Business Information Systems BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)


January 2018, September 2017


Information drives business, and knowing how to handle that information is key to success. Our course takes you from the lecture theatre to the lab as you explore the theory, design and creation of business information systems. When you graduate you’ll have a choice of fascinating career options. This course has been validated to include an optional Sandwich Placement year in industry.

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For more information about Sandwich Placement opportunities, please contact the Placements Team.

Full description


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You could go on to work in web development, information security or IT training. Or you might consider more general options in network administration or online customer management.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses including our MSc Cyber Security or MSc Cloud Computing.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Software Principles
    Learn the fundamental concepts required to understand, design, implement and test high-level programming languages. We’ll introduce you to a design methodology to help develop linear and hierarchical trains of thought from idea conception through design and implementation to testing. You’ll use a simple interactive programming environment to discover how to create and use a wide variety of different basic and complex data structures. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to analyse a simple set of requirements, design appropriate data structures, select appropriate language syntax to manipulate program data and understand and use syntax for the implementation of conditional logic and repetition. You’ll also be able to create simple scripts, demonstrate familiarity with the taxonomy of programming languages and the software development life- cycle and gain sufficient experience of a range of algorithm design techniques.
  • Business Analytics
    The module begins by reviewing various techniques for collecting and presenting data. Some important measures and techniques for making sense of raw data are then introduced which are widely used by businesses when analysing both their internal and external environments. This module builds on the introduction to spreadsheet packages previously encountered in semester one where you’ll be helped to develop further hands-on skills in using such packages in computer workshops. Careful attention is also paid throughout the module to the interpretation and application of the various quantitative methods and techniques to the solution of real-world business problems. Innovative video software is used to support you throughout the module.
  • Learning and Skills for HE
    If you're entering higher education you'll need specific study skills to enable you to maximise your learning potential and take advantage of opportunities available both in the academic setting and the workplace. Students enter with different levels of skills and experience and may approach the module in a variety of ways. The module prepares and supports you to build a strong foundation for learning and later development. Learning will develop and underpin Level One study skills in the first half of the semester with the focus moving towards individual formative support towards the end of the semester. You'll develop and maintain a reflective learning log/blog to support this module and their continuing studies, the reflective log/blog is used as the basis of tutorial work and formative assessment. This work will also provide evidence for the beginning of a Personal Development Planning Portfolio that you'll build on over the next two years of your studies. You'll be expected to meet with your personal tutors to review your progress and actively seek out a mentor within the university community or workplace.
  • Web Development
    If you’re anticipating a career in information systems or programming, the knowledge of website construction, whether that is for the internet or a company intranet, is a valuable asset. Our module provides you with the knowledge required to build a standards compliant web site. The website will be a blend of XHTML, Cascading Style Sheet and a scripting language and incorporate media and text elements. You’ll also be expected to submit documentation containing an introduction, descriptions of the purpose and aims of the web site. You’ll choose a subject for the website. The knowledge you’ll gain in this module will form the foundation for further web-based study in areas such as graphic design, user perceptions of the usability and quality of web pages and multimedia/database websites.
  • Computer Technology
    This module investigates the components and operation of modern computer systems. It'll introduce you to the hardware components that enable a computer to process data and the devices that enable data to be input, output and stored. You'll investigate the installation, operation and functionality of modern operating systems, including the operation and configuration of common servers. We'll also cover the fundamentals of networks. This module will give you the practical skills companies look for in an IT specialist.
  • Introduction to People, Organisation and Management
    This module is designed to introduce you to the principles and theories of management and organisational behaviour. You'll review the main approaches to organisation, structure and management influencing the behaviour of individuals at work. You'll focus on the impact of structures, culture and patterns of management on the behaviours of people. You'll review the classical, human relations, systemic and contingent approaches to management and work design, from Scientific Management to Postmodernism. Organisation structure and architecture will also be examined as these are designed to provide systems and control to direct behaviour and improve performance. The development and impact of organisational culture will also be discussed. You'll study management processes, such as the use of power and politics, and leadership. You'll examine the difference between leadership and management and evaluate classical and contemporary approaches to leadership theory and the role power and politics play in organisational life. You'll be introduced to a number of learning theories which affect management practices and will have an overview of the learning organisation. You'll examine the role that attitudes and job satisfaction, personality, emotions and moods play in shaping and directing ours and other people's behaviour at work. Career management will be examined as a key element of self-analysis, with focus on its relationship with personality and professional choices. Motivation will also be examined as a key driver for individual performance organisational effectiveness. The role of communication will also be investigated as communication affects organisation performance and also individual career prospects.

