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Introduction to Conversion MSc IT. James Gain Course status. In the beginning was the MSc… completed by research Then came the taught MSc completed by teaching Then came the conversion MSc taught to domain non-experts. Masters in IT.

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Introduction to Conversion MSc IT

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Introduction to conversion msc it

Introduction to Conversion MSc IT

James Gain

Course status

Course status

  • In the beginning was the MSc…

    • completed by research

  • Then came the taught MSc

    • completed by teaching

  • Then came the conversion MSc

    • taught to domain non-experts

Masters in it

Masters in IT

  • Started life in 1993 as the MSc BIT (Business Information Technology) at Middlesex, London

  • Gary Marsden, taught at Middlesex and brought his experience with him

  • Developed and sponsored by EU for ‘continuing education’

  • Residential modes:

    • Regular, Fast-Track and Evening

Masters on holiday

Masters on holiday

  • Egyptian government wanted IT education

    • Taught in Cairo

    • Developed materials for self-study

  • Huge success

    • UK government praised course as future for education

On line masters

On-line Masters

  • Due to demand and having to develop for self-study, started conversion to on-line materials

  • Attempts to overcome failings in distance education

    • materials developed with Open University

    • accountability at regional centres

    • human contact / student status

Global campus

Global campus

  • Middlesex write material

  • Egyptian government convert to electronic format

  • Regional centres apply and are awarded/denied membership

    • Quality audit

  • Students awarded Middlesex degree

Masters it @ uct

Masters IT @ UCT

  • Gary Marsden was part of development team of MSc BIT since 1996

  • This course is part of the next iteration where we build on Middlesex material, but award local institution degrees (UCT)

  • There will be material in this course taught no where else, but still compatible with degree world-wide



  • Material excellent – costs spread across many institutions

  • UCT degree has local and international currency

  • Can complete course overseas (UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji…)

Who is the course for

Who is the course for?

  • Traditionally IT has been split

    • Computer Science, Electronic engineering, Information Systems

  • Now there is a new category

    • Knowledge worker

  • Few places seem to cater for this category

What can i do at the end of the course

What can I do at the end of the course?

  • Very hard to say.

  • You will have an excellent feel for core elements of CS and IS

    • much, much more so than a training course

  • All the UK students who graduated well found jobs

How the course will run

How the course will run

  • Nine courses in total

    • possible exemption from 9th course

  • Three courses per semester



  • At the end of the taught part you can exit with PG Dip

  • Completing a 6 month project will give you an Masters

  • Please note that if your original degree was a BA, you will be awarded an MPhil



  • Each course will have an examination and a practical component

    • exam worth 70% (in mid June)

    • coursework worth 30%

  • Assignments

    • One or two pieces of coursework per module

    • Submitted electronically to Teaching Assistant

    • First hand-in for April

Who are we support staff

Who are we – Support staff

  • I am responsible for pretty much everything to do with the course

  • There is a teaching assistant to help out

    • Rudi Neeser:

    • Can be consulted face-to-face in the Research Lab

  • general:


  • Please, please send any feedback about the course to me

Who are you status as student

Who are you – Status as student

  • To all intents and purposes, you are considered a student of the university

    • access to library

    • access to computer labs

  • The only difference is that (many of) you are not here physically



  • Learning material will be delivered as CDROMs with HTML files

  • All the books mentioned in the course material are available in the library. Some you can get from me.

  • We also have institutional access to a number of digital libraries (speak to the librarians)

Learning material

Learning material

  • Developed from Open University

  • Comes in five sections

    • Introduction: Self explanatory

    • Content: The actual material to read and understand

    • Apply: Examples to apply material to

    • Reflect: Questions about the material

    • Extend: Further work

Sample unit will cover more later

Sample unit – will cover more later



  • A basic introduction to programming

  • Java language:

    • Good for internet applications

    • Simple yet powerful

  • You will be taught how to create simple applications in the object-oriented paradigm.

Software engineering

Software Engineering

  • Introduce a range of techniques suitable for both structured and object-oriented methods

  • Enables you to analyse and design well engineered software solutions

  • CASE tools explored in modelling and documenting analysis and design specifications

  • Different life cycle models will also be discussed

  • Install CASE software from the Select CD



  • A perspective on database management system structure and function is provided.

  • Topics introduced include:

    • architecture of databases

    • data models

    • Normalisation

    • front-end system

    • Security

    • recovery and concurrency

    • object-oriented database systems;

    • client-server and distributed database systems

  • Install DBMS software from the Oracle CD

  • Login