Business Information Systems, Cork University Business School

Information Systems


Business Information Systems (BIS) is a multidisciplinary group of 32 staff members (academic, administrative and technical), augmented by circa 20 further contract researchers. Whilst operating in the context of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems, BIS has a global reputation in the field of Information Systems. BSc Business Information Systems undergraduate degree at UCC has been taught for over twenty years resulting in an alumni network of over 1,000 business professionals.  With seven postgraduate programmes and a structured PhD programme on offer, Business Information Systems (UCC) is home for over 600 students on an annual basis.

All academic staff in BIS are research active, well supported by a flexible, but well-defined structure, based around several thematic research centres which act as platforms for engaging with business and actively pursuing funding opportunities. Research Centres include: Financial Services Innovation Centre (FSIC), Financial Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance Technology Centre (GRCTC), Health Information Systems Research Centre (HISRC), Centre for Security Management Research (S-Help) and The Centre for Open Research and Practice (CORP).


Bachelor Programs

The BSc in Business Information Systems (BIS) specialises in the key skills that are essential to the success of professionals in modern information technology and information systems.

The goals of this four-year degree course are to:

  • educate: provide a worthwhile and memorable student experience
  • collaborate: join with business to ensure BIS students gain cutting edge skills in business and IT, while also linking with businesses to provide innovative IS-related expertise
  • innovate: cultivate and apply expertise in teaching, research and development.

Our BIS Advisory Board, incorporating a number of the most senior Irish business executives, is there to advise and ensure UCC BIS courses are world-class, relevant, and attractive to businesses nationally and internationally.

Master Programs

The Master of Electronic Business (MSc e-Business) is a 12-month (full-time) taught master’s degree course. This intensive and innovative course is designed to provide honours graduates who have little or no prior technology experience with:

  • a critical understanding of Internet and mobile business strategies, models and processes
  • a high level of competence in the technology skills needed to develop professional electronic and mobile business systems
  • excellent employment opportunities and a world-class student experience

The course is 12 months full-time. In Part 1 there are typically 16 hours of lectures per week and eight hours of tutorials. A total of eight modules are taught in Part 1 of the course.


  • Electronic Business Models and Systems
  • e-Business Experience and Practice
  • Programming for Web Applications and Services
  • Introduction to Mobile Programming
  • Data Modelling and Database Systems
  • Application Modelling and Design
  • Storage Technology
  • Telecommunications for Electronic Business

Dedicated lab facilities are available for students to work on their course assignments in Part 1 and their group project in Part 2.


ISBP Master in Science enables students to understand how organisations operate and how the factors affecting their performance can be finely tuned using information systems (IS). In this award winning course, the applied aspects of building, leveraging and managing information systems and technologies rely on both class room and practical computer laboratory interaction where students are taught from beginner level. A balance is struck between the technology management activities and the analysis/development activities that affect IS/IT practices in modern organisations.


On completion of the one year Information Systems for Business Performance MSc, students will be able to:

  • Integrate core business and IT skills through the application of theory to practice.
  • Leverage industrial partnerships and demonstrate professional practice skills.
  • Display skills in applied problem-solving, managing and leveraging IT.
  • Critically evaluate issues in IT which are currently impacting organisations.
  • Demonstrate group and project management skills.
  • Investigate and appraise a range of business issues and create appropriate IT solutions.
  • Recognise and evaluate appropriate models for achieving business and IT alignment.
  • Design and implement performance and reporting IT solutions.
  • Exhibit significant data analysis and decision-making skills.
  • Apply and test theory in industry through MSc ISBP industry partnerships.
  Resources   UCC Program profile:   Msc ISBP YouTube: Msc ISBP Brochure:        

PhD Programs

The PhD (Business Information Systems) is a full-time programme taken over four years (48 months) from the date of first registration for the programme.

The programme contains a number of components that support the student's PhD research and thesis submission. Part I is designed to familiarise students with the research topics, issues and methods underpinning Information Systems research at the PhD level. Part II provides modules designed to assist students in refining the research topics they began developing in Part I, culminating in the presentation and defence of their thesis proposal. Part III focuses on conducting the thesis research and on the writing of the thesis. The primary determinant for the award of PhD (Business Information Systems) is the submission, successful examination and defence of a satisfactory thesis.

