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Information Systems, Home Economics



University of Minho

 The University of Minho (UMinho) is one of the Portuguese new universities created in the early 1970s. Currently it has around 20,000 students enrolled in the degree programs offered by its eleven schools that cover most areas of knowledge (sciences, engineering, psychology, education, social sciences, economics and management, law, humanities and arts, architecture, medicine, nursing).

The University is named after the Northwest region of Portugal where it is located. The University campi, and other main infrastructures, are situated in the cities of Braga and Guimarães. The region has a strong tradition of vibrant entrepreneurship rooted in a rich history associated to the Roman empire, to the Christianisation of the Iberic Peninsula and to the foundation of the Portuguese nation.

In its establishment, back in 1974, UMinho sought to set up its strategy taking into consideration the socio-economic characteristics of the region and paying attention to emerging fields of knowledge with major potential for development and consolidation of the small and medium enterprises that constitute the majority of Minho’s economic fabric. By the time, informatics was such an emerging academic field. At UMinho informatics emerged associated to the areas of industrial management and control, areas that gave origin to several degree programs and departments related to computers and to informatics.

Informatics at UMinho

UMinho has been the first Portuguese university to offer a full degree program in Informatics in the country. It is not surprising, thus, that informatics is an important area at UMinho, with more than 10% of its students enrolled in degree programs in the area. UMinho currently offers five initial degree programs in informatics or somehow related to computers, namely: Informatics Engineering (integrated master); Engineering and Management of Information Systems (integrated master); Telecommunications and Informatics (integrated master); Industrial Electronics and Computers (integrated master); Computation Sciences (bachelor). The annual intake of new students for these programs amounts to close to 400. The offer of postgraduate programs includes several master programs (information systems; informatics; entrepreneurship in information technologies and services; technology and digital arts; bioinformatics; law and informatics; engineering of networks and telematics services; management of engineering projects) and several PhD programs (Information Systems and Technologies; Informatics (in cooperation with universities of Porto and Aveiro); Telecommunications (in cooperation with universities of Porto and Aveiro); Electronics and Computers Engineering).

Several departments are associated to this educational offer. Not just the departments more related to the informatics and computers (Informatics, Information Systems, and Industrial Electronics) but also departments from other schools like the Mathematics and the Biology departments from the School of Sciences, the School of Law; and the Management department from the School of Economics and Management (this School is an important contributor to the integrated master in Engineering and Management of Information Systems, taking care of most courses in the areas of economics, organizational sciences and management).

The Department of Information Systems

The academic interests of the Department of Information Systems are related to the adoption and use of information technology (IT) in organizations and society. They address two concerns: (1) those related to the development and improvement of socio-technical units (work units, processes, organizations, businesses, society sectors); (2) those related to the construction of IT applications capable of addressing the needs of the contexts where they will be used or to enable new forms of setting up work structures.

In order to accomplish its academic mission the Department of Information Systems combines academic approaches adequate to the socio-technical nature of its interests. On one hand the technological approaches associated to the development of IT products. On the other hand the approaches adequate to deal with the human and social facets inherent to the study and interventions in phenomena where humans are central.

The Department of Information Systems has around 35 faculty members. Most of them hold a doctoral degree and are in a tenure track. A few of them, collaborating with the department in a part time basis, are recruited among reputed IST professionals. The department has also six collaborators with administrative and technical duties.

The department aims at providing a rich and challenging environment for teaching and research. Cultural diversity is viewed as an asset. Creativity and innovation are valued as crucial to the department’s academic mission. The department is installed in modern facilities, adequate to the fulfilment of its mission.

The portfolio of educational offer promoted by the Department of Information Systems in the information systems and technologies (IST) area – TSI@UMinho, – covers all levels of higher education. Initial training of IST professionals is achieved through the integrated Master in Engineering and Management of Information Systems. This program has its roots in an early program created in 1990. Challenges from keeping up with constant evolution of IST professional training and the demands of adjusting higher education programs to the new principles and rules for higher education have been addressed through several changes in the program structure. Besides this IST initial training program, the TSI@UMinho portfolio also includes the following programs: Master in Information Systems; Master in Information Services and Technologies Entrepreneurship; Doctoral Program in Information Systems and Technologies.

