Business Intelligence - MSc / PgCert / PgDip / MSc

  • Course Code: PT1243
  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2019, January 2020
  • Study mode: MSc - Full Time, Part Time
    PgCert / PgDip / MSc - Part Time
  • Location: City Centre

The MSc Business Intelligence programme is designed to provide you with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and skills in a range of issues and concepts in Business Intelligence.

The programme is designed for graduates from relevant technological subjects (such as Computer Science, Business Information Technology, as well as subject areas where statistical analysis is a core subject) and who wish to explore and gain knowledge pertaining to business intelligence and learn about data analytics from a computing perspective. It provides a robust grounding in key principles and tools, together with a strong focus on industrial applications, and will provide a foundation for either further research or a career applying leading edge software analytics technology.

What's covered in the course?

You will work collaboratively with tutors, researchers and businesses applying practice-based skills to real-life case studies and live project briefs.

A key aspect of the course philosophy is that the learning experience integrates use of cutting edge technology with investigation of the wider theoretical context. Students will also learn about the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur in the IT sector.

It is guided by our core values: inclusive education, partnership working, individual opportunity, successful graduate outcomes, excellence and internationalisation. These enduring values are expected to be upheld by all you through, integrity, honesty, trust, fairness and respect towards self and others.

The course’s mission is that “our graduates’ employability is transformed through our globally recognised research, innovative practice and outstanding educational experiences”. This is achieved by delivering a course driven by industry-based and research-led problem-solving and active learning, supported by assessments aligned to the development of knowledge and skills demanded in practice. This means that learning activities are designed to encourage and facilitate your ability to gain employment and sustain a professional career in Data Analytics by building your confidence and skills through hands-on experience and structured feedback to consolidate your learning.

Graduates from the course will be equipped for careers in business intelligence and data analytics which includes the analysis and extraction of information from Big Data from any type of industry and business. The career options for successful graduates from the course include roles as Business Intelligence Analyst, Data Warehousing Specialist, Consultant, Solutions Architect, Data Security Manager and Database Administrator. Studying towards a PhD is an additional option. We have an established data analytics group that can supervise PhD projects.

The Centre for Enterprise Systems was associated with BCU’s Computer Science and Informatics submission to REF 2014 and the school is now building on its success by recruiting additional research-active staff to the Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence research group within the Centre for Enterprise Systems.

Why Choose Us?

  • We provide research-led, practice-driven teaching underpinned by our research projects and strong industrial links.
  • Our teaching staff have rich professional experience and are engaged with government and industry, helping to solve complex problems.
  • We are home to a Cisco Systems, Oracle academy, and the Microsoft Academy Centre. We are 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.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 24 November. Register your interest and we'll send an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

Discover the School of Computing and Digital Technology

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

Visit the School website

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Jagdev Bhogal.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

We are members of:

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Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

We would normally expect you to hold at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in Computing, Engineering or Information Management.

Applicants without standard entry qualifications but with extensive industrial experience could be considered if they provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course.

International students
Essential

International applicants are required to have IELTS overall band of 6.0 or equivalent.

International Students

Entry requirements here

International Students

Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.

Apply now

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2019

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £8,100 per year
  • Part Time
  • 24 months
  • £4,050 per year

Award: PgCert / PgDip / MSc

Starting: Jan 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 2 years
  • TBC

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2019

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £12,300 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Course duration

Please note, there are no taught classes over the summer months (June to August) for postgraduate courses, so the total time spent in University for this course is:

  • September start (full-time) 12 months
  • September start (part-time) 20 months

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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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.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

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 £10,906 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Module

Databases for Enterprise
20 credits

The module will provide you with theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in building a database system for an enterprise. As part of this module you will learn and critically reflect on the cycle of database systems development from understanding the needs of the enterprise through to design and development of database systems using industry based case studies and techniques.

Download the full module specification

Data Mining
20 credits

Data mining is the non-trivial process of finding patterns and building models from data stored in data repositories such as databases and data warehouses. At the heart of Big Data Analytics and business intelligence, data mining algorithms provide readily available solutions to many Big Data problems.

Data mining is an established field that provides both predictive and descriptive analytics solutions. Such solutions are often generic and can be applied to a wide range of applications from business to scientific and governmental applications

Download the full module specification

Applied Statistics
20 credits

Information from data is required by many organisations and this module focuses on the application of statistical techniques to data sets primary using statistical and data analytics software.

Hence a mixed learning and teaching approach is proposed that consists of both computer lab work with applying theory in practice through the use of specialist software and interactive taught sessions in a seminar room where you can work together putting theory into organisational context.

