The MCIS is offered in two formats, full-time and part-time. It can also be done by Dissertation only or (more usually) by Coursework and Dissertation. Details of this second approach are now discussed. The formats are identical except in regard to the timing of the dissertation. Students who want to finish all their coursework and dissertation work within a single calendar year will sign up for the full-time format; otherwise they will take an extra year to focus exclusively on their dissertations. Details of the program follow.
The program has a number of taught modules, 4 technology projects, and a dissertation. These are discussed separately below:
- A research methodology component to guide you through the steps of doing your thesis. This component should be pretty much completed by the end of the first semester. The prescribed book for this is "Applied Business Research" by Cavana et al, Wiley (Australia), ISBN 0471341266. It is fairly expensive but the only prescribed text for the year.
- A critical reading component including an introduction to research and critical thought in Information Systems Critical thinking, theory, scientific theory generation and testing, critique of research papers, writing research papers, reading and reviewing research articles, the sociology of research in information systems, important research streams, challenges to IS research, the culture of research.
- An advanced content component consisting of selected topics of interest to students centered around the research interests of current IS staff and academic visitors.
- A set of student-driven seminars whereby students individually present and (as a group) critique topics of their choice or as assigned.
The research methodology module lasts about 5 months. The critical reading and advanced content modules take place concurrently and more or less evenly spread throughout the academic year. Already during the initial ten-month program, students are encouraged to work on their dissertations. FT students should commence their research by May of the year they begin if they intend to complete their data gathering by the start of the second year. PT students will not normally commence their research until the second year of their program. During the second year, full-time (and, where appropriate, part-time) students will present the progress of their research at regular meetings to provide guidance and to share experiences with other students.