TSI@UMinho students are offered a broad range of possibilities in what concerns international mobility and cooperation. The department has mobility agreements with a large set of partners from several countries and promotes the affiliation to networks whose thematic motivation might facilitate the exchange of students (e.g., ERCIS, IS-LINK, AIS Student Chapter@UMinho).


Research and outreach

R&D activities are central to the university vision assumed by the UMinho, the Engineering School and the Department of Information Systems. Therefore it is a concern of the department to ensure that there are R&D programs that address the development of the IST body of knowledge and the application of this knowledge to whatever problems and situations where it might be beneficial.

The R&D activities in information systems and technologies encompass a broad range of research topics and problems, such as:


  • Studies of phenomena related to the adoption and use of IT;

  • Studies of phenomena that involve the use of information;

  • Studies of IT impact on organizations and society;

  • Development of methodologies and tools to support organizational intervention activities;

  • Studies and experiments of IT tools to support different activities with special emphasis on knowledge work;

  • Development of innovative IT products based upon emergent technologies.

 Providing services to the community is also viewed as an important academic activity as it is an opportunity to contact with real world situations that constitute potential R&D cases. This is particularly relevant due to the fact that the nature of most problems addressed in the IST area does not allow their study in laboratorial settings.

 Research - the ALGORTIMI R&D centre

 Research activities in the information systems and other informatics-related fields are carried out in the ALGORTIMI R&D centre. ALGORTIMI is a UMinho’s research unit funded by the Portuguese agency for science and technology. It combines basic, applied and translational research in a broad range of areas that include: information systems, software, multimedia, communications, networks, pervasive computing, electronics, operations research, statistics. Most researchers of ALGORITMI centre are also faculty in four departments of the schools of engineering: Information Systems; Informatics; Production and Systems; Industrial Electronics.

ALGORITMI organizes its activities along two dimensions. On one dimension (research lines) R&D activities are aligned with the areas of the departments associated to the centre mentioned above. On the other dimension (research strands), activities focus on a selection of societal challenges, namely: wealthy and innovative industry; sustainable and smart cities; healthy and secure people; resilient and agile organizations.

Research in Information Systems and Technologies

Information Systems and Technologies (IST) is a research line close to the interest of the Information Systems Department. It embraces three research groups: i) Information systems and technologies for the transformation of organizations and society; ii) Advanced and intelligent technologies for information systems; iii) Engineering and management of the development process of software-based information systems.

The first area addresses the adoption, use and exploitation of Information Technology to enhance desirable organizational and societal traits, namely collective intelligence, agility, resilience, transparency and citizen empowerment. The second area focuses on adaptive systems that use data to enhance individual, group or organizational work or to enable new work practices and structures. Finally, the third area addresses the processes of building and deploying information systems. It covers both the engineering and the management dimensions of the development process. The three groups are highly complementary and interdependent, acting as a crosscut research agenda for stimulating cooperation when addressing specific IST research topics, such as: business intelligence & process management, information services, information systems security & audit, knowledge management, semantic web & scholarly communication, and sustainable development of organizational software.

The IST R&D line covers the full range of research activities that precede innovation, including basic, applied and translation research. The addressed phenomena include Information Technology (IT artifacts, methods and conceptual tools and also the behaviour of individuals, groups, organizations or even societal phenomena. This diversity of research activities and phenomena of interest leads to a diversity of research methods, which is likely to include: case studies, field studies, field experiments, surveys, laboratory experiments, computer simulations, action-research, proof-of-concept, benchmarking, panels of specialists, and Delphic studies.

