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MSc in Strategic Management of 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 180 credits by this time. This qualification is not available to new students. If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Qualifications and Ceremonies Centre on +44 (0)1908 653003 or by email.

This specialist degree course is designed to enable you to develop your ability to make an effective contribution at a strategic level in the field of the management of information systems, internally or as an external consultant. The Open University Business School is accredited internationally by the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) and by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

This MSc course starts with a one-year module on management that reflects a wide range of contemporary practices and challenges. This is followed by three modules, one on developing organisational strategy, which can be studied from public, private or technological perspectives and the other two on strategic aspects of information systems theme. The MSc then offers an opportunity to study key issues relating to information systems and knowledge management, by choosing from a suite of options. It is rounded off with a project of your own choosing. The approach is practical rather than theoretical.

This MSc is intended to enable you to build competencies in the management of information systems in organisations, which will enable you to perform senior management roles, in particular to ensure that information systems underpin the strategy of your organisation.

Planning your studies

You are expected to have a minimum of three years’ experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. Usually this means that you are at least 25 years old as it is unusual (but not impossible) to be able to satisfy the ‘experience’ requirement under this age.

Depending on your previous qualifications, there are two entry routes:

If you already have an honours degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent, you can begin your MBA studies by taking MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716).

Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to an honours degree. If you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK honours degree please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. The Open University Business School Masters Programme Committee is responsible for judging whether applicants’ qualifications meet the requirements for admission.

If you have the equivalent of a UK bachelors degree without honours you may be permitted to progress on to this MSc course by taking Managing 1: organisations and people (B628). Alternatively if you have an official Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score of 640 or above, and the equivalent of a UK undergraduate degree, you will be allowed to progress directly on to the MSc. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5. To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you are unsure whether your skill level in English is adequate you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.

The MSc in Strategic Management of Information Systems is in two stages.

Stage 1

Stage 1 consists of the MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716). This 60-credit module takes 12 months to complete. It is an integrated module covering all the core management part of the curriculum. You must pass Stage 1 before proceeding onto Stage 2.

Stage 2

Your first Stage 2 module should be either Technology strategy (T846) or the discontinued B820 or B856. Once you have completed one of these you are then able to continue with the rest of Stage 2 which comprises the two discontinued compulsory modules, T852 and T850, either one or two optional modules and the final compulsory project module, The MSc professional project (T847).

You must complete your MSc within ten years, passing a minimum of one module every two years. If you fail or withdraw from a module, you are allowed to retake it once.

We cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available throughout your study period but we are committed to providing suitable equivalent modules at all times.

If you have already passed any of the modules listed for the MSc, probably taken as part of an MBA or MPA degree, you may also be able to count them towards this MSc.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 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

This MSc contributes to career development by enabling you to bridge the roles of IT specialist and general manager. Whether you are from an IT or general management backgrounds, it will help you gain broad based management and leadership development skills enabling you to develop and implement IT/IS strategies for your organisation. While the academic level is masters, there is a strong practical and professional orientation to the curriculum.

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 180-credit masters degree you require:

Stage 1 – 60 credits from the following compulsory module:

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice (B716)

This MBA module will enable you make a real difference within your management practice and provide a good grounding in the core disciplines of management.

See full description

60 Nov 2014

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B700, B713, BZX700, BZX713

Stage 2 – 30 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
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 B820, B856, BZX820

And 30 credits from the discontinued compulsory modules:

T850, T852

And 30 credits from the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
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

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules B823, BZX823, M886, T851, T853

And 30 credits from the final compulsory module:

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
The MSc professional project (T847)

This highly intensive research based module enables you to design, conduct, analyse and report on a research project of your own choosing.

See full description

30 Nov 2014

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T842

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 will be awarded an MSc in Strategic Management of Information Systems entitling you to use the letters MSc SMIS (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.


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 Taught Masters
Code F54
Level Postgraduate
Made up of 180 credits

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