Year two, core modules

  • Object and Data Modelling
    You'll cover two important areas of computer systems design in great depth based on the fundamentals of design introduced in Design Principles. The first area is the analysis and design of computer software using Object-oriented methodology. Starting with the basic concepts of object-oriented analysis and design methodology a range of Unified Modelling Language (UML) methods and techniques are introduced, independent of any specific programming languages. You'll learn about the theories of Object-oriented methodology and its modelling methods and techniques. You'll also learn to develop the ability and skills in applying object modelling methods to carry out practical system analysis and design tasks based on a given case study. This part of the module will also appreciate the strengths of object oriented analysis and design methodology in comparison with other methodologies, particularly the structured system analysis and design methodology and examine the stages of object oriented development life cycle and corresponding methods used for each stage. Through the module, you'll become familiar with notations of the latest version of UML and apply them in the practical work of analysing and designing a computer system. The second part of this module covers a wide range of issues with regard to analysis, design and implementation of relational databases using one of the industrial standard relational DBMS. Data capturing and modelling techniques such as Entity Relationship Diagramming and Normalisation is introduced. You'll also learn how to design and construct queries using Structured Query Language (SQL) and apply them to extract useful information from relational databases.
  • Data Security
    Information technology has created a world that is increasingly virtual in nature. Both private individuals and businesses alike suffer the same vulnerabilities in managing access to valuable information that is increasingly being stored remotely. Whilst the public and industry professionals wrestle with the escalating complexity and variation in the ways that information is compromised, we see the emergence of the harnessing of digital insecurities as a weapon on an international stage. You’ll be introduced to some of the key concepts that lie at the heart of information security, but viewed at the more fundamental data level. You’ll be provided with a critical insight into the often misunderstood or poorly defined issues of data security and thereby offered a springboard to the study of information security at level 6. After studying this module you’ll understand how and why the digital data systems we use every day pose such a threat to individuals and businesses, where solutions are possible and where they might prove difficult or impossible. A key issue is the fundamental weakness that humans introduce into the technology. You’re expected to augment the content delivered by lectures with independent study of your own on a weekly (or even daily basis) in order to remain current with developing threats. You’ll write up a dossier of weekly security issues and together with a 1,000 word technical discussion of a particular security vulnerability will form the final assessment making a 3,000 word submission in total.
  • Design Methods and Technology Project
    This module is essentially a mini project where you’ll design some artefact, e.g.: electronic hardware, software, multimedia production, website etc. The management of the project is in itself a core element and you’re expected to produce a formal specification using sound design methods, a time plan and progress indicator. You’ll also be expected to produce a number of alternative designs that meet the specification, select the most appropriate design using recognised techniques and carry out design reviews.
  • Entrepreneurship in IT
    You’ll develop critical business and financial skills, as well as attitudes and behaviours to help you succeed. You’ll learn key concepts through business case studies and computer game based activities. By applying, practicing and ultimately mastering fundamental skills through the case studies and activities, you’ll develop an entrepreneurial mind-set that empowers you to improve your overall quality of life. You’ll be evaluated through five interactive, online case studies designed to help you apply IT capabilities within the context of starting a business. These case studies introduce a variety of basic business and financial concepts through hands-on exercises and realistic scenarios that cultivate and reinforce the critical thinking skills required to become a successful entrepreneur. The computer-based interactive learning game will challenge you to apply and practise the business and financial skills introduced in the case studies within the context of simulated networking environments. The game will invite you to explore, learn and develop entrepreneurial thinking, creative problem-solving and decision-making skills that will help you successfully compete in the global marketplace. You’ll be assessed through interactive, online case studies with presentation and submission of presentation notes in addition to a substantive individual report. This module will also provide you with “soft” skills that are nowadays much needed in the industry.
  • Project Management and Quality Assurance
    If you work in the IT field you will find yourself part of a project team. For projects to proceed successfully it is important for all members of the team to be aware of their roles and responsibilities. In this module you will learn about your role as a team member, the structure of IT projects and the tools and techniques used for planning, monitoring and controlling such projects. The quality assurance portion of this module will help you to develop an understanding of the range of techniques which can be used to promote quality and their cost/benefit issues. You will practise a range of verification and validation procedures. You will be introduced to the standards relevant to IT projects and accreditation procedures. As well as taught sessions you will have practical and theoretical tutorial sessions. You will be assessed by presenting a case study.
  • e-Business
    You’ll be provided with an overview of internet based commerce and e-business. You’ll learn about the types of business that companies can conduct over the web and address how they can provide systems to support e-initiatives. You’ll cover e-business concepts, planning and implementation, e-transactions and legal issues. The ability to coordinate the movement of information is key to both external and internal integration, and companies need to find ways to design business processes that change the way data is created, manipulated and distributed. Coordination requires employees, customers and suppliers to work together to solve problems, improve services and create new products. You’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of internet platforms and infrastructures and in relation to this discuss the basic concepts of business organisation and business functions. You’ll consider aspects of managing customer and supplier relationships and the value and utility of using the internet to do so. Additionally issues of E-security, encryption and e-transactions will be studied in some depth. You’ll be assessed by a group activity with presentation and the submission of presentation notes in addition to a substantive individual report. No specialist resources are required for this module.
  • Cloud Development
    Multi-sensorial web design is central to the production of an engaging site. Although modern development packages may contain all the essential tools needed to achieve this, without understanding the principles of digital design, a web site is unlikely either to impress or deliver. Here, you’ll be involved in the high-level design processes of interactive websites and understand the principles and practice of digital visual design using coding and scripting methods as the delivery technology. You’ll work to a specific brief, interpreting and analysing the original context to shape and inform the design, implementation and production of a web-based multimedia object. Using a suite of commercial-standard development tools and technologies, you’ll apply appropriate theory to the design, specification and creation of a visually cohesive multimedia site. You’ll cover topics such as marketing, site planning and structure, digital layouts, creating design style, navigation models and methods, and metaphors for websites. And you’ll apply key design concepts, principles and elements of visual design to websites, multimedia components and static images to an acceptable commercial standard.

