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Postgraduate Diploma in Information Systems


Please note that this qualification is only available until 31 December 2014.

In order to claim this qualification you must have completed the required 120 credits by this time (including the 60 credits from the discontinued Postgraduate Certificate in Information Systems (C51)). This qualification is not available to new students. 

If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Centre for Qualifications and Ceremonies on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email.

This postgraduate diploma course provides you with the means to build a broader conceptualisation of information systems and to challenge existing assumptions. It will give you both a robust conceptual framework and an effective ‘toolkit’ of techniques and skills to help you think creatively about problems and possibilities. Creating information systems to support a networked economy challenges organisations to re-design their structures, skills and approaches, and information systems failures are not uncommon. Effective integration of business with technology is critically important and this qualification helps you develop this perspective and implement it in practice.

The information systems (IS) programme offers a series of self-standing modules which enable you to operate effectively in this fast-changing world which can count towards a postgraduate certificate and diploma and lead to the MSc in Information Systems (F37).

The IS programme provides:

  • a curriculum to meet the needs of professionals working with and managing complex information and communication systems
  • an exploration of current thinking about the fundamentals of IS and related domains: data and information, the nature of information systems and the technology that underpins modern IS
  • a practical guide to tools and techniques for use in the analysis, design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of IS and an understanding of a context (or contexts) against which to judge their value
  • an understanding of the nature of IS failure and its causes and a particular means of analysis that promotes learning from failure with a view to preventing failure in the design, implementation and operation of information systems
  • an examination of IS evolution, based on the premise that the majority of information systems are evolved from some existing structure, rather than developed from scratch
  • in-depth study of one (or study of a range) of contexts relevant to the field of IS
  • the ability to apply IS thinking across a wide range of situations.

Your choice of optional modules allows you to choose topics of personal or professional interest that can form a wider context for your information systems studies. Fields such as computing and ICT, business and management, technology management, development management and environmental management are typically represented.

Planning your studies

You should normally hold a UK bachelors degree, or equivalent. If you do not hold a bachelors degree then you may be permitted to link modules to this qualification once you have demonstrated the ability to study at postgraduate level by successfully completing one of the modules.

Because of the demands that study of the programme will make on you we recommend that you study no more than 60 credits a year, particularly in your first year. We recommend that you study the four compulsory modules in the order shown.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Time limit:

  1. This postgraduate diploma is only available until 31 December 2014 and you need to have completed the required 120 credits by this time.
  2. Modules count towards this diploma course for a maximum of eight years after we have stopped presenting them.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance and employability

Information systems are critical to the performance of all large organisations and it follows that effective information systems professionals are extremely valuable employees. Our information systems qualifications provide you with the knowledge and tools that can transform your performance in your information systems management role and make a huge contribution to the performance of your organisation. You will develop a range of job-related and transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and the adaptability to cope with rapid technological change. Employers are also impressed by the commitment and determination it takes to succeed with the OU while keeping up family and work commitments. These benefits, together with the opportunities to add value by applying your learning to the workplace as you study, make information systems programmes very attractive approaches to professional development.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this 120-credit postgraduate diploma you require:

60 credits from the discontinued modules T850, T851, T852 and T853

And between 30 and 60 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Analysis and design of enterprise systems: an object-oriented approach (M885)

This introduction to the object-oriented approach to software, its principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications, gives you practical skills in applying object-oriented analysis and design.

See full description

15 Nov 2014 FINAL
Managing the software enterprise (M882)

Explore the acquisition, management and development of complex software systems for organisations, from procurement and maintenance to managing resources, change, quality and risk.

See full description

Managing technological innovation (T848)

This module explores the processes that underpin technological innovation an understanding of which is crucial whether you are a user or producer of technological innovation.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Project management (M865)

This project management module is particularly applicable to technological fields, exploring project initiation, risk, estimating and contracts, planning, human factors, project execution and standard methods.

See full description

Software requirements for business systems (M883)

Investigate requirements engineering – a disciplined approach to eliciting, analysing, communicating and agreeing requirements as the essential first step in the development of software.

See full description

15 Nov 2014 FINAL
Strategy for technological innovation (T849) NEW

This module draws on a range of theoretical perspectives from both strategic and innovation management to produce a multi-layered, practical, approach to strategic management of technological innovation.

See full description

30 May 2015
Technology strategy (T846)

This module concerns technology strategy in public or private sector organisations. It considers the challenges of technology, introducing different perspectives on the strategy formation process.

See full description

30 Nov 2014 FINAL

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B823, BZX823, M873, T840

And up to 30 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Advanced routing – CCNP 1 (T824)

This module provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to deploy and manage internal and external routing protocols for large scale inter-networks using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 May 2015
Business operations: delivering value (T883)

The module aims to equip managers with the skills to make the business processes in their organisation more effective in meeting the needs of stakeholders.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Capacities for managing development (TU870)

This module analyses development management, examines a range of tools for planning, managing and evaluating development, and investigates key aspects of development management, including strategic thinking.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Continuing professional development in education (U810)

This module allows you to accredit 150 hours prior learning through auditing and assessing the impact of your continuing professional development (CPD) on your work.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Databases in enterprise systems (M888)

Describes how relational databases can be used to maintain persistent data in software systems.

See full description

15 May 2015 FINAL
Environmental decision making: a systems approach (T863)

This module uses systems ideas to explore environmental decision-making situations, to make sense of their complexity and to look for feasible changes and action.

See full description

30 Nov 2014 FINAL
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)

Develop your understanding of systemic inquiry, systemic action research and social learning in order to extend your skills of project, programme and change management.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Multilayer switching - CCNP3 (T826)

This module will give you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to deploy reliable, scalable and secure multilayer-switched campus LANs using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 May 2015
Network security (T828)

This module will give you the knowledge,understanding and practical experience of managing a secure communication across a large-scale inter-network using Cisco equipment and attend the compulsory day school.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Optimising networks - CCNP4 (T827)

This module will give you the knowledge, understanding and skills to optimise communication on large-scale data networks using Cisco equipment.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (T889)

This module focuses on the practical application and deeper understanding of many of the methods and techniques associated with modern quality management and systems thinking.

See full description

30 Nov 2014
Relational database systems (M876)

Get to grips with database technology: principles, benefits, techniques and practical applications. Learn about relational concepts and SQL – and produce your own simple relational database.

See full description

15 Nov 2014 FINAL
Thinking strategically: system tools for managing change (TU811)

Improve your management skills by exploring different approaches to engaging with complex situations and by developing your understanding of how cognitive processing shapes practice.

See full description

30 May 2015
Web systems integration (M887)

Explore technologies vital for the development of internet-based applications in the context of systems integration – a new development paradigm revolutionising software production.

See full description


Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B820, B821, B822, B824, B825, BZX820, BZX821, BZX822, BZX824, BZX825, M874, M877, M879, M881, M886, M889, M891, T822, T823, T825, T834, T837, T860, T890, TUXX870, TXX863

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Systems, entitling you to use the letters PGD IS (Open) after your name. 

You may continue your studies and add a further 60 credits to your postgraduate diploma by studying a research module to gain an MSc in Information Systems (F37) (only available until 31 December 2016).


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification

About this Diploma
Code E10
Level Postgraduate
Made up of 120 credits

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