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Athabasca University

Suggested Program Streams

To help students to make decisions about appropriate courses to take, we identified two distinct but overlapping streams in MSc IS: Technology and Management. These streams are for guidance in the selection of courses only and are not reflected in transcripts or the degree title. As long as they can meet the prerequisites, students with interests in both areas are welcome to choose courses from either stream.

Stream A: Information Systems Technology (IST)

Information Systems Technology (IST) specialization prepares MSc IS graduates to work in the IT industry in the applications of computers to complex data and information problems found in organizations today. The IST field of study is excellent preparation for anyone interested in designing information systems to fulfill a need, whether in business, government, or not-for-profit organizations. Positions frequently held by graduates include: Database Administrator, Web Database Developer, E-commerce Manager, End-user Support Specialist, Network Administrator, Programmer-analyst, Systems Analyst, Systems Developer, and Systems Engineer. SCIS sustains and strengthens its teaching and research program to provide students with inspiration and quality education in the methodologies and practice of information systems technology.

IST stream includes e-Services which is defined as the electronic delivery of information and services, often (but not exclusively) over the Internet; the provision of services via the Internet. e-Services educates students in MSc IS of AU via advanced courses and research in the infrastructure and enabling technologies, including Agent-based Computing, Mobile computing, Pervasive Computing, virtual environment, etc. E-services include e-Government, e-Commerce, e-Learning, e-Health, e- Democracy, e-Management, and so on.

Also, IST stream covers Intelligent and Adaptive Information Systems (IIS) technologies that educates students in MSc IS at AU via advanced coursed and research in the areas of intelligent and adaptive information systems (including intelligent educational systems, intelligent manufacturing systems, intelligent health systems, and so on). The aims of this direction of MSc IS are to promote excellence in research, to encourage national and international research collaboration, to seek and improve opportunities for funding. IIS stream educates students via active research areas including but not limited to: adaptive systems, intelligent systems, multi-agent systems, text mining, information retrieval and filtering, intelligent agents, knowledge representation, ontology engineering, and semantic web.

Finally, IST stream includes IS Security and Privacy courses. Information security is a rapidly developing field that urgently requires well-trained professionals. This IS security and privacy courses are designed for IT specialists and managers, systems administrators, auditors, and corporate security managers who plan to become information security managers and professionals. It integrates technical, managerial and policy issues in information security and assurance. These courses address the growing need for Information Security professionals that possess a balance of analytical skills and business acumen.

Suggested courses include:

  • COMP 501 Systems Development with Emerging Technology
  • COMP 503 IT Hardware and Software
  • COMP 504 Object Structure and Programming
  • COMP 601 Survey of Computing and Information Systems
  • COMP 602 Enterprise Information Management
  • COMP 604 Enterprise Computer Networks
  • COMP 610 Software Engineering
  • COMP 617 Designing Real-time Software
  • COMP 636 Enabling Technologies for E-Commerce
  • COMP 637 Mobile Computing
  • COMP 648 Human Computer Interaction, Collaborative Systems, Multimedia, and Ubiquitous Computing
  • COMP 649 Affective Computing
  • COMP 656 Cloud Computing
  • COMP 657 Artificial Intelligence: Principles and Techniques
  • COMP 658 Computational Intelligence
  • COMP 659 Statistical Language Processing for Text Analytics
  • COMP 660 Enterprise Information Security
  • COMP 667 Intelligent Software Agents
  • COMP 674 Theory of Computation
  • COMP 682 Data Mining
  • COMP 683 Learning and Knowledge Analytics
  • COMP 688 Software Testing and Quality Assurance
  • COMP 689 Advanced Distributed Systems
  • COMP 695 Research Methods in Information Systems

Stream B: Information Systems Management (ISM)

Information Systems Management (ISM) stream is designed for those students that want to pursue a career of solving business problems through the use of information technology (IT), with a focus on softer skills and business issues as well as IT skills. Information Systems Management is the application of IT to support the major functions and activities of either a private sector business or public sector institution. Information Systems Management supports the process of collection, manipulation, storage, distribution and utilization of an organization's information resources, widely accepted as of equal importance as the management of resources, capital, and raw materials.

The goal of this stream is to prepare MSc IS graduates to take on such roles as Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Systems Analyst, and Designer, Technology Manager, Team Leaders, and other professionals who

  • understand organizational structures, objectives, operations (including processes and the flows of data between processes) and the financial implications related to these factors;
  • stay up-to-date with evolving information technologies and have a solid foundation of technical skills to select appropriate technologies and to implement computer-based information systems;
  • are well versed in topics such as systems development tools and techniques, information architecture, network configurations, databases, and systems integration.

Suggested courses include:

  • COMP 501 Systems Development with Emerging Technology
  • COMP 505 Operations Management in Information Systems
  • COMP 506 Organizational Behavior in Information Systems
  • COMP 601 Survey of Computing and Information Systems
  • COMP 602 Enterprise Information Management
  • COMP 605 Project Management for Information Systems
  • COMP 607 Ethical,Legal, Social Issues in IT
  • COMP 635 Green ICT Strategies
  • COMP 637 Mobile Computing
  • COMP 638 Enterprise Modelling
  • COMP 648 Human Computer Interaction, Collaborative Systems, Multimedia, and Ubiquitous Computing
  • COMP 650 Social Computing
  • COMP 667 Intelligent Software Agents
  • COMP 683 Learning and Knowledge Analytics
  • COMP 684 Business Intelligence
  • COMP 695 Research Methods in Information Systems

In addition to the above suggested courses, to realize the program outcomes the students will complete either an essay through taking COMP 696, or a project through taking COMP 697, COMP 698, and COMP 699, or a thesis through taking COMP 676 - 680.

Updated March 20 2017 by FST Technical Staff

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