The programme of study may be taken either as a full-time degree over one year or as a part-time degree normally spread over two years. As a full-time student the taught part of the course is delivered across two terms (autumn and spring).
Dissertation work will begin in your third term (summer) and submitted at the end of 12 months of study. As a part-time student the taught part of your course is typically delivered across four terms (autumn and spring of each year) and your dissertation work will begin in the summer term of your second year and normally be submitted at the end of 24 months of study.
To apply for the course you should normally have a good Honours degree (2.2) or foreign equivalent qualification and be motivated to develop a reflective understanding of the theory and practice of this complex and exciting subject area. A computing-related background may be advantageous to your application but is not a strict requirement. If you have alternative qualifications and/or substantial industrial experience (that is relevant to the subject area) you may be eligible to study on the course. In this case we will interview you and may ask that you do some preparatory work for the course.
The aim of this cutting edge programme is to develop practical skills and critical awareness in relation to the state-of-the-art in business/enterprise systems integration (from a service-oriented perspective). At the end of the course, you should be able to:
- model key aspects of business in an integrated and logical manner.
- demonstrate a critical and practical understanding of the issues relevant to business systems integration and use in the context of modern business environments.
- demonstrate a critical and practical understanding of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) and the role they play in business systems integration.
- demonstrate a critical and practical understanding of the professional skills necessary for effective business systems integration.
- reflect, critically and in-depth, on relevant aspects of the state-of-the art of both the practice and theory of business systems integration.
The practical elements of your course will be supported by SAP technologies. SAP is a leading provider of Enterprise Resource Planning systems and a keen innovator from a service-oriented perspective. Broadly speaking, you will gain experience of SAP R/3, Netweaver platform and business intelligence approaches. Consequently, you will get hands-on experience of technology and systems that will enhance your employability.
In an increasingly competitive business environment, organisations need to make disparate software systems work together in a dynamic way in order to support new and innovative enterprise-level business processes. To date, making systems work together like this has proved to be expensive and time-consuming, with system integration activities often costing significantly more than standard application development. In response, many organisations and technology providers are promoting a “service-oriented” approach to integrating systems – both within and across enterprises.
The approach seeks to fuse business semantics (definitions that describe the business in a consistent way) and web services in a way that allows much more flexibility in the development of innovative, enterprise-level business processes. From a global perspective, the purpose is to provide standard definitions and ways of doing things that allow enterprises and parts of an enterprise to act independently but work together.
In this context, the aim of this “cutting edge” programme is to develop practical skills and critical awareness in relation to the state-of-the-art in business/enterprise systems integration (for a service-oriented perspective).
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
- Model key aspects of business in an integrated and logical manner
- Understand the issues relevant to business systems integration and use in the context of modern business environments
- Understand Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) and the role they play in business systems integration
- Understand the professional skills necessary for effective business systems integration Reflect on relevant aspects of both the practice and theory of business systems integration.
The practical elements of your course will be supported by SAP technologies. SAP is a leading provider of ERP systems and a keen innovator from a service-oriented perspective. Broadly speaking, you will gain experience of MySAP ERP, MySAP BW and understanding of the Netweaver platform. Consequently, you will get hands-on experience of technology and can o pt to take the SAP TERP10 Certification course (SAP Consultant Solution Architect ERP Integration of Business Process with MySAP ERP), which is a recognised industry qualification. This will be delivered in a two-week block during the third term.
Modules (all core) Professional Development and Research, which aims to develop knowledge and skills to support the continuous learning and competence improvement necessary for ongoing success in commercial and academic environments. Example topics of study include learning to learn, approaches to teamwork, approaches to critical evaluation and research methods.
Business Modelling, which cultivates skills and knowledge related to business, conceptual and software modelling. Example topics of study include different paradigms for modelling (including business services, processes and objects), techniques for modelling the business domain and business behaviour, the relationship between business modelling and software modelling and the use of the Unified Modelling Language (UML). ERP
Systems Theory and Practice, which examines the rationale, theories and practices around Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) and develops the knowledge required to understand the forces driving ERP design and implementation. Example topics of study include enterprise systems strategy and rationale, issues of organisational implementation and business services, processes and functions from an ERP perspective. The module provides an introduction to the SAP R/3 environment and the practice of business process integration in that environment.
ERP Systems Deployment and Configuration, which examines the implications of implementing ERP systems in organisations and develops the key skills necessary to deploy and configure ERP systems. Example topics of study include business process improvement alongside enterprise systems configuration and configuration management (including Master Data Management, business services, processes and functions). The module examines practical aspects of configuration in the context of the SAP R/3 environment.
Service-oriented Architecture, which examines the organisational impact of service-oriented approaches and the technologies necessary for the successful implementation of enterprise and web services. Example topics of study include issues in creating and managing a system landscape based on services, architectural approaches to service-orientation and web service technologies (including semantic web services). Practical aspects of web service implementation are examined in the context of integration via the SAP Netweaver environment.
Data Management and Business Intelligence, which aims to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to support the development of business intelligence solutions in modern organisational environments. Example topics of study include issues in data/information/knowledge management, approaches to information integration and business analytics. Practical aspects of the subject are examined in the context of the SAP Netweaver and Business Warehouse environment.
Systems project management, which aims to develop a critical awareness of the central issues and challenges in information systems project management. Example topics of study include traditional project management techniques and approaches, the relations between projects and business strategy, the role and assumptions underpinning traditional approaches and the ways in which the state-of-the-art can be improved.
Main topics of study: The organisational drivers for semantic integration; Ontology and its uses; Ontology management and integration; Inferencing and reasoning for and in semantic integration; Semantic integration standards; Semantics and Media; Digital Rights Management; and Advanced frameworks for data/information integration.
In addition, provided that you have reached an acceptable standard in the assessments and examinations, you may then undertake a dissertation. Work on a dissertation for this course will normally involve an in-depth study in the area of distributed information systems and computing (e.g., a state-of-the-art review together with appropriate software development) and provides you with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in this area to future employers or as a basis for future PhD study. Additionally, you can now work on an internship during your dissertation (see Special Features below).
A master's degree is awarded if you reach the necessary standard on the taught part of the course and submit a dissertation of the required standard. If you do not achieve the standard required, you may be awarded a postgraduate diploma or postgraduate certificate if eligible.
Teaching and Learning
A variety of teaching methods are used on the programme, which include lectures, seminars, structured discussions and self-directed study guided by us. You will gain practical experience in workshops/laboratory sessions and through the use of case-study material and scenarios centred on real world problems.
Our Master's programmes aim to equip you with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment. Each course is developed with industry in mind and has one or more industrial advisers who are involved in course development and delivery. The jobs that require the knowledge and skills that you will learn on this will equip you to work in areas such as business analysis, business process management, ERP implementation and customisation, systems integration and support and technology-led change management. "SAP and Brunel University have enjoyed a very rewarding relationship for a number of years.
The incorporation of SAP within Brunel’s MSc Business Systems Integration means that students can gain access to the world’s most sophisticated business management software as part of their core studies at a leading UK University. This enables students to integrate theoretical and systems learning with practical hands-on experience of the leading business management system. Future employers, whether they be large enterprise SAP users or consulting firms with major SAP practices such as Accenture or IBM, will be impressed with the ability to draw on real SAP knowledge as part of the study of systems integration and implementation issues. We are certainly very happy to continue to work with one of the UK’s leading universities." Martin Gollogly, Director of University Alliances, UK, Ireland and Nordics