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MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Fundamentals of Information and Information Systems

Unit code MGDI60481
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit will be of particular value for those involved, or likely to be involved, in a planning, management or user role vis-à-vis computerised information systems.



This module aims to evaluate both the potential and the reality of IS success/failure through an understanding of information, of information technology, of information systems, and of the contexts – especially those of developing/transitional country organisations – in which these systems are used, analysing causes of IS failure.




·                An Overview of Information Systems

·                Basic Models Of Information and Information Systems

·                The Value of Information And Decisions

·                Understanding Information Technology and Information Systems

·                Evaluating Information Systems Benefits and Costs

·                Factors Explaining IS Success and Failure

·                Models Explaining IS Success and Failure

Teaching and learning methods

Each face-to-face 3-hr lecture session includes lecture presentation, case study material, student group activities and exercises, and group discussion. Additionally, students are expected to engage with e-learning materials provided via Blackboard to support learning. These include lecture slides and exercises, extensive session notes, model solutions to exercises, links to research papers and websites, etc.


The course is highly participative, encouraging students to share knowledge and experience. It is also practical, encouraging students to apply models and theory to real-world case studies, with a particular emphasis on developing country contexts.

Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to:

- define ‘information’, 'information technology' and ‘information system’

- understand structural and process models of information systems

- compare hard, soft and hybrid perspectives on information systems

- describe the generic role and value of information in organisational tasks of decision-making and communication

- explain how contextual – including developing/transitional economy-specific – factors affect information and information


- describe the components, applications, benefits and costs of organisational information systems

Intellectual skills

- link theory to real-world practice.

- critically analyse different approaches to understanding IS.

Practical skills

- evaluate existing information systems using models including design—reality gaps

- evaluate the role of information and information systems in an organisation with which they are familiar

- utilise structural and process models of information systems

- analyse an IS and its role in an organisation from a socio- technical perspective.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- group working

- discussion and debating skills

- literature reviewing

Assessment methods

ASSIGNMENT 1: SHORT ESSAY (1500 Words) – 40%

ASSIGNMENT 2: LONG ESSAY (3000 Words) – 60%

7 x FORMATIVE Quizzes

Feedback methods

Individual online feedback will be provided on both assessments

Assessment feedback will be provided collectively as a group in class/online

Feedback will be received from students during pre-scheduled drop-in sessions (office hours), partially through the module via a survey, and through student representatives at Programme Committee meetings.

Recommended reading

Alter, S. (2002) Information Systems: A Management Perspective, Addison-Wesley

Bocij, P., Chaffey, D., Greasley, A. & Hickie, S. (2015) Business Information Systems, 5th edn, Pearson, Harlow, UK

Heeks, R. (ed.) (2001) Reinventing Government in the Information Age, Routledge.

Krishna, S. & Madon, S. (2003) The Digital Challenge: Information Technology in the Development, Ashgate

Laudon, K.C. & Laudon, J.P. (2017) Management Information Systems, 15th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ

Development Informatics Working Paper Series, GDI

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 1.5
Tutorials 7.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 111

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jaco Renken Unit coordinator

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