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School of Environment, Education and Development

Student and lecturer in a geography lab
MSc Geographical Information Science
Gain thorough expertise in spatial data analysis for a range of specialist careers.

MSc Geographical Information Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
ICTs in Practice

Unit code MGDI71932
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit will be of particular benefit for those without a technical background and are likely to be involved in the management of computerised information systems communicating with technical partners. The Unit is very practical.

- Databases and database technologies.
- Programming languages.
- Internet and Web technologies.
- Other development-related ICT issues: free and open source software / network technologies.
- Individual presentations.


To provide participants with a foundational understanding of the key information and communication technologies (ICTs) that support change in organisations.
This module aims to evaluate the information technology used in the development of information systems to be implemented in developing/transitional country organisations.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
- understand structural and process models of information systems design
- Knowledge of data modelling and categorisation for system development
- Knowledge of core IT systems relevant for business implementation.
-Understand technical issues related to environmental / business constraints.

Intellectual skills
- Link theory to real-world practice.
- Critically analyse ISD methodologies and techniques.

Practical skills
A good practical experience of the following:
- Database systems
- Programming
- Website Design
- Using Content Management Systems for Web page design

Transferable skills and personal qualities
- group working
- discussion and debating skills
- literature reviewing

Teaching and learning methods

Each face-to-face 3-hr lecture session includes lecture presentation, case study material, student group activities and practical exercises at a computer, and some group discussion.

Additionally, students are expected to engage with the e-learning materials provided via Blackboard to support learning. These include lecture slides and additional exercises, solutions to exercises, links to research papers and websites, etc.

Assessment methods

Essay (Report 60% - Prototype 40%): 2,000 words, 70%
Presentation - Group: 20 mins, 30%

Re-sit assignment: (Report 60% - Prototype 40%): 2,000 words, 100%

Recommended reading

' Laudon, K. C & Laudon, J.P. (2010) Foundations of business Intelligence: Database and Information Management. Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm. 11th Ed. Pearson.
- Bocij, P, Greasley, A & Hickie, S. (2008) Business Information Systems - Technology, Development & Management. 4th Ed. Prentice Hall.
- Krishna, S. & Madon, S. (2003) The Digital Challenge: Information Technology in Development, Ashgate
- Turban, E. et al (2006) Information Technology for Management, Wiley
- Lawrence, D. & Tavakol, S. (2007) Balanced Website Design: Optimising Aesthetics, Usability and purpose. Springer, UK.
- Hernandez, H. (1997) Database Design for Mere Mortals, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Additional notes

IDPM Programmes on which course unit is offered:

10 x 3hr lecture; 4x 2hr tutorial

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