By addressing complex questions that bring together all the dimensions of the issues at stake, IST researchers contribute to a more dynamic development of research and education activities targeted at the information systems and software industries, which can spill over to society at large and result in sustainable and inclusive growth and quality of live through a more productive use of IT. For further details about the Information Systems and Technologies research line, please visit


Master Programs

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The Integrated Master in Engineering and Management of Information Systems (IMEMIS) aims to educate professionals in the area of engineering and management of Information Systems (IS). Their main professional acts involve a combination of knowledge and competences from IT, organization and management. The role played by IS Engineers and Managers (ISEM) is to use IT and its applications to the benefit of organizations. The main professional acts to be performed by ISEM professionals include: organizational interventions related to the adoption of Information Technology (IT); management of organizational IT; organizational, process and work engineering; knowledge management. ISEM professionals act in any organization, regardless its size or economic sector. ISEM professionals act as well in IT and management consultancy companies. It's a professional profile relevant in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) addressing organizational improvement through the use of IT. It is expected that IMEMIS graduates exhibit: responsibility and professional ethics; learning and adaptation to new situations; attention to the evolution of IT and to new opportunities to achieve benefits from IT application; reflective attitude; leadership; understanding of the R&D process so they can follow and contribute to the evolution of the body of knowledge associated to their profession.

The Master Program in Information Systems aims to train professionals capable of: (i) Understanding the role of information and information systems and technology (IST) in organizations and society; (ii) Explaining the technological, organizational, political, social and cultural reasons for the success of IST adoption and management; (iii) Diagnosing problems associated with the use of IST; (iv) Designing IST solutions to solve organizational or societal problems and seizing opportunities arising from changing markets and society. Thus, the graduate in Information Systems should be able to perform organizational activities such as: (i) To help to define the technological infrastructure to support business strategy; (ii) To participate in innovation processes and organizational change where IST play a central role; (iii) To manage organization’s IST to ensure the support of the implemented business model taking into account the business goals and constraints.

PhD Programs

The Doctoral Program in Information Systems and Technologies (PDTSI) aims at training researchers to, in an autonomous way, conduct R&D activities in the field of information systems and technology (TSI). Training is certified with acquiring the title of Doctor

The performed  R&D activities focus on social and organizational phenomenons related with the adoption and use of information technologies. PhD projects may result in technological or theoretical contributions relevant to organizational interventions aiming to enhance organizational development and well being or to develop innovative computational platforms with the potential to transform organizational or social practices, interactions and relationships.

The program has a 4-year duration. PDTSI’s first year implies the successful completion of disciplines designed to allow students to get familiar with relevant literature to their field and the existing research approaches and methods. During this first year, students also prepare their doctorate’s project proposal. The program’s remaining time is dedicated to the research development and writing the doctorate’s dissertation.

PDTSI is intended to a wide range of potential candidates, including:

  • Young graduates that seek to prepare for research or academic careers
  • Professionals the seek to increase their knowledge and skills to lead the development of IT applications and to be more effective in addressing the multidisciplinary nature of organizational and social phenomenons related with the adoption and use of information techologies.
  • Those who seek to contribute for the organizational and social change trough the use of innovative information technology.

The R&D’s activities developed for PDTSI are performed at the Centro Algoritmi, one of the UMINHO R&D centers financed by FCT.


Doctoral Program in Information Systems and Technology


The IST field; comparison with other fields where information and information technology also play an important role (e.g., computer science; software engineering; information and library science). Professional profiles associated to the IST field. Fundamental concepts in the IST field: information; systems; information systems; organizations. Theories that result from IST research: explanatory theories addressing phenomena in organizations (e.g., IT adoption, use, and success); methods for IT related interventions in organizations. Theories from reference fields that are used in IST research (the actual theories to be addressed will be chosen attending to student interests).


