MA (Hons) IT Management for Business

Graduate Apprenticeship IT Management for Business summary

The programme

MA (Hons)
New or existing employees in Scotland
4 years
No limit
20% at University, 80% at work

The IT Management for Business Graduate Apprenticeship degree develops specific skills and knowledge of information technology, to enable the participants to play a key role in the management of ICT infrastructure, strategy, operations and projects of their organisation.

The programme helps you develop highly skilled employees in the following areas:

  • IT Consultancy
  • IT System Operation
  • IT System Management
  • IT Network Planning and Control
  • IT Project Management

Programme Structure

The programme, co-delivered by the Edinburgh Business School and the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, is structured so that essential foundational knowledge is provided in the early stages and this can be built on during the learning that will take place in the workplace.

The programme comprises a number of courses that are undertaken through a blend of University attendance and work based learning. Attendance at University will normally be one day per week. Although each course has specific learning objectives, the learning and work-based project work associated with each course is tailored to meet each student’s individual work context.

In the third semester (over the summer period) of each year, students will be working on assessments and projects which will be supervised by a tutor from the University, course instructors, and work-based mentors.

Year 1

In year 1, the apprentice will acquire the fundamentals of software development including a knowledge of procedural programming and object-oriented paradigm, as well as manipulating objects in an IDE and understanding and using documentation in an API. The apprentice will also learn about the fundamentals of computing systems and database systems.

By the end of year 1, the apprentice will have gained an appreciation for the fundamentals of data science, including the ability to explore and use new datasets while understanding their context and usefulness within the organisational domain. On the business management side, the apprentice will be provided the foundations of management that include the enterprise in the context of its social, political and technological environments. The apprentice will also develop business skills that include: questioning and interviewing techniques; presentation skills; and design thinking.

Year 2

During year 2, building upon the basic business knowledge and skills gained in year 1, the apprentice will develop an understanding of human behaviour in the workplace and basic accounting for managers. The apprentice will be able to describe the operations management concepts and techniques that can be used to support management decision-making.

The apprentice will also gain an understanding of contemporary marketing issues and problems faced by organisations, and learn legal principles within the context of public-, private-, and third-sector organisations.

The apprentice will also gain an appreciation for data ethics and security, and for database management systems, including a broad knowledge and understanding of the concepts and formalisms of database design, and emerging database trends and their benefits.

Year 3

Year 3 will build up on the knowledge and skills gained in year 2. The apprentice will have had experience of project management and be able to discuss the theoretical and practical issues involved in the strategic and innovation management of organisations.

After gaining an understanding of how to carry out research in the business context, the apprentice will undertake a business analysis and consultancy project and present findings within their organisation. The apprentice will also gain an understanding of applied machine learning, including the ability to identify appropriate evaluation and model selection methods, and appropriate data analysis techniques.

Year 4

The final honours year will see the apprentice taking full responsibility for a major work-based Capstone Project throughout the year. This project will be supported by the workplace mentor and an academic supervisor matched with the chosen topic.

By the end of the honours year, the apprentice will have gained an understanding of challenges in global networks, including possible threats sources of threats to networks and interconnections among topologies of the networks on the internet.

The apprentice will also consider the impact of various global political, economic, social and technological trends on the way we manage organisations, leading to an increased global awareness for managing international business. The apprentice will also gain and appreciation for processes, techniques, challenges and opportunities associated with digital marketing.


Graduates’ skillset

The IT Management for Business Graduate Apprenticeship programme aims to produce MA (Hons) graduates equipped with knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

  • a broad background of business operations, procedures and culture applicable to a career in IT in a business environment
  • sufficient technical knowledge to play a key role in an IT related environment
  • personal and interpersonal skills enabling them to work closely and communicate with employees in non-IT related areas of an organisation
  • a set of problem-solving and modelling skills appropriate to IT related business operations
  • sufficient management and business knowledge to play a management role in an IT project
  • project delivery experience in a business oriented environment

Key areas of the programme

The primary focus of the IT Management for Business Graduate Apprenticeship Programme is on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills outcomes sought by employers.

  • Business Skills
  • Enterprise
  • Human resource management
  • Operations Management
  • Accounting
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Change
  • Leadership
  • Information systems
  • Data
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Software development and programming
  • Computer and network infrastructure
  • Information systems operations and change
Personal and interpersonal
  • Communications
  • Personal attributes
  • Professional attributes
  • Team working
Software project and delivery management
  • Project management methodologies
  • Project planning
  • Project execution
  • Agile project delivery
  • Risk assessment and management

Each of the four key content areas is combined to deliver a holistic learning experience.

Why Heriot-Watt?

Our graduates are specialist, creative, progessional, global citizens. The Engineering Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeship Programme is taught by respected and experienced academics and business professionals.

With five campuses, in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Orkney, Dubai and Malaysia, Heriot-Watt is a truly global community.

Our IT Management for Business programme offers GA students a wide range of Business Management, IT and Data Science courses, and helps employers transition students into roles such as IT systems operations, IT systems management, IT network planning and control, and IT project management.

David C. Steinberg, Ph.D., Director of EBS GA Programmes

Heriot-Watt University is consistently ranked at a high level across a number of key university league tables.