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Critically discuss both seminal and emerging Information Systems research issues and topics;
  • Critically analyse research literature in the Information Systems field in order to identify and articulate gaps in current knowledge;
  • Identify and synthesise relevant literature to effectively theorise Information Systems phenomena;
  • Select, articulate and justify methodological choices for achieving particular research objectives in the Information Systems field;
  • Conduct empirical research through the gathering and analysis of data in a fashion commensurate with the highest international academic standards of methodological rigour and transparency;
  • Effectively document and communicate the context, objectives, methodology, findings and implications of original research;
  • Make an original and significant contribution to the Information Systems research literature based on empirical research;
  • Clearly describe the academic and practical contributions and implications of their research, the limitations of their research, and appropriate directions for future research.


BSc Business Information Systems

MSc ISBP - Information Systems for Business Performance (ISBP)

Other course

The collaborative project will allow groups to specialise on certain industry sectors (eg: financial services, pharmaceuticals, government, retail / distribution etc) as part of their selection of a topic.

Teaching Method(s): 12 x 2hr(s) Other (Workshops and group sessions).


 This module examines the composition of the IT budget and interaction with functional areas within the business. Such interaction is examined to provide a basic understanding of the concept of Total Cost of Ownership of IT. Quantitative approaches to decision making in IT investments are presented, as are scenarios for risk evaluation, disaster planning, and recovery.


The module incorporates content that aims to develop professional practice skills including: communication strategy; composing business messages efficiently; professional writing, reporting and editing; effective presenting; use of visual aids and non-verbal delivery and listening skills; professional communication using online media.


This module considers the frameworks that can be adopted to address the trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness in delivering IT solutions to a business community. Topics include: Frameworks (e.g. Core Capabilities, FORT, and Task-Technology-Fit) and the PMBOK (project management body of knowledge).


This module examines systems and techniques used in managerial decision support in the context of evidence-based performance management and related organizational decision making. Module Content includes: The role of information in managerial decision making - from strategy to execution; Planning and managing performance and measuring results - the role of Key Performance Indicators; The role of data in reporting and performance measurement; Basic and advanced data visualization techniques; Dashboards as decision support tools; Organizational decision making and procedural rationality.


This module examines techniques, technologies and systems designed to enable efficient management and manipulation of enterprise data assets required for evidence-based decision making. It also reviews related organizational processes and roles intended to create conditions required for the effective management of the data-lifecycle.

Module content includes the role of information in managerial decision making; the concept of Business Intelligence (BI): from data to decision making; IS data integration strategies pursued by organisations; introduction to Data Warehousing, Data Marts, Data Cubes and data management issues of Cloud computing; Big Data and Business Analytics concepts and tools; Data governance, master data management, data quality; and the role of decision support and its systems (DSS)


The Electronic Business Models & Systems module examines the emergence of eCommerce and the role of the business model in enabling it. Its content includes roadmap to Organisational and Consumer eCommerce; Business Model Analysis and Frameworks; Virtual Communities; Infomediaries; Emerging platforms and contexts for electronic business and Mobile Commerce


This module aims to provide students with the modern vision of IS development as an agile "rapid response" process which aims at aligning the information systems of the firm with business goals in close to real time.

This module considers systems analysis from an agile perspective and looks at how competitive advantage may be derived from IT. Topics covered include; principles of Object-Orientated analysis and design, UML (Unified Modeling Language), OO development methods, CASE Tools and project management.


This module details the stages from having a logical model of an application to implementing a physical design and implementation. It deals with user interface design, web design, human factors and the constraints which must be taken into account when designing an information system. It also looks at technological trends and best practise used in industry when developing information systems.


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of storage technology.

This module considers storage technology, storage systems architecture, networked storage, monitoring and managing in a data centre, SAN design and management, NAS design and management, backup design, local replication, and remote replication.



To provide students with the concepts and skills required to analyze organizational activities, information flows and to subsequently create the data models and database systems required to support these activities.

Data modelling is studied in its practical dimensions and enterprise relational database applications (e.g. Oracle, MS SQL-Server) are used to demonstrate the key issues in database administration with an introduction to SQL. Topics covered include; requirements analysis (Use Case Modelling), process modelling (DFDs), data modelling (ERDs and normalisation), database technology and developing database systems.

Teaching Method(s): 12 x 2hr(s) Lectures; 24hr(s) Practicals.


To provide students with the concepts and skills required to create database structures and to develop business reports to support decision making.

Data modelling is studied in its practical dimensions including database usage in enterprise environments, advanced SQL skills, database configurations and applications, including distributed databases, datamines and warehouses, database performance and performance improvement, enterprise database systems, database administration.