Integrated Master in Engineering and Management of Information System

This course aims to address the fundamentals of Database Systems, its characteristics and the various technologies used in its implementation. In this context, it examines the role of the Database Management System (DBMS) to develop computer systems and the features they made ​​available to the application level. It is intended, in particular, to address the characteristics, application areas and major limitations of the relational model of databases.One of the strengths of this course is the emphasis in the development of skills needed for the design of conceptual data models and corresponding relational databases schemes. Similarly, great attention is given to the development of the skills needed to interact with database systems through the use of relational languages​​, as well as the implementation of business rules in the form of code stored in database.
he general objectives are related to the successful development of a scientific research work conducting to a dissertation. The specific objectives are individually proposed to each student regarding the execution of their workplan. More specific objectives include: - Apply knowledge and skills acquired during the program to new and unfamiliar situations; - Complement knowledge already acquired during the program, thus demonstrating the ability to learn autonomously; - Participate in problem solving projects in the area of EGSI, demonstrating the ability to integrate knowledge, to deal with complex and uncertain issues, and to design solutions and make judgments; - Participate in multi-specialty or multi-disciplinary work teams; - Produce reflections about the implications and ethical and social responsibilities arising from the outlined solutions, the opinions expressed, and about the restrictions that might constrain the addressed situation and the proposed solutions; - Communicate the work conclusions (and the knowledge and reasoning underlying them) both to experts and to non-specialists, in a clear and unambiguous way; - Demonstrate ability to work autonomously, even though this might happen within a work team.
The course "Distributed Systems" aims to provide a generic introductory training on the key concepts of distributed programming. It is expected that, in the end, the students are able to understand the major implications associated with the development of distributed systems and to develop distributed applications using simple midlleware common communications.
Organizations, Processes and Work Engineering is particularly structuring in the education of the future professionals in engineering and management of information systems. This course intends to provide students with the knowledge and competences to make easy their integration in teams for business processes improvement using information and systems technologies. Students learn in lab classes how to apply MLearn, a specific methodology from a consultant company that is based on organizational competencies and is process-oriented in a top down and systemic perspective
The syllabus for the curricular unit was developed in accordance with the defined goals and intended learning outcomes. The programme was structured in order to aggregate several basic and fundamental topics in financial management. The curricular unit is organized in two modules: module I Financial calculus and module II Financial statement analysis. Module I aims that students understand and apply concepts and fundamental techniques of financial calculus, namely those related with capitalization and discounting processes, rents and stock and bond valuation, the different types of loans and amortization methods. Module II intends to sensitize the students for the importance of financial statement analysis using companies accounting data and other relevant information and endow them with a set of methods and techniques of analysis to assess the company performance. These methods include the computation of ratios, the modern functional approach, the analysis of risk and financial planning. It is also shown how these methods are important to short term financial management.
The course "Fundamentals of Computer Programming 'is the first contact of students with the area of computer programming. As an introductory course, it aims to provide students with knowledge and skills in computer programming, particularly with regard to the concepts, principles and methods of programming.
It is intended that the student acquires: - Basic knowledge of propositional calculus, set theory, and graph theory; - Ability to apply the acquired knowledge in different contexts; - Calculation skills and mathematical reasoning to construct rigorousarguments; - Ability to communicate in writing and orally, in mathematical language; - Ability to work in groups; - Ability to learn autonomously.
"Implementation of Integrated Systems" is a course unit for debate of the main challenges faced by organizations in the integration of their information systems. The causes for the lack of integration as well as the motivations and benefits of systems integration are discussed. Crucial issues for the implementation of integrated management systems are studied looking for the configuration of technology and human resources that best support organizational processes. Different technologies used in systems integration are studied. SAP R/3, Microsoft Dynamics NAV/CRM, Sage X3, and Primavera, are software packages in which is given the opportunity to students to develop usage scenarios in supporting specific business processes. Other technologies introduced in the context of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web Services are used in modeling and implementing processes using integration platforms such as BizAgi BPMS and Oracle SOA Suite. Participants in implementation processes, including solution providers and consultants, are invited to share some of their experiences and to be involved both in the launch and the final defense of integration projects.

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  1. To familiarize students with the practices, challenges, and opportunities currently associated with the use of IST to support, transform and modernize the execution of the multiple State governance activities, a phenomenon currently know by Electronic Government (e-Government); and
  2. To provide students with the knowledge and capacity to collaborate in management, design, and implementation of e-Government projects and initiatives.

This course unit presents e-Government as a multidimensional and sociotechnical phenomenon, thus giving not only a pure technological perspective of this phenomenon, but also stressing the set of organizational, semantic, political and social issues that surround, affect and restrain e-Gov development.




