination worth 50% of a 20 credit module.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold Doctoral or professional qualifications (e.g. Member of the British Computer Society or Eur. Ing.). You can find out more about the current teaching on our webpage ( You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students assist in some teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the majority of lectures and seminars.

You will be assessed largely by coursework, though some modules will also have examinations or class tests. Coursework is largely practically oriented with appropriate theoretical elements to ensure a well rounded education. Assessments are largely individual with group work in some modules where this matches the approaches used in industry.

We use coursework assessment methods based on their suitability for specific modules. Formative feedback is provided formally in year one and the year three individual study and informally in later years the workshops and seminars. Methods of assessment used include production of software artefacts, project plans and diaries, essays, reports, ‘investigation based’ presentations, oral presentations, individual studies/projects, poster presentations, online assessment, logs, examinations and time constrained assignments.

We have a “Makerspace” lab open to computing students that contains PC Computers, Arduino and Raspberry Pi micro computer development systems and a 3D printer. Students can use these technologies on week days, evenings and weekends. 

A networking and server room is available for use during certain modules for student operations.

The Christ Church Business School that shares the teaching on a specialist module has the Christ Church Trading Floor which allows use of Bloomberg financial data. Out of hours access is available to some computing labs specifically for computing students.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • GN4F Business Information Systems with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time including a Foundation Year


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



Last edited 28/05/2019 12:37:00

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Last edited: 28/05/2019 12:37:00