Download the full module specification

Business Intelligence and Technology Entrepreneurship
20 credits

In this module you will explore the concepts of business intelligence and entrepreneurship in today's global marketplace. Business intelligence has enabled entrepreneurs and existing organisations to gain competitive advantages and highlight new opportunities in both new and existing markets.

Download the full module specification

Data Warehousing
20 credits

This module covers the acquisition, organization and storage of large volumes of data. Since data is a vital part of business intelligence, this module provides input to the other modules on the programme and builds directly upon the Databases for Enterprise module. The module explores techniques for querying the data warehouse and also looks at new technology which has been designed to handle large volumes of unstructured data.

Download the full module specification

Project
60 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Level 7 project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material.

The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying and informed by the research strategy of your school, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

Download the full module specification

Research Methods and Project Management
20 credits

This module prepares you for the research project that you will undertake towards the end of your master’s course. It equips you with knowledge and transferable skills that will also help you in your subsequent career, for example, when you are asked to write a report or to carry out an IT project. You will become familiar with the research literature in your discipline, research methodology and research ethics, as well as project management tools, methods and techniques.

Download the full module specification

The MSc is normally studied over one year full-time or two years part-time.

The course is divided into taught modules of 20 credits and a Master’s project of 60 credits.  Students complete 60 credits for Postgraduate Certificate, 120 credits for Postgraduate Diploma and 180 credits for the full MSc.  Each credit represents 10 notional hours of student learning and assessment.

A range of assessment methods are employed, assessment criteria being published in each assignment brief.  Knowledge and skills are assessed, formatively and summatively, by a number of methods: coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed-book), presentations, practical assignments, vivas, online forums, podcasts and project work.

Further Study

The University has a range of research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate degrees. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.

Enhancing your employability

This course is suitable for undergraduates and those who have worked in the industry but do not have the recognised qualifications.

The school boasts graduates who have gone on to work for Hewlett Packard, Bell Micro, Birmingham City Council, BT, Cap Gemini, Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel Corporation, NHS, Motorola, National Express, NEC, Royal Mail, Shell IT, JP Morgan Chase and Co, Carillion plc, Siemens and Nokia and many more.

Placements

The School has exceptionally strong links with industry. Collaboration with industry is at the heart of our teaching, enabling us to keep our courses relevant and up-to-date and putting you in prime position for industrial placements, chances to contribute to real-life projects and career opportunities.

OpportUNIty

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

The career options for successful graduates from the programme include roles such as:

  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Developer
  • Data Warehousing Specialist
  • Solutions Architect
  • Database Administrator

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

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

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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.

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
Jagdev Bhogal

Dr Jagdev Bhogal

Senior Lecturer, Academic Lead Birmingham City University Oracle Academy

Jagdev is an experienced lecturer whose main teaching area is Database Systems. She is the Course Leader for MSc Business Intelligence and the MSc Big Data Analytics courses. Jagdev has published conference and journal papers on relational/object/nosql database systems,  ontologies, text mining and cloud computing. 

Professor Mohamed Gaber

Professor in Data Analytics

Mohamed Gaber is a Professor in Data Analytics at our School of Computing and Digital Technology.

He has published over 150 papers, co-authored two monograph-style books, and edited/co-edited six books on data mining and knowledge discovery. Mohamed has served in the programme committees of several major conferences related to data mining, including the International Conference on Data Mining, the Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, and the International Conference on Machine Learning. In 2007, he was awarded the CSIRO Teamwork award.

Dr Atif Azad

Senior Lecturer

Dr Azad is a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy. He specialises in the subject matter of Computer Science, Machine Learning, Evolutionary Computing (Genetic Programming, Genetic Algorithms, and Grammatical Evolution), Data Analytics, and Statistics.

He has extensively worked on theory and applications of Machine Learning, particularly Nature Inspired Machine Learning (Evolutionary Computing), and has conducted internationally acclaimed work winning awards and honours from recognized international scientific fora.

Dr Mariam Adedoyin-Olowe

Assistant Lecturer

Dr Mariam Adedoyin-Olowe is an Assistant Lecturer and Researcher in Big Data Analytics in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. She currently teaches Data Mining and Web Social Media Analytics and Visualisation at Postgraduate level. She also teaches/supervises Undergraduate Innovation Projects. Her research focuses on data mining, Big Data analytics, social media analytics, artificial Intelligence, machine Learning, sentiment analysis and opinion mining, data visualisation, association rule mining, and data science