Msc Course Description

Course Specification

M811 – A – Information Security A

M811 A- Information Security A - course introduces the concepts and issues related to securing the information. Topics include the historical view of IT Governance, security issues, trends, security resources and risk analysis.

M811-part A aims to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and run a practical information security management system, in accordance with current international standards. In particular, it aims to:

  • provide student with an understanding of current issues in information security and its management;
  • Teach student a variety of techniques for information security management, including risk assessment and management, and to provide practice in their use;
  • Provide student with sufficient knowledge to be able to choose between different development techniques, tools and process models for a given information security context;
  • Make student aware of the policy and technology trade-offs involved in developing information security management systems of sufficient quality;
  • Give student an understanding of the importance to information security management of risk assessment and management, impact assessment, human factors, and legal and ethical issues.
  • Equip student with the skills and tools necessary to audit his/her home computer and/or network for information security risk.

M811 - B – Information Security- Part B

This course further builds on Information Security A course and introduces deep information related to information risk management and the development of polices to implement information security controls. Topics include the risk analysis and management, the role of policy, people and processes in information security.

M811-part B aims to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to develop and run a practical information security management system, in accordance with current international standards. In particular, it aims to:

M812 - A: Digital Forensics A

M812- Digital Forensics (A & B) will help students understand how to conduct investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present digital evidence to both business and legal audiences.

Digital evidence features in just about every part of our personal and business lives. Legal and business decisions hinge on having timely data about what people have actually done. M812 (A& B) covers a gap in the Middle Eastern (ME) market for courses in the subject of Computer Digital Forensics. M812 actually has a role to play in seeking to refresh and invigorate the curriculum of PG Computing and thereby increase the University’s market share. This course will address the strategic priority of AOU of increasing new student numbers.

Aims of this module are as follows :

  • provide students with a broad and practical introduction to the fundamentals of digital forensics, including how general forensic principles and techniques apply to digital investigations
  • provide students with sufficient knowledge to be able to conduct digital investigation procedures, and skills including evidence handling, note taking and report writing
  • provide students with an understanding of how to keep up to date with changing technologies, laws and regulations in digital forensics
  • guide students through English and Welsh civil and criminal laws particularly relevant to digital forensic investigations and teach him/her how to find the law in other jurisdictions (national and international)
  • present students with the principles of legal report writing
  • provide students with an opportunity to answer questions from reviewers of the legal report orally

Equip students with resources to access templates and documents from professional bodies and industrial practices, and stay at the leading edge of digital forensics.

M812 - B: Digital Forensics B

M812- Digital Forensics (A & B) will help students understand how to conduct investigations to correctly gather, analyse and present digital evidence to both business and legal audiences.

Digital evidence features in just about every part of our personal and business lives. Legal and business decisions hinge on having timely data about what people have actually done. M812 (A& B) covers a gap in the Middle Eastern (ME) market for courses in the subject of Computer Digital Forensics. M812 actually has a role to play in seeking to refresh and invigorate the curriculum of PG Computing and thereby increase the University’s market share. This course will address the strategic priority of AOU of increasing new student numbers.

M813A : Software Development- Part A

This module gives the students the fundamental knowledge, understanding, analysis and synthesis that they need to develop fit-for-purpose software in an organisational context. Students will also have an opportunity to investigate emerging trends in software development

M813-Part A is the first part of the M813 course, a core module of the MSc award in Computing/ software development. M813 aims to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to develop software in accordance with current professional practice, approaches and techniques.

In particular, it aims to:

  • teach students a variety of fundamental techniques for software development across the software life-cycle, and to provide practice in the use of these techniques
  • give students enough knowledge to be able to choose between different development techniques appropriate for a software development context
  • make students aware of design and technology trade-offs involved in developing enterprise software systems
  • enable students to evaluate current software development practices
  • give students an understanding of current and emerging issues in software development
  • give students the research skills needed to stay at the leading edge of software development.

This course is a pre-requisite to the M813-part B where the focus is on the testing, software architectures and system integration.

M813B : Software Development-Part B

This module gives the students the fundamental knowledge, understanding, analysis and synthesis that they need to practice the principles of software design and construction via patterns. Also, it provides the students with the required skills to understand, compare, use and apply diverse software architectures in the context of enterprise.

M813-Part B is the second part of the M813 course, a core module of the MSc award in Computing / software development.

M813 aims to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to develop software in accordance with current professional practice, approaches and techniques.

