Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Business Intelligence - MSc

  • Course Code: PT1243
  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2021, January 2022
  • Study mode: MSc - Full Time, 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.

Tailor your degree

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course. This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.

Why Choose Us?

  • Research-led, practice-driven teaching - Our teaching is underpinned by our versatile research projects and strong industry links. 

  • Experienced academic staff - Our teaching staff have extensive professional experience and are engaged with both the government and industry in helping to solve complex problems. 

  • Excellent industry links - Collaboration with industry is at the heart of our teaching, putting you in prime position for placement and career opportunities. Our graduates have secured positions with BT, Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel Corporation, Motorola, National Express, Royal Mail, Shell IT, JP Morgan Chase and Co, Carillion plc, Siemens and Nokia. 

  • Professional placement option - Gain desirable employability skills with the option of a professional placement. 

  • Home to Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft Academies 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 one of only 10 Cisco Instructor Training Centres (ITC) in the UK. 

This course is open to International students

We are members of:

WISE member logo2 WISE members inspire girls to choose maths, physics and computing.

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

In order to be considered for a place on this course, you must have passed a relevant honours degree at minimum of 2:2 or equivalent. .

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.

Additional information for EU/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 students
  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

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

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.

Staff Profile

Dr Atif Azad

Reader in Evolutionary Computing and Machine Learning

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

Zahraa Staff Profile Picture

Zahraa Abdallah

Lecturer

Zahraa is a lecturer in Data Analytics at Birmingham City University (UK). She received her PhD in March 2015 from Monash University, Australia. Her thesis received the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal, for best doctoral thesis completed in the faculty of information technology in 2015. Her research is broadly in the areas of Data Stream Mining, Adaptive Learning and Time Series Analysis, where her focus is on developing intelligent techniques that aim to service real-time information needs while having to function in highly dynamic and resource-constrained environments.

Read Zahraa's full profile