Year three, core modules

  • Application Development
    With the deployment of Virtual Private Networks in many sectors of commerce, such as point-of-sale service businesses like travel agents, estate agents and other similar retail outlets, the need for a centralised database model with a simple client interface has emerged. The thin client model allows for the development of a simple interface application with little or no local functionality, user requirements being centred on server-based processing. Gain a theoretical appreciation of developing thin-client/fat-server applications and back this up with practical experience with state-of-the-art software. You’ll devote 50% of your class time to active programming and design, implement and deliver a robust, multi-user, client-server application based on a real-world application specification. This will give you experience of developing a complete solution to a business requirement and develop a range of skills that goes beyond just the technical knowledge needed to write program code.
  • Managing Information
    You'll develop a critical understanding of the problems, opportunities including ethical and legal, faced by organisations in effectively planning, developing and managing information. You'll incorporate strategic management concepts to ensure that IS development supports the business strategy, and progresses through suitable planning methodologies and assessment of ethical and legal considerations to implementation and evaluation (audit). You'll investigates the need for quality assurance standards, quality control of the system(s) and user education. The determining of critical success factors at the planning stage is considered essential to the successful completion and operation of any information system. In order to appreciate the need for methodological approach to planning and managing an information system the reasons for systems failure is investigated through case studies. In tutorial sessions you'll focus on facets of information strategy.
  • Data-Driven Application Programming
    You’ll gain the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to design and program data-driven applications. You’ll benefit from exposure to a program design methodology that’ll make the design and implementation of robust and professional applications easier and quicker whilst at the same time generating program documentation for future updating and maintenance purposes. There will be substantial support provided for you through face-to-face sessions as well as materials on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) online. This module and its assessment represent both an intellectual and practical challenge to produce a complete database-driven solution to a business requirement with the opportunity for you to extend the scope of the application. You’ll be provided with the opportunity to develop confidence in front-end application programming as well as learning skills in setting up, tuning and programming the back-end database management systems. You’ll be assessed by two pieces of coursework, one of which focuses on front-end application design and programming while the other on database implementation and programming. You’ll also do a presentation to demonstrate your understanding of the processes required to produce original database applications.
  • Information Security
    With the growth of high bandwidth internet, eCommerce, eBusiness and Virtual Private Networks, information security has become a centre-stage issue. However, many organisations and businesses find themselves missing the necessary skills and knowledge that is needed to develop effective security strategies. This module will equip you with the skills to fill that gap by introducing you to key aspects of information security and taking a broader view of the information security problems facing industry and commerce today. You'll gain a comprehensive overview of the problem, motives and techniques of 'hackers', the inherent security problems built into information technology itself and the role played by encryption techniques. Often it is user behaviour itself that creates significant vulnerabilities and this module focuses on the role of people and the part played by poor user discipline.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    In this module you’ll be creating a substantial piece of individual research focused on a topic of your choice. You could choose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience and/ or suggestion from your tutor. You’ll identify problems and issues, conduct literature review, process data, critically appraise and present your findings. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


We’ll use a range of assessment methods to help measure your progress. Besides exams, you’ll undertake coursework, lab tests, group work, presentations, case studies and log books.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

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Additional study information


This course gives you the opportunity to take a work placement year between years 2 and 3 of your studies. You’ll get experience of seeking and securing a job and working in an industry relating to your course. You’ll also get the practical experience and industry contacts to benefit your studies and enhance your long-term career prospects.

Although they can’t be guaranteed, we can work with you to find a placement using our contacts with a large number of employers. You’ll have regular contact with one of our course tutors and be supported by a supervisor from your placement company. Together they’ll monitor your performance and give you feedback.

To find out more about placement opportunities, email us at

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)


Placement year (UK, EU, international students)


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2018-19 fee information

Tuition fees for UK/EU students are currently set at £9250. Fees are regulated by the UK government and may increase in line with inflation depending on government policy. Tuition fees for 2018/19 will be confirmed once government policy has been set.

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2017 entry

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online