Business Intelligence - MSc

Full Time, Part Time
September 2016, January 2017
£5,500 for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

Business intelligence is increasingly becoming a key source of competitive advantage for companies because it enables them to improve performance across the business, from overall strategy to marketing.

Designed for graduates of a relevant technological subject, such as computer science, business information technology, or any subject with an emphasis on statistical analysis, our MSc Business Intelligence is an academically robust course with a strong focus on industrial applications.

You’ll explore business intelligence, learn about data analytics from a computing perspective and examine a variety of techniques, theories and software tools that can be used to extract information from stored data.

You’ll need to hold a minimum Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline but if you have the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course, we’ll consider your application without standard entry qualifications.

What's covered in the course?

  • Central to your Master’s course is managing IT projects and integrating learning using major commercial software, such as SAS (data mining and business intelligence) and SAP (strategic IT planning), Oracle and PRINCE2, as well as investigating the wider theoretical context.
  • You’ll also learn about the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur in the IT sector.
  • You’ll also benefit from our strong industry links, which enable us to keep our courses relevant and up-to-date, and will help you to stand out from the crowd when you look to enter the workplace.
  • We have close links with SAS, a global leader in data analytics.
  • We’re based at the £114 million Millennium Point building, part of our City Centre Campus, which is fully equipped with state-of-the-art, industry-standard labs.
  • Throughout your course, our expert teaching staff will provide all the support you need.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are recognised nationally and internationally for our high quality teaching, research and extensive industry partnerships.
  • The School co-developed and currently runs the SAS Student Academy Programme which provides training to other educational establishments in SAS software.
  • The School is located at Millennium Point, in the heart of Birmingham. Millennium Point was built as a focus for science, technology and education within Birmingham and the wider region and provides an excellent context for exploring advanced technology.
  • We are home to the Microsoft Academy Centre – one of Microsoft’s top UK university-based academies – and we are a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. We are also a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) and Cisco Instructor Training Centre (ITC) – one of only 10 such instructor training centres in the UK.
  • You’ll have access to state-of-the-art, industry-standard equipment and laboratories.
  • You’ll be equipped with the academic knowledge and practical skills that are demanded by industry and employers.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

This course is accredited by:

SAS Certification

Entry Requirements

UK students

We would normally expect you to hold at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline.

However, we can also consider your application without standard entry qualifications if you can provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 13 months £5,500
PT 29 months £2,750 per year
MSc Jan 2017 FT 17 months £5,500
PT 33 months £2,750 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 13 months £12,000
MSc Jan 2017 FT 17 months £12,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate

Professional Skills and Research Methods
15 credits

You’ll be introduced to research methods, academic writing and project management – all of which will help you to complete your Masters project. This module also covers professional skills, including consultancy.

Data Analysis
15 credits

This module prepares you to collect, process, analyse and present data in a meaningful and ethical manner. The focus will be on working with data in a manner required by business.

Databases for Enterprise
15 credits

This module combines coverage of key database skills and knowledge with an exploration of recent trends such as object-oriented approaches, XML and web-databases technologies.

Business Intelligence
15 credits

You’ll develop a range of skills for processing, examining and extracting information from raw data using appropriate statistical analysis techniques.

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

Technology Entrepreneurship
15 credits

What skills, knowledge and attributes do you need to become a successful entrepreneur in IT? This module looks at these questions in detail, and explores the issues involved in identifying e-business opportunities and realising them.

Data Mining
15 credits

Data Mining module aims to explore and analysis large quantities of data in order to discover intrinsic meaningful patterns and rules.

Advanced Databases
15 credits

High quality, available data forms the essential component of business. This module looks at the organisation and storage of large volumes of data.

Applied Advanced Statistics
15 credits

In this module, you’ll develop the confidence you’ll need to apply advanced statistical knowledge in the workplace.

Stage 3: Masters

Master's Project
60 credits

The course is divided into taught modules of 15 credits and a Master’s project of 60 credits. You’ll need to complete 60 credits for the Postgraduate Certificate, 120 credits for the Postgraduate Diploma and 180 credits for the MSc. Each credit represents 10 notional hours of student learning and assessment.

The programme is designed for graduates from relevant technological subject such as Computer Science, Business Information Technology, as well as subjects areas where statistical analysis is a core subject.

We think it’s important that you are assessed in a number of different ways during your course.

Your knowledge and skills are assessed via a number of methods, coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed-book), presentations, practical assignments, vivas and project work. Emphasis is placed on the development of a broad range of relevant skills because this will enable us to appraise your all-round ability and it also gives you the best opportunity to excel.

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

SAS Certification
SAS Certification

The SAS Student Academy at Birmingham City University enables our students to acquire core skills in both SAS Base Programming and SAS Enterprise Guide, plus statistics and data mining using SAS tools. 

Students who belong to our SAS Student Academy can take SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 exam. This is the ideal pathway for those relatively new to SAS programming or new to SAS certification. It is also the principle certification for other advanced certifications available from SAS.

Academy students take the exam through the Pearson Vue test centre.Academy students get 50% off the advertised price, although students will need to ask their academy for the discount code before booking. Use exam ID A00-211; required when registering with Pearson VUE.

To gain the SAS certificate students must achieve a score of 70% correct answers to pass.

Further studies

We offer a range of research (PhD) postgraduate programmes that are suitable for Master’s graduates.

Trips and visits

We continually organise student trips to various external events and organisations. We also frequently put you in direct contact with employers through events such as careers fairs where you can meet big organisations such as SAS, Oracle and Microsoft.

Employment Opportunities

The career options are exciting and varied for successful graduates from this programme because skills associated with business intelligence and data mining are sought after by many organisations who realise the value in extracting information from data. There is a very high demand for graduates with knowledge and practical experience in business intelligence and data analytics software tools (such as SAS). In addition, you will also be well prepared to take up more general management and business information systems development roles and to undertake academic research in this cutting edge field.

All organisations whether they are industrial, public sector or otherwise are waking up to the potential leverage and information that Business Intelligence can provide. So regardless where you are in your career or your background, this course will enable you to build on your current expertise and gain practical experience accompanied by relevant academic theory in Business Intelligence and Data Mining.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

You will gain recognised qualifications in this field that will enhance your career opportunities in a new cutting edge subject area where there is a known skills shortage.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our business intelligence course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.


Students on SAP-certified courses in Enterprise Systems will have access to the University’s unique SAP Lab, providing an inspirational research and development space for you to use for creative thinking and design.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities

Ash Mahmood

Programme Leader

Ash Mahmood has been the Programme Leader for a group of postgraduate courses in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

He has also been involved with the delivery and project management of industry based projects through the whole lifecycle from initiation to closure. He works with web technologies which include web standards and protocols, security, databases and management, client /server side technologies, personalisation architectures and management.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295