Information systems lectures were introduced by the department in 1979. Management Information Systems options were offered in the Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degree in 1982. Since then, the department has grown to meet the demands of students and the marketplace and now offers a specialised four-year undergraduate programme in Business Information Systems (BIS), leading to a BSc in Business Information Systems. Our lecturers also continue to lecture on the Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) undergraduate degree programmes, where students can take Business Information Systems courses.
In September 2000, the 2-year full-time MBS in Electronic Commerce was introduced and the Higher Diploma in Systems Analysis was revised to reflect the need for Web development skills, and is now offered in both full-time and part-time modes. In 2009, the Higher Diploma in Systems Analysis was replaced by a new programme, the MSc in Information Systems Management. Also, a new programme, M.Sc. in Finance and Information Systems, in conjunction with the Kemmy Business School UL, was designed to develop, build and enhance students finance and ICT capabilities. In addition to these taught programmes, the department also offers a MSc in Business Information Systems by research only and suitable candidates can also undertake a Ph.D.
To support these changes, there has been significant investment in hardware and software and associated facilities. There are three computer suites equipped with the latest state-of-the-art multimedia computers, with extensive multimedia software. Students also have access to the general computing suites throughout the campus. A new €16 million building was completed in 2005, which now houses the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics. This building provides teaching, computing/technology and other support facilities appropriate for the teaching of Business Information Systems in the 21st century.
The department now has 12 full-time members of staff dedicated to Business Information Systems (BIS) research and the teaching of BIS courses. Staff members are active contributors to the Research Publications of the Department of Accountancy & Finance.
The BSc Business Information Systems programme at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is a nationally-recognised university undergraduate degree programme. It is a Bologna-compliant 4-year programme that has been developed within the context of the University and School strategies, to target a niche but strategically important market need.
The programme provides students with a grounding in the fundamentals of business, together with a specific expertise in information systems for business. It has defined Intended Learning Outcomes and is aimed at developing a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical abilities in its students.
The programme has been supported with very significant resource investment, especially in terms of facilities and infrastructure, to the extent that it now has a dedicated supporting infrastructure (pedagogical and physical facilities) that is on a par with, or exceeds, that of most comparable programmes internationally. This infrastructure feeds into the specific pedagogical needs of the programme, which relies heavily on technology.
The programme is delivered by a sufficient and appropriately qualified faculty team, primarily made up of core faculty. A significant proportion of faculty is research active in international terms and research has been specifically integrated into the programme, primarily through the integration of the research theme of Enterprise Agility at all levels of the programme.
The programme places a strong emphasis on international issues and preparing graduates for work in an inherently multinational environment. The international programme elements have been drawn together within the Global Learning Initiative, which includes international work and study opportunities, international Virtual Teams, compulsory study of International Business and international study trips amongst other things. In addition, the faculty team includes a high proportion of members who are either of international origin or who have specific international experience, which enables them to provide an international perspective. The programme has also developed a set of dedicated international academic alliances (primarily with US-based schools) that focus on the specific needs of the BSc BIS programme (these partnerships are not part of the wider School or University networks), and which have been developed to provide multi-dimensional relationships, covering research, teaching, virtual teams and exchange opportunities.
The programme has close links with the corporate world, through the Industry Engagement Initiative, which brings together the different strands of corporate connections. These include work placement for all students; site visits to leading multi-national companies; and membership of SAP and the Microsoft University Alliance providing access to the latest industry software. In addition, the programme has an Industry Advisory Board that ensures that the skills, methodologies and theories taught are consistent with industry needs while the Transferable Skills Initiative involves corporate mentoring, guest lecturing and project facilitation by industry representatives.
This programme is designed as a specialist course which assists students in blending their existing talents with the technological skills and business knowledge needed to design, develop, use and manage information systems within modern organisations.
Students gain practical knowledge of business systems analysis and design; project management; database design; applications development; business information technologies; Internet and multimedia development; and the business context of IS development and management. Specialised aspects are also covered, such as: human-computer interaction, information systems security, enterprise systems, business analytics and decision support systems, electronic commerce, and IS innovation.
Extensive career opportunities exist for graduates of the MSc in Information Systems Management with companies in a variety of sectors, in Ireland and abroad. Employers in Ireland of recent graduates include Accenture, SAP, Google, Hewlett Packard, Version1, Ernst & Young, Bearing Point Consulting, Information Mosaic, Ericsson, Medtronic, Avaya, Metalogic, Paddy Power, Xilink and Dell Computers.