In particular, it aims to:

  • teach students a variety of fundamental techniques for software development across the software life-cycle, and to provide practice in the use of these techniques
  • give students enough knowledge to be able to choose between different development techniques appropriate for a software development context
  • make students aware of design and technology trade-offs involved in developing enterprise software systems
  • enable students to evaluate current software development practices
  • give students an understanding of current and emerging issues in software development
  • give students the research skills needed to stay at the leading edge of software development.

M814 - A : Software Engineering – Part A

This module explores the advanced concepts and techniques used throughout the software life cycle, for the effective production and management of large, complex, and long-lived software systems. It provides a holistic perspective of technical and non-technical factors involved in developing useful and safe software systems in complex social and organisational contexts. Student will gain hands-on experience of software engineering practices, in both individual and team-working contexts.

M813 (A & B) and M814 (A & B) modules in combination provide a coherent coverage of basic and advanced topics in Software Engineering.

M814-Part A is the first part of the M814 course, a core module of the MSc award in Computing/ software development. M813 aims to provide students with a holistic perspective of technical and non-technical factors involved in developing useful and safe software systems in complex social and organisational contexts. In particular it aims to:

  • Make students aware of current issues, key concepts, terminology and techniques in software engineering
  • Enable students to apply, evaluate and compare key principles, concepts and techniques in software engineering
  • Enable students to discuss competently a variety of topics related to software engineering
  • provide a system perspective to students by examining software’s role in organizations from human, social, knowledge, business, and domain problem (requirements) perspectives.
  • provide students an in-depth exploration of the requirements engineering process
  • give students an understanding of current and emerging issues in software engineering

give student the research skills needed to stay at the leading edge of software engineering.

M814 - B : Software Engineering – Part B

This module explores the advanced concepts and techniques used throughout the software life cycle, for the effective production and management of large, complex, and long-lived software systems. It provides a holistic perspective of technical and non-technical factors involved in developing useful and safe software systems in complex social and organisational contexts. Student will gain hands-on experience of software engineering practices, in both individual and team-working contexts.

M813 (A & B) and M814 (A & B) modules in combination provide a coherent coverage of basic and advanced topics in Software Engineering.

M815-A: Project Management-A

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts of project management. It’s suitable for people in any field of work but especially one that has a high technological content. Students will study about project lifecycle concepts, feasibility studies, evaluating/developing project proposals and success factors. Students will also study about various project frameworks including agile project management.

This main aim of this module is to introduce students to the basic concepts of Project Management methods and techniques across the standard and extended lifecycle. Students will be taught about various project concepts and definitions. Emphasis will be placed on

  • Finding and using information from a range of sources, selecting those that are appropriate for the context;
  • Reviewing and learning from experience of self and others;
  • Skills for effective communication with stakeholders, together with communication and collaboration within the project team.

M815-B: Project Management-B

This course will equip students with general project management skills to help them to deal with problems that can occur during undertaking of projects. It’s suitable for people in any field of work but especially one that has a high technological content. Students will study about project execution, risk analysis, Project monitoring and control. Students will also study about project handover, closure and techniques and tools needed to perform project management.

M816-A: Data Management-A

M816 (A & B) covers the data management principles, practices and technologies required to develop policies, procedures and systems that control, protect, deliver and enhance the value of an organisation’s data asset. Students will acquire practical skills in data, database, repository (meta-data) and business intelligence administration.

M816 (A & B) aims to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to develop data management policies, procedures and systems in accordance with current professional practice, approaches and techniques.

In particular, it aims to:

  • teach students a variety of principles, practices and technologies for data management across the data life-cycle
  • give students the ability to evaluate current practices in data management
  • give student an understanding of current and emerging issues in data management

give students the research skills you need to stay at the leading edge of data management

M816-B: Data Management-B

M816 (A & B) covers the data management principles, practices and technologies required to develop policies, procedures and systems that control, protect, deliver and enhance the value of an organisation’s data asset. Students will acquire practical skills in data, database, repository (meta-data) and business intelligence administration.

M888  Databases in Enterprise systems

M888 is a new course and forms part of the regular refreshment of the Postgraduate ICT & Computing curriculum, one of a group of courses focussing on software development.

M888 will describe how relational databases are employed to maintain persistent data in software systems including web applications. Topics will include databases APIs (ODBC, JDBC), persistence frameworks (Java EE, .NET), SQL/J and web application frameworks (ASP.NET, PHP).  The course will ‘follow-on’ from M885 (Analysis and Design of Enterprise Systems) but also requires knowledge of databases gained by studying M876 (Relational Database Systems).  The course will use the same case studies as M885.

The course is intended for system architects rather than programmers.  The focus of the course will be the fundamentals of the various technologies taught by the course and their associated issues.  Like M885, course text and TMA questions will be ‘paper and pencil’ exercises based on the case studies.  The course text will also develop outline implementations to satisfy given requirements and the course will also provide an opportunity to students, if they wish, to engage in optional programming activities to deploy the outline implementations developed.

M888 will be presented fully online within the VLE. There will be no printed texts; all the materials needed to undertake this course will be made available from the course website, both online and downloadable as PDFs.  We plan to make extensive use of OU Library, both journal articles and books, in particular, Safari Online Books.

 We plan to present the course as a Study Guide comprising a series of weekly study notes, each of which give an overview/review and self-assessment of a topic.  Each study note will direct students to essential and optional reading of articles/books, mainly via the Library and vendors’ websites.  We intend to keep the course up-to-date/relevant and respond to student demands/expectations by frequent updates to the Study Guide when appropriate.

M890: Artificial Intelligence Algorithms

Nature can be a great source of inspiration for artificial intelligence algorithms because its technology is considerably more advanced than our own. Among its wonders are strong AI, nanotechnology, and advanced robotics. Nature can therefore serve as a guide for real-life problem solving. In this course, you will encounter algorithms influenced by ants, bees, genomes, birds, and cells that provide practical methods for many types of AI situations. The complex behaviors in nature merely provide inspiration in our quest to gain new insights about data.

Having studied this course you will:

  • Understand the basic principles of nature inspired AI algorithms.
  • Deeply understand the concepts of populations, scoring and selections.
  • Develop deep understanding of Evolutionary and Genetic algorithms.
  • Deeply understand Particle Swarm Optimisation and Ant colony optimisation.

Develop understanding of Cellular Automata, Modelling and Data Science.

T828-A: Network Security-A

With organisations increasingly dependent on their information systems, there is a greater need to ensure that the underlying network infrastructure being used by these systems is secure. This module will provide students with the knowledge, understanding and practical experience of managing secure communication across a large-scale inter-network; the practical aspects of the course will be provided using Cisco network equipment and simulators.

Cisco Systems are market leaders in supplying networking equipment for the internet. They also have a well-established educational program for network professionals. T828 (parts A and B) is meant to provide students opportunity to study the important field of network security. Student will also be expected to undertake individual research to contextualise the Cisco studies in the broader security management environment, which will be accomplished in tandem with CISSP (certified information systems security professional) principles.

The T828 (parts A and B) module aims to give students a holistic understanding of the fundamentals of network security together with the skills required by a network security professional. In particular, it aims to:

  • Provide an in-depth, theoretical understanding of network security management
  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to design and support network security
  • Provide an experience-oriented course that employs industry-relevant instructional approaches to prepare students for associate-level jobs in the industry

Enable students to have significant hands-on interaction with IT equipment to prepare them for certification exams and career opportunities.

T828-B: Network Security-B

With organisations increasingly dependent on their information systems, there is a greater need to ensure that the underlying network infrastructure being used by these systems is secure. This module will provide students with the knowledge, understanding and practical experience of managing secure communication across a large-scale inter-network; the practical aspects of the course will be provided using Cisco network equipment and simulators.

Cisco Systems are market leaders in supplying networking equipment for the internet. They also have a well-established educational program for network professionals. T828 (parts A and B) is meant to provide students opportunity to study the important field of network security. Student will also be expected to undertake individual research to contextualise the Cisco studies in the broader security management environment, which will be accomplished in tandem with CISSP (certified information systems security professional) principles.

T802: Research Project

T802 is a Research Project course, with individual research topics selected by the students related to their pathway of study. (i.e. either Software Development of Information Security and Forensics) Teaching material therefore consists of guidance on research, data analysis, project report structure and writing.

The aim of T802 is to enable students to carry out a significant piece of research in the subject area of their degree, and to write up the research and conclusions in a formal dissertation. The research will have professional relevance, but may or may not be directly associated with a company or other organization.

In the process of following the module, students will:

  • Investigate in depth an issue or problem that is of professional relevance and/or personal interest to them, which may also be of relevance to an organization with which they have links – such as an employer, charity or non-governmental organization – and is of interest to the wider academic, business or professional community
  • Develop their knowledge of recent research in their chosen topic, and its implications and application in different organizations
  • Become competent in research methods:
  • Develop the capacity to plan, organize and carry out an extended independent study at masters level
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • Critically evaluate and reflect upon their own work
  • Develop skills in the written communication of research work at masters level.

Students will learn how to develop a research proposal; carry out a literature search and write a critical review of the literature; select suitable research methods and integrate them within a research methodology; carry out research processes; analyze results to draw conclusions; and write up their research in the form of a dissertation. The students’ research work will be related to their individual pathway of study (i.e. either the Software Development pathway or the Information Security and Forensics pathway).