The aim of the course is to enable students with network applications skills. Being the computer networks the support of Internet applications, all its underlying concepts are introduced in the first part of the syllabus. After understanding these basic concepts, the applicational paradigms are given, together with a detailed description of Internet applications, such as DNS, Web, FTP and E-mail.
Considering the marketing concept as a management philosophy, the curricular unit of Introduction to Marketing aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the marketplace, in order to identify strategic business opportunities to ensure that the products, services or ideas offered better satisfy costumer’ needs and wants. Students should be able to understand the analytical marketing process, combining marketing analysis, marketing strategies and marketing implementation. The goal is to equip students with theories and techniques that enable them to analyze and solve marketing problems. With this critical analysis of marketing problems, students should understand that that no universal solutions exist, but they must always be adapted to the problem under study. On the other hand, students should form the conscience of the dynamic nature of the discipline, knowing that there will need to update their knowledge throughout life. To solidify the theoretical knowledge learned will be presented and discussed several specific situations and case studies that students must analyze, present and discuss critically, whether on an individual or in collective terms, always from a perspective that no consensual solutions exist.
It is intended that the student acquires: - Basic knowledge of Linear Algebra; - Ability to apply the acquired knowledge in different contexts; - Calculation skills and mathematical reasoning to construct rigorous arguments; - Ability to communicate in writing and orally, in mathematical language; - Ability to work in groups; - Ability to learn autonomously.
This course unit economic approach implies the acquisition of basic knowledge in the fields of microeconomics and macroeconomics. It also envisages to provide knowledge in the domain of technical and scientific language of graphic and analytical instruments that represent the economic relations in which individuals and institutions interact.
The operating system is in any computing system of general purpose, a fundamental component whose characteristics are prevalent in how this system will be used and the type of applications it can support. For this reason, it is also important to ensure that any professional to be involved in processes of design, development or selection of computer systems know the main features supported by operating systems and know how to evaluate the implications that certain characteristics of these operating systems can have on the operation of applications. Generally, the aim of the course Operating System is specifically to make an introduction to the fundamental concepts used in the design of modern operating systems.
This course aims to acquaint students with the Operational Research methodology and a set of techniques and deterministic methods. The course includes theoretical and practical aspects, modeling of linear programming, integer programming, network flows and some related topics, and the application of these techniques to problems in operations planning, logistics, transportation, computer science, network design, project management and other areas. In addition to the knowledge of algorithms, it is intended that students use appropriate computational tools in the solution of case studies of significant size.
The main objective of this course is to develop students' knowledge and expertise in the field of OO programming. This objective is achieved by combining a theoretical perspective - focused on the presentation of the main concepts, principles,and methods of the OOPP, with a practical perspective,focused on the introduction and use of one OOPL, specifically the JAVA language.
he unit project is an integrator mechanism for learning the technical and scientific knowledge discussed duringthe program. The project, to be held in groups of 5 ± students must be performed in a context as real as possibleand should allow the implementation, the exercising and the development of the core professional competencies ofengineers and managers of IS, namely: • To develop proposals for improvement of work situations and processes, taking into account the organization'sstrategy; • To exploit opportunities created by technological innovations in IT; • To propose the adoption of computer applications that: support the organizational work properly, satisfy theinformation needs of the organization's management, ensuring information security; • To identify and evaluate IT solutions and propose a way to get them; • Make available an operational version of the proposed technological solution.Students must demonstrate that they had managed the project properly
The aim of this Simulation Course is to give students the opportunity to learn and apply Discrete Event Simulation. Students should use simulation methodology, including the development of simulation models and to construct simulation programs. In fact, students would have to develop simulation projects. Students would also be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this experimental technique and therefore the corresponding statistical issues would be discussed.
This course promotes a training plan linked to four main areas: software process models, quality improvement models, software project planning and requirements analysis. All activities of teaching / learning are organized around a project in which students go through 3 moments of assessment related to the four aspects mentioned above.
The unit aims to provide students with knowledge and skills in Web programming, particularly with regard to the concepts, principles, methods and programming technologies associated with building dynamic websites. Students learn how to configure Apache and MySQL, to structure pages with XHTML and CSS, programming in PHP and Javascript, using Ajax with XML and build mashups. Aspects of security, scalability, support for multiple browsers and deployment of websites are also approached on the CU. This course introduces the World Wide Web (WWW) as a platform for programming and development in two phases: an initial phase (halfway semester) focusing on basic technologies, defined and imposed by the teaching team for use by all students, and a subsequent phase aimed at diversifying technologies